"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Musica Pop 

Well, everybody seems to be reacting to the Information Leafblower's Top 40 Bands in America 2005 list, so, since I have no self control and many other things I should be doing, here's my top eight, including some who don't actually really fit the "American" tag, but I don't listen to nearly enough American music (none of this should really come as any surprise to anyone who's been paying attention):

1. Self. Matt Mahaffey is a genius, pure and simple. Similarly to Fiona Apple, Self's last album is tied up in record company bullshit, but unlike Fiona, Self just went ahead and released a bunch of other new material free on the web. I've been a fan for many years, and giddily await each new release (which will hopefully include the stuff now in Limbo). He also toured with Beck this year.

2. Stephin Merrit. As if his massive catalogue of pop, electronica, and other oddities wasn't enough, this year saw My Life as a Fairy Tale, an operatic work based on Hans Christian Andersen's life produced and performed in NYC (with no tickets for me, much to my chagrin!). The music to that and Merritt's other showtunes will be released (and purchased by me) in February of 2006.

3. Madonna. Duh. I hated her last album, but what I've heard of the new one is really good, and well, she's Madonna.

4. Diplo. You indie kids probably know him for providing the beats behind spunky darling M.I.A., but really he's done much more really cool stuff. It's just that now he's even bigger. Have a listen to his stuff. (yes, he also gets points for being utterly adorkable).

5. Gorillaz. 'Cuz, uhm, they are fucking awesome. When I hear some of their stuff, I almost want to call them the "rock OutKast." Except they're not rock. Or any other genre I can identify, which is why I love them. That and the fact that it makes me feel happy and bouncy.

6. Bertrand Burgalat. Producer. Composer. Instrumentalist. Singer. This guy is awesome, and his newest album is unlike really anything I've ever heard before. Ever. From infectious grooves to goofy nonsense, it all gets inside you and does funny things to your brain. Even the sad songs are kinda sexy, in the same strange way that his halting, awkward voice sounds utterly gorgeous.

7. Shakira. He songs make me want to dance, or make big sad puppydog eyes at someone who will never return them. Her videos make me want to do serious damage to said someone. She's also hot, and with an accent that makes me all melty.

8. Garbage. Bleed Like Me is not their best album, but then again neither were any of the others. They all have all sorts of random bits that don't quite fit together for any reason except exquisite production quality and engineering. But they all have that evil little something that Garbage puts into everything they do that makes it fun.

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