Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Top Music Of 2007

I always find it a very difficult prospect to narrow down an entire year's worth of music into a Top 10 list ... and then when I sit down and actually go thru all the music that was released over the year I find that it's actually not really difficult at all. I dunno, maybe this year is easier than most but I had no problem compiling my Top 10 Favorite Albums and Singles of the year. If anything, I had the most difficulty with ranking the albums/singles ... but in the end, here is what I came up with as my Fave Music of 2007.

In the #10 position I chose the very fun, very infectious Life in Cartoon Motion by Mika:


I tried to resist this album, and thinking back I have no idea why, but all it took was one listen for me to fall insanely in love with the songs. Life in Cartoon Motion is one of those albums where every song is a hit. I'm actually very surprised that Mika isn't a bigger star here in the US because of this album. He strikes me as the new, poppier version of Rufus Wainwright. Most folks really love his song Grace Kelly (as do I) but for me, the song Relax (Take It Easy) is the song that does it for me. Mika's album is such a treat to listen to ... no matter what you're doing ... it provides a fun, dancey soundtrack for every occasion.

At #9 I chose Too Young To Fight It by Young Love:


Young Love is the indie, hipster version of Justin Timberlake but with none of the assholiness. Like The Oohlas did last year, Young Love stole my heart from the beginning ... and getting to see him perform live in concert only cemented my belief that he is a hugely talented musician. MTV and Jennifer Lopez were wise to choose his song Find A New Way as the theme song for their show Dance Life. The hook in that song is so infectious, I had to watch the show. I predict (and it is my sincere hope) that Young Love's star will continue to rise.

Coming in at #8 is The Sun and the Moon by The Bravery:


When The Bravery came out a couple of years ago, critics charged that they were but a pale imitation of The Killers ... it seems that the tables have turned, at least in my eyes, because every single song on The Sun and the Moon beats the hell out of every song on the latest album by The Killers. The deceptively simple song Time Won't Let Me Go was a pretty big hit for The Bravery this year and the album overall proved that the band could be more than one album wonders. I made it a point to see The Bravery live in concert this year ... I don't even remember if The Killers even toured.

#7 belongs to Blackout by Britney Spears:


Okay ... so believe me, I really wanted Britney Spears to have the #1 position cuz any bit of positivity can only help the girl but there was better music to be had this year. That being said, Britney's newest album is really freakin' hot. Except for maybe 2 songs, every other song on the album could be released as a single. The songs are so well structured with a fresh, now sound ... she owes her producers much for helping her put out an amazing album (yes, even JR Rotem). Clearly, this is the most successful thing she's done all year, she at least deserves credit for it.

The #6 position goes to X by Kylie Minogue:


In the pop album category, Kylie Minogue wins overall. X is full of songs that only Kylie Minogue could do -- songs that have that electronic dance sound that make you want to dance. As with most pop albums, I think the ballads are the weakest parts of the album but they can't undo all the funness of the other great pop songs. The song Wow is like crack. I can play that song over and over and over ... and I do ... for that song alone, Kylie's album would've made my Top 10 list this year.

My #5 pick this year is Mantaray by Siouxsie Sioux:


Siouxsie Sioux has apparently dropped her husband Budgie, her band The Banshees and the second Sioux in her name but she has gained new life as a solo performer. Mantaray does not sound at all the way I anticipated a solo Siouxsie album to sound ... it sounds better. Mantaray has all the elements that made Siouxsie and the Banshees and Creatures songs so great and made them even more palatable. It has to be her most accessible music to date. I understand that some SaTB fans aren't too happy with her new sound but I couldn't be more thrilled. Siouxsie will be touring on this album in 2008 and I really hope that I get to hear this stuff live.

