During her Friday night show at Brooklyn’s McCarren Pool, M.I.A. apparently announced that the performance would be her last bit of Kala promotion, effectively canceling her upcoming European tour and her appearance at Bonnaroo this weekend. Her MySpace page still lists all of those upcoming dates, although given that she hasn’t approved any comments since the end of May perhaps whoever’s in charge of that is a little behind. Anyone know what’s up? [CRIMES AGAINST MUSIC]
Posts tagged "M.I.A."
The freshly engaged M.I.A. spent 30 minutes Sunday night entertaining the crowd at an afterparty for the MTV Movie Awards, and during her set she let drop that she was getting paid $100,000 for the appearance. (“I’m going to use it to build schools in Liberia,” she told the crowd, which included such Perez-ready names as Rumer Willis. “It costs
$2,000 $52,000 to build a school for 1,000.”) She’s not alone in getting big cash by playing for the elite: earlier Sunday, the Times of London theorized that big-money private concerts are to this year what big-ticket reunion shows were to 2007: A way to make a large payday in the face of declining record sales, and not just for “legacy” acts like Whitney Houston who can show up and run through their catalog. Current groups and acts that fall under the ever-more-meaningless rubric of “indie” are also cashing in by playing backyards and hotel ballrooms.
As the private-party circuit has become a serious source of income for acts, the stigma attached to it has all but evaporated. Sugababes perform at up to 15 such events a year, and their manager, Mark Hargreaves, says the girls consider it a compliment to be asked. “The huge amount of money paid is just proof of how popular Sugababes are,” Hargreaves says. “For cool indie bands, it’s not particularly credible, but for pop groups, it is no longer frowned upon.”
Typically, Sugababes play a 30-to 45-minute set of their greatest hits, either live to digital audio tape or, for a larger fee, with a full band. “Our production team visit the site in advance to advise the client on what is possible at the venue,” explains Hargreaves. “These shows are not in typical event halls. They could be in hotel function rooms, marquees or people’s own homes. Some go to great lengths to recreate a live venue – I have seen amazing stages built in vast back gardens and nightclubs erected in the grounds of stately homes. A place like that is a pleasure to play.” He won’t confirm what the girls have been paid for particular gigs, but their fees are estimated to vary between £100,000 and £250,000. Girls Aloud can also expect £250,000.
Included in the fee is an expectation that artists will “mix’n’mingle” – chat to the hosts and their VIP guests, pose for photos and sign autographs. What partygoers can’t do, however, is discuss the party with the press or sell the pictures on. “Guests have to sign a confidentiality contract,” says Hargreaves. “That is standard with every act. It’s not that anything particularly exciting happens, it’s just good business sense to control our own PR.”
Sugababes have cashed in on the fact that the type of artists booked for private parties is changing. In the past, it was middle-aged bankers and financiers shelling out for the now conservative stars of their youth, but now it’s dotcom millionaires, footballers and Russian oligarchs opting for edgier entertainers. Last month, Roman Abramovich shelled out £185,000 each for Mercury prizewinners Klaxons and sexy Brazilians CSS to perform at his daughter’s birthday. In February, a Californian computer-games tycoon paid £15,000 for an exclusive set in Pete Doherty’s own, blood-spattered home. Mind you, the latter may have been miffed to hear that, a few weeks earlier, Doherty had accepted £100 from a regular dad to play at his daughter’s birthday party.
Well, I guess the Californian was paying for the “ambiance” in that case. But the confidentiality contract is what interests me the most about these arrangements–given that every publicly attended show winds up on YouTube or Flickr in some form these days, perhaps the idea of not having a performance disseminated far and wide is worth as much to some entertainers as £185,000. (Or half that, at least.)
