Mixed Media

Two Biggies Weigh In on Best Songs & Albums of 2007

| Fri Dec. 14, 2007 7:39 PM EST

mojo-photo-rollingspin.jpgSpin, America's Snottiest Mainstream Music Rag™, and Rolling Stone, America's Grumpy-Old-Man-iest Music and Whatever Else They Damned Well Feel Like Publication™, just posted their best albums and best singles lists, respectively, and there aren't really too many surprises. Spin goes out on a limb with their #1 slot, awarding Against Me's New Wave "Best Album" honors. It's a good CD, but the choice smacks of a certain "we're down with the mall-rat Hot Topic punk-rock haircut emo kid crowd, please buy our magazine" desperation that Spin, in their insecurity, descends to a lot of the time. Other than that, you couldn't get a more same-old, same-old two through ten:

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Late Night TV Hosts to Make United Return?

| Fri Dec. 14, 2007 3:59 PM EST

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And yes, that's really David Letterman up there on the left. Jeez. "Late Night With Beardy McSantapants?" Wow. Anyway, Variety is reporting that some or all of the big network late night hosts could be back on the air in early January, perhaps at the same time. Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien and Craig Ferguson have all stayed off the air since the beginning of the ongoing Writers Guild strike in support of their joke-penners, even paying the staffs out of their own pockets. But with the shows in reruns, ratings are taking a nose-dive, and the hosts are getting antsy:

Friday Have a Seat on the Lanai for Music News Day

| Fri Dec. 14, 2007 3:08 PM EST

Music News

  • The iTunes year-end charts should have been a warning: Billboard's official tally of the year's biggest-selling albums is out, and ladies and gentlemen, your #1 album of 2007 is: Daughtry. The "American Idol" guy. Rolling Stone points out that "in what has to be further proof that the recording industry had a terrible year," the top seven best-selling albums of 2007 were all released in 2006.

  • Perhaps due to this terrible year for the music industry, there's been a bit of a shakedown at major record labels, with Geffen and Interscope (both subsidiaries of Universal Music) laying off 15 employees yesterday; the last few weeks saw layoffs at Sony BMG and Island Def Jam as well. Rumors had been circulating that Geffen was about to close its doors but CMJ says now "that seems unlikely."
  • In an investigation into the still-unsolved murder of Jam Master Jay, MTV News uncovers a mystery about a missing security camera tape that might show the identity of the assailant or assailants; Jay's friend Randy Allen hinted in an interview that he knows the whereabouts of the tape but isn't talking.
  • Singer Tori Amos (or an alter ego?) had a bit of a fit at a gig in San Diego on Wednesday night, evicting two fans from the venue. "Get the f*** out of my show," Amos shouted, reportedly because the two women had been repeatedly getting up and down from their seats in the front row. "It's a privilege to sit in the front row and I reserve those seats for people who appreciate music," continued Amos. Ulp! Watch the excitement here:
  • Text You and Everyone Who Looks Like You

    | Fri Dec. 14, 2007 11:56 AM EST

    Like K-Fed, one in seven people report having been dumped via text message or email. Another 4% simply cut off all communication. What a flock of cowards. Back in my day, we had a little something called integrity. Whatever happened to the old-fashioned backbone required for dumping someone via voicemail?

    You know the drill: call the loser's office - reception, not his direct line - to make sure he's at work. Then, fire up that fake, unplaceable accent normally reserved for dodging the collection agencies and student loan folks ("wha? who? no De-ba Deek-son he-ah. You got-ta baad num-ba. No De-ba he-ah. Call some more, me curse you whole fam-ly."). With him safely away for nine or so hours, bravely enumerate his failings and let his machine know exactly how dumped he is. Next, block his number or screen like a son of a gun whilst hiding at an out of town girlfriend's for a few days til you have enough contact attempts for a restraining order. But text and email? Ah, for the good old days of American forthrightness.

    Will Jeopardy Host's Heart Attack Make Him Stop Frontin'?

    | Fri Dec. 14, 2007 10:35 AM EST

    Jeopardy host Alex Trebek had a minor heart attack this week and is recovering at a LA hospital. Given that recovery, I might as well admit that I dislike Trebek. Intensely. I'm sure he's a great guy. So why do I always want to smack him on sight?

