If you’re still catching up on some of the music that came out last year — I know I am, and I listen to new records for a living! — you’ll appreciate the public service that blog aggregator The Hype Machine is doing with its new "Music Blog Zeitgeist 2008" feature. They’ve tabulated the artists, albums, and individual songs that were written about most often this year by the MP3 bloggers in their database, and they’re streaming the top 50 entries in each category. That’s 50 albums, 50 artists, and 50 songs being rolled out over the course of this week, all available for you to hear for free in a nicely-designed package. Pretty cool, right?
Tag: Lists-o-rama! (61-70 of 74)
Every 12 months or so, I get a kind of list-making hangover. After frantically tweaking my year-end top 10 albums throughout December, I find myself unable to stop filing everything I hear in the first weeks of January into an ever-shifting rank and order for the new year. So while Antony and the Johnsons’ The Crying Light doesn’t officially come out for another two weeks, it’s already my presumptive top album of 2009 so far. And starting today, if you pre-order a CD copy from the band’s website you’ll be able to instantly download The Crying Light in MP3 form as a little courtesy. They’ll even give you a bonus track titled "My Lord, My Love." I can’t recommend highly enough that you take them up on that offer.
The Crying Light expands on the band’s Mercury Prize-winning 2005 breakout, I Am a Bird Now, with stronger songwriting all around and lovely swirling string arrangements created in collaboration with classical wunderkind Nico Muhly. Check out A and the Js’ recent single "Another World" below for an idea of what you’re getting into — and once you’ve done that, go buy this album A.S.A.P. and report back here if you’re feeling it as much as I am. Favorite tracks, anyone? Mine’s changing by the day, but at the moment it’s the righteously rocking "Aeon."
More on Antony and the Johnsons:
Antony Hegarty sang on Hercules and Love Affair’s "Blind," one of EW’s 10 Best Singles of 2008
The band’s Another World EP made it onto our Must List
EW liked I Am a Bird Now in 2005
Antony did not make it onto Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, but he totally should have
Last week we asked you which anthems you expected and/or wanted to see on VH1’s 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. Well, today, to coincide with the net’s 10 p.m. ET unveiling of the top 20, we’ll conclude our festivities with another challenge: Rank the top 10, in order of oh-my-god-this-song-rocks-so-hard-iness. The fine folks at VH1 have revealed those 10 tunes exclusively to you, PopWatchers. Here they are, in alphabetical order:
• AC/DC’s "Back in Black"
• Aerosmith’s "Walk This Way"
• Black Sabbath’s "Paranoid"
• Guns N’ Roses’ "Welcome to the Jungle"
• Led Zeppelin’s "Whole Lotta Love"
• Metallica’s "Enter Sandman"
• Motörhead’s "Ace of Spades"
• Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
• Van Halen’s "Runnin’ with the Devil"
• The Who’s "Won’t Get Fooled Again"
We know how we would arrange our list. (Hint: “Back in Black,” "Runnin’ with the Devil," and “Welcome to the Jungle,” you may proceed to the head of the class.) But who cares what we think? Give us your top 10, using these selections. (And yes, if you hate VH1’s picks, you also can make a list using hard rock songs of your choosing.)
More on rock music:
VH1’s ‘100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs': What’s No. 1?
Stephen King’s list of the 25 best rock songs of all time
Your list of the 25 songs Stephen King missed!
Warning: This song may be hazardous to your health!
Looking at eBay‘s top 10 items of 2008, I first thought "I am woefully out of touch with the world" and then realized a better declaration was simply, "I don’t spend much time on eBay." It turns out the only item I bid on this year was an "Our Gang" poster of the old-school Sesame Street crew. I’m really cool. I also forgot I had "agreed to buy" and ended up having my eBay account suspended for three months without even noticing, but let’s not dwell on that. It also turns out that when you try to play this poster on Wii (2008’s top-sold item by far), nothing happens (pictured).
eBay’s best-sellers of the year are listed below. Got any bidding war tales of triumph and/or woe from 2008? Let us know! The more embarrassing the better, and 500 extra points if you cried.