Why music stars are playing private parties [Times Online via BV]
M.I.A. gets paid and tells at MTV Movie Awards afterparty [Soundboard]
A few days after M.I.A. joked about getting Kanye West to marry her so she could get a green card and stay in the U.S. long enough for them to collaborate, the Edmonton Sun claims that she’s going to the tie the knot with Benjamin Brewer, a guitarist for the NY band Exit. Mr. Brewer is also the son of Edgar Bronfman, Jr., the Warner Bros. CEO we can’t get enough of. While there’s been no official statement from MIA or her beau’s rich-as-fuck Canadian family, we wish the alleged couple all the best, and we even have a song recommendation for the wedding reception.
The 29-year-old British/Sri Lankan singer, who released the smash sophomore album Kala last year, will be leaving her New York City apartment when her one-year work visa expires in June.
M.I.A.’s father was once a soldier in the Sri Lankan terrorist organization Tamil Tigers, hence the problems with U.S. immigration officials, who previously denied her entry in 2006.
“I figured I might as well do a few more shows in America before I may not be allowed back in or ever get a chance to come back again,” she says. “It’s nice to tour around America and do every gig like it’s your last gig.
“I might have to move to Canada,” she adds. “I’m thinking of moving to Montreal in June when I leave my apartment. Basically at the moment I can choose between Montreal and London. My mum’s like, ‘I want you here!’ I haven’t seen her in, like, forever, so I have to choose between my mum and Montreal.”
Tom Petty may have meant this track as a cranky dis, but it could easily be reimagined as the chivalrous claims of a gentleman willing to share the wealth and allow a restless spirit to finally have a home to call her own. You believe what you want to believe, but you don’t have to live like a refugee. Oh, oh, oh!
As part of Idolator’s continuing effort to geekily analyze every music chart known to man, we present a new edition of Project X, in which Jackin’ Pop editor Michaelangelo Matos breaks down rankings from every genre imaginable. After the click-through, he [hilariously] examines the results of the Idolator Pop Critics Poll Tracks Top 10 with some special help:
By now you’ve seen the critics’ lists of the year’s best music. But what about the folks who really count–the people? In interest of fairness and balance, I’ve decided to take the critics’ choices to some regular folks. That’s right: it’s time once again for this column to exploit my family.
This time around, I played the 2007 Idolator Pop Critics Poll’s Top 10 Tracks for my mom, my sisters, and my sister’s friend who always comes over on major holidays. The listening session took place at my sister Brittany’s apartment in Bloomington, Minnesota, on Christmas Eve, shortly after dinner and gifts (opening everything the night before is a longstanding family tradition). Also around were my sisters’ very tolerant significant others, Brittany’s daughter Veronica, and plenty of delicious leftovers. As usual, I typed everyone’s responses on the fly and occasionally paused the songs to fill in gaps.
Lorie, mother, age 47; listens to Christmas music
Michael, author, age 32; listens to the Marc Anthony best-of Brittany got him for Christmas
Alex, sister, age 22; kicks everyone’s ass at Guitar Hero III
Brittany, sister, age 21; listens to the M.I.A. and Billie Holiday CDs Michael got her for Christmas
Cherrelle, Brittany’s best friend, age 21; listens to her Kanye West ringtone
1. Rihanna ft. Jay-Z, “Umbrella” (Def Jam) [117 votes]
Alex: You know this song, Veronica?
Brittany: She sings it all the time. Is it this version that’s No. 1?
Michael: This is the main version.
Lorie: Is there any versions without rap?
Brittany: Would you dance to it, Mom?
Lorie: I can’t dance to anything.
Alex: She can probably dance better than she can sing.
Brittany: She could probably play rugby better than she sings.
Alex: She used to put on–what was it, Mom?
Lorie: A show?
Brittany: Wilson Phillips!
Alex: And she used to sing into her bedpost: “Hold on for one more day . . . “
Lorie: Are you sure I was singing and not screaming? I was pole dancing.
Brittany: I’ll scream if you say anything like that again.
[The stereo we are listening on is connected to the TV, on which a commercial for itt-tech.edu is airing]
Lorie: Is this the video? People performing surgery? I thought maybe instead of the little drapes they put over you they were using umbrellas now.
