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Jan. 1st, 2007 @ 08:31 pm Best of 2006
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This is easy--I really didn't consume nearly as much media this year as I often have. I bought very few CDs, relatively speaking, and many of those were older albums to fill out my collection or get into new bands. Or were 2005 discs that I got around to getting late. I seem to have missed the popular new TV shows ("Heroes" in particular.) I saw exactly 2 movies in the movie theater this year. I can't remember all the new books I read (I check them out of the library.)

So, here's some random thoughts of my best of 2006:

Best New album: At War with the Mystics" by The Flaming Lips. I just got into the Lips this year, and boy have I been missing out. I'll gradually fill in the rest of my collection over the next few months. This is a great album full of all the things I like about music--great melodies, instrumentation, sci-fi themes, impenetrable lyrics, and neat production. And they're from Oklahoma City to boot. Honorable mention: "The Dark Third" by Pure Reason Revolution--if I hadn't just gotten this as a Christmas present it might have been my favorite. It's great proggy post-rock with some awesome vocal harmonies and a bit of a metal edge of all things. I'll talk about it more.

Best New Movie: Casino Royale. Okay, it was this or "Snakes on a Plane". I loved "Snakes" but Casino Royale was a darn good movie, and about the best Bond flick I've seen. I'd give an honorable mention to "Cars" but I didn't see it in the theatre.

Best New TV Show: 30 Rock. The pilot was a bit scattered, and I thought it was lame that they changed out Rachel Dratch for Jane Krakowski, but it's really caught its stride. If Alec Baldwin doesn't win the best comedy actor Emmy there's no justice in this world. Tracy Morgan is also far funnier than he ever was on SNL. Honorable Mention: The Class--no one's watching it, but under it's mindless ensemble comedy exterior is a hard, cold center of bitterness, cruelty, adultery, and suicidal thoughts that give it an edge that it's not at all getting credit for, probably because people can't get over the fact that John Ritter's kid is in it.

Best book: what the heck, I'll say Crashing the Gate by Markos Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong, if only for the fact that most of what they suggested was done, and most of what they wanted to have happen did. And that's a good thing.

Comment if you like.
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klaatu
From:agent179
Date:January 2nd, 2007 08:14 am (UTC)
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I have to agree that 30 Rock is the best new tv show on television these days. Very funny. But when did they change out Rachel Dratch for Jane Krakowski, they've been in their respective roles since the pilot. I do have to say that I hated all the SNL people (Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, etc) when they were doing SNL, but they're actually really funny when they're on 30 Rock. It's good stuff.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 2nd, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
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They filmed a pilot with Dratch and then scrapped it and retooled--which is one of the reasons people didn't think the show had a chance. They got over it though.

I always liked Tina Fey just fine but didn't get Tracy Morgan's stuff most of the time.
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From:crimson117
Date:January 3rd, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
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Get the flaming lips album "Yoshimi Battle the Pink Robots". it rocks. Before that album, I had only heard "She Don't Use Jelly" and thought they were some one-semi-hit-wonder from the 90's, but after hearing Yoshimi I think they're awesome.
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From:crimson117
Date:January 3rd, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
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Really funny and accurate review on Amazon:

First Listen: This is the most confounding thing I've ever heard. It's about this metaphorical fight against evil pink robots, for the first four songs. Then it changes direction and all the songs are about death and regret. This isn't as good as The Soft Bulletin. I don't know about this one. I should probably listen to it again.

Second Listen: Well it's better than I initially thought. I really like "Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell." That one got my attention. And that acoustic guitar tweek on "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Part 1) is pretty nifty. But it still seems like the second half of the album is kinda weak. "Do You Realize??" just flat out sounds overdone.

Third Listen: Wow. This is pretty good.

Fourth Listen: This is really, really good. I can't get these songs out of my head. They are so well-crafted. They are beautiful. They are powerful. Wow. I've gotta listen to it again.

Fifth Listen: Nice.

Sixth Listen: "Do You Realize??" is outstanding. But hey, let's face it folks, this album is amazing, from beginning to end.

Seventh Listen: Awesome.

Eighth Listen: Incredible. "I'll get you Yoshimi!"

Ninth Listen: I can't stop listening to this album.
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From:mrfantasy
Date:January 3rd, 2007 10:18 pm (UTC)

Cool your jets there, camper!

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Already bought Yoshimi, thankyouverymuch.

I recently bought The Soft Bulletin as well. It, also, is very very good, but not one of the best of 2006 since it came out in 1999.

So, yes, I am versed in the miracles of post-1998 Flaming Lips.
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From:crimson117
Date:January 3rd, 2007 10:34 pm (UTC)

Re: Cool your jets there, camper!

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pfft. I knew you'd say that.