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Thursday, December 21, 2006  

The Grahammys 2K7: Best Singles

A little history lesson for you, the faithful followers that make up The FOW Nation. Sometime back during the Clinton presidency, a few spores were borne that eventually germinated to become the universally renowned web log that is Whatevs.org. You see, back in those days, things called IRC and chain emails were all the rage. It was during this time that your Uncle Grambo took advantage of the available technology at my disposal to began sending out year-end recap emails to family, friends and perturbed co-workers from my desk in the hallowed halls of Borders Group Incorporated. Creatively dubbed "The Grahammys" (for reasons that should be obvs), they began with a simple list of my Top 10 films of 1995. From there, the lists grew almost exponentially with every passing year into something more intricate, more delicate, and more best (some would argue more tedious).

Anyway, I did these lists for a number of years and people seemed to enjoy them (they can all be found on the Whatevs.org Archive Page). But, for the last few years, a deadly combination of being REALLY busy and REALLY lazy procluded me from taking the time to educate you -- the tired, huddled masses -- with my worldly worldview. Fortch for us all, I carved out time over the past few weekends to return The Grahammys to their rightful place of glory and unswerving besteverness.

So, with that said, please enjoy...



20) "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken", Camera Obscura — Twee as FUCK! [vid]

19) "My Love", Justin Timberlake feat. T.I. — Everything that Pitchfork said, only without so much drooling. [vid]

18) "Don't Listen To The Radio", The Vines — But definitely listen to this song! [vid]

17) "24 Hours", The Sounds — Anyone still carrying a torch for the fashionably retro `80s movement (which includes this blogga) best d/l this song on the quick. Not sure why the label never released this as a single, it was the best song on what amounted to be a really strong record.

16) "Move Along", All American Rejects — While they'll never be as cool as The Devil's Rejects, I bet they write better pop songs. Insanely hummable! [vid]

15) "Monster Hospital", Metric — Bam chicka bam chicka boom boom boom shallack shallack boom shallack shallack boom. Bam chicka bam chicka boom boom boom shallack shallack boom. Obvs! [vid]

14) "One Man Wrecking Machine", Guster — This song shares a thematic and spiritual kinship with Bob Seger's seminal "Against The Wind", except there's a twist. While Seger famously wishes "he didn't know now what he didn't know then", Ryan Miller begins the song wanting quite the opposite. Where the song goes from there is what makes this one a classic. [vid]

13) "The Charging Sky", Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins — When you've got the foxiest voice on wax, even a song leaden with damning criticism of our nation's cultural, religious and political state of affairs sounds undeniably heaven sent. So gorge. [live on kimmel]

12) "Crooked Teeth", Death Cab For Cutie — I've always kinda been in the camp that thought DCFC were boring pussbags. Their performance on SNL earlier this year changed my mind. Who knew they could actually sorta rock? [live on snl]

11) "Bring On The Quiet Nights", The Prime Ministers — Rare is the song that makes an evening home on the couch sound more appealing than seeing the latest buzz band in a smoke-filled room. But then again, this is the niche that The Prime Ministers have always dominated. Celebrating the pleasures of domesticity ... so necessary. [exclusive mp3 courtesy of B.B. Fett, myspace]

10) "Skip To The End", The Futureheads — For whatever reason, the well of Blog Love dried up for these chaps this year. Shame, because this record -- buoyed by this bouyant first single -- was way better than their first. [vid]

9) "Cheated Hearts", The Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Admittedly, there's nothing on this record to rival the overall besteverness of "Maps", and that's probably why fickle MP3 bloggers turned their backs on The YYYs in 2K6. That said, the power and passion present in this fan-frakkin-tastic single eclipses anything that Tapes And Tapes or Beirut or any other lame-o blogdarlings of `06 will EVER release. [vid]

8) "The Loving Sounds Of Static", Mobius Band — Simple is as simple does. At least in the case of the insanely simple yet astoundingly catchy drumbeat that sets the table for one of the most slept-on indie rock jams in recent memory. Ghostly! [vid]

7) "Fraud In The `80s", Mates Of State — Probably the best dis track since "How Ya Like Me Now?". But instead of taking on Cool J and his cookies, Kori takes on (and takes down) all the bands riding the wave of resurgence for the `80s synth sound. Pleasing to your ears! [vid]

6) "When You Were Young", The KillersBrandon, Brandon, Brandon. It still can't understand how or why you couldn't figure out how to insert a chorus into this song! You wrote 85% of what would've amounted to be a CLASSIC, but it's that other 15% that separates the wheat from the shaft. Well, that and less embarrassing facial hair. [vid]