Brittany: Are you retarded, Mom?
2. LCD Soundsystem, “All My Friends” (Capitol) [89 votes]
Brittany: This reminds me of Schroeder–it kind of sounds like the Snoopy theme.
Michael: This is a song by LCD Soundsystem called “All My Friends.”
Brittany: I wish I had a song about all my friends.
Alex: It’d be over by now.
Brittany: Michael, can you pass me that wine so I can drink my pain away?
Lorie: Good music. You couldn’t hardly dance to it, though, could you? I could tell you what you could do to it, but not too many people could.
Alex: Not with you.
Lorie: No, by yourself!
Brittany: I think she’s talking about cross-stitching. At least I hope so.
Michael: I’m surprised you guys like this so much; I thought the piano might turn you off. The song is basically about getting too old to party.
Alex: [immediately] No such thing!
Brittany: This is Alex’s theme song in 10 years.
Lorie: It was my theme song 10 years ago.
Alex: I want people to get drunk and karaoke at my funeral.
Brittany: [after talking to her boyfriend, who is from Mexico] Miguel thinks it’s nice, too, and he doesn’t speak English. [Author's note: He does too.] You know the twins on Peanuts who just jump? They could dance to this.
Lorie: I hope they play this at midnight mass tonight.
Lorie: So I can stay awake.
3. M.I.A., “Paper Planes” (Interscope) [66 votes]
Brittany: I’ve heard this. It’s familiar. [The vocal comes in. Brittany holds up her just-unwrapped copy of Kala] It’s her.
Lorie: I’ve heard this before.
Brittany: Where have you heard this?
Lorie: I’ve been listening to the radio. [chorus comes in] I wanna go to a bar!
Brittany: Is that what this reminds you of? The gunfire reminds you of the bars you go to? [turns attention back to music] I really like this. But it’s so much different than, like, “Bucky Done Gun.” You say you like this album more? But the last album was really different. She’s more singing than shouting. Is she trying to be more mainstream? I think I could listen to this for longer periods of time if it’s all like this. Miguel, how do you like this? The gunshot [in the chorus] reminds you of the border, doesn’t it?
4. Amy Winehouse, “Rehab” (Republic) [60 votes]
Lorie: All right, hey! This is the suicidal one [Veronica] sings!
Brittany: No, that’s Sean Kingston.
Lorie: Oh, I remember this song now. What happened to her?
Brittany: She’s fucked up beyond words. This is kind of Christmassy. All the dysfunctional families can relate to this one at Christmas. [after the line, "I don't ever want to drink again"] You know, if drinking makes her sing like this, she should go ahead. I feel sorry for her, though. She has a lot of underlying issues, and it’s so evident.
5. Justice, ” D.A.N.C.E.” (Vice) [54 votes]
Lorie: This sounds like the beginning of Romper Stomper Romper Room. You ever heard of that?
Michael: Sort of. Romper Room was the kids’ show, and Romper Stomper is a movie about racist skinheads in Australia.
Brittany: I thought it sounded like schoolchildren but you brought that into a whole other light, didn’t you, Mom? It’s like “Rock with You,” in the beat. They should put this on Dance Dance Revolution. That would be fun times.
Cherrelle: Romper Room sounds like a porno. This reminds me of the Jackson 5. I could listen to this, definitely.
Brittany: This would be fun to dance to . . .
Cherrelle: . . . If I was drunk.
Brittany: And you’re drunk all the time!
Cherrelle: I should just start dancing.
6. Peter Bjorn & John, “Young Folks” (Almost Gold) [50 votes]
Lorie: Oh, I love this! [whistles along]
Brittany: How do you know this and I don’t?
Michael: Where have you heard this?
Lorie: I heard it at work. I love that whistle part. It just grabs you right away.
Michael: This came out last year internationally, and did well on last year’s poll, but it was released in America this year, which is why it placed again. It was a big crossover hit–Kanye West rhymed over it on a mixtape.