American Doll Posse by Tori Amos comes in at #4:


What more can I say about Tori Amos that I haven't already gushed on the blog before. The woman and her music speaks to me like none other and it is always a thrill to have new Tori music to enjoy in any year. While I don't love American Doll Posse as a whole like I loved Scarlett's Walk, it is vastly superior to her last album The Beekeeper. I must confess, I didn't get the different personas theme of the album until I saw her live in concert ... only then did it all make sense. I have always been a fan of her more poppy songs (which is why I love Bouncing off Clouds and Secret Spell so much) because in concert those are the songs that make the sometimes somber Tori fans in the audience get up and dance. There are a lot of these type of "dance" songs on American Doll Posse :)

At #3, we have Version by Mark Ronson:


Mark Ronson came out of nowhere and showed the world that there is something to be said about actual musicianship in today's music scene. I loved his album from the first moment I heard it but it was seeing him live in concert that really impressed me. Ronson had all these instruments on stage ... with people playing those instruments ... live. I was blown away. His album sounds like it's full of music samples mixed together ... and it turns out that those samples were actually played on instruments. Like Prince, Mark Ronson is a one-man band and I can't wait to hear what his next album will sound like.

My #2 favorite album of the year is Kala by M.I.A.:


It was kind of a tough call but Kala ends up in the #2 position. Trust me, Kala sits atop enough Top 10 lists elsewhere so you don't need me to tell you it's an amazing album. M.I.A. is strongest when she is making the music she wants to make ... if a song like Paper Planes needs gunshots, then the gunshots should stay in and not get edited out. The weakest song on the album is the song she did with Timbaland. I'd prefer if it got left off, honestly. It sounds really out of place with the rest of the songs on the album. I wish M.I.A. was able to put out more music more often ... Kala seems so short to me when I listen to it. As much as I loved this album, there was one other album that I think I loved a bit more.

And my choice for the #1 favorite album of 2007 is Year Zero by Nine Inch Nails:


Year Zero has to be the coolest thing I heard, overall, all year long. Trent Reznor continues to craft creatively intense music that not only has a message but also sounds fresh, inventive and new. I wasn't a big fan of the last NIN album (there were some great songs on it but overall I wasn't feeling it) and this one came out relatively soon after and I was afraid I wouldn't like it either ... nothing could've been further from the truth. The first songs I heard off of Year Zero were leaked to the InterWeb by way of USB drives that were mysteriously left in bathroom stalls around Europe as NIN played some club dates. Then the ADG got underway and the anticipation for the album grew. I was very pleased to know that all the hype was not for naught. Year Zero has to be the most cohesive album since the Downward Spiral (even more so than The Fragile which I felt lost cohesiveness because it was very long). Year Zero tells a grim tale of the future in a way that only Trent Reznor can ... with a mechanical precision that dares you to try and not pay attention. I must admit that I was HUGELY disappointed with the Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D remix album (which I think is all bad) prolly because I think that Year Zero is perfect just the way it is.