5) "Tonight", The Fags — In the pantheon of the All-Time Greatest "Roll The Windows Down, Turn The Music Up!" rock songs, this song deserves a place in Top 20. I challenge anyone who's debating whether or not to go out on a given Friday night to listen to this song and then NOT go out and tie one on. All kinds of awesome. [myspace] [iTunes]

4) "Lazy Eye", Silversun Pickups — The driving rhythm of "1979" is echoed in this song's bouncy bassline, but when the lead-guitarist/singer Brian Aubert drops the hammer at the 2:45 mark, things crescendo real quick-like into fast and furious territory. Building into a full minute of some of the tastiest feedback heard since "Nowhere", the song neatly strips itself piece by piece down to its essential core over the course its final minute. Epic! [vid]

3) "Fidelity", Regina Spektor — Are dudes allowed to swoon? Cuz that's EXACTLY what your Uncle Grambo did when I first heard this song back in June or thereabouts. Sometimes, there's just no denying the power of an exquisite love song. And that video? If you're ever feeling down, overdose on the adorable facial expressions on display at the 1:06 mark. Swoontastic. [vid]

2) "Crazy", Gnarls Barkley — These motherfrakkers had the OC-768 hookup into The Zeitgeist this year. Listen, when S/FJ taps you on the shoulder for putting out the Best Single in `06, it's better than being knighted. But to your Uncle Grambo, there was ANOTHER song that ruled them all...


1) "Standing In The Way Of Control", The Gossip — Before this song came out, the only thing I knew about fat chicks was that they occasionally enjoyed wearing party hats. All BLATANT sarcasm aside, Beth Ditto is a big girl with a HUGE voice who fuckin' knocked this song out of the park, Cecil Fielder stizz. When she bellows "WE WILL LIVE OUR LIVES!" (some say in response to our government's ban on homosexual marriages), her growlgrrrl voice resonates against a dancepunk groove with the kind of urgency and defiance not heard since Fogerty's vox on "Fortunate Son" ... I swear. Viva la revolution, and viva la best! [vid, mp3, remixes]

Thanks for sticking with me. Keep an eye out for The 2006 Grahammy Award winners for Best Albums of the year. Until then, drink water.

posted by Uncle Grambo |
Tuesday, December 19, 2006  

Mr. Me Too

[pic via Radar]

So, yeah, I guess you've all heard by now that Time Magazine has awarded "You" (meaning, like, YOU!) with its coveted Lebowski Achiever Person Of The Year honor. Predictably, the announcement resulted in a chorus of widespread chortling from the snarkalicious, media-obsessed denizens of The Blogosphere™. Of particular interest was the vociferousness with which those eager beavers over at Radar pounced on the news; you'll find no arguments here that Time copped out by not just deciding to run with the YouTube dudes as their choice, but your Uncle Grambo isn't really sure said decision warranted three individual critiques in just over 24 hours. But after taking some time to digest and process this curious editorial call, a realization dawned on me: I'm not out of order, Radar's not out of order, it's the whole freaking system that's out of order!

The system of which your Uncle Grambo speaks is the reprehensible dictate that (I believe) Nick Denton originally ordered that demanded the bloggers in his stable file X number of posts per day ... or else. Once word of this proclamation leaked, other media companies quickly followed suit (after all, media companies are nothing if not obsessed with keeping up with the Joneses). And while I'm all for keeping content fresh (in theory, if not in actual practice), don't we all agree that seeing 30+ posts per day on our favorite sites is overkill? The residual effect that this mandate has had on The Blogosphere™ is palpable; we've long since passed the mythical point where quality and quantity were able to live harmoniously together. Nowadays, the immensely talented folks at places at Radar and Gawker are slaves to the grind who serve the in the stead of the Almighty Page View rather than their readership. Which is not to say that these folks don't do exceptional work; that's the farthest thing from the truth. But using the Radar example above, readers suffer by having to wade through three disjointed ruminations rather than one truly kickass post. Know what I'm sayin?

The worst part, my friends, is this. Now that Pandora has opened this box, your Uncle Grambo is afraid that there don't appear to be any opportunities for us to turn back the clock. "Am I going to stop reading these blogs?" Unlikely, but that's not what's really important. The key issue, which effects both the editorial and business operation sides of the blog bizness, is this: "Am I, as a reader, going to pay as much attention to the site?" In this reader's opinion, that question has already been answered.

posted by Uncle Grambo |
"Jack Welch has such unparalleled management skills they named Welch's Grape Juice after him because he squeezes the sweetest juice out of his workers' mindgrapes."
Jack Donaghy on last week's "30 Rock"
be like mark

light em up - the fags


cold feet - the complete first series


what is the what - dave eggers
adventures w/disposable income
date: 12.9.06
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snl season 32
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