Cherrelle: Now, why do you wanna ruin a perfectly fine piece of music like this? He’s been stepping out of his realm with that Daft Punk stuff.
Brittany: He’s been taking a flying leap out of his realm with that.
Alex: I’ve heard this song before.
Brittany: Where did you hear it?
Alex: I don’t remember.
Michael: It’s a group called Peter Bjorn & John. They’re Swedish.
Cherrelle: [to Alex] Well then, maybe you heard it at Ikea.
6. Battles, “Atlas” (Warp) [50 votes]
Brittany and Alex: [immediately] “The beautiful people, the beautiful people.”
Brittany: It is! It totally is.
Michael: It’s not.
Brittany: I hate to disagree with you, Michael. I didn’t know Marilyn Manson was still making records. [vocals come in] They’re singing it backwards; they’re putting in subliminal satanic messages. We could do a ouija board to this.
Cherrelle: I couldn’t listen to this alone. I’d need to turn all the lights in the house on. Let’s have a séance. This is what Marilyn Manson makes love to.
Brittany: These are probably his kids. Hey, Alex, come over here and let me carve a pentagram into your arm.
[Lorie, in kitchen, drops a cake on her foot]
Brittany: See? This music fucked her up so bad she dropped a cake on the floor.
Alex: [growling] “Red rum. Red rum.”
Brittany: Did you just say you were going to spin your head in a circle?
Michael: So, do you guys like this?
Brittany: I like it on Halloween.
Lorie: [calling in from kitchen] I’m scared to fucking death of this song!
8. UGK ft. OutKast, “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” (Jive) [49 votes]
[Michael restarts the song a couple times so the group can hear the first verse]
Cherrelle: He sounds like he’s trying to be a pimp.
Michael: Sort of—it’s called “Int’l Players Anthem.” But Andre 3000′s verse is about getting married.
Brittany: Is he going to marry me? That’s all I care about.
Cherrelle: I don’t love that old crap in the background. It’s like ’60s gospel that my mother would listen to.
Brittany: I think that’s your mother singing in the background.
[Second verse begins]
Cherrelle: I like how he’s talking about marrying someone and saying “bitch” and “pussy.”
Brittany: They’re gonna get “bitch” and “pussy” engraved on their wedding rings.
Cherrelle: I like this guy’s voice.
Michael: This is Pimp C, who recently died.
Cherrelle: Well, how you gonna hate on a dead man?
Michael: OK, this is Big Boi now.
Cherrelle: They’re both tiny men.
Michael: Big Boi is much smaller than Andre.
Cherrelle: [to Brittany] Andre could wear your clothes.
Brittany: I’d let him. He can wear my clothes anytime.
Cherrelle: This is all starting to sound alike to me.
Brittany: [to Cherrelle, who's black] Racist.
9. Feist, “1234″ (Cherrytree) [48 votes]
Brittany: [immediately, to opening strums] “The beautiful people . . . “
Alex: This is the video with all the kids all skipping rope. [imitates choreography]
Brittany: [after the line, "Teenage hopes arrive at your door"] “Teenage hoes”?
Cherrelle: She keeps saying “ho.”
Brittany: Very Christmassy.
Cherrelle: [sings] “1-2-3-4, you a ho.”
Brittany: [sings] “5-6-7-8, your momma’s a ho too/9-10-11-12, your grandma’s a ho, too.”
Cherrelle: If we weren’t so mean, this would probably be a nice song.
Brittany: If we weren’t so fucking cynical, we could enjoy this. If we hadn’t just listened to Marilyn Manson . . .
10. Kanye West, “Stronger” (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam) [35 votes]
Brittany and Cherrelle: [immediately] “Intergalactic, planetary, planetary, intergalactic . . . “
Cherrelle: I love this song.
Michael: Based on what you said earlier, I thought you didn’t like it.
Brittany: No, I said I thought he took a flying leap out of his realm.
Michael: I misunderstood, then.
