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The Curmudgeon

As we slam the door on 2006 we look at 2007 with the usually end of the year suspicion. After all popular culture really floods the market right after the holidays In order to meet that first quarter profit margin.

It’s a dangerous time: books, films, comics and music are loaded with good things, bad things disguised as good things and completely useless crap completely undisguised. With that in mind caveat emptor!

Upon deep reflection, the greatest Christmas song of all time is “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues. It took nearly two years to write and forced Shane MacGowan to “raise his game” in order to match the perfect vocals of Kirsty MacColl. Their duet about a drunk who won at horses and a terribly disenfranchised and pissed off lover somehow manages to snarl, scream and punch itself into a “aw shucks it’s Christmas so let’s figure all this out later” ending. It is powerful, poignant and ripped full of anger and rage. It’s like a fistfight with a nice kiss at the end.

Remaking “The Year Without A Santa Claus” is the dumbest idea since having a trilogy of Christmas movies with Tim Allen. The new version was pure excrement.

There was something oddly fun about the Twisted Sister Christmas album. I am so glad their Xmas gift to the world was quitting.

Looking ahead at 2007 lots of artists have new music coming out. Some are old, some are new. Some don’t know when to stop.

Bryan Ferry is releasing Not Art at midyear and is supporting the record with a tour. Ferry will also be a part of the new Roxy Music album coming out late next year.

Iggy Pop has reformed The Stooges and recorded Their Weirdness for a mid-2007 release.

Nine Inch Nails has a new album coming out this spring. In the meantime they are releasing Beside You In Time, a DVD featuring live footage from their With Teeth tour.

The Arcade Fire will release their newie, Neon Bible, in May to great exaltation and expectation.

Jack White and Billy Corgan both have cameos on the new solo album by Shirley Manson of Garbage.

Big Boi of Outkast is also going solo next year. His new solo record will feature a lot of guest spots on it, including Andre 3000. Speaking of Andre, he currently is filming Semi Pro with Will Ferrell.

Gang Starr is releasing Full Clip:A Decade of Gang Starr.

Interpol has progressed nicely with work on their third album, slated for late enxt year. The band, now signed to Capitol, has been hunkered down in the studio working on the new album.

The Arctic Monkeys have recorded a handful of new songs for their second record, also due out next year. The band recently announced a series of summer festival dates in the UK.

Wilco is also hard at work on a new record for a May release. The band has recorded well over a dozen new songs.

Former Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan has signed to Sanctuary Records which will release her first solo album, Are You Listening, this spring.

Jarvis Cocker and Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy have recorded songs for the forthcoming new album from Air, Pocket Symphony.

!!! will release their new record, Myth Takes, next March.

It has been since the Dark Ages since we heard form The B-52s, but I assure you they are alive and well. The band is currently in the studio with producer Steve Osborne polishing up their new album for next year.

The Cure will have a busy 2007. The band has agreed to risk sunburn and play Miami’s Ultra Music Festival in March. The Cure also are releasing a new double album in 2007 and following it up with a massive tour. Plus they have released Festival 2005, a thirty song compilation of live set material from their 2005 festival dates.

Look out for these artists in 2007. They are going to be very massive: Lily Allen, The Young Knives, The Dears, Howling Bells, Klaxons, The Young Blondes and CSS.

CSS and The Klaxons are part of the what is being called “New Rave” in the UK. This sound mixes the sounds or rock with the blips of electronic early 90s wave music. The result is a crushing sound of high density sonic grooves fueled by the culture of mayhem, chaos and adrenaline. Be very scared.

The Futureheads have left their label, 679 Recordings.

Scissor Sister Ana Matronic will appear on the daytime soap, Passions, this year.

2008 will see the opening of the world’s only interactive ABBA museum. The museum, housed in Copenhagen will feature costumes, memorabilia and artifacts from the band.

Peter Hook is a bit peeved with Anton Corbijn over his handling of the music for the Joy Division biopic, Control. New Order is scoring the film.

Mark E. Smith, the prolific and weird singer from The Fall is penning his first book, Renegade: The Gospel According to Mark E. Smith. It is due for an april release in the UK.

Because they can, the organizers of the Coachella Music Festival have announced that they are extending the festival an extra day beginning in 2007.

The Kaiser Chiefs will launch a short US tour this spring.

Bloc Party cancelled their live dates opening for Panic At the Disco after Matt Tong suffered a collapsed lung.

Franz Ferdinand has recorded a new song, “Hallam Foe Dandelion Blow,” for the soundtrack of Hallam Foe. Sons & Daughters are also featured on the soundtrack.

The Flaming Lips are one of the artists featured on a new Yoko One Tribute album, Yes I’m A Witch. The band recorded a cover of “Cambridge 1969.” The Lips also recently had an alley named after them in their native Oklahoma City.

Stuff I’m Reading:

The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism by Ross King. A very good read about the devious world of Parisian artists. They were all nutters I tell you.

Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday.

M Is for Magic by Neil Gaiman. This is Gaiman’s latest anthology and it’s a winner. It’s a terrific kids book with lots of scary moments, youthful nervousness and plenty of wonder and imagination.

The Progressive Patriot by Billy Bragg. Bragg is as loud as they come with his politics, however in this book he sheds light on his life experiences in a witty and surprisingly fun way.

Next time: We kick start 2007 with spite, fury and we vent on the Grammys!