By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
Abrupt Alt-Rock Resurgence: The frightening realization that the best power-pop record of 2006 is the Gin Blossoms' Major Lodge Victory. Paving the way for the great Spin Doctors revival.
Strange Bedfellows: Jay-Z and Dale Earnhardt Jr.—What do you think these two talked about between takes on the set of Jay's new video? Probably Project Runway.
Album of the Year This Week: The frigid, unstoppable brilliance of Junior Boys' So This Is Goodbye. "In the Morning" is the jam.
Wanton Emasculation: Getting punched out on stage by Jeff Fucking Tweedy. Infinitely more humiliating than Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura.
Economic Indicator: The ignoble demise of Tower Records. Funeral bouquets of plastic flowers will be manufactured for a dime apiece and retail at $18.99.
Cathartic Band Breakup: The drug-addled demise of the Darkness. Contrary to prior belief, one cannot snort cocaine ironically.
Technological Marvel: The Internet's abysmal failure to produce a halfway-decent Blood Brothers song-title generator. Just rig a fill-in-the-blanks form combining naïve, childlike whimsy with unimaginable violence—e.g., "You're the Dream Unicorn," or "Set Fire to the Face on Fire." (Gonna be hard to beat "Huge Gold AK-47," though.)
Internet Distraction: The way Rick James says "What you got against Shawwwwwn Cassidy?" in the "Battle of the Album Covers" video. Better impression than Dave Chappelle.