Nintendo Wii: 2,056,866 related items sold
Xbox 360: 1,297,903 related items sold
Apple’s iPod Touch: 281,361 related items sold
Hannah Montana: 223,139 related items sold
Apple’s iPhone 3G: 212,837 related items sold
Brett Favre: 199,832 related items sold
Barack Obama: 111,546 related items sold
High School Musical Cast: 109,813 related items sold
Guitar Hero III: 98,159 related items sold
Madonna: 96,511 related items sold
For those about to hard rock, we salute you. And by you, we mean everyone tough enough to make a five-night commitment to VH1 the week of Dec. 29, when the list-loving network unveils a loud-and-proud countdown: 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. (Do not confuse this with the network’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock or 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll.) Hosted by a man who wants nothin’ but a good time, Bret Michaels, the celebration will feature such eardrum-pummeling bands as Metallica, Motley Crue, Nirvana, the Who, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. When I heard that VH1 was airing this special, I immediately rang up my good friend/EW’s own Dalton Ross, and the two of us started guessing which song would wind up at No. 1. Led Zep’s "Black Dog"? Sabbath’s "Paranoid"? Deep Purple’s "Smoke on the Water"? Nirvana’s "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Pretty quickly, we agreed that AC/DC’s "Back in Black" will likely reign supreme. If there were a Mount Rushmore of Hard Rock Riffs, "Back in Black" would be carved into it.
Then we got into a less than harmonious discussion about which Who song would make the cut. I argued that "My Generation" is a logical choice, what with the dangerous lyric "I hope I die before I get old" and that brutal, chaotic finish. Dalton, meanwhile, insisted that "Baba O’Riley" would win out because it "rocks harder and longer" than "My Generation." With neither of us able to persuade the other to abandon his cause, we had no choice but to make a high-stakes bet about which song would chart higher. (Loser had to refer to the winner as the King of Rock for one full day.) Too impatient to wait for the verdict, I put the squeeze on the peeps at VH1, who gave up the following spoilers: “My Generation” anchors the No. 37 spot, while “Baba O’Riley” checks in at… No. 0! That’s right—it didn’t even make the list! In your face, Ross! (Now, one could argue that I didn’t win either, because they also told me that a different Who hit, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” actually cracks the Top 10. Of course, I choose to ignore this tiny technicality, and will make Dalton respect my royal authority. (I also could say that it’s a regal matter, baby—you know, if I spent my time coming up with underwhelming Who puns.)
But enough about our predictions—which fist-jacking anthem do you think will be named the Greatest Hard Rock Song? Better yet, which one should be? Which hard rock staples must be included somewhere on the countdown? Which song by the Who most deserves to be on this list? And, of course, which Poison tune will make the cut (and you know that one will, given that Mr. Unskinny Bop is serving as emcee)?
Read next item:
Site of the Day: Holiday E-Cards for a good cause!
addCredit(“AC/DC: Getty Images; The Who:Neal Preston/Corbis”)
AOL TV has compiled a list/video compilation of the top 5 View feuds of the year, and, not surprisingly in this "Yes We Can" year, most of the tongue lashings centered around politics. Also not shocking? Righty Elizabeth Hasselbeck was often at the receiving end. After you’ve viewed the contenders, cast your vote for the best smackdown in the comments section (or nominate another View dust-up). I’ve embedded my favorite clip below: Whoopi asking John McCain if she should worry about being someone’s slave was both ridiculous and ingenious.
More on the View:
Elisabeth Hasselbeck Watch: The ‘Bot vs. the White House and Melissa Etheridge
Which other clangy kitchen utensils could replace Elizabeth Hasselbeck on ‘The View’?
Rosie O’Donnell vs. Barbara Walters: It’s on (again)!
Read next item:
Clip du jour: ‘How to Make a Snow Globe’
Time Magazine has released its 2008 Person of the Year package and surprise! It’s soaring eagle Barack Obama! Personally, I’m shocked — SHOCKED — that in light of crippled duck Pres. Bush’s recent heroic dodging of hurled shoes and subsequent philosophical quandary — "So what if he threw a shoe at me?" — he’s not the Person of the Year instead. Oh look! I’m over it.