Cherrelle: Yeah, this is my ringtone.
Brittany: [deadpan] And that says a lot. You’ve really got to be a hardcore fan to have someone’s song for a ringtone. And everybody turns around and says, “Hey, ‘Stronger’! Let me holla at you!” [to Cherrelle] Does this ringtone make you stronger?
Cherrelle: [sardonically] I feel empowered. [song continues for awhile] I felt bad when his mom died.
Lorie: You know recently I just took a day off when my father’s wife died.
Brittany: You know what’s a big factor of why I don’t like this song? Those awful fucking sunglasses with the blinds. They look retarded.
Cherrelle: You look like you have Down’s Syndrome when you have them.
Brittany: Camp Courage sunglasses. [to Michael] Don’t put that in there.
Michael: Can I please?
Brittany: If I get shanked for this, Michael, it’s your fault.
Lorie: If you get shanked for this, I get a day off!
And the song at No. 14 doesn’t need your fascist publicity thing in order to prove its greatness.
Lost in a lot of the discussion surrounding M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” (the redacted-by-the-man gunshots! the semantics of sampling the Clash! the Beastie Boys bestowing their blessing on her by cameoing in the video!) is the fact that purely as a song it’s inordinately catchy, with its hazy, steaming-up-from-blazing-pavement beat and its demanding children’s choir that just wants and wants some more. M.I.A.’s Technicoloriot Grrrl persona, of course, only serves to invite her audience to peer deep into her songs–even though there may be more surface to them than meets the eye–but if you can strip away the baggage of blog entries and debates over the “agency” of her music and the tendency of (cough cough mostly male) rock writers trying to get cutesy by referring to M.I.A. as “Ms. Arulpragasam”* and all the other bullshit that’s part and parcel of “being a working musician who pushes a lot of peanut-gallery buttons” in 2007, the song still stands; that’s probably why “Plane” works as well as it does. It’s not easy listening by any stretch, but it brings together the sorta-subversive and the sorta-sublime in a way that maybe hasn’t been glimpsed since that Bikini Kill EP with the song about winning a Motley Crue mirror at the carnival.
* Seriously, why do people do that? Is it a spelling-bee impulse? Some weird stew of many different “ism”s? Is there any other musician out there who’s been referred to as “Mr./Ms. [last name]” by outlets that aren’t the New York Times as often in 2007?
The last day of our second-round battles in the Worst Album Cover Of The Year Tournament brings us to the Southeast Bracket, where the behatted Toby Keith faces off against Technicolor revolutionary M.I.A. Man, this is one battle that I wish would be fought via in-person debate, and not proprietary poll software. Could you imagine? There would be things flying around the room 10 seconds in! Anyway, voting’s after the jump.
M.I.A.’s awesome day of topping critics’ polls was ruined early thanks to someone putting a version of the sandwich-filled video for her hazy single “Paper Planes”–which samples the Clash, a cash register, and some gunshots–with an altered audio track up on YouTube this morning. You can probably guess which sample of the above three was removed for the edited version, which happened to be the “MTV edit” of the clip (hint: it wasn’t the cash register). (The “official,” uncensored version is above.) That sleight of sound pissed off M.I.A. so much, she decided to take to her blog and call all-caps shenanigans on MTV, David Letterman, lazy bloggers (oh snap!), and anyone else who might get in her way:
1, I ORIGINALLY WANTED TO SHOOT THE VIDEO IN A FACTORY ON THE BORDER OF
EQUADOR, BUT COULDNT. I WAS TOURING THE U.S, I COULDA BEEN ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD RIGHT THEN BUT THERE I WAS IN AMERICA, IN NYC, IN BROOKLYN, IN BEDSTUY , I WAS TORN BETWEEN SCRAPIN SHOWS IN AMERICA AND MEETING AMERICAN FANS OR SHOOTING IN NYC ON MY ONLY DAY OFF I’D HAD IN 4 MONTHS AND GETTING ON WITH IT.