The Top Songs of 2007:
  1. Umbrella - Rihanna featuring Jay-Z: If you think that any other song but Umbrella should be the #1 song of the year you're pretty much crazy. The song was everywhere, loved by everyone and was even covered by white people shortly after its release -- that's how you know you've got yourself a hit. I was with David this year for the NYC Gay Pride Parade and Umbrella was played about 45 differnet times as the parade passed by. It was at that moment that I new that Umbrella was gonna be the IT song of 2007.
  2. Gimme More - Britney Spears: Say what you will about Britney Spears, the girl knows a hit song when she hears one. I contend that Gimme More is the only thing that is keeping her career afloat these days. She almost had a #1 album solely on the strength of this song. When it was released it spread around the world like wildfire. I guarantee, you'll hear it at your New Year's Eve party and YOU WILL DANCE to it even if you don't like Britney as a person. It's songs like this that give me hope that she will one day get back the career she once had.
  3. Big Girls Don't Cry (Personal) - Fergie: This song has to be the #1 ballad of the year. Aided by the video which co-starred Milo Ventimiglia, you have the hottest slow jam of the year. Fergie just kept knocking out hit after hit after hit from her debut solo album and, it is my opinion, that this is the best song of the bunch. There was no spelling involved in this song ... just pure heartfelt emotion with a catchy mid-tempo beat. Oh yeah and did I mention that Milo was in the video? Loved it!!!!
  4. Rehab - Amy Winehouse: Amy Winehouse may be a cracked out mess of a person but the girl can SANG! Rehab is prolly the second most infectious song of the year after Umbrella. Trust me, I hate that I love the song ... but I love the song.
  5. No One - Alicia Keys: This song, for me, was the hottest love song of the year. To me, it sounds like a song from the 60s (and at first, I did think it was a cover) because it has a simplicity that hearkens back to the classic songs of Motown. After the song came out, it was being used in TV shows left and right ... once it showed up on The Hills, even I couldn't resist. I'm not a big Alicia Keys fan but I'm a fan of this song.
  6. Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston: This is another song that I hate to love. You hear this song 3 times and you're hooked. You gotta love a song that uses the word "suicidal" in the chorus over and over and over again ... and not by Marilyn Manson. My fave part is when Sean sings about that time back in '99 when he went away
    for doing his first crime ... and the girl didn't leave him! Brills. The lyrics may be a bit dumb but the song is hot.
  7. Survivalism - Nine Inch Nails: My love for this song grew after I saw the music video. A gay couple in bed IN a Nine Inch Nails video is gonna score big points with me all around. I was lucky enough to be at the concert where NIN played Survivalism for the first time ever in front of a live audience. I will always remember that night in Barcelona.
  8. 1234 - Feist: I blame those dman iPod Nano commercials for this one.
  9. Makes Me Wonder - Maroon 5: Adam Levine has got a sexy falsetto voice ... this is the best song on the Maroon 5 album and, in all honestly IMHO, is even better than their biggest hit This Love.
  10. Love Song - Sara Bareilles: This song is my latest obsession. Had it come out earlier in the year it might've appeared higher up on this list. I'm always so happy when songs like this come out because it strengthens my belief that singer/songwriters will never go away. A girl and a piano ... who knew?

Stuffed

Happy Boxing Day, y'all! Hopefully y'all have recovered nicely from your Xmas celebrations yesterday and that everything went off without a hitch. I ended up waiting until the last minute to finish up my Xmas shopping this year but I have NO PLANS to step foot inside a mall or store today and deal with all the after-Xmas mayhem that is surely going on today. Things on the goss front are kinda quiet today, as expected, but let's do the best with what we've got and try and get things back to normal around here.

Former Britney Spears personal assistant and "second mother" (from way back in the day) Felicia Culotta has got herself a new gig as mother hen in the music biz again these days. Fe has put her days working with Britney Spears behind her (altho she still professes pity at what the girl she once knew has become) and is now working with the squeaky-clean Disney act, The Jonas Brothers. Felicia gave a short, impromptu interview with the Gatecrasher just before Xmas and handled the "Britney question" as gracefully as possible:


It turns out [Felicia] Culotta (known as "Fe") has taken a group of 10 of Britney's former top people and brought them with her on tour with rising Disney act the Jonas Brothers. Even Brit's famed former bodyguard, "Big Rob," is looking after the boys. "It's just so sad to see Britney now," Culotta told us. "She has turned away from everyone that wants to help her and love her. I hope she reaches out to her family for help soon." Of course, Britney's loss is the new guys' gain. "Working with the Jonas Brothers is a totally positive experience," Culotta gushed. "They are wonderful, and I feel so lucky to be with such sweet people. It is a completely different experience from my time with Britney near the end." It wasn't that long ago that Britney was as squeaky clean as the Jonas Brothers are so I guess you never know how these things turn out. It's just so sad to see how things turned out for Britney, most probably because of her own poor decision making. But, life goes on ... there will always be a new wholesome Disney act that will need looking after and I guess that is a job for Felicia Culotta. [Source]

