The Decade in Arts

Whoa. What was that? Did you just see that?? I think that was a “decade” that just ripped right past us. Damn. “The 00s,” “The aughts” — gone forever. How can you possibly make sense of it all? The answer is, “you can’t.” But the Manitoban sure as shit can. And we can do it the most meaningful , definitive way possible — in lists! Lists so achingly great, and so hugely important, they would make Oskar Schindler sweat. So here it is: the decade in Arts, in lists, in full effect. Disagree with our choices? Don’t like the cut of our jib? Not sure how you feel about that Schindler crack a couple lines back? Go ahead, send the complaint email of the decade to Otherwise, enjoy!

Top three reasons I’m glad Bob Dylan didn’t croak this decade

3) Radio Theme Time Hour

Dylan hosts a satellite radio program in the vein of old-timey radio broadcasts. Tons of great tunes, and Bobby D. could certainly show Randy Bachman a thing or ten about how to compose oneself with class on the airwaves. Non-stop laughs on this one, friends and neighbours.

2) Masked and Anonymous (2003)

Wacky film starring Dylan, John Goodman, Penelope Cruz and a ton of other famous faces. The plot makes little-to-no sense, and the dialogue is part slapstick, part Old Testament and part drunken jibber-jabber. Favourite Bob quote of the film: “You heard about cellulose? Cows can digest it, but you can’t.”

1) “Must Be Santa” music video (2009)

Lead single of Bob Dylan’s Christmas album, “Christmas in the Heart,” and the best music video I’ve seen in years. I thought I’d been to some debauched Xmas parties in my day, but Dylan’s takes the cake, and eats it too! No Xmas party will ever be complete, for me, without an accordion and someone jumping out a window. Hohoho.

— Sheldon Birnie

The 10 best songs according to me

“One More Time” by Daft Punk (2000)

A huge club and mainstream hit with an invincible beat, “One More Time” featured a heavily compressed vocal (by house-singer Romanthony) long before T-Pain even knew what auto-tune was. The song practically brainwashes you to keep on dancing — Daft Punk seem to believe that if you hear something enough times, you’ll start to believe it. With this track, it’s true.

“New Slang” by The Shins (2001)

“New Slang” achieved mainstream popularity after its inclusion on the Garden State soundtrack, but the song didn’t need the help. It’s an indie pop gem that combines a solid song structure with a narrative inspired by singer/songwriter James Mercer’s desire get out of his “home town, job, relationship and life.”

“Through the Wire” by Kanye West (2004)

Love him or hate him, Kanye West is talented as all hell. Before all the PR madness, West released his first single “Through the Wire,” which samples Chaka Khan’s 1985 hit “Through the Fire.” West recorded the entire song with his jaw wired shut after a car accident in 2002.

“Wake Up” by The Arcade Fire (2005)

Funeral was an emotional masterpiece — it was given its title because several of the band members, at the time, had recently lost family members. That said, many of its songs are oddly joyous; “Wake Up” is the best, a rock symphony featuring a choir and lavish orchestration.

“So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast (2001)

Stankonia is full of clever ambition and delivered with impeccable skill — or, as this song aptly puts it, ”So Fresh, So Clean.” While the song wasn’t a huge chart hit, the heavy beat and George Clinton-inspired sound was about as funkadelic as the decade got.

“House of Jealous Lovers” by The Rapture (2003)

Each of the four musicians plays as if their instrument was the lead — and it works! The Rapture has the discopunk genre down cold — the punk half-giving the disco half-just-enough cred to make it OK to dance to. And can we talk about the cowbell? Actually, enough said.

“Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (2003)

One of the great power ballads of the 2000s — Karen O’s heart-wrenching “I love you” rings true each time. From debut album Fever to Tell, “Maps” is about the relationship between Karen O and Liars’ frontman Angus Andrew; the title is an acronym for “My Angus Please Stay.”