    Who does he think he is peering over those little half-glasses at the contestants, sniffing out the answers as if from his own brain and not those little index cards that underpaid liberal arts majors labored over for sub-union wages? No one else in Hollywood wears glasses in public; you know he's had laser correction and just wears those to fake being brainy. And that smarty-pants, high falutin' attitude when delivering the answers - what a poseur! This is America, you Canuck: the ability to read someone else's work aloud isn't much of an accomplishment. If they ever spin-off a medical Jeopardy, I guess he'll be fronting in couture scrubs with a stethoscope dangling from his neck. Imagine the hours he'd put in learning to pompously pronounce all those complicated words so he could pretend to be as smart as the contestants. Or his own staffers. Not even this killer X files cameo can make him bearable.

    I've never understood the allure of TV game/quiz shows, and Jeopardy even less since you have to endure Trebek's smug fakery to get to the questions.

    But, dude, get well soon.

    All I Want for Christmas, Part 1: Jeff Koons Beach Towel

    | Thu Dec. 13, 2007 6:56 PM EST

    mojo-photo-koonstowel.jpgFrom the description at Target.com:

    "Bring art into your home with this 60x70" cotton towel designed by acclaimed artist Jeff Koons ... Koons captivates and inspires audiences with artwork that brings the mundane into high culture ...This lively towel features a happy inflatable toy monkey against an abstract, pool blue background."

    The price? Only $50, so it's in your budget, Riff readers and secret Santas. And that monkey is totally so happy!

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    Golden Globe Nominations Clear Up Confusion About Best Stuff

    | Thu Dec. 13, 2007 6:35 PM EST

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    With all the year-end countdowns and best-of lists flying around these days, one could easily get overwhelmed with trying to sort out what was worth your time this year. Thankfully, there's an elite group of like 17 random foreign journalists who put on a little awards show every year called the Golden Globes, perhaps you've heard of them? Well, they announced the nominations this morning, and hey, they decided to include seven movies in the "Best Motion Picture – Drama" category. Boy are you pissed if you were choice #8, huh:

    The RIAA Nearing Goal of Alienating Everyone in the World, Part II: Download a Song, Lose Financial Aid?

    | Thu Dec. 13, 2007 3:45 PM EST

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    Not only is the Recording Industry Association of America continuing its litigation efforts against university campuses, as Party Ben noted yesterday, but the group is also trying to pass legislation that would jeopardize the federal financial aid of these schools whose students are engaged in file sharing. Already strapped students and universities could soon be tasked with helping RIAA reach its bottom line.

    The massive 800 page tome that is the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 includes a section called "Campus-Based Digital Theft Prevention," which addresses file sharing, mostly of music and movies, on campus networks. The bill states that during the financial aid process, schools are obligated to inform students about copyright infringement laws. In addition, schools are mandated to implement technology that would prevent file sharing. The penalty for not taking these preventative measures is loss of all federal financial aid for the university.

    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducts John Mellencamp, Disses Donna Summer

    | Thu Dec. 13, 2007 3:36 PM EST

    Yes Mellencamp No Donna

    2008's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced today, and there's a bit of a disturbing (if not entirely surprising) trend here. See if you can spot it:

    Inductees

    Somebody remind me what the point of this Hall is? And nothing against any of the inductees, but if the Hall is going to marginalize hip-hop and disco then why even nominate them? Well, if the losers have a party I totally want to go to that one instead.

    Ike Turner Dies at 76

    | Wed Dec. 12, 2007 7:11 PM EST

    There's really no better way to put it than the AP opener:

    Ike Turner, whose role as one of rock's critical architects was overshadowed by his ogrelike image as the man who brutally abused former wife Tina Turner, died Wednesday at his home in suburban San Diego. He was 76.

    Ike Turner was involved in a record that some historians call the first, or one of the first, true rock songs: "Rocket 88", by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats. Turner used a distorted sound on the guitar, something that reportedly happened by accident when one of the guitar amps fell over. If that's true, what an accident, right? But of course, he was a real jerk to Tina, and you can't help but think about Laurence Fishburne's harrowing portrayal of the guy in "What's Love Got to Do With It." While Turner always denied abusing his wife, I think everybody believes Tina on that score, and jeez, who doesn't love Tina Turner, it's like beating up the Statue of Liberty. So, rest in peace.

    Here's Ike and Tina doing "Proud Mary."