Monday, January 4, 2010

The Best of 2009 MegaList: Music, Film, Television, Web & More

In case you were stuck in a well for the entire year, here's what you missed in 2009.

The items within the following lists are not ranked in order of importance or artistic value. Instead, they are listed randomly, or in some cases, as recalled by memory.

While the difference between good art and mediocre drivel is clearly discernable,
it is in the author's opinion that ranking actual art is a random, arbitrary, and highly unscientific process, therefore inappropriate for these purposes. Hopefully, the absence of numbered lists will not frighten or cause excessive discomfort, so as to keep the reader from enjoying this post to the fullest.

Additionally, the reader is encouraged to post any omissions, additions, or grave misjudgments on the author's part in the comment section.

Post away with reckless abandon, kitties—I love it when you show me your claws.

Best Albums

In the era of the single, these albums were great from beginning to end and justify the existence of the long player as a format.*

*And before you say something, I know the Yeasayer album doesn't officially come out until February of 2010, but with albums leaking before they're even pressed, what do release dates even mean anymore? Plus, it gives me the distinct honor of being the first blog to include Odd Blood on a year's best list, which, if you think about it, is pretty rad. Take that, Pitchfork...

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

[iTunes] [Amazon]

Yeasayer - Odd Blood*
[Secretly Canadian]
*Available Feb. 9th, 2010. "Ambling Alp" single available now.
[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen
[Saddle Creek]

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

The Antlers - Hospice

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Baroness - Blue Record

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Kid Cudi - Man On The Moon: The End Of Day
[GOOD Music]

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

The Dead Weather - Horehound
[Third Man]

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Alec Ounsworth - Mo Beauty

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

David Bazan - Curse Your Branches

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Mastodon - Crack The Skye

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
[Warner Bros.]

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Wilco - Wilco (The Album)

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

The Big Pink - A Brief History Of Love

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part II
[Ice H20/EMI]

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Girls - Album
[True Panther]

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Pearl Jam - Backspacer

[iTunes] [Target]

Future of the Left - Travels With Myself And Another

[Lala] [iTunes] [Amazon]

Best Reissues, Compilations & Live Albums

Some of my favorite releases of the year were not new albums at all. Here's some great reissues, along with compilations and live albums.

For more info on these titles, may I suggest this helpful tool.
  • Bauhaus - In The Flat Field & Mask (Omnibus Editions) [4AD & Beggars Banquet]
  • Jawbox - For Your Own Special Sweetheart (Remastered & Expanded) [Desoto]
  • Nirvana - Bleach (Deluxe Edition) [Sub Pop]
  • The Beatles - Discography (Remastered) [Apple/EMI]
  • The Jesus Lizard - Head, Goat, Liar, & Down (Deluxe Editions) [Touch & Go]
  • Red Red Meat - Bunny Gets Paid (Deluxe Edition) [Sub Pop]
  • Radiohead - Pablo Honey, The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail To The Thief (Special Collector's Editions) [Capitol]
  • Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary & LP2 (Remastered & Expanded) [Sub Pop]
  • Pearl Jam - Ten (Remastered Deluxe Edition Box Set) [Epic]
  • The Vaselines - Enter The Vaselines (2-Disc Set) [Sub Pop]
  • Big Star - Keep An Eye On The Sky (Box Set) [Rhino]
  • Various Artists - Score! 20 Years of Merge Records [Merge]
  • Various Artists - Warp20 [Warp]
  • Various Artists - Dark Was the Night [4AD]
  • Tom Waits - Glitter and Doom Live [Anti]
  • Nirvana - Live At Reading [Geffen]
  • Leonard Cohen - Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970 [Sony Legacy]
Good Albums, But Not Up To Par To Previous Achievements (try harder next time, please)
  • Metric - Fantasies [Metric Music International]
  • Avett Brothers - I And Love And You [Sony]
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz! [Interscope]
  • Conor Oberst - Outer South [Merge]
  • The Mars Volta - Octahedron [Warner Bros.]
Best Attempt By The Animal Collective At Getting Me To Quit Talking Shit About Them

Merriweather Post Pavilion [Domino]

I stand corrected. They can make *actual* music.

Album That Everyone Seemed To Love But Left Me Largely Unaffected

Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP [Jagjaguwar]

It's the same issue I have with Iron & WineI'm just never in the right mood for it. Sorry, maybe I shouldn't be so damn chipper all the time.