“Heart in a Cage” by The Strokes (2006)

The second single from 2006’s First Impressions From Earth bears similarities to the creative genius that was the band’s debut, 2001’s Is This It. The song’s rolling beat is its heartbeat, each riff is memorable and Julian Casablancas snarls each lyric like it’s going out of style.

“Stockholm Syndrome” by Muse (2003)

Muse’s 2003 album Absolution is so huge-sounding that it still stands out amongst other “rock” albums. “Stockholm Syndrome” is quite possibly the most bold and grandiose rock song of the last ten years, with its razor-sharp guitar riffs and Matt Bellamy’s angelic voice. Nevermind its neo-classical, piano-led chorus!

“Reckoner” by Radiohead (2007)

Thom Yorke said the lyrics to “Reckoner” were the most important to him on In Rainbows. That goes without question; the song is the heart and soul of the album. Yorke’s stunning falsetto takes precedence here, and is bound to give any listener goosebumps.

— Sabrina Carnevale

Top Seven Musical Notes

7) D
6) A
5) E
4) B#
3) F
2) C
1) G

— Damian Purdy

My 11 favorite films

11) Punch Drunk Love (2006)

I’m including this because the Graphics Editor told me to.

10) Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

A film that makes you want to embrace your inner painfully awkward pre-adolescent.

9) Almost Famous (2000)

Cameron Crowe’s loosely autobiographical epic made me want to run away from home and write about rock stars when I was 15.

8) Munich (2005)

I like when things explode.

7) Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

Sweet journalist movie, right up there with All the President’s Men, in my opinion.

6) The Wrestler (2008)

I don’t think a film has ever made me emote as much after watching it.

5) El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) (2006)

Guillermo de Toro’s masterpiece is like watching a moving painting.

4) Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) (2007)

It only changed the way I thought about life. No big deal.

3) Lost in Translation (2003)

Sofia Coppola’s film gets it right — unusual friendships are often the best.

2) Moulin Rouge (2001)

Gloriously camp and flashy, I wanted to be Nicole Kidman (except for the prostitute part) and be with Ewan McGregor.

1) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Writer Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry changed the way I thought about love and memory forever.

— Sarah Petz

The top 10 actors we liked in the ‘00s, but will regret liking

10) Jason Schwartzman

I know he’s awkward and delivers his lines like he can’t quite figure out what they mean, but that can’t carry him forever.

9) Jamie Foxx

In a few years we’ll realize a top-notch Ray Charles impression doesn’t get you a film career.

8) Vince Vaughn

With Swingers being his only notable role since, well, ever, he somehow has limped through a decade gripping to the under-feathers of Will Ferrell.

7) Will Ferrell

It pains me to say it, because Anchorman has united my family, but he’s a lingering one-hit wonder. Talladega Nights? Semi-Pro? Blades of Glory? Just awful.

6) Clive Owen

There’s only so much a British accent and stern delivery can do.

5) The entire cast of Friends

They are done, it’s just been death throes of cameos. Stop putting them in things. Please?

4) The entire cast of Firefly

Get over it, nerds, the show had nine aired episodes and now you buy whatever video game or animated movie features a cast reunion? Painful.

3) Paul Bettany

Listen, A Knight’s Tale was awesome, but everything he has done or will do is awful tripe — see Legion.

2) Megan Fox

Pretty face in an ‘80s remake about giant alien robots? That’s what I call lasting appeal.

1) Gerard Butler

The most overrated un-acting actor who’s ever “acted.” Terrible. Unbelievable. Unusable. Beyond that, I have no words to describe my hate for him.

— Ben Clarkson

Hottest “Summer Jamz”

10) “I’m Blue” by Eiffel 65 (2000)

These artists couldn’t let go of the ‘90s and that makes for great techno. The only issue is what are they saying in the chorus? (“if I was green I would die” vs. “da ba dee da ba die”). Chipmunk-esque vocals and repetitive lyrics make for “summer jam” gold.

9) “S Club Party” by S Club 7 (2001)

This gets you in the mood for a party. An S Club party, that is. The S Club was a septet (hence: S Club 7) and each member is introduced in this dance hit. So “throw your hands in the air” because ���there ain’t no party like an S Club party.”

