Best of 2007

by (@katespencer)

2007 Celeb Crazy Talk: Kanye, Sherri & Crocker

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Famous people say the darnedest things, and this year was no exception! We’re honoring the craziest sh*t to come out of their restylane-enhanced mouths this year, and bringing you our fifteen favorite celebrity quotes of 2007.

  • “That’s two years in a row, man … give a black man a chance, I’m trying hard man, I have the … No. 1 record, man.” - Kanye West freaking out backstage at the VMAs.
  • ?Everyone now says I have a fake butt or butt implant. I?m Armenian; you should see all the women in my family. The women have bigger breasts and bigger butts. That?s how I was born. I can?t help it. I?m not gonna fight it.? - Kim Kardashian, discussing her infamous ass.
  • ?At the end of the video, we?re kissing and it?s raining blood?and for me, that was one of the most romantic moments of my entire life.? - Evan Rachel Wood, describing the ‘sexiness’ of music video making with her boyfriend Marilyn Manson.
  • ?Leave Britney alone!? - YouTube sensation Chris Crocker, defending his best girl.
  • ?I don?t know if the world is flat.? - The View co-host Sherri Shepherd, articulating some controversial geographical views.

by (@katespencer)

2007′s Craziest: Amy Winehouse Wigs Out

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Watching Amy Winehouse go from top of the charts to coked-up and bloodied was one of the saddest downward spirals of the year (Paris Hilton‘s demise, however, is another story). But it’s the end of the year, and we’ve run out of ways to turn her song “Rehab” into a witty pun that accentuates her actual need to get her ass locked up and detoxing, stat. In truth, the year of Winehouse has just made us feel kind of hopeless and sad. It’s no fun watching someone whose talent leaves you awestruck abandon their gifts for a full-blown drug addiction; it’s even worse when they’re doing it covered in blood. Let’s hope Amy’s New Year’s resolution involves less snorting and more self-care, and maybe a little bit of singing too.

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by (@katespencer)

2007 Celeb Crazy Talk: Dog, LiLo & Brit

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Famous people say the darnedest things, and this year was no exception! We’re honoring the craziest sh*t to come out of their restylane-enhanced mouths this year, and bringing you our fifteen favorite celebrity quotes of 2007.

  • “Eat it, lick it, snort it, fuck it!? - Britney Jean Spears, snapping at reporters at her custody hearing.
  • I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps?? - Miss Teen South Carolina, answering the greatest pageant question of all time.
  • “I was really up for some peace and love that morning. I wasn’t up for being called a c*** and being kicked in the head.? - Druggie rocker Pete Doherty after getting dumped by model girlfriend Kate Moss.
  • ?I wasn?t driving, the black kid was.? - Lindsay Lohan, after getting pulled over for her coke-fueled, road ragin’ car chase.
  • “There’s a special connection that I thought I had between me and black America. And I used to say, ‘I’m black, too.’ In other words, my whole life I’ve been called a half-breed, a convict, king of the trailer trash, this and that?so when I stood there and said, ‘I kind of know what you feel like, because I’ve been there, too,’ that I felt that I could embrace and like, as brothers?say the word. I now learned I’m not black at all, and I never did it out of hate.” - Dog the Bounty Hunter, defending his use of the ‘N Word’ in a leaked rant.

by (@katespencer)

2007′s Craziest: Kanye vs. Fiddy

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Two of the music world’s biggest stars, Kanye West and 50 Cent, went at it old school in a battle of words over whose new album – both of which dropped on September 11th – would sell more records. The guys threatened a televised debate over whose album was better, and 50 even claimed that he’d retire from making albums if Kanye beat him with a bestseller, saying “They would like to see Kanye West give me a problem, because I?ve worked myself into a space where I?ve become the favorite. Everybody roots [for] the underdog when he goes against the favorite.” In the end, Kanye kicked Fiddy’s ass, but not before a Rolling Stone cover of the two cemented their feud as a fan favorite. And even though 50 eventually called it out as a stunt, their battle brought some of the fun, the spunk and the street back to an industry saturated with songs about bling, boobs and Bentleys.