In other Spears news, former classmates of the newest member of the Spears family, Casey Aldridge (like it or not, married or not, Casey will forever be part of the Spears family tree from now on), are speaking up and giving their $0.02 about the boy who is to become father to the first-born child of the youngest Spears child, Miss Jamie-Lynn Spears. By and large, all his friends and acquaintances speak well of him ... which is a good thing considering he got his 16-year old girlfriend pregnant. Speaking of, here is an outtake picture from the OK! magazine photoshoot that accompanied JL's bombshell interview with the magazine last week that announced her unplanned pregnancy:


He's best known as the expectant father of Jamie Lynn Spears' baby, but former classmates and teachers remember Casey Aldridge as a popular joker who could talk his way out of anything. "Casey is one of those boys who really has a lot going for him," says a former teacher at Amite School Center, where Aldridge lettered in football and baseball, served as senior class president and graduated in May 2007. "He's handsome, smart and very, very charming." And at 6'1" and 165 lbs, Aldridge's magnetism caught the eye of the girls. "He is athletic," says the teacher, "and down here in the south, athletes are gods, so he had his share of adoring fans." One of those fans was Spears, who started dating Aldridge about two years ago. "Casey really liked being known for dating Jamie Lynn," says a former classmate. "He thought it was really cool that he was dating someone famous, and you could just tell that he loved the attention." He also loved to have a good time. "If there was a prank, he was involved," says the classmate. "Things like sending around a note in class for everyone to cough at [the same time]." Despite the mischief that he got in during high school, teachers say that his charm kept him from ever getting into much trouble. "There was a little part of [Leave it to Beaver's] Eddie Haskell in him," says his former teacher. "He'd say, 'You look very nice today. Is that a new dress?' And you'd be wondering, 'What's this kid's angle?' The difference between him and Eddie Haskell is that Casey's angle was that he truly wanted you to like him, and wanted to give you a compliment." An average student – "He had the capability to do much better academically," says a teacher – Aldridge briefly considered community college before taking a job as a pipe fitter in Baton Rouge. Apparently, all of his charming and playful attributes lead those folks who knew/know him to believe that he will be a good father. That remains to be seen but I'm sure as time goes on, as that fated baby bump continues to grow, we'll get a better picture of the man boy that Casey Aldridge really is. [Source, thanks Jennifer]

In other celeb whipper-snapper news, it seems that Paris Hilton's little brother Barron is growing up fast, ready to take on the mantle of the proud Hilton Family tradition of upholding the Hilton name in high regard. I knew it was only a matter of time before the next generation of Hiltons would start carrying the torch passed down to them by big sis Paris ... it appears that the time is now:


PARIS Hilton's younger brother, Barron, 16, is taking a page out of her partying playbook. Sources tell Page Six that Barron is dating Skye Peters, also 16, the daughter of "Superman Returns" producer Jon Peters and his ex, Christine Peters. On Friday, the two holed up in room 261 at the Bel Air Hotel and "something happened," said a friend of Jon's, as "police were called." A rep for Jon reached the producer at his Santa Barbara ranch and told Page Six: "Jon has responded that he will be looking into the purported relationship, and why Christine is allowing their youngest daughter to spend nights out" ... Christine's assistant said, "Christine and Kathy Hilton have been friends for years so of course Skye and Barron are friends. They were all at the Bel Air several weeks ago for a luncheon, but the rest sounds crazy. Police were not called." While I'm sure the other Hilton kids might try and steal the Partygirl crown from Paris, I doubt that any of them will be successful. That said, Baron, at 16, seems to be well on his way at making a play for the title of Paris v2.0. [Source]

In happy, uplifting celeb news, there are other less seedy things to talk about today as well. The LA Mission benefitted from the volunteering efforts of a few celebs again this year ... tho, not as many as they usually enjoy. Here are a few pics of some of the famous folk who came out to help the LA Mission serve food to the homeless:


Photo credit: Splash News

Hewitt and nearly 400 volunteers ... bring Christmas toys and dinner to thousands of homeless men, women and children on Skid Row from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Los Angeles Mission at 303 E. 5th Street. "I have made it a point to come to the Los Angeles Mission at Christmas," said Hewitt, who stars in the TV show "Ghost Whisperer." "There are so many hurting people on the streets of our city, but when I'm here I get to see the smiles of the children and the great food for everyone. I think they are getting real help from the staff and volunteers. I come to give something back, but invariably I get more blessing than I give," she said. Police will close off Fifth Street from Wall Street to San Pedro Street so the area around the mission can be set up with tents, tables and chairs for the thousands expected to visit the mission for a warm holiday meal. The menu will include rotisserie chicken, glazed ham, three-cheese macaroni, mixed vegetables, dinner rolls, cranberry relish and chocolate cake for dessert. Santa will also be on hand to greet the children and pass out gifts donated by area businesses and individuals. The mission said it expects to serve about 3,000 meals and give out more than 1,000 gifts to 600 children. You will note that Spencer Pratt, from MTV's The Hills, was also among the noted named folk who came out to give of his time and energy for the LA Mission this year. He also gave of his time last month around Thanksgiving. I absolutely cannot hate on anyone who gives of their time in this way, no matter what the reason. Much props to Spencer, J. Love and her hottie fiancée Ross McCall for stepping up and making a difference for those in need this holiday season. [Source]

Elsewhere this Xmas, celebs have been making their way to various vacation destinations to celebrate the holidays. Here are pictures of the faboo Mariah Carey with the love of her life, pooch Jack, as they made their way around Aspen, CO this week:


Mimi makes it a point to visit Aspen each holiday season and she always looks great doing so. I have a feeling that 2008 is gonna be a big year for Miss Mimi ... if her new album is anything like her last, smash album then we are going to be seeing a lot of Mariah Carey over the coming year. [Source]

Kid Rock spent part of his Xmas out of the country but instead of jetting off to a luxurious tropical location he made his way to Iraq so that he could visit with and entertain the troops stationed there who were not able to be home for the holidays. Kid Rock has made the Xmas trip to Iraq to entertain the troops for the past couple of years now which is pretty effing cool in my book:


Before Kid Rock left for the Middle East he posted this message to the troops on his official website:

To the Troops and their Families,
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope we get to see you in Iraq this week. Here are some photos from last years trip to Iraq.
God Bless!


He then posted this message on his site after returning home:

I just returned from Iraq and here are a couple pics from the trip, there will be more to follow. We did 13 shows, 7 different countries, in 5 days ... Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Italy and Spain ....

Please keep the troops and their families in your prayers during the holidays!
We will see you all in 2008!

-Kid Rock


For all his faults, you have to appreciate how awesome it is for Kid Rock to annually give of his time in order to provide entertainment for our troops overseas. Any moniker of selflessness should be praised (or at least acknowledged) but I am just so impressed that Detroit native Kid Rock makes it a priority to include a visit to our troops each holiday season. Much respect, Kid, you make Detroit very proud. [Source]

Here are a few really cute pics of the entire Brangelina family -- Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt and Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt -- as they all went for a bike ride together on the streets of New Orleans, LA this past weekend:


Photo credit: Splash News

You would think that the family's intense celebrity would keep them indoors, hidden from sight ... but Brangelina are pretty open about going out in public together. Ma and Pa Jolie-Pitt are so committed to making as normal a life for their kids as possible ... it's really pretty remarkable. They make the cutest family ever! [Source]

In other cuteness news, here are pics of hottie Hugh Jackman soaking up the rays down in Sydney, Australia this week as he shows off his sexy legs and arms on a coffee run:


Mmm ... Hugh is one fine specimen of hawtness ... it may be cold as balls here in Detroit Rock City but I'm glad to know that it's at least hot enough down in Oz for Hugh to walk around wearing as little as possible. Woot!! [Source]

Back here in the States, Lindsay Lohan was kind enough to spare some time for the needy this holiday season ... she agreed to have a sit down dinner with her estranged father Michael Lohan. Here are a couple pics from their Xmas meeting in NYC this past weekend:


It's great that Lindsay took time out of her bizzy being-horny schedule (to be discussed in the next item) and that Daddy Lohan took time out of his bizzy being-Joseph schedule so that they could spend some time together. You gotta admit, Daddy Lohan has really been putting in the work to try and mend fences with his daughter. Is it real or is it Memorex? It's too soon to tell ... so I guess he's gonna have to keep at it. [Source]

Now, about Lindsay's "schedule" of late ... it didn't take all that long for L. Lo's ex-boyfriend Riley Giles to sell his story to a media outlet regarding his time with Lindsay. Riley claims that L. Lo is an insatiable nymphomaniac who wanted sex 24-hours a day. My question is, Duh. Who didn't know this?