8) “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna (2007)

Following the release of “pon de replay,” this dance club hit became a classic. Sampling MJ (aka King of Pop) didn’t hurt either. To quote, “Let it play, I just can’t refuse it.”

7) “I Got A Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas (2009)

Summer jamz and pop beats are 1000 per cent about “pumping it up” and “raising the roof.” Singing about how you got a feeling your night is going to be a good night is one way to do just that. What do I have to say to the BEP? “Mazel Tov.”

6) “Dirrty” by Christina Aguilera (2002)

“Ring the Alarm” because X-tina has created an instant summer jam hit. Stripping away her good girl image, she sings that she’s “gonna get a little unruly.” This song definitely gets tha crowd rowdy.

5) “Yeah” by Usher (2004)

Everything Usher touches turns to dance floor gold. Now pair that up with Ludacris and the crunked-out swagger-jack of Lil’ Jon. So “Take that, rewind it back” because these guys have the “voice, flow and beat to make your booty go [ . . . ].”

4) “Sexy Back” by Justin Timberlake (2006)

Get your sexy on! Timberlake and Timbaland brought sexy back in this hot jam. Auto-tune and a scintillating bridge — “I’ll let you whip me if I misbehave” — made for a provocative hit. Timbaland’s reply: “Take ‘em to the chorus!”

3) “Hey Ya” by Outkast (2003)

1, 2, 3! Outkast provided the ‘00s with some hot dance hits and it was hard to choose between “B.O.B.” and this pop wonder. However, the breakdown with, “Shake it like a Polaroid picture, shake it, shake, shake etc.,” makes this an irresistible summer time fav.

2) “Work it” by Missy Elliott (2002)

Timbaland appears yet again in Missy Elliott’s epic dance jam. It’s the kind of beat that goes “bha-ta-ta.”

1) “Get Low” by Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz ft. Ying Yang Twins (2003)
Crude lyrics. A great beat. The use of whistles in the melody. Need I say more? These crunk kings created the dance jam of the decade. “To the window! To the wall, to the wall!”

— Leah Werier

Top 10 cancelled TV series

10) Gilmore Girls (2000-07)

OK, not the best series ever, I’ll admit. But seven years on the air with two female leads who aren’t slutty teenagers or housewives is worth a mention.

9) Dead Like Me (2003-04)

Unfortunately the show was never the same after series creator Bryan Fuller left.

8) Rome (2005-07)

Proof that no matter how good your show is, if you’re expensive, you get cancelled.

7) Carnivale (2003-05)

Based on a roaming carnival during the Great Depression, this HBO show got cancelled just as it was getting interesting.

6) Deadwood (2004-06)

Deadwood depicts the end of the Wild West and the emergence of corporate capitalism. It seems only fitting that this show was cut for being too expensive before it could finish its four-year intended run.

5) Freaks and Geeks (2000)

Apparently only high school shows about socialites and beauty queens make it past a first season.

4) Pushing Daisies (2007-09)

Poor Bryan Fuller, the reigning “champ” of cancelled shows.

3) Firefly (2002)

It’s cowboys in space. What could be better?

2) Futurama (1999-2003)

Futurama may be returning in 2010, but for this decade, it’s still cancelled.

1) Arrested Development (2003-06)

It’s hard to understand how this series got cancelled. Critically acclaimed and with a loyal fan base, this is further proof that only the good die young.

— Shawna Finnegan

Top 10 editions of Madden

10) Madden 08
9) Madden 06
8) Madden 04
7) Madden 02
6) Madden 09
5) Madden 10
4) Madden 03
3) Madden 07
2) Madden 05
1) Madden 01

— Ben Poggemiller

Ten overlooked albums (The “oughts of the aughts”)

Suba — São Paolo Confessions (2000)

This album is why I came up with this list — a decade since its release, it’s still a fresh and intoxicating listen.

