Open Thread for August 21, 2009

I want my scalps.

After a rocky start at Cannes, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds is widely predicted to take the #1 spot at the weekend’s box office. (You know, I can’t believe I’m indulging in that “opening weekend grosses” crap. I hate the horse-race aspect of feature film journalism as much as I hate the horse-race aspect of political journalism. Maybe it’s just that I hate the features business. The real action these days, creatively anyway, is on TV. But I digress.) Did you see it? Did the Jews-Nazis revenge fantasy have you cringing or yelling “jawohl“?

Post Grad, starring Rory Gilmore, does not look nearly so interesting. But Salon had an article about favorite movies about life after commencement which definitely lengthened my Netflix queue. Did movies prepare you for life after college? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger?

pnnDid you see the Avatar trailer? Watch Top Chef? Project Runway? Mad Men? Sound off! It’s your open thread.

15 Comments on “Open Thread for August 21, 2009”

  1. Wordsworth #

    Having not seen any of the aforementioned shows/movies, I’m going to mention something I HAVE seen.

    “(Do You Want To Date My) Avatar”, a dance-song parody about online gaming, an independently produced tie-in with the web-series THE GUILD, reached #1 spot on the music videos in iTunes within a couple hours on Monday. Is this a sign of change? Is internet culture stepping further and further into mainstream? Is it a pure example of the wider acceptance of geekdom?

    I’m inclined to think all of these – I think you’d be hard-pressed to deny that it is more widely acceptable to have interest in something that a couple of years ago would have had you shoved in a locker. I’m not saying that it’s a full-on revenge of the nerds, but something has had to give for MMO-addicts to top the pop charts. Well, iTunes downloads, but who knows, maybe you’ll be in a nightclub and start bopping along to the chorus: “Do you wanna date my avatar? She’s a star, and she’s hotter than reality by far.”

    And in case you’re interested, or just want to know what you’re talking about if you’re going to respond, here’s the link:


  2. mlawski OTI Staff #

    I’m poking my head in and avoiding Lost spoilers to bring up another topic of conversation. This week, Pitchfork listed their top 500 (yes, 500) songs of the decade. Jeez, and I didn’t even know the decade was over! Their top ten are:

    10-The Arcade Fire, Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
    9-Animal Collective, My Girls
    8-Radiohead, Idioteque
    7-Missy Elliot, Get Ur Freak On
    6-Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Maps
    5-Daft Punk, One More Time
    4-Beyonce, Crazy in Love
    3-MIA, Paper Planes (Diplo remix)
    2-LCD Soundsystem, All My Friends
    1-OutKast, B.O.B.

    Bearing in mind that lists can be dumb, I still am curious about everyone else’s top ten. What are the ten (or five, let’s not go overboard) best songs (or albums) of this past decade? Alternatively, what do you think will be the ten most iconic songs of the decade? In other words, what will we still be listening to in the future, and what songs will college kids put on their earonic playlists in 2050 for their retro Aughties Party?


  3. lee OTI Staff #

    Uh oh. I think a bar graph is in order.


  4. Milton #

    1. Lose Yourself…. Eminem
    2. How you Remind Me…. Nickelback
    3. Viva La Vida…. Coldplay
    4. Boulevard of Broken Dream…. Green Day
    5. With Arms Wide Open….. Creed
    6. In the End…. Linkin Park
    7. Use Somebody… Kings of Leon
    8. How to Save a Life…. The Fray
    9. The Reason….. Hoobastank
    10. Hanging by a Moment….. Lifehouse


  5. Gab #


    I seriously was going to plug “Do You Want to Date My Avatar” when it seemed there wasn’t much else to discuss this week. I think I’m probably an elitist geek. I’m actually kind of irked with the popularity of geekdom now, because I feel it has become hipster and insincere. Felicia Day, the star of “The Guild,” (and Penny in “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”) is a true geek, and I’d say her series is meant to be somewhat ironic- she had a real, genuine MMO-RPG addiction a few years back, and she conceptualized the series as a humorous tribute to it. I can appreciate it coming from her, but I wonder if half the people downloading the dong even know what MMO-RPG stands for. Sure, they may know what WOW stands for, but how deep into it do they really get? I’ll come clean and say I’ve never had my own MMO-RPG player account, but I certainly think I’m a more “qualified” geek/nerd than some of the people that downloaded the song/video (hence why I think I’m elitist…) because it’s “cool.” And I guess I’m not saying I don’t think these people have a right to enjoy it, but rather I think what they take in is quite different, comes from different places, and results in a different experience than a person that has actually done the stuff being satirized (or at least is in close enough proximity to it on a regular basis to “get” the jokes). I know, I know, I sound really… bad? Well, I can acknowledge it, at least. I guess I *am* glad it has become “popular,” and it gives me (at least in my mind) a sort of seniority over the newer fans. It’s sort of like liking bacon before it was cool…