2, SO THAT WAS THAT! I NEVER MADE A VIDEO IN AMERICA AND HEY ITS STILL A PART OF WHAT I DO AND SAY, ITS WAS STILL VALID, SO I WAS READY TO ROLL WITH IT.
3, YOU ALL KNOW HOW THE SONG SOUNDS, THATS WHY WHEN U GO ON YOUTUBE 400, 000 PEOPLE WOULD RATHER LISTEN THE SONG AS IT IS AND STARE AT SOME PICTURE THEN TO ACTUALLY WATCH A VIDEO
4, WHEN LETTERMAN CENSORD ME IT WAS WAC OF COURSE!!!!!! , AND YES I FELT SOOOOOO BAD FOR WHAT THEY DID TO MY SOUND. I WAS ABEL TO SOUND CHECK FOR THAT SHOW AND THEY LET ME SOUND CHECK FINE, THEN ON THE ACTUAL TAPING MY SOUND WAS SOOO DIFFERENT FROM WHAT ID AGREED, AS SOON AS I OPENED MY MOUTH THE DIFFERENCE BLEW ME AWAY, I FELT I WAS GETTING BULLIED ON NATIONAL TELEVISON, AND I COULDNT EVEN REACH OUT TO MY LABELS OR MY MANAGEMENT TO HELP, SINCE THEY ARE NEW TO WHAT HAPPENS TO AN ARTIST LIKE ME IN MAINSTEAM AMERICAN CULTURE.
SO THEY TRIED TO SHUT ME DOWN AGAIN. I MADE THE PAPER PLANES VIDEO. I MADE IT HOW THEY WANTED. NO VIOLENCE. AMBIGUOUS. MTV – FRIENDLY. NOW TODAY, I CHECK YOUTUBE AND SEE THE LEAKED MTV PAPER PLANES VIDEO UP FOR THE FIRST TIME. I CLICKED ON IT AND OUT COMES THIS FUCKED UP MESS WITH DOUBLE-TRACKED BULLSHIT MESS
WHO THE THE FUCK IS DOING THIS TO ME?????
THE VIDEO WAS SABOTAGED FOR WHATEVER REASON AND IM DISAPPOINTED THAT MTV HAS HAD SUCH A MAJOR ROLE IN THIS. THE BLOGGERS WHO ARE LAZY ENOUGH TO FOLLOW THE MTV LINK AND POST UP AND COMMENT ON THE SOUND WHEN THAT HASNT BEEN COMPROMISED AND THE GUNSHOT ARENT REPLACED AND EDITED MAKES ME SAD. I DID FIGHT FOR THE SOUND , BECAUSE PUTTING MEANINGS IN YOUR VIDEOS, IN MY OPINION IS A DYING ART. I CAN FILM MY SELF ANYWHERE ANYTIME AND LET YOU KNOW THE TRUTH , BUT THE SONG IS WHAT I WANTED TO PRESERVE IN THIS CASE.
TO ALL MY FANS, LOOK, ITS LIKE THIS,
IM LEARNING THINGS ABOUT THIS WORLD WITH YOU, I WANT YOU TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO ME , I WANT YOU TO SEE HOW PEOPLE WILL SIT AND SPEND ALL SUNDAY TEARIN ME DOWN FOR SOMETHING I DIDNT EVEN MAKE OR PUT OUT, SO PEOPLE WELCOME TO MODERN DAY PROPAGANDA MESSAGE MANGLING.
IN 2007, AN OUTSIDER OPINION WILL BE CONFRONTED THIS WAY , AND THIS IS HOW THE BATTLE GOES, MY MESSAGES AND IDEAS AND MEANING WILL ALWAYS BE BROUGHT TO YOU WITH SLIGHTLY TAINTED CHANNELS. IF YOU SUPPORT ME BE SMART, AND KNOW THAT.
