Well, it’s the end of yet another year gang. They fly by faster and faster these days. 2006 is just about in the record books, so here’s a completely unnecessary look back at all the superficial bullshit I was talking about during the year, as well as my picks for favorite album, TV show, movie, etc. I’ll be putting the ol’ keyboard in moth balls during Christmas and New Years, so no new blogs ’til 2007. Try not to weep openly. Enjoy this article and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year boys and girls.
2006: The Year In Review
Favorite album of 2006: TIE-Pearl Jam-Pearl Jam and Tool-10,000 Days.
This one’s a tie because both these CD’s were released on the same day and I probably listened to them an equal number of times. Though they have excruciatingly long wait times between albums (averaging about 4-5 years), Tool never disappoints, and their album artwork and music also never fails to get darker or more disturbing with each release. 10,000 Days has some awesome stereoscopic images (click here to learn all about stereoscope stuff), which you can view with lenses built right into the amazing packaging, just make sure you don’t do it at night or you may never get to sleep (yes, they are that spooky). The album isn’t about flashy packaging though, this time out, Tool delivers a complex, almost prog-rock symphony of chugging guitars and haunting verses. It’s not an easy listen but it’s rewarding, especially on the labyrinthine “Jambi”. (You see that, “Labyrinthine”! Eat that Rolling Stone album reviewers!)Pearl Jam’s’06 self-titled release was not quite the return to Ten or even Vs. form, but the band showed more signs of vitality than it has in ages on the album. Political themes (specifically anti-Bush sentiments) again were at the forefront of Eddie Vedder’s writing, evident in the first single “World Wide Suicide” and many more tracks throughout like “Marker in the Sand” and “Army Reserve”. For my money, the best song on the disc is “Gone”, a simple, yet soaring declaration of independence and escape from a dull existence.
Favorite movie of 2006: The Departed
Fuck Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Superman Returns, and all the other summer blockbusters that I wasted my time and money on this year. 2006 had to be the most disappointing year at the box office since that unholy, festering pile of rancid hippo shit known as Summer movie season 2000 (Mission Impossible 2, Swordfish, Charlie’s Angels, etc…shudder). I enjoyed Superman Returns but Bryan Singer inexcusably fucked a lot of shit up that should’ve been easy to get right. Next time out the tone, lighting, and overall design need to be much less drab and dreary, and for the love of God, re-cast Lois. Kate Bosworth was painful to watch.
On the other hand, The Departed just fucking nailed it. With a cast like Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, and a director with a resume’ like Scorcese, you would expect nothing short of awesomness, and that’s exactly what the Departed delivered. A tense, hard-boiled, brutal crime drama in Boston that kicked my ass from beginning to end. This flick can rest comfortably on the shelf next to Goodfellas, Casino, and Taxi Driver, and not feel the least bit intimidated.
Favorite video game of 2006: None.
I can’t afford to play these new fangled video games. Xbox 360? PS3? Wii? Fuck ’em. I’ll play Street Fighter II on an Emulator on my shitty computer, thank you very much.
Hottest woman of 2006: Scarlett Johannsen
Worst sports moment of 2006: Johnny Damon signing with the Yankees
The officiating in the Patriots divisional playoff loss to Denver in January was pretty horrific, as was the team’s subsequent failure to re-sign Adam Vinatieri and Deion Branch, but losing Johnny Damon to the New York Yankees was absolutely devastating. The man the Sox signed to play center field in Damon’s place was injured in the first month of the season and never recovered. Johnny’s absence and the decimation of the pitching staff through injuries sent the Red Sox into a tailspin, finishing in an unthinkable third place behind the Blue Jays.
Best “Holy Shit!” moment of 2006: Battlestar Galactica drops into New Caprica’s atmosphere:
You have to be a Battlestar Galactica nerd to truly appreciate how pants-creamingly awesome this moment was. In the second episode of the third season, “Exodus: Part II”, Adama needs a plan to help the people of Cylon-occupied New Caprica get their ships off the ground. The solution? Jump the absolutely massive Battlestar Galactica right into the planets’ atmosphere, launch fighters to destroy the Cylons on the ground, then jump back out into space before the ship plummets to a fiery crash at 8 billion miles per hour. Fucking genius!
Favorite TV Show of 2006: LOST
I bet you thought I was going to say Battlestar Galactica after that last paragraph, but BSG hasn’t replaced my Wednesday night fix of island castaways, mysterious hatches, dramatic flashbacks, smoke monsters, and psychotic polar bears just yet. Despite all the scheduling flaws and the shows’ glacial pace when it comes to revealing mysteries, LOST continues to be the best program on Television because of the richness and depth of its’ characters. Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Sayid, Charlie, Locke, Desmond, and even the “Others” Juliet and Ben, put you under their spell every week as you watch them try to survive on this increasingly bizarre island. Get a hold of the first and second season DVD’s, watch the pilot episode, and if you say you aren’t hooked instantly, you’re a dirty liar.
Biggest Trainwreck of 2006: Britney Spears
Duh. (reallllly NSFW).
Favorite event of 2006: My best friend’s wedding and the birth of my honorary nephew, Sammy.
Congratulations Marc & Steph and Tiana & Ryan!
Merry Christmas everyone!