Top 25 Mostly Big Label Releases That Ought To Still Be Relevant In 10 Years, And That's What It's All About Anyway List:
1. Outkast - Big Boi and Dre Present (Greatest Hits)
2. Stephen Malkmus - Stephen Malkmus
3. System of a Down - Toxicity
4. The Strokes - Is This It?
5. Weezer - Weezer
6. Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings
7. Desert Sessions (Josh Homme et al) - Desert Sessions 7 & 8
8. Ryan Adams - Gold
9. John Coltrane - The Olatunji Concert: Last Live Recording
10. Radiohead - Amnesiac
11. Beulah - The Coast Is Never Clear
12. Air - 10,000 Hz Legend
13. The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
14. Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
15. R.E.M. - Reveal
16. Ben Folds - Rockin' The Suburbs
17. Bob Dylan - Love And Theft
18. The Glands - The Glands
19. Jimmy Eat World - Bleed American
20. Alejandro Escovedo - A Man Under The Influence
21. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Global a Go Go
22. Gillian Welch - Time (The Revelator)
23. M. Ward - End of Amnesia
24. George Jones - The Rock: Stone Cold Country 2001
25. Drive-By Truckers - Southern Rock Opera
Outrageous Press Release Blurbs Of The Year:
1. From Tab Benoit's website, tabbenoit.com: "We won't know until later on possibly when it is too late how lucky that we got the chance in our lifetime to experience Tab Benoit's music. Seldom does someone come along where it is so visibly evident that GOD has touched them and now they are to touch others."
2. From Victory Records press release on the band Electric Frankenstein, in which they're describing Ben Elliot, the man who recorded the band: "Elliot is best known for his monumental achievements working with some of the most legendary names in Rock 'n' Roll, including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Nirvana, Henry Rollins, and Days of the New." (Italics mine.)
3. From a press release by Fred Eaglesmith's publicity folk: "In fifty years, people will talk about the music of Fred Eaglesmith the way they talk about Hank Williams today."
4. From a release about Orlando boy band LFO: "Rich and his group mates have undergone one of the most dramatic growth spurts in recent pop history... the three hip-hop boys (author's note: did I miss something?) have diversified their sound, incorporating pop, soul, hip-hop and even psychedelic 60s rock into their mix."
Top "Rock & Roll" Moves Of The Year In Local Music (Don't Try This At Home):
1. Christopher "Strip" Boone of Jennifer Strip flipping the bird at a brutal thunderstorm at their July 4 show at the Penguin. The band was playing outside, of course. In the rain. Plugged in.
2. The Goldenrods at a Puckett's Farm Equipment show, where the 6-man band's tab exceeded 60 beers. The Rods were told before playing that the band's brew was on the house. Puckett's then wisely reconsidered, paying for 36 while charging the band a buck apiece for the rest.
3. David Childers with a smoke machine... on high... in the smoke-free Evening Muse on September 8.
Billionaire/Dallas Mavericks Owner/Music Nut Mark Cuban's Favorite Three CDs Of The Year (Really!):
1. Bubba Sparxxx - Dark Days, Bright Nights
2. Juvenile - Project English
3. Apollo 440 - Gettin' High Off Your Own Supply
For the record, George Shinn and Ray Wooldridge of The Charlotte Hornets did not respond to a similar query. (Is anyone shocked?) Any professional sports owner down with the Cash Money clique (and Cuban's got plenty o' cash money) is OK with us. Cuban's evidently got an affinity for the Dirty South, as evidenced by his music picks above. Too bad we can't get him to buy the Hornets.
Local Music Honor Roll:
1. The Evening Muse, for establishing a non-smoking facility. Plus, North Davidson Street is interesting enough at night that you don't much mind anyway.
2. David Childers' remarkable A Good Way To Die, one of the best local albums of the last 10 years, easy. And for the fact he sounds like the devil but manages to create something sorta sacred, both at the same time.
3. LiquiLab Records, for creating a local label with teeth, and marketing savvy to match the interesting acts they've inked.
4. Chris Peigler, for his excellent, long-needed compilation of great Carolinas punk rock. It's called Bomb Threat, out now on Suicide Watch Records, and it's well worth picking up. Visit mysocalledband.com for more.