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by (@katespencer)

2007 Celeb Crazy Talk: Rosie, Paris & Alec

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Famous people say the darnedest things, and this year was no exception! We’re honoring the craziest sh*t to come out of their restylane-enhanced mouths this year, and bringing you our fifteen favorite celebrity quotes of 2007.

  • ?Big, fat, lesbian, loud Rosie attacks innocent, pure, Christian Elisabeth.? - Rosie O’Donnell, during her final fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck before quitting The View.
  • ?Dogfighting is a terrible thing?? - Michael Vick, reading a statement after pleading guilty to federal charges of dog fighting.
  • “It was just crazy?one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I don’t know how to explain what happened. I don’t really know myself. I can’t remember what I looked like. I couldn’t recognise myself. It was terrifying?I was terrified. I was so out of control. It just happened. It shocked me. I’m sorry?I just don’t know what got into me.” - Amy Winehouse, describing her summer drug binge and overdose.
  • “You’re a thoughtless little pig.” - Dad of the year Alec Baldwin to his 12-year old, in the venomous voicemail heard around the world.
  • “They say when you reach a crossroad or a turning point in life, it really doesn’t matter how we got there, but it’s what we do next after we got there. Usually you arrive there by adversity, and then it is then and only then that we find out who we truly are and what we’re truly made of. It’s a process, a gift and a journey, and if we can travel it alone, although the road may be rough at the beginning, you find an ability to walk it. A way to start fresh again. It’s neither a downfall nor a failure, but a new beginning.” - Paris Hilton, reading some of the stunning prose she wrote while behind bars for three weeks.

by (@katespencer)

2007′s Craziest: It’s Barely Britney, B*tch

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No matter how many times Lindsay left rehab or how many tears Paris shed in prison, 2007 belonged to Britney Spears. And nothing – NOTHING – solidified her complete transition from teen star to train wreck more than her botched performance at the MTV VMAs in September. The sequined bikini, the dead look in her eyes, her stumbled dance moves and half-assed attempt at lipsyncing all sealed the deal. It was truly too much for most people to stomach. The whole world was rooting for a comeback, and well – we got one. After that five-minute mess, the world gave up on Britney because Britney gave up on Britney. And that, my friends, should be a used as a lyric in a song on her next album, permitting that she actually gets out of her Frappu-coma and heads back into the recording studio.

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by (@katespencer)

2007′s Craziest: Vanessa’s Vajayjay

vanessa-hudgens-2007.jpgLate this summer Vanessa Hudgens taught all of young Hollywood an important, valuable lesson – don’t take photos of yourself naked when you’re the star of a show beloved by billions of five-year olds. But honestly, we’re REALLY glad she did, because she made our summers that much sexier and entertaining! The up and coming starlet took the pics for one of her teen boy toys (either Drake Bell or Zac Efron) and the incident almost got her booted from the cast of the upcoming High School Musical 3. But all it took was a statement through her rep to make it all go away. She said, “This was a photo which was taken privately. It is a personal matter and it is unfortunate that this has become public.”

No it’s not. It’s awesome, and it made 2007 infinitely better. In a year where Paris Hilton got licked up and Nicole Richie knocked up, it was a relief to discover which hot young thing was taking control of the Hollywood scandal scene.

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Top 20 Singles of the Year (16-20)

As 2007 dwindles down, we look back at our favorite tracks. For each of the past three Tuesdays, we?ve sung the praises of the 20 songs that made our year. See what made the cut, and let us know what you think of our choices.

