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Listmania Tag


When the indefatigable Dw. Dunphy asked Popdose’s writers to come up with a list of ten classic Saturday Night Live sketches, we quickly got bogged down in trying to rank them — by theme, by season, by cast member, etc. And after everyone got their nostalgia fix for the day and nodded off, we were left with some random scraps of memories, but nothing we could publish.

Upon realizing there was no way we were going to get any kind of consensus — and remembering that Dw. never asked us to rank sketches in the first place — I suggested that those who wanted to participate write a paragraph or two about a favorite sketch (short films and commercial parodies were considered fair game under this umbrella term) and provide a clip from Hulu.com or another online source. That’s when Matt Wardlaw asked if Bruce Springsteen’s appearance as SNL‘s musical guest in 1992 counts as a sketch, at which point I pulled out my Matt Wardlaw voodoo doll and went to town.

Without further ado, here are 15 of our favorites, in chronological order, from the past 35 years of NBC’s long-running late-night hit. Robert Cass


“Word Association” (air date: December 13, 1975)

I love this sketch on so many levels that it’s hard to focus on just one. First off, it’s one of the few instances in which Richard Pryor was really allowed to be Richard Pryor on television (let us not speak of Pryor’s Place, his ill-conceived foray into Cosby-like Saturday-morning TV), and it allowed Chevy Chase to put the pratfalls aside and inhabit a thoroughly WASP-y persona.

The second thing is that the skit is smart, certainly smarter than one would initially give it credit for. Yes, it’s Chase and Pryor in an ever-escalating war of words, ticking down a list of epithets until they reach the bottom of the barrel, and for people who like that kind of verbal repartee delivered as only these two could, that might be enough. Under the surface, though, you could easily interpret this sketch as a warning about “just a little racism” and be correct; the interviewer and the applicant play the “black” and “white” word association at first in an innocuous manner, but as things heat up they and their speech get uglier and uglier until the “nuclear option” is launched. No neon-lit message sign has been switched on for you, but if you consider the sketch just a little deeper, you’ve been taught.

The third, and maybe most important, thing is that “Word Association” is funny, and likely could never be done on TV today, certainly not on a broadcast network like NBC. The 1970s was an era when Saturday Night Live saw the risks laid before it, took every one, and, fortunately for us, did something great with them. Dw. Dunphy


This is it!

Last week the writers of Popdose counted down their favorite — and in some cases least favorite — records and singles of 2010. Thanks to the careful coordination of Michael Fortes, you’ve been able to peek behind the curtain at some of the individual lists that went into the creation of this, the Popdose Top 20 Albums of 2010. We polled the staff starting way back in October, asking simply: “What are your top 20 favorite records of 2010?”

Here are the top 20 answers to that question.

It would be very easy to jump on the “music sucks” train most folks seem to have crowded onto, or would it be? Truthfully, my list of the best music of the year was harder to narrow down this year than it’s been in at least half a decade. So hard that if you ask me to compile this same list in 24 hours, it’s very likely that said list will contain 3 or 4 different titles from the ones that currently comprise it, and in completely different order, too!

Good music’s certainly out there if you have the patience to look for it, and considering that my tastes generally run reasonably mainstream, you didn’t even have to look that hard to find the good stuff.

My Top 10 albums of 2010 run the gamut from dance-pop to blues-rock, although I’d have to say that this year’s most pleasantly surprising musical development this year was the creative resurgence of hip-hop. In addition to the titles that you find on the list below, hip-hop artists ranging from B.o.B. to Big Boi to Drake to k-os all made excellent albums. For a genre that’s barely produced three or four good albums a year for the past 4 or 5 years, 2010 was a godsend. So, it’s appropriate that we start the list off with a hip-hop album, right? Let’s go.

As you will soon see as the lone active metal reviewer on Popdose my tastes end up being nowhere near the other writers, so representation in an overall “best of” list is usually slim to none.  I do however, put the metal horns down on occasion to check out what the pop world has to offer. The pop albums in my top 10 were extremely easy to pick, my metal ones not so much. 2010 was a great year for metal in my humble opinion but the six listed below are the cream of the crop.

10. Karma To Burn, Appalachian Incantation (Napalm)
This was the first record in nine years for this (mostly) instrumental stoner rock trio and is simply a wonderful record to light one up to.

9. Accept, Blood of the Nations (Nuclear Blast)
Another comeback record here but the difference is that I never expected this one to be so great. After 27 long years guitarist Herman Frank rejoined the band, although singer Udo Dirkschneider chose not to participate. The end result of their 12th album and first in 14 years is a blistering fist-pumping anthemic ride through heavy metal the way it should be played.

8. Filter, The Trouble with Angels (Rocket Science)
Filter’s 5th record was clearly made by a very angry and depressed Richard Patrick as the lyrics are dark and biting but it’s the music that stands out again on The Trouble with Angels. Patrick seemed to be reacting to the critics of their previous record which was “too soft.” So he came out and made a hard rock record that rivals the Amalgamut in terms of sheer power.

I don’t have much to say as a benediction to 2010. While I enjoy a good disposable pop song as much as the next person, there were so damned many of them this year, it all just became white noise after a while. My moods tended to be a bit darker than usual, for whatever reason, so there were only so many times I could hear “California Gurls” or “Alejandro” or their ilk before tuning out.

That’s not to say I didn’t want to have fun—my album of the year, by the phenomenal Truth & Salvage Co., starts with a chorus about “heads full of reefer and … bellies full of beer.” I bobbed my head to the Roots and the awesome Nas/Damian Marley combo, and looked around for a lighter to hold up when listening to the new Manic Street Preachers record.

