The Culture Bunker

Quick, before list-o-mania is officially over . . . here are a few nonmusical CB hosannas:

Man of the Year (real-life): HHH

Man of the Year (fictional): Butters

Knob of the Year (besides Bush): Any member of the media who raved about Bigger, Longer and Uncut but still doesn't watch South Park.

Culture Bunker Reader of the Year, First Prize: Chantal Kreviazuk. If she ever dumps that Our Lady Peace guy, we hope she's open-minded enough to date a couple of Hebrews.

Culture Bunker Reader of the Year, Second Prize: Tony McPhee. We were absolutely thrilled to receive an e-mail from the great Groundhogs frontman recently. Thanks to Jack Endino for giving him the heads up. And, Tony, since you asked, we owe all our familiarity with your work to Julian Cope.

Best Movie: Road Trip or something Iranian (we still can't decide)

Best TV Show: Once and Again

In other news . . .

Leave it to George Dubious Bush to appoint two African Americans to his team who don't give a rat fuck about Africa. Oh, and while we know W. loves baseball more than life itself, whose idea was it to name Paul O'Neill Secretary of the Treasury? Next, El Duque will be heading up the INS! On the other hand, you've got to admit, Bush's Cabinet looks a hell of a lot more like America than, say, Aaron Sorkin's. . . . And here's a scary, scary thought: Michael has been to Europe more times in the past month than our new president has in his entire misspent life. Wasn't his dad an international spy?

Now that we've cast our ballots for 2000 (both for president and Pazz and Jop, we mean), the CultBunk stereos are back in full swing with new material: We can't stop spinning The Modern Age EP, a post-punky Velvets-infused three-tracker from the Big Apple's own the Strokes. Unfortunately the singer's dad is Elite Models honcho John Casablancas, which, of course, invokes our Rock 'n' Roll Rule #458: Never trust a band who were already fucking models before making music! That said, they're easily the best NYC rock 'n' roll combo in aeons. Aeons, we tell you! Other faves in our Now Playing section include singles from Little Hell (featuring former members of Carrie, who were yet another swell band we were utterly alone in liking), Fuzz Light Years, Tenner, and the great Ooberman (the very demented "Dolphin Blue"), plus long-players such as Bitter Springs' The Best Bakers in the World, The Dead Cheap Fierce Panda Sampler (a Y2K compendium from London's finest indie label, featuring terrific tracks from the likes of Bellatrix, Astronaut, and Tim Allon), as well as legendary pop poet Martin Newell's delightfully droll The Spirit Cage. Hey, and while we're at it, here's shouts to Martin's old Cleaners from Venus compadre, Giles Smith, whose Lost in Music memoir is a delight and whose new tome bears the year's best title: Midnight in the Garden of Evel Knievel. Top!

Ed Radiohead says Amnesiac is like The Bends and will be accompanied by a number of singles and a full-scale world tour. We assume the album's title refers to the fact that Thom has forgotten he was weary of melodies and hooks and the music biz. Phony fuckers. . . . The NBA's Washington Wizards recently had to attend a motivational speaker's day with Larry King and Joan Lunden. The team still sucks, but they can conduct interviews with anyone from Orrin Hatch to the Olson Twins.

Billy Bob Thornton is just sooooo proud of himself for refusing the likes of Natalie Portman in All the Pretty Horses because she's "not Mexican." Erm, last time we checked, neither is Penelope Cruz. What an asshole. . . . "Faith-based organizations" piss us off. Always have, always will. . . . Whatever you do, don't let W. puts his hands on your shoulder. Then you'll have to obey his every command. . . . The European leg of Lil' Stevie Malkmus' debut solo tour will see Justine Frischmann joining the trio on guitar. All we know is that she fucking better not set foot in this country. . . . Um, The Weber Show?

Finally, we'd like to express our profound sadness at the untimely passing of Kirsty MacColl, one of our very favorite artists ever and a fine lady to boot. For those who aren't familiar with her work, Kirsty was perhaps the most underrated pop singer of the last 10 years as well as a songwriter of uncommon warmth, wit, and wisdom. Go find yourself copies of her ridiculously brilliant Kite or the heart-wrenching Titanic Days. You'll thank us.

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