The 2008 Golden Teddy Awards for Most Excellence in Music
The winners should all be so very proud.
Most Excellent Reason to Loathe the Grammies.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0gghjczAt0] So, Spin, Rolling Stone, and Entertainment Weekly all declared that TV on the Radio’s Dear Science was the best album of 2008, and the band didn’t get a single Grammy nomination. Meanwhile, Kid Rock got a nomination for a song built entirely on a Lynyrd Skynyrd hook. And the Christianist boy bandJonas Brothers, who were spit out by the Random Pop Star GeneratorTM, were short-listed for Best New Artist. I know that the Grammys have been a joke for decades, but still.
Most Excellent Album from Any Source.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7mMoc-x_v0] TV on the Radio’s Dear Science is the best possible outcome for the freak show love child of David Bowie, Beck, Prince, and the Talking Heads. With distortion. Or something like that. It’s accessible, danceable art rock with slam poetry lyrics.
Most Excellent Album More than 75% Computer Generated.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7FUMLIG03k] I just listed to Robyn’s Robyn for the bazillioninth time while making my fabu white and green bean salad, and I still love it, especially this song here on the left. It’s the album that Britney Spears would make if she had talent. And how can you not love someone who describes herself as the “most killingest pop star on the planet. A pint-sized atom bomb dosed to the tits on electric and dispensing wisdom in three-minute modernist pop bulletins on the post-adolescent condition.” They’re not modernist, actually. Even though “postmodernist” wouldn’t be exactly right, it’s the closest word we have.
Most Excellent Album That Could Have Been Recorded in 1958.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrQRS40OKNE] I was listening to the Fleet Foxes’s Fleet Foxes a few days ago, and I think I had the closest thing to religious experience I’ve ever had while listening to music. The harmonies they create for the melodies and lyrics they write are, well, just stupefying.
Most Excellent New Artist.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH2T4Ox1gls] Fleet Foxes. Well, duh.
Most Excellent Recording Too Gay for the Radio.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb8S51M2GAc] “Blind” by Hercules and Love Affair is the best dance track of the year, bar none. And it charted in the UK. But you can’t hear it on the radio, on neither the pop stations in San Diego nor the “alternative” stations. Because like the Scissor Sisters and Rufus Wainwright, Hercules and Love Affair are just gosh darn gay to be played on the radio in the United States.
Most Excellently Awful But Kinda Great Single.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VVuMIB2hC0] I know all of the lyrics to “Low” by Flo Rida and T-Pain.
Most Excellent Reason to Change the Radio Station.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWbLkXhGEmo] I loathe Katy Perry. After you couple the song to left with her ubiquitous, awful song “I Kissed a Girl,” it seems obvious to me that she has some “issues” with homosexuality. Hell, she’s got a whole subscription.
Most Excellent Album Name.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuX5Fwiaj70] Martha Wainwright’s second album, I Know You’re Married But I Have Feelings Too, has the best title ever, and it perfectly encapsulates her lyrical style. Also, the album is full of fantastic tunes.
Most Excellent Performance on “So You Think You Can Dance” by a Musical Guest.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uILWfCHOUNc] “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga. Rob and I were watching our new favorite show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” and this… thing came one. And were, like, um, WTF? It was Grace Jone crossed with Britney Spears. Lurve it. And her whole album is a delightful, totally legit pop collection that she totally wrote herself. The lyrics are hilarious.
Most Excellent Performance on “So You Think You Can Dance” That Made a Song So Much Better Than It Was.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STgr6DcCom4] Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown’s “No Air” danced by Joshua and Katee. I didn’t like this song at first. It’s nicely done, but way, way, way over-produced. But after Joshua and Katee danced to it, I only see them when I hear it. And that makes the song amazing.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypdudrIfdtQ] Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love” danced by Chelsea and Mark. The exact same thing happened with this song and these dancers. I get shivers up my spine watching this clip.
Most Excellent Late Admission.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciJDA0tcQfs] So, I kept seeing the name “Santogold” everywhere, and I noticed that her album was on a bunch of lists. But I didn’t bother doing anything about it until I got stuck with 50 downloads at eMusic on Christmas Day. There was her album, and there was a click. Five minutes later I was listening rock and roll brilliance.
Most Excellent Pop Single.
I cannot get enough of “American Boy” by Estelle and Kanye West. It’s simple, insanely catchy, and it makes me wistful for New York.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ47MPgpf4o] “Give It 2 Me” is the best track on Madonna’s Hard Candy, a perfectly respectable album with several great tracks. But this, like “American Boy,” benefits from having a simply perfect song structure. And an insanely good beat. Even if it has about as much substance as fog.
Most Excellent “Alternative” Single.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlgNFwoApec] “Mansard Road” by Vampire Weekend is a wonderfully weird way to start this dork-rock band’s wonderfully weird album.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5TNK-TvIcI] Unlike Katy Perry, when Coldplay has a ubiquitous song, I want to hear it. And I just couldn’t stop screaming along to “Viva La Vida” every time I heard it. And I don’t care 1) if they stole the melody from Joe Santriani, or 2) if I lose all street cred for my love of this song. (Yeah, like I have street cred!)
Most Excellent Insanely Late Discovery.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueUOTImKp0k] I downloaded a dozen David Bowie albums last week. Wow. This is my favorite Bowie song, from my favorite album, Hunky Dory. It’s so frickin’ awesome.
I’ve loved your lists this year. Found something new to explore on every single one of ’em.
Now if I can just let go and accept Lady GaGa.
This post was exactly what I needed! I’m so bored with my music right now.
And isn’t “Life on Mars?” just delish?
As for “So You Think You Can Dance” songs–I still regularly listen to that Me’Shell Ndegeocello song that Mark and Chelsea did the “wedding” number to. They were my favorite couple.