But none of these records are as ephemeral as I imagine Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, or others who have commandeered the radio this year. I imagine ten years from now, possibly on my fiftieth birthday, pulling up Truth & Salvage or Oranjuly on whatever we’ll use for music playback then, and listening with a smile. I can’t say I’ll remember any Ke$ha song then. In fact, I’m having trouble coming up with a Ke$ha song right now, as I’m writing this.

Anyway … Fare thee well, 2010. Here’s how I’ll remember you:

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

Be it zombies, vampires, ghosts, goblins or ghouls, everyone has specific fear triggers. For some of us it’s murderous dolls; others prefer the supernatural, either way most of us love a good scare. It was with this in mind that we asked the staff to list the twenty films that scared the living daylights out of them. We chopped, sliced and diced the results and came up with the twenty most terrifying moments in cinematic history, at least according to frightened masses at Popdose.

And if that isn’t scary enough, the good folks at Warner Bros. have a treat for one lucky reader: a free iTunes download of the Director’s Cut of The Exorcist, featuring never seen before behind the scenes footage and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatt. All you have to do to enter is send an e-mail to Jason with the subject “My Best Recipe for Pea Soup!” All entries must be received before midnight, October 29. The winner will be selected randomly and notified by e-mail.

If you missed the first half of the list, you can catch up here:
Popdose Listmania: Top 20 Scariest Films (20-11)

So go ahead, pop the no-doze, and whatever you do: don’t fall asleep…

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

Be it zombies, vampires, ghosts, goblins or ghouls, everyone has specific fear triggers. For some of us it’s murderous dolls; others prefer the supernatural, either way most of us love a good scare. It was with this in mind that we asked the staff to list the twenty films that scared the living daylights out of them. We chopped, sliced and diced the results and came up with the twenty most terrifying moments in cinematic history, at least according to frightened masses at Popdose.

And if that isn’t scary enough, the good folks at Warner Bros. have a treat for one lucky reader: a free iTunes download of the Director’s Cut of The Exorcist, featuring never seen before behind the scenes footage and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatt. All you have to do to enter is send an e-mail to Jason with the subject “My Best Recipe for Pea Soup!” All entries must be received before midnight, October 29. The winner will be selected randomly and notified by e-mail.

So if you’ll just walk this way, because they’re coming to get you…

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

While lead singers and guitarists always seem to capture the spotlight, the heart and soul of any great band can often be traced to the backbeat; the rhythm. It is with that in mind that we pay tribute to the our Top 50 favorite rhythm sections.

The staff was challenged to name their all-time favorite drum and bass combos, regardless of genre. Once the participants had a chance to ponder the list, the final tally was established with the nominees with the most mentions moving quickly to the top of the list. We’ll unveil them through the month of September.

If you missed the previous week’s installment, you can catch up here:

Popdose Listmania: Top 50 Rhythm Sections (50-36)

Without further ado, here are numbers 35 through 21 of our favorite rhythm sections:

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

It all started with a discussion around the Popdose water cooler. The LA Times piece on the 50 Greatest Guitarists Ever was the catalyst, setting the staff on a quest to parlay the chatter into a concise list. Over 200 guitarists were submitted and voted on, and over the course of the last month we counted them down, from Wes Montgomery to Jimi Hendrix. In the course of that month, we’ve heard your agreements and objections –the objections coming louder than agreements.

Rising above the din was the laundry list of guitarists that we overlooked, or just plain got wrong –though I’ve had a hard time grasping that one. So as a epilogue to the Listmania: Top 50 Guitarists, I give you the rest of the list, in alphabetical (by first name) order. These are the 150+ that didn’t get enough votes but were on at least one contributor’s list. You will see many of the names that were mentioned as “missing,” and a few that I’m certain don’t even belong in the top 500.

Next week, we take a look at 10 movies that are guaranteed to kick your ass.

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

This is it! The top 10 guitarists, according to the Popdose staff. I’m certain that there are at least one or two surprises waiting for you below, alongside a few obvious choices. Next week, we’ll run an epilogue to the list with the guitarists that just missed the list. For now, here’s your top 10.

If you missed the previous week’s installment, you can catch up here:
Top 50 Guitarists (50-36)
Top 50 Guitarists (35-21)
Top 50 Guitarists (20-11)

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

This week we break into the top 20, with guitarists representing everything from the blues to arena rock. So the question is: who is missing? Have we completely missed the mark? Many of you have been vocal already, and I have a feeling we’ll hear more as we close in on the top 10.

If you missed the previous weeks’ installments, you can catch up here:

Top 50 Guitarists (50-36)
Top 50 Guitarists (35-21)

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

Just one clarifying point before diving into this week’s installment of the Top 50 Guitarists: there were many comments about the selection criteria for entries included in the list, which was, simply, “List your favorite 50 guitarists.” That’s it. These might not be the most technical, they might not be the most proficient, but they do represent the staff’s favorites.

If you missed last week’s installment, you can catch up here:

Top 50 Guitarists (50-36)

So without further delay, here are numbers 35 though 21 of the Popdose staff’s list of top guitarists …

In pop culture, lists are everything. They lend a sense of order to an otherwise orderless world. From film and literature to music, critics and readers alike love to put things in tidy rows. It is with this in mind that Popdose presents Listmania, a weekly series counting down the staff’s favorite things.

Our inaugural list was inspired by the recent LA Times piece “50 Greatest Guitarists Ever,” which spawned hours of conversation around the office water cooler, and seemed like a perfect first subject. The criteria was simply “list your 50 favorite guitarists.” That’s it. The ballots were gathered over a few weeks, and the list was formed via the frequency of appearance. Here are the first 15 honorees …