Thursday, January 02, 2003

DAMMYs and SLAMMYs: A DAMMY is the coveted award given by yours truly for outstanding performance, exceptional quality, and general coolness. A SLAMMY is a metaphorical flip-off; a modern equivalent of a scarlet 'A' to identify evil wherever it may thrive. These need not be timely, they just have to have occurred to me in the last year or so. Herewith, the 1st annual DAMMYs and SLAMMYs

Category: Music

DAMMY - Pizzicato Five. This is the now defunct Japanese pop ensemble that I still listen to more than anything else at the moment. I don't understand the lyrics, but the perfectly crafted tunes carry me along. In a lot of ways, it reminds me a combination of '60s bubblegum and '60s pyschedelica and '60s groovy movie soundtracks and contemporary laser sharp production. Anyway, I like it; you probably won't. I have a friend who refers to this as Japanese Squirrel Music because, she claims, it sounds like highly caffeinated chattering squirrels. But then, she likes Creed. Which brings me to...

SLAMMY - Creed, the plodding, mopey, hurl-inducing chart-toppers, formulated in the foul depths of Clear Channel headquarters. I am still looking for ways to erase their very existence. You could add their weak sister Nickelback in there also.

SLAMMY - Divas (your Britneys, your Whitneys, and so forth). They have two volumes: Loud and Ear-splitting. They accurately mimic the sound of a gargantuan duck being given a roman candle enema. Dress like a slut, yowl like a banshee, and Clear Channel will beat a path to your door.

DAMMY - The Anti-Divas: Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, Norah Jones. These three jazz influenced singers demonstrate how bad most popular female vocalists are. Complex and subtle phrasing, a full range of emotions. Singing this good becomes and expression of humanity.

DAMMY - and for their song previewing, and whoever makes those listening stations in Border's and Barnes & Noble where you can preview any CD in the store. We are saved from buying CDs only to discover they were nothing like what we wanted.

SLAMMY - Clear Channel (you were expecting otherwise?) for succeeding in reducing popular music to it's worst state since the mid-seventies. As a bonus, they did it all in the name of greater profits and ended up in dire financial straits. Way to be.

Category: Movies

DAMMY - Ocean's Eleven. A truly fun movie. Fun pacing. Fun acting. Dialog destined to be repeated ritualistically for years to come. HRH Miss Anna can already quote some good lines.

DAMMY - The Godfather Saga. Godfather I & II, recut in chronological order and with many missing scenes added. Whereas many think the Godfather movies are the best of all time I never thought them more than just good movies. This version moves it into the great category.

DAMMY - The Graduate. An old classic, still funny, still interesting, still more original than most current movies, probably because it never went through "script development" in front of a focus group.

SLAMMY - All the sci-fi/fantasy blockbusters ranging from the passable (Harry Potter) to the insipid (Star Wars) to the monumentally tedious (Lord of the Rings).

Category: Tube

DAMMY - Nero Wolfe. Tremendously well done dramatizations of the Rex Stout mysteries. Stylish and clever. The best acting on TV. Best show on TV.

SLAMMY - A&E. Cancelled Nero Wolfe.

DAMMY - Larry Sanders. Now rerun twice a night on Bravo and as funny as anything ever produced. Only show equal to Seinfeld at it's best, even edited from it's HBO form.

DAMMY - Blue Planet, for the most amazing nature footage ever shot.

SLAMMY - OZ. Totally depraved. Superficial characters, poorly portrayed. I suffered through a few episodes for the sake of my review of HBO Original programming and I found it to be thoroughly without artistic, intellectual, or social merit.

Category: Personality

SLAMMY - Barbra Streisand, Shakespearean Scholar.

SLAMMY - Mike Tyson. After getting noogied silly by Lennox Lewis, he announced he was going to "fade into bolivian." A few months later he announced his return saying, "I'm tired of being stupid."

SLAMMY - Michael Moore. To paraphrase Dean Wormer: Fat, stupid, ugly, ignorant, smelly, dishonest, greedy and poorly dressed is no way to go through life.