Kanye West, ?Stronger? from Graduation (ROC-A-FELLA)

17_kanye.jpgBased around Daft Punk?s ?Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,? West?s top-charting single from his third album is part dance, part Nietzschean manifesto. Slamming together beats and rhymes in a furious display of his pop-star prowess, the producer-cum-rapper explains in no uncertain terms why he is the best thing to ever happen to music in the history of everything. Yes, some of the references are awkward, but his savvy wit and deep knowledge of the news of the day serves him well; any song that manages to somehow fit Kate Moss, O.J. Simpson, Isotoner gloves, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, A Bathing Ape, Prince and Apollonia into even a loose rhyme scheme is impressive. The video, which stars actors wearing Daft Punk?s robot suits and West?s post-post-modern fashion sense (Jeremy Scott sunglasses, Akira apparel), is the true star here, though, since it manages to both produce a vaguely coherent narrative and look extremely cool. Blame West?s fascination with Japanese art: His love of underground Japanese cultural lodestone Nigo (an artist, musician, clothing designer and all-around cultural kingpin) and artist Takashi Murakami have added up to something new entirely. Where the Wu-Tang were once fascinated by Bruce Lee, West has updated hip-hop?s not-so-latent orientalism. He wears it well.

Spoon, ?Finer Feelings,? from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (MERGE)

16_spoon.jpgIt seems Spoon saved the best for almost-last when they placed ?Finer Feelings? as the penultimate track on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. While the song traffics in many of the things the Austin quartet have been doing best for over a decade (bright, spiky indie pop with a dollop of barely concealed contempt from too-cool frontman Britt Daniel), it also comes with a few new features. Starting with a sample from Mikey Dread, a collaborator of known Spoon-influence the Clash, Daniel launches into what might be his most personal song to date, a portrait of the artist as a young man: ?I was part-time at the Tasty Prawn/ That and moving furniture and cutting lawns/ Covered in newsprint, staying up real late/ Just holding out for some fate.? The band then devolves into a melodic cacophony, an interlude straight out of the ?Day In The Life,? playbook, all ricocheting guitar, Motown bassline and what sounds like a moaning, slowed-down harmonica. Daniel resorts to a series of ?do do do do,? so as not to detract from the symphony of detail he?s conjured.

Read more…

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Hottie of the Year: Who’s It Going to Be?

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It’s been a long, fascinating year filled with all sorts of pulchritudinous people. Now we want to know what you think: Who’s the hottest of them all? We’ve selected a few of your favorites to compete. First up, the ineffable New York. But what about Jes from Rock of Love? Think she can compete with Kim Kardashian? Or, for that matter, Chris Brown? And last but not least, there’s (unfortunately) nudie cutie, Vanessa Hudgens. Who’s the hottest?

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Comment Now!

 

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Top 20 Albums of the Year (16-20)

Thousands of discs were released this year, but only 20 could make the final cut. With the most scientific of instruments (headphones, and sometimes CD players) we whittled down this year?s releases, and for the past three Thursdays, we?ve delivered five of our faves. Let us know what we missed, and what you loved.

Britney Spears, Blackout (JIVE)

16_britney.jpg The weirdest chapter in Britney Spears‘ incredibly weird year was that amid the rehab(s), the head-shaving, the VMAs bombing, the pole-dancing video that made Lindsay Lohan‘s I Know Who Killed Me look like actual art, the paparazzi run-ins, the child endangerment and the actual blackouts, Britney was able to turn out the album of her career. The 12-song Blackout isn’t art, per se, but it reflects what pop music in 2007 is so well that you wouldn’t be faulted for mistaking it as such. How much does its achievement have to do with Brit? Who knows. It could be that she sleepwalked through the making of it, showing up at the studio inebriated and letting producers like Danja, Bloodshy & Avant and the Neptunes do their progressive thing while she essentially rubber-stamped the stomping dance tracks with her notoriously unremarkable larynx. But it matters not: if on Blackout, she’s just the puppet she’s always been accused of being, she’s puppeting remarkably well. In the end, it’s reasonable to assume that she had a hand in selecting what made Blackout‘s final cut, and if that’s the case, she made up for a year of bad decisions with 12 fabulous ones.

Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (MERGE)

17_spoon.jpg With a title so dadaist, it?s ironic that Spoon?s sixth album is their most clear. But maybe it isn?t so ironic: the album?s title is taken from the onomatopoetic piano line that courses through the album?s second track ?The Ghost of You Lingers.? Rather than sail over the heads of their fans with the prickly, oblique lyrics frontman Britt Daniel has become famous for, the band seems to have gotten down to the bedrock elements of music ? sounds and feelings. Examples of the band?s movement toward sincerity riddle the record: Daniel tells his own genesis story on ?Finer Feelings,? empathizes with the long shot on ?The Underdog,? and even allows listeners behind the curtain on ?Don?t You Evah,? which begins with a studio joke between band members. The band get deeper into their influences, following in the foot steps of their punk-pop forefathers the Clash and experimenting on the down-beat reggae ode to a femme fatale ?Eddie?s Ragga.? ?You Got Yr Cherry Bomb? recalls Phil Spector?s production, filled with heavy reverb and horns. Breezing by in just 36 minutes, the band prove there?s no genre they can?t deftly maneuver.

Kanye West, Graduation (DEF JAM)

18_kanye.jpg Haughty is as haughty does. Hip-hop?s most reliable MC hasn?t given up on positioning himself as hip-hop?s most successful MC ? you know, hitting the club with all that fresh sh*t on and something crazy on his arm. But his bluster (?I always had a passion for flashing?) has oodles of creativity behind it, and it?s been a long time since any mic fiend dropped three home runs in a row. The rhymes may not be as perfect as those on College Dropout or Late Registration, and subject matter may be a tad monolithic, but with the striver-speak of ?Good Life? and ?Stronger,? the Luis Vuitton don can definitely lay claim to his hat trick.

Feist, The Reminder (INTERSCOPE)

19_feist.jpg As has been pointed out several times over, Feist once sang ?It may be years until the day my dreams will match up with my pay.? It only took about three years. The former punk-screecher turned filth-rap posse member turned Canadian musical collective member has worn many hats during her career, but it turned out Feist?s solo songs would spawn the most success. From the now ubiquitous revival-type feel goodery of ?1 2 3 4? (you know?the iPod song), to her vamping ?My Moon My Man,? to her update of the Nina Simone?s ?Sea Lion Woman,? Feist appears to have assembled the type of self-revelations (?I?ll be the one to break my heart,? ?There?s so much present inside my present,? ?You?re changing your heart, you know who you are?) that take people thousands of dollars and years in analysis to come to.

Rihanna, Good Girl Gone Bad (DEF JAM)

20_rihanna.jpg If Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer were to spend their time writing music as opposed to blowing up tractor trailers in movies, this is the kind of record they?d make — a big-budget splashy blockbuster, all done up in vibrant Technicolor with the audio to match. Rihanna, a Barbados-born teen, had shown earlier promise with infectious hits like ?SOS? and ?Pon de Replay,? but nothing on the size and scale of Good Girl, which continues to spawn hits long after its release (and that was only last May, if you can believe it). First, of course, there was ?Umbrella,? where she stretches the syllables of the word in the chorus to fit the melody — ?Umbrella-ella-ella-ay-ay-oh-oh.? Genius. With its non-threatening, vaguely maternal offer of shelter from the rain, Rihanna welcomed fans by the dozen. She quickly followed that up with the Michael Jackson-inflected ?Don?t Stop the Music,? the sweet soul of ?Hate That I Love You,? the sad strains of ?Cry? and the tough stuff of ?Shut Up and Drive,? a song so powerfully poppy that they should probably seal it in a jar and bury it in the Nevada weapons-testing zone lest it get out and inspire generations to skip school and head straight for the studio. Who knew it was possible to craft pop so expertly in 2007?