    I can’t really think of a list of songs at the moment, but I do agree with Milton in that Eminem deserves a song on there; but more because of the cultural impact he has had as an artist (so picking one is not really something I think I’m qualified to do, seeing as how I haven’t heard all of his music). For Beyonce, I’d say “Bootylicious” is more worthy, though, if only because “bootylicious” is in the OED now. I sort of fell out of the popular culture/Top 20 scene when I hit college and haven’t really gone back in yet, so I don’t know all of the songs on the Pitchfork list (although, Milton, I know all of the ones on yours). I suppose some of the popular artists at the moment will be remembered in the future with a similar fashion as how some of the bad trends from other decades are. Think of the “I Love the ___s” series on HBO and how stuff gets made fun of- The Jonas Brothers and their hormonal fangirls will be roasted lovingly by the commentators.

    Oh, and I did watch Top Chef and Project Runway.

    I’d kind of like to talk football if I’m not the only one that cares.


  6. Gab #

    Oh my gosh…

    “dongs” should be “songs” (although that one is rather funny)

    “HBO” should be “VH1”



  7. Genevieve #

    This thread is going to make me cry. Trying to choose a top-ten list for the decade is liable to make me tear my hair out. Milton’s list initially rubbed me the wrong way, but having taken a moment to pause and insist upon perspective, it seems pretty spot-on to me, in terms of influence and defining moments, even though I don’t like a single one of the songs.

    Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that top-ten lists say far more about the person compiling than they do about the music, I’m going to attempt to list the ten songs this decade that ripped me out of my comfort zone and made me remember that I’m a human being (you know, the *point* of music!) This is by no means a list of the most important songs of the decade, or even what I in my arrogance would dare to assert are the best songs of the decade. These are just my top-ten. Maybe. In no particular order, damnit!!

    Language City – Wolf Parade
    You Go On Ahead – Sunset Rubdown
    The Atom – Ani DiFranco
    Malignant Narcissism – Rush
    Your Misfortune – Mike Doughty
    If – Joni Mitchell
    Shake a Fist – Hot Chip
    Going On – Gnarls Barkley
    The Jeep Song – Dresden Dolls
    Vein of Stars – Flaming Lips

    Holy crap, I feel like I’ve just given birth. Maybe listing 10 albums will be easier??

    Under a Billion Suns – Mudhoney
    At Mount Zoomer – Wolf Parade
    Random Spirit Lover – Sunset Rubdown
    Radio Retaliation – Thievery Corporation
    One Day it Will Please Us to Remember Even This – New York Dolls
    Witching Hour – Ladytron
    Super Taranta! – Gogol Bordello
    Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots – Flaming Lips
    Distortion – Magnetic Fields
    Songs for Parents who Enjoy Drugs – Hamell on Trial

    OK that was slightly less painful.

    Anyway, as should be painfully obvious, I don’t know nearly enough about pop music to decide on decade-defining songs or albums. I have a feeling any such list should probably include some Fall-Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. I say this because my friend’s 12-yr-old swears by those bands, and 12-yr-olds generally have the pulse on modern music the way an old foagie like me can’t manage. Also, because the whole Emo scene kind of came to a head in the early/mid 00s, with the “scene” scene following closely on its heels, so anything from under those vast umbrellas is pretty much as defining of the 00s as, say, Sisters of Mercy and the Cure were to the 80s, or any of the “British Invasion” bands were to the 60s.


  8. Genevieve #

    Oh also Gab – I’m totally with you on feeling like a geek elitist at times. I could go on for eons on the bitter irony of comic books, the ultimate in underdog, outsider culture, being marketed to the masses through big budget movies that are nothing more than superficial vehicles for over-exposed actors. I mean seriously, Mallrats taught us more about the philosophy of comic books than all the X-Men movies put together! (*deep breath*) So anyway, yeah, late-to-the-game dilettantes who have never known what the fringes of society look like diving in and mainstreaming all that I hold dear tends to bring out the geek elitist in me, too. Ummmmmmmmm… maybe a bit more vociferously than you, though…