Photo credit: INFdaily

Speaking for the first time of their fling, snowboard daredevil Riley Giles told how the wild-child actress craved marathon nights of lust as she broke off her lethal love affair with drink and cocaine. In an exclusive interview he said: "Lindsay's definitely a nymphomaniac. She's wild in bed. We'd have sex a couple of times in the day and then go to it through the night. "We once did it four times in a row straight. That was crazy. Lindsay was insatiable. She'd demand sex again and again. We'd go at it for hours. She'd have worn out most guys." Extreme sports professional Riley, 24, met 21-year-old Lindsay while they were both having treatment for hard drug addiction at the Cirque Lodge centre in Utah. The film star slipped the ski-slope hunk a secret note asking for his mobile phone number. Riley couldn't resist and Lindsay was calling him up right away. "From that moment it was on," he recalled as he described their first snatched passionate kiss in a corridor, strictly against the rules. "The chemistry between us was so strong we couldn't help ourselves. But once they left the Cirque Lodge — after 60 days on the programme — they moved into a romantic log cabin in the nearby mountains They locked themselves in and were at it like rabbits ... Riley revealed how Lindsay used orgasm after orgasm as a potent substitute for the huge chemical hits she was used to while partying. He explained: "When you orgasm, your endorphins shoot up and it becomes a massive natural high. If you have an addictive personality like Lindsay you need that to replace the highs you got from taking drugs all the time. Sex became a key part of her recovery. And we didn't get out of bed for days. It was the perfect place—roaring fires with amazing views over the Sundance ski resort. The first time we had sex I couldn't believe I was looking down at Lindsay Lohan naked. We'd barely gotten through the door when we just ripped each other's clothes off. Lindsay is so hot. She has a great body. Her backside is fantastic, perfect, all plump and round. She has great curves but her belly is nice and flat and toned. We couldn't get enough of each other." Er, well, apparently Lindsay could get enough of Riley because by the time Thanksgiving rolled around she tossed him over and moved on. Apparently the sex was that good for her. I love how Riley Giles now appears to be an expert on orgasms ... maybe he can use his expertise to find a new job in Hollywood. I'm sure Paris Hilton will tire of Alex Vaggo soon enough. [Source]

David sent me a really great article from Wired magazine that discussed at length Trent Reznor's use of the InterWeb and alternate reality games to make the experience surrounding his 2007 Nine Inch Nails album Year Zero a fully interactive one. Like Lost before it and The Dark Knight after, Year Zero was expanded upon by way of a world wide online game that offered clues to be decoded by anyone in the world who wanted to play ... which is a great primer for the way that interactive marketing will grow in the coming years:


The initial clue was so subtle that for nearly two days nobody noticed it. On February 10, 2007, the first night of Nine Inch Nails' European tour, T-shirts went on sale at a 19th-century Lisbon concert hall with what looked to be a printing error: Random letters in the tour schedule on the back seemed slightly boldfaced. Then a 27-year-old Lisbon photographer named Nuno Foros realized that, strung together, the boldface letters spelled "i am trying to believe." Foros posted a photo of his T-shirt on the Spiral, the Nine Inch Nails fan forum. People started typing "iamtryingtobelieve.com" into their Web browsers. That led them to a site denouncing something called Parepin, a drug apparently introduced into the US water supply. Ostensibly, Parepin was an antidote to bioterror agents, but in reality, the page declared, it was part of a government plot to confuse and sedate citizens. Email sent to the site's contact link generated a cryptic auto-response: "I'm drinking the water. So should you." Online, fans worldwide debated what this had to do with Nine Inch Nails. A setup for the next album? Some kind of interactive game? Or what? A few days later, on February 14, a woman named Sue was about to wash a different T-shirt, which she had bought at one of the Lisbon shows, when she noticed that the tour dates included several boldface digits. Fans quickly interpreted this as a Los Angeles telephone number. People who called it heard a recording of a newscaster announcing, "Presidential address: America is born again," followed by a distorted snippet of what could only be a new Nine Inch Nails song. Then, a woman named Ana reported finding a USB flash drive in a bathroom stall at the hall where the band had been playing. On the drive was a previously unreleased song, which she promptly uploaded. The metadata tag on the song contained a clue that led to a site displaying a glowing wheat field, with the legend "America Is Born Again." Clicking and dragging the mouse across the screen, however, revealed a much grimmer-looking site labeled "Another Version of the Truth." Clicking on that led to a forum about acts of underground resistance. All this activity had been set in motion months before. Trent Reznor, the singer — songwriter behind Nine Inch Nails, had been recording Year Zero, a grimly futuristic suite evoking an America beset by terrorism, ravaged by climate change, and ruled by a Christian military dictatorship. "But I had a problem," he recalls, lounging on a second-floor deck of the house he's remodeling in Beverly Hills: how to provide context for the songs. In the '60s, concept albums came with extensive liner notes and lots of artwork. MP3s don't have that. "So I started thinking about how to make the world's most elaborate album cover," he says, "using the media of today." The article goes on from there where Trent discusses the reason why he launched the game (NOT for marketing the album), the company he worked with to set the game in motion (42 Entertainment) and the enjoyment he got from watching his fans work interactively together to try and figure out the whole picture. I love this kind of stuff ... from the onset, I tried to keep up with the Year Zero game but it got really complex and very big and I had to bow out. It was a thrill to see Nine Inch Nails live in Barcelona, Spain last February, right when the ARG was getting in full swing in the weeks leading up to the release of Year Zero. I am very excited that Trent Reznor is now a completely free man ... he has fulfilled his record contract with Interscope and he is now free to make, sell and distribute his music in any way he sees fit. I am very anxious to see what he will do next. If Year Zero and the ARG that came along with it is any indication, we are in for a lot more kickass NINness. [Source]

M.I.A. is the newest face of Marc Jacobs:


Altho I find the Marc Jacobs ads very unremarkable, I love that M.I.A. has signed on to appear in fashion campaigns. There should deffo be more M.I.A. in the world. [Source]

And finally, to round out the day in a pretty hot way ... Eric Dane is featured in the new issue of Flaunt magazine:


Dr. McSteamy is really look all McMeany in these pics but I am not complaining ... at all. He is a very hot man and while it's a shame that Rebecca Gayhart gets to enjoy his hotness all by herself ... I am glad that she puts him on loan every once in a while ... there aren't nearly enough photoshoots of this dude. Le sigh. [Source]

Les News:
Blah ... I am kinda wiped from all the holiday craziness that has been going since I arrived home in Detroit last week. Yesterday morning I got to spend some nice bonding time with Sarah and Mark and then in the afternoon I chilled at my parent's house. Last night I was invited to Sarah's aunt Lisa's home for Xmas dinner with the family and I pretty much ate everything in sight. Trust me, I wasn't alone ... there was a lot of eatin' going on last night. Unfortch, Sarah's family isn't big on taking pictures so no one thought to take any last night.

I have been missing David over the past few days but I will happily be flying to NYC tomorrow to spend the rest of the year with him in the Big Apple. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time home with my family and friends but I am really looking forward to spending time with David.

The running around ain't over yet ... I'm planning to visit Tracey and Zakiya one more time this afternoon and then Mark and I are doing sushi dinner together. I'll also be posting my Top Music picks for 2007 in a post later on today.

I hope things are going well for y'all ... if you're back to work, I hope the day goes by fast :) That is all ... I'm out.