- Discovered: The absolutely brilliant Who Killed Amanda Palmer. I'm not sure how this Ben Folds effort completely escaped my notice in 2008, though in fairness I'm only vaguely aware of the Dresden Dolls, and while I loved "Has Been," I'm not a major Ben Folds fan. But I see enough indie-rock info that somehow this should have filtered through sooner than it did. It came to me through Howard Stern playing a clip of Amanda taking a ukulele to Radiohead's "Creep," which always struck me as uncomfortably close in every way to Phil Everly's "The Air That I Breathe," a big late hit for The Hollies. ("Uncomfortably close," as in, if The Verve had to turn over credit for "Bitter Sweet Symphony" to the Rolling Stones because they ripped off the Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra's version of "The Last Time," then I think somebody owes Phil Everly some money). So that got me curious about Amanda Palmer, and then I learned she had this Ben Folds collaboration, a somewhat surreal post-modern cabaret concept album – but, you know, brilliant. Stand-outs: "Runs in the Family" and "Ampersand" ("i’m not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand"). Highly recommended. "Ampersand" could have been my top song of 2008 if I'd discovered it sooner! Better luck next year.
- Forgotten: the brief, regrettable, now laughable fad of wearing kneepads. I know it wasn't just Mick Jagger, but he certainly did, all throughout Hal Ashby's "Let's Spend the Night Together," which as a concert film now pales in comparison to the quality of "Shine A Light," but preserves the boys in a much younger state. So young that wearing football pants with kneepads outside looked like a good idea. I think it was an answer to the shoulderpads that infected the early '80s, an idea that was cute in a number of things but then, like bacon last year, were stuffed inside everything. Oh yes, I had unstructured jackets with shoulderpads, but I swear I never wore kneepads. Not outside my clothes, anyway.
- Never known: I read the credits for movies. Have since they were much, much shorter. Nowadays I tend to tune out after the major credits until we get to the music credits, which inevitably alert me to some song that was used in a way that it couldn't even be heard in the movie (but which likely shows up on the soundtrack because the rights were cheap). I'm always interested in who has done a cover that I may not have been aware of. So, the other night, after our 400th viewing of "Dodge Ball" – and I assure you, people getting hit in the crotch with big rubber balls does not stop being funny, and that a wrench is even funnier – I was looking for who did the cover of The Cyrkle's piece of ear-candy, "Red Rubber Ball," and learned to my absolute shock that it had been penned by Paul Simon (along with Bruce Woodley of The Seekers.) I'm not a Paul Simon fan or anything, but you would think that sometime in the 42 years since that song hit #2 on the charts I would have become aware, somehow, that Paul Simon had been involved in it. But I was not. And if you were not, now you are. No thanks are necessary.
Discovered, forgotten, never known
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