The Runners-Up pool features Henry Paulson, Zhang Yimou, Nicolas Sarkozy and his phone pal Sarah Palin, while the pop culture figures included in the group — Tina Fey, Robert Downey Jr., Stephenie Meyer, and Michael Phelps (all named Entertainers of the Year by EW as well) — are relegated to the Miss Congeniality-ish category of People Who Mattered.
Tell us: Is your Person of the Year the same as your Entertainer of the Year? And even if you’re not into Obama, doesn’t he kind of deserve Person of the Year PURELY based on his powerful reach and ability to palm a b-ball? Come on.
I pity the poor writers at Spike.com. Just think of the hours of awful music they must have subjected themselves to before compiling their new list of the "Top 7 Worst Guitar Solos of All Time" — not the "baddest," mind you, but actually the worst. And it’s a complicated question: What does it mean to be the worst guitar solo of all time, anyway? Are we talking about the most boring? The most off-key? The most bloated and indulgent?
All those and more ended up on Spike.com’s list. They made some good calls, like singling out Lil Wayne’s inexplicable belief that he can play guitar, which is an ongoing embarassment to humanity. They’re also way off-base at times: I’m sorry, but there is nothing wrong with the solo from "Smells Like Teen Spirit." And their list is far from complete. My personal least-favorite solo of the past few years comes from Vampire Weekend, a band so wildly overrated that I almost feel bad pointing out how overrated they are. (Almost.) The limp little "solo" in their single "Oxford Comma" (below, at about 2:00) typifies everything that’s wrong with those smug, lazy prepsters.
But that’s just me! What are your least favorite guitar solos of all time? Post ‘em up below. And no, fake shredding doesn’t count, sadly.
Regular PopWatch readers may recall that earlier this year we engaged in a not-so-harmonious debate over whose single would take the title of "Song of Summer 2008." And while names like Katy, Rihanna, Estelle, and Duffy lit up our comment board, many readers weren’t sure whether "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis (pictured) had the staying power to make it through Labor Day weekend. Well, if iTunes downloads are any indication, the songstress’ soulful ballad might actually be the most popular song of the year. "Bleeding Love" topped iTunes’ 2008 best-selling singles list while Lewis’ UK brethren Coldplay scored the top-selling album spot with Viva La Vida.
Obviously digital sales are only one piece of the "it song" puzzle, so tell us, PopWatchers, what is your ditty of 2008? Did Perry’s "I Kissed a Girl" (which also made iTunes’ top 10 singles list) leave you craving the taste of cherry Chapstick all year long? Or did Rihanna (who made the list twice) and her "Disturbia" grab you like a thief in the night? And while you’re at it, what album (if you still listen to entire records) was your most-played of the year?
Happy year-in-review day, P-Dubs. Yahoo! just released its Top Searches lists for 2008 — there are plenty of repeats from last year’s list (Britney Spears, WWE, Lindsay Lohan), but poor Fergie (pictured, smacked down) and a few others have been demoted to the vast wasteland of No. 11 and beyond. I’m disappointed that my top search, "nachos platter stretchy cheese," did not ooze its way onto the list, but I’ll live. The most intriguing repeat ranker? Naruto. "WTF is Naruto?" asked low life form Michael Slezak in an IM just now. "I thought maybe Naruto was like a pan-flute octet from Peru." Hell no. Naruto is obviously an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime adaptation. Get it right.
Other notable winners: Hurricanes (News), "It’s Miley!!!!" (Celebrity Brat Pack), Heath Ledger (Farewells), and my personal favorite, IRS Stimulus Checks (Economy). Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.
Compare this year’s list with last year’s after the jump. Is your top pop culture-related search on the list? If so, congratulations! You are "normal."
addCredit(“WWE Raw: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images”)
- 'MasterChef' judge Joe Bastianich to exit
- Creed's Scott Stapp to fans: I'm 'penniless'
- Drew Carey among CBS 12:35 a.m. fill-ins
- Alfonso Ribeiro wins 'Dancing With the Stars'
- 'The Voice': Two eliminated singers are...
- Kevin Smith to cameo in his own biopic
- Joni Mitchell: I nixed film with Taylor Swift
- 'Sherlock' first photo from new special
- Joel McHale's 'Comments Section' pilot at E!
- 'Hart of Dixie' return moved up to Dec. 15