Now, I love “Paper Planes”–and the thrust of the song definitely does lose something with the gunshots taken out of it, as evidenced by a remix that I heard a few months back. But it’s kind of hard to believe that “Planes” really went through the process of becoming a single (or an “emphasis track” or whatever the few remaining people employed by majors call them these days) without M.I.A. being at least dimly aware of MTV’s heavy hand with the “cough” button. (Hello? They bleeped the word “shirt”!) I don’t mean to be dismissive here, but this just seems like either a) there was a communication breakdown somewhere between M.I.A. and Interscope and MTV, and the idea of it even being a big deal is odder to me because of MTV’s reticence to play videos at all (didn’t they think that using her songs in promos for The Hills would better serve to “break” her anyway?) or b) this is all a well-orchestrated publicity stunt to let people know that hey, “Paper Planes” is on YouTube–which is probably where most of M.I.A.’s target demo gets the majority of its music-video content these days anyway–and by the way M.I.A. is still fighting the man! It’s probably bad that option “b” was my first thought, isn’t it?
Nothing quite as batshit on Rolling Stone‘s Best Albums Of ’07 list as Randy Newman landing at No. 2 on the magazine’s list of the year’s best singles, but that’s not to say the list isn’t full of surprises, some far less pleasant than M.I.A.’s Kala taking the top spot.
THE GOOD: Far more hip-hop and R&B–and far more music made (and listened to) by folks under 35–than one may have expected. That’s not to say there’s a lot, of course, or that RS doesn’t rank Bright Eyes and John Fogerty ahead of most of it.
THE BAD: Gee, who’d have thunk the Top 10 would be yet another worthy-but-dull Magic Neon Silver Rainbows Ga Ga Graduation kind of affair? Is it 2008 yet?
THE WHAAAA? One has to assume that Rilo Kiley placing in the Top 10 has something, if not everything, to do with the dreaded hot pants.
50 Britney Spears – Blackout
49 Dropkick Murphys – The Meanest of Times
48 Mavis Staples – We’ll Never Turn Back
47 Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
46 Fall Out Boy – Infinity on High
45 Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
44 Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block
43 Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist
42 Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
41 of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
40 Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
39 Dr. Dog – We All Belong
38 Imperial Teen – The Hair the TV the Baby & the Band
37 Down – Over the Under
36 Alicia Keys – As I Am
35 Feist – The Reminder
34 Chris Brown – Exclusive
33 Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Ray Price – Last of the Breed
32 Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long
31 Kings of Leon – Because of the Times
30 Youssou N’Dour – Rokku Mi Rokka
29 Mary J. Blige – Growing Pains
28 The Apples in Stereo – New Magnetic Wonder
27 Lil Wayne – Da Drought 3
26 Miranda Lambert – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
25 Linkin Park – Minutes To Midnight
24 Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
23 1990s – Cookies
22 Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full
21 Nine Inch Nails – Year Zero
20 Melissa Etheridge – The Awakening
19 Devendra Banhart – Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
18 Lucinda Williams – West
17 The White Stripes – Icky Thump
16 Les Savy Fav – Let’s Stay Friends
15 Common – Finding Forever
14 Gogol Bordello – Super Taranta!
13 Lily Allen – Alright, Still
12 Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
11 John Fogerty – Revival
10 Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
09 Against Me! – New Wave
08 Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight
07 LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
06 Radiohead – In Rainbows
05 Kanye West – Graduation
04 Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
03 Jay-Z – American Gangster
02 Bruce Springsteen – Magic
01 M.I.A. – Kala
Rolling Stone’s Top Albums Of ’07 List [Stereogum]
Because wherever they were recorded, the next two covers in our anything-goes Southeast Bracket speak the same bad design dialect. In the one corner, we have global gal Maya Arulpragasam’s blinding, bitmapped Kala, which manages the feat of wrapping a great album in dot matrix puke. And in the other is American Idol-ette Jordin Sparks’ self-titled debut, which manages the feat of making a pretty girl being groomed for stardom look like a snortin’ mad bull ready to charge. Decide whether this round belongs to the world townie or the girl next door after the jump!