  9. Trevor #

    I’m uncomfortable with trying to narrow this decade down to ten songs or albums because quite frankly, I don’t know what yet to make of it. The “00s” have been a little schizophrenic in terms of what is popular vs. what is actually good (so much crossing of those wires has arguably occured that music snobs must be patting themselves on the back and simultaneously kicking themselves in the crotch), and my own rather snobbish approach to the question of “what is good music” has undergone a change. I will say, for the purposes of argument, what my top ten is at this very moment, when posed with the question, but I leave it to others to decide which of my picks are clever and which are philistine:

    10.) Vampire Weekend – The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance
    9.) MIA – Paper Planes
    8.) The Decembrists- O Valencia
    7.) Wilco – I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
    6.) U2 – Walk On
    5.) Belle and Sebastian – Wrapped Up in Books
    6.) Elvis Costello – Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s a Doll Revolution)
    5.) Death Cab for Cutie – Your Heart is an Empty Room
    4.) Green Day – American Idiot
    3.) Wilco – Handshake Drugs
    2.) Arcade Fire – Intervention
    1.) Modest Mouse – Float On

    My apologies for not having any rap, but I’m blanking on the really good ones. There’s nothing I appreciate more than filthy but skilful rap lyrics, and this decade has certainly been a wealth of riches in that area.


  10. mlawski OTI Staff #

    Thanks for the lists, guys! Keep em coming! I always like having new music to listen to.

    Here’s my list (very indie-heavy; I make no apologies):

    10) Of Montreal – We Are Born Mutants Again With Leafling
    9) The Go! Team – The Power Is On
    8) The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
    7) Joanna Newsom – Only Skin
    6) Midlake – Roscoe
    5) The Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)
    4) The Decemberists – The Bachelor and the Bride
    3) Sufjan Stevens – The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us
    2) Iron & Wine – Flightless Bird, American Mouth
    1) Radiohead – Reckoner


    If I had to write a list of the most iconic songs of the decade, the ones we’ll be dancing to at our retro Augties parties, they’d be (in no particular order):

    -Eminem – Lose Yourself
    -R. Kelly – Ignition (Remix)
    -Outkast – Hey Ya
    -Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
    -Justin Timberlake – Cry Me a River
    -M.I.A. – Paper Planes
    -Outkast – Ms. Jackson
    -50 Cent – In Da Club
    -The Lonely Island – On a Boat
    -Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger


  11. Gab #

    Oh my gosh, “Ms. Jackson,” my orchestra teacher in hs was MRS. Jackson, but it was close enough. She got SO MUCH CRAP for it. Every chance possible, someone would say they were “sorry, Mrs. Jackson,” and someone else would pipe up with the, “Wooooo!” and it just went downhill from there.

    I had *completely* forgotten that.


  12. lee OTI Staff #

    No way…are you for real?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.


  13. mlawski OTI Staff #

    @Lee: Woo!


  14. fenzel #

    Okay, I feel the need to point out that “One More Time” by Daft Punk is not a 00s song. I love that song, but it’s a late 90s song – at most, it’s a year 2000 song, which, because I’m needlessly pedantic, doesn’t count in a milennium and century that began in 2001.

    Be grateful for that, because it also means I can’t include “Sandstorm” or “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle).”

    Here are my top 10, chosen for a variety of reasons, not all out of my own fondness, and demonstrating, once and for all, how unqualified I am to make lists like this:

    11 – A tie between Yellow – Coldplay and Make it Rain – Fat Joe featuring Lil Wayne

    10 – Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
    9 – Higher – Creed
    8 – Perfect Gentleman – Wyclef Jean
    7 – Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood
    6 – Cleaning Out My Closet – Eminem
    5 – Do You Realize – The Flaming Lips
    4 – Move – Ludacris
    3 – It Ends Tonight – The All American Rejects
    2 – Hey Ya – Outkast
    1 – Crazy in Love – Beyonce featuring Jay Z

    Honorable mention to “Get Low” my personal favorite song from the decade, which I recused myself from ranking among song to which I hold in far less esteem. Similar props to “X Gon Give It To Ya” and “Forgot About Dre,” which had to compete with “Cleaning Out My Closet” for a slot and lost.

    Also, honorable mentions:

    1000 Miles – Vanessa Carlton
    Breathe – Michelle Branch
    Everything by Alicia Keys

    And all those other songs that are like that which I would have given one slot to if I could determine there was any one of them that was better than all the others.

    Further honorable mention to “Secret Song” by the Brothers Chaps, the funniest song of the decade.

    And a last honorable mention to the “99 Problems” remix off the DJ Danger Mouse grey album.

    Man, I really wish Sandstorm had been made in 2001 so I could put it at #1. Not correct, but it would make for a good list.


  15. fenzel #

    It turns out I broke my own rule – higher was 2000. It is officially replaced with Objection (Tango) by shakira.


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