Herbert — Bodily Functions (2001)

Known for manipulating recordings of pop cans and hamburger wrappers, on Bodily Functions Herbert uses sounds made by the human body to craft his glitchy microhouse.

Beck — Sea Change (2002)

One of only two albums I’ve ever given five stars in a review to, and I did it in the pages of this publication.

The Wrens — The Meadowlands (2003)

This is the album the Smiths would have recorded if they were an American band — heartfelt and heartbreaking all at once, but with a more muscular delivery.

Grizzly Bear — Horn of Plenty (2004)

2006’s Yellow House was the album that put them on the map, but Horn of Plenty and its accompanying remix disc is a cornucopia of sound.

Acid House Kings — Sing Along With . . . (2005)

With songs this catchy, it’s no wonder the group included a karaoke DVD of the album to aid in singing along.

AA Soundsystem — Laissez-Faire . . . (2006)

One of Canada’s unsung greats, Ayla Brook crafts pop/rock with a little bit of prairie dust stuck in the corners.

Ola Podrida — Ola Podrida (2007)

This was my No. 2 album of 2007 — a gorgeous, delicate record — and so few people had heard of it when I did my New Year’s Eve countdown on UMFM.

Erykah Badu — New Amerykah Part One: Fourth World War (2008)

Not only is she still around, she’s making music that pushes even further at the strictures and structure of “soul” music.

Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele — The Good Feeling Music of . . . (2009)

Quick — while there’s still time! Give this one a listen and included it on your own Best of 2009!

— Michael Elves

Five awesome local films

My Winnipeg (2007)

Guy Maddin’s much-celebrated paean to “here” made hating Winnipeg (but in a good way) cool (but still kind of not).

Nobody Does it Like You (2009)

Okay, kind of a technicality here. Sure it’s a music video, made in the States, for American band Department of Eagles. But native Winnipegger Marcel Dzama co-directed it. Plus, it’s amazing.

Cattle Call (2008)

A hyper-kinetic masterpiece from two masters of the hyper-kinetic, Matthew Rankin and Mike Maryniuk.

Trains of Winnipeg (2005)

More than just a short film, Clive Holden’s Trains of Winnipeg was an ambitious mixed-media art project. Take a guess what it was about.

Dumb Angel (2005)

Deco Dawson’s single shot epic of ultra-charasmatic Anders Erikson of Inward Eye playing drums. This shot could have lasted all decade.

— Sabrina Carnevale

Top seven Law and Orders

7) Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–present)

Here’s my problem with this show: it reminds me of NBC’s To Catch a Predator. It very creepily exploits America’s collective hatred toward child molesters in a way that makes me feel bad inside.

6) Paris Criminal Investigations (2007–present)

This one I’m pretty upset about. PCI does not use the L&O theme music, nor does it conclude with a traditional shot of the main characters walking together side-by-side. Treason.

5) Crime and Punishment (2002–04)

C&P is L&O’s ill-fated tryst with reality television. Not only did C&P’s format not allow for any crossover guest appearances, but it was one of the lowest-rated L&O spinoffs to date. Proof positive that L&O needs either Sam Waterston or Jerry Orbach to make it legit.

4) Law and Order: Trial by Jury (2005 –06)

This series had the flair of the court drama with almost none of the street-beat excitement of shaking down low-life perps in order to get a good lead, Orbach-style.

3) Law and Order: UK (2009–present)

These cross-continental iterations of L&O trouble me as they are far from the watchful eyes of Mad-Dog McCoy and Jerry Orbach’s Lennie Briscoe. The gruff, cigarette worn voices are replaced with classy British accents. Always charming.

2) Law and Order: Criminal Intent (2001–present)

From what I understand, L&O: Criminal Intent follows the same basic premise as the original show but is focused on high profile cases that involve high profile individuals. This makes it sexy.

1) Law and Order (1990–present)

This show has been on-air for twenty seasons and nearly all of them are highlighted by the no-nonsense attitude of District Attorney Jack McCoy. Best L&O character: Sam Waterston as Jack McCoy.

— Ryan Harby