Best Comedy Albums (Music)
  • The Lonely Island - Incredibad [Universal Republic]
  • Flight Of The Conchords - I Told You I Was Freaky [Sup Pop]
Best Comedy Albums (Spoken)
  • Patton Oswalt - My Weakness Is Strong [WEA/Reprise]
  • Eugene Mirman - God Is A Twelve-Year-Old Boy With Asperger's [Sup Pop]
  • Paul F. Tompkins - Freak Wharf [AST Records]
Most Similar Album Covers By One Artist Whose Real Name Is Julian And Another Whose Name Is Paul But Goes By Julian For No Apparent Reason

Julian Casablancas - Phrazes For The Young [RCA]
Julian Plenti - Julian Plenti... Is Skyscraper [Matador]

Best Mars Volta Impression By A Band That's Made Up Entirely Of Dandy Fops

The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love [Capitol/Rough Trade]

Most Notorious Postal Service Ripoff Album
  • Owl City - Ocean Eyes [Republic]
Band That I Seem To Read About Every Single Day But From Whom I've Yet To Hear A Single Song

Fucked Up

Seriously, the only thing I know about this band is that their singer is adverse to wearing clothes on stage and downright ignorant to the ways of maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.

Worst Album/Biggest Source of Entertainment

BrokeNCYDE - I'm Not A Fan, But The Kids Like It! [Breaksilence]

What can I say? BrokeNCYDE brought me so much happiness (and hostile comments from their prepubescent fans), that I can't even hate on them anymore. Keep it up guys, I can't wait for your next album!

Worst Album Cover

Brooke Hogan - The Redemption

I mean, seriously. Look at that thing. Who thought this looked good on anything other than a commemorative airbrushed Panama City Beach Spring Break t-shirt from 1988? Ugh.

Best Singles

My favorite list to compile, by far. Please take some time and enjoy the playlist.*

*I wanted to make this playlist with Lala so that you'd have the option of buying these songs after a listening trial, but because of copyright restrictions, some of the songs wouldn't have appeared. So I had to use Grooveshark, which doesn't give you that option. So there you go, another win for the music industry.

Songs I Hope I Never Hear Again
  • Taylor Swift - "You Belong To Me"
  • Miley Cyrus - "Party In The USA"
  • The Black Eyed Peas - take your pick...
  • Anything involving Akon, Pitbull, Nickelback or the auto-tuned, taste-deprived triumvirate of 3Oh!3, LMFAO and Cobra Starship.
  • Oh, and any Weezer/Lil Wayne endeavor/monstrosity.
Best Guess As To What The Hell Happened To Eminem's Face In The Last Year Or So

Huh, plastic surgery? Yeah, it's most definitely plastic surgery. That forehead's pulled so tight, you could use it as a snare drum.

Best Music Videos
2009 was definitely the year of the not-safe-for-work video. Nudity is the new slow motion fish-eye lens.

Best Cameo In A Music Video

Ron Howard in Jamie Foxx's "Blame It (On The Alcohol)"

Has anyone ever looked more out of place than Ron Howard at that club?

Guilty Pleasures
Now that I've disclosed this information publicly, you should give me a free pass if you ever catch me jamming to one of these songs at the club. Luckily, just like Ron Howard, you will never see me at the club.

Best Song Explicitly About Oral Sex
Seriously though, the lyrics to this song are ridiculously filthy. Love it.

What? You say you'd like to watch some of the previous videos in a newfangled YouTube playlist? Well, here you go:

Best Concerts
  • Cursive & Man Man at The Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, May 1st.
  • PJ Harvey & John Parish at Center Stage, Atlanta, June 2nd.
  • Leonard Cohen at The Fox Theatre, Atlanta, October 20th.

Best Films

I really didn't get to the theater that much this year, but these were the films that were worth the trip, the $6 popcorn, and being surrounded by teenagers talking on their cell phones.
  • District 9
  • Inglorious Bastards
  • The Road
  • The Hangover
  • Zombieland
  • Watchmen (Screw you, I liked it)
  • Gomorra
  • Avatar
  • Funny People (Once again: Screw you, I liked it)
By far, the movie that excited me the most and didn't disappoint was District 9. What a great fucking movie. In my opinion, best sci-fi movie of the decade (Avatar included).

