Friday, June 22, 2007

personal DNA

25 Top Moments in Music


In 1982, ABBA. disbanded, Public Enemy formed and Ozzy Osbourne bit off a bat's head. In the 25 years since, music has undergone cataclysmic changes.

USA TODAY's Edna Gundersen lists 25 top milestones.


1 Napster (1999)

Shawn Fanning’s file-sharing service, the first significant peer-to-peer music trading system, sparked a firestorm, prompting lawsuits from Metallica, Dr. Dre and major labels before a court order shut it down in 2001. Napster, later rebranded as a pay service, went belly up. Due partly to piracy, the music industry isn’t that healthy either.

Amy Sancetta, AP

2 Live Aid (1985)

The enormous benefit concert, staged in London and Philadelphia for an estimated 1.5 billion TV viewers, raised $245 million for famine relief in Ethiopia, canonized organizer Bob Geldof. and unleashed a glittery rock revue starring Paul McCartney, Queen, Madonna, U2, and scores more.

3 Michael Jackson on MTV (1983)

The R&B wunderkind broke the color barrier at the nascent music channel and blazed the trail for video innovation when Beat It, a nod to West Side Story, premiered in March. The epic zombie-themed Thriller followed in December.

4 N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton (1988)

Gangsta rap exploded in violent, explicit street stories, including widely banned F--- Tha Police, fueling hip-hop’s mainstream popularity and intensifying censorship debates and a culture war.

5 Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)

Nirvana’s punk anthem brought alternative rock to the fore and heralded the grunge movement’s tsunami of Seattle bands from Soundgarden to Pearl Jam, rock’s counteroffensive to big-hair metal. Kurt Cobain’s 1994 suicide created a Gen X. martyr.

6 iPods and iTunes (2001)

Technology allowed tailormade playlists, and music became less of a communal experience as buyers cherry-picked vast online reservoirs and listened in isolation. Sales patterns reveal fewer superstars and a long tail of niche artists.

7 Radiohead (1997)

The most significant and influential British group of the era risked “commercial suicide,” according to its label, with the release of 1997’s OK Computer, an experimental pastiche of ambient electronica, art-rock and post-punk that by 2005 was declared the No. 1 album of the past 20 years in Spin.

Gary C. Knapp. AP

8 'N Sync (2000)

While Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and the Spice Girls enjoyed the spoils of the teen-pop trend, nobody scaled the charts like ’N Sync, whose bouncy No Strings Attached sold 2.4 million copies its first week, pop music’s biggest opener ever.

9 Purple Rain (1984)

Already a star, Prince reached the stratosphere with the semi-autobiographical film and Oscar-winning soundtrack that yielded such indelible hits as When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy.

10 SoundScan (1991)

The information system that tracks music sales altered the industry by revealing true data and replacing an inexact store-calling method tainted by errors and fraud.


11 Whitney Houston (1985)

The big-lunged R&B songbird became the first artist to score seven consecutive No. 1 hits, beating the record of six held by The Beatles and the Bee Gees. She paved the way for Mariah Carey’s chart-topping vocal gymnastics and countless copycats.

12 The Message (1982)

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s landmark anthem, the first significant rap tune to focus on inner-city turmoil, established the budding hip-hop genre as a vital vehicle for both musical creativity and social commentary.


13 The CD (1983)

The compact disc entered the marketplace, giving birth to music’s digital revolution. It overtook vinyl in 1988 and cassettes in 1992.

Mark Gail, AP

14 Garth Brooks (1990)

Brooks became a key figure in country history by defying genre conventions with commercially slick songs and arena-rock techniques. Shania Twain followed suit with pop vixen appeal and the SoundScan era’s top-selling CD.


15 Eminem (1999)

WithThe Slim Shady LP, rap’s most successful, skillful and controversial player burst forth, thrilling young fans while horrifying conservative sensibilities with outrageous and violent rapid-fire rhymes. Denounced for misogyny and homophobia, he was also hailed as hip-hop’s clown prince and poet laureate.

16 Like a Prayer (1989)

Madonna found acceptance as a serious artist with this personal, mature and vibrant pop collection, which yielded Express Yourself, Cherish and expensive, scandalous cutting-edge videos.

17 The Rolling Stones' Bigger Bang Tour (2005)

“The world’s greatest rock’n’roll band” maintained the title with a swaggering and energetic revue that rang up $450 million to become the top-grossing tour of all time.


18 George Harrison dies (2001)

Harrison succumbed to cancer at age 58, leaving behind grieving fans and only two living Beatles. The loss had greater resonance in the wake of resurging Beatles popularity inspired by the Anthology CDs and book and The Beatles 1 hits compilation, which sold 10.9 million copies.

19 Parental Advisory stickers (1985)

After finding her daughter listening to Prince’s naughty Darling Nikki, Tipper Gore led the drive to slap warning labels on CDs. The industry’s voluntary effort both hampered and fueled sales.


20 Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

Without damaging his working-class credibility, this seventh album pushed Bruce Springsteen to superstardom and yielded seven hits, including the widely misinterpreted title tune, co-opted by the Reagan campaign.

Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

21 American Idol (2002)

Churning out multiplatinum songbirds Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, the entertainment juggernaut is a rare water-cooler phenomenon in pop culture’s hyper-diversified landscape.

22 You-phoria (2007)

From Nine Inch Nails to Alanis Morissette, acts build viral interactive fan bases on MySpace and YouTube while the corporate music infrastructure continues imploding.

23 U2’s Zoo TV Tour (1992)

The Irish rock band’s high-techmultimedia spectacle established U2 as artistic masters of the stadium space, with no heir apparent in the succeeding generation.

Eileen Blass, USA TODAY

24 Wood$tock (1999)

After a successful revival in 1994, a less humane attempt in Rome, N.Y., ended in fires and looting by fans inflamed over high prices and poor sanitation.

25 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1995)

Racket that had once been dismissed as a teen fad finally got a permanent home in I.M. Pei’s bold tower and glass pyramid in Cleveland, a symbol of its enduring place in the culture.

Album sales figures from Nielsen SoundScan.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

best films ever

The American Film Institute's (AFI) top-ten movies of all time:

1. Citizen Kane
2. The Godfather
3. Casablanca
4. Raging Bull
5. Singin' in the Rain
6. Gone With the Wind
7. Lawrence of Arabia
8. Schindler's List
9. Vertigo
10. The Wizard of Oz
Others in the top 100 were:
50. Lord of the Rings
71 Saving Private Ryan
72. The Shawshank Redemption
81. Spartacus
83. Titanic
89. The Sixth Sense
96. Do the Right Thing
97. Blade Runner
99. Toy Story

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I didn't know...

...that "on July 6, 1944, a deadly fire swept through the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus during a performance in Hartford, Connecticut, killing more than 165 people." And "that among the survivors was 13-year-old Charles Nelson Reilly. Never again, he would declare for years afterward, would he sit in a theater as an audience member."

I remember the fire, but didn't know that Reilly had been there.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

bulldog + shitzu

If a bulldog mated with a shitzu, would the result be bullshit? ;-D

Political Compass rating

The Political Compass

Economic Left/Right: -5.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.77

Monday, June 04, 2007

Posh Spice's implants

About as natural looking as...well, nothing.

Victoria Beckham breast implants

Sunday, June 03, 2007

sea riddle

Q. Why did the lobster blush?

A. Because the sea wee'd!

from The Vicar of Dibley