Best Films That I Suspect Would Have Been On The Previous List Had I Actually Seen Them
  • Star Trek
  • Moon
  • The Informant
  • The Hurt Locker
  • A Serious Man
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Up
  • Crazy Heart
  • Tyson
  • Anvil! The Story Of Anvil
  • In The Loop
  • World's Greatest Dad
  • Up In The Air
  • Where The Wild Things Are
Film Everyone Seemed To Have Enjoyed, But Left Me Largely Unimpressed

Drag Me To Hell


Best Television Programs
  • 30 Rock (Seasons 3 & 4) [NBC]
  • The Office (Seasons 5 & 6) [NBC]
  • Parks And Recreations (Seasons 1 & 2) [NBC]
  • It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (Season 5) [FX]
  • United States of Tara (Season 1) [Showtime]
  • Dexter (Season 4) [Showtime]
  • Eastbound & Down (Season 1) [HBO]
  • Big Love (Season 3) [HBO]
  • Pardon The Interruption [ESPN]
  • Attack of the Show [G4]
Best Shows For Which I'm Holding Out On Watching Until Someone Can Lend Me The DVDs
  • Mad Men [AMC]
  • Breaking Bad [AMC]
  • Sons Of Anarchy [FX]
  • Rescue Me [FX]
Biggest Disappointment Due To The Pedigree Of The Cast

Bored To Death [HBO]

If you'd have told me last year that a show billed as a "noir-otic comedy" starring Jason Schwartzman as an alcoholic writer turned private investigator, Zach Galifianakis as his best friend, and Ted Danson as a party-loving magazine editor was NOT gonna be my new favorite show in 2009, I'd have called you a damn fool. Well, the show left me lukewarm at best and, well, bored to death at worst, so who's the fool now?

Biggest Shark Jump For A Relatively New Show
  • True Blood (Season 2) [HBO]
This season they pushed the camp factor into the frigging stratosphere. Still a fun show, but Jesus Christ, it's silly. The extensive and gratuitous nudity keeps me watching, though.

Best of the Web
Best Podcasts

WTF with Marc Maron

[iTunes] [web]

SModcast with Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier

[iTunes] [web]

The Bugle with John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman

[iTunes] [web]

I Love Movies with Doug Benson


WFMU's The Best Show with Tom Scharpling

[iTunes] [web]

My Favorite Bazookaluca Posts

The Buddy Cop Hierarchy And How To Revitalize The Genre

Cutest Thing I Saw On The Internet

Emo Bunny

My Celebrity Girlfriends
Biggest Disappointment As A Sports Fan
  • Tennessee Titans start season 0-6
Best Redemption By A Sports Team
  • Tennessee Titans finish season 8-8, Vince Young regains starting QB job, Chris Johnson finishes season with most yards from scrimmage in NFL history
Best Vacation I Took
  • Bermuda
Most Promising Signs That I Finally Joined The 21st Century
  • I got an iPhone AND an HDTV this year. This "future" thing is all right.

Haven't had enough?

See also: 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 (why no 2005, you ask? I was trapped in a well...)

As always, thanks for reading. You're the best.


  1. So is it weird that I hated GOMORRAH and loved DRAG ME TO HELL? Are we in opposite lands?

  2. Are you bizarro Luca? Or am I Evil Luca? I do have the beard, after all...

  3. What I had MEANT to say was:

    My, this IS quite the epic entry! Your list could totally kick my list's ass.

    I particularly enjoyed the bit about the Julians. WHAT'S THE POINT? We know it's you, Paul Banks. You ain't foolin' no one...

    Also, thanks for the blog love!

  4. I should never have looked at this page. I feel threatened. I listen to music from the early 70's. I feel guilty. I feel alone. I am lost. I am out of toilet paper. I have no friends

  5. So, I read the whole thing, Luca. Be proud. I laughed I cried, I agreed with a lot of what you said, save for the Bon Iver thing.(What can I say? I'm an angsty chick.) I would personally add The Dead Weather to the great concert list. Alison Mosshart spitting into the crowd from atop an amp was really awesome. But other than that, I liked the snark and the humor. Ku-dos.

  6. I finally read this! I haven't had internet! But good job, babe. Of course I agree with everything you said except...Leighton Meester? Really? I had no clue. She must have been your secret celebrity girlfriend this year.

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