My Song of the Year for 2009: "Elephants" by Them Crooked Vultures

First off, kudos to Igor's pick for the song of the year, which is mighty and righteous and heretofore unheard by me.

Second off, I want to play this game too. Thus my pick for 2009 song of the year, "Elephants" by Them Crooked Vultures. This here band is two-thirds scarequote-unscarequote supergroup - Josh Homme (Kyuss, QotSA, EoDM) + Dave Grohl (Scream, Probot, probably some others) - and one-third feisty newcomer by way of previously unknown commodity John Paul Jones. The album (which also surely has the cover art of the year - I mean, lookathatthing!) sounds to my ears like a less sludgy version of QotSA, which is actually very, very good even though I prize QotSA sludge above most other sounds. And while all the songs on this record are awesome, "Elephants" is just a goddamn showstopper - it took me weeks to finish listening to the whole album because once I heard this track it's all I wanted to hear. I could unleash a tsunami of adjectivism talking about what makes this song great, but fuck that - just listen to it.
Other recommendations (not necessarily from '09): Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and The Road; Doug Stanhope's new album From Across the Street, which crosses new thresholds of insightful depravity even for him; Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush; the Family Guy episode called "Big Man on Hippocampus," which premiered 1/3/10; and venison jerky, because it's delicious.


  1. Great song choice! I approve (as if that would matter...) and also recommend Caligulove from the same TCV rekkid (even if I did come up with that word first - check yr back catalog... it's in the lyrics for Borrowed from Glad to Be Unhappy by Go! Dog! Go!); TCV is bad-ass! (But Valis would beat their fuckin' asses in a streetfight... )

  2. Hmmm, looks like I may have to put an album in my shopping cart (the Valis thing's worth flirting with, too). "Elephants" reminds me of the way ya'll play "Slow Down," and that's a good thing. :) I don't think that John Paul Jones guy is a total newcomer... I think he was a privateer or something back during the war with Our Majesty. Amazing that a guy around 250 years old can still play bass like that, though... he has not yet begun to rock!

    Agreed on the Stanhope thing; amazingly that guy doesn't seem anywhere near to burning out despite the horrific levels of chemicals he intakes. Greg Giraldo's "Good Day To Cross A River" is also one of the better comedy CDs I've heard lately. "I live in New York and terrorism is in the news a lot, so my son comes up to me and says, 'Daddy, why do the bad men hate us so much, why do the bad men hate us?' Doesn't that break your heart? I could've cried, because... he's EIGHTEEN, what kind of moron am I raising?!"

    I'm just about to start Blood Meridian as my book-to-read-during-lunch-at-work, and I read The Road earlier in the year and loved that one big-time and am now a McCarthy-ite. Anybody who can trick English professors into having to read a novel about necrophillia has my vote, 'cuz that was *my* goal all through college!

  3. ...aww, I never got any professors to read about necrophilia, per se, but I did con ol' P. Caldwell into publicly reading alla my crappy poems + short stories about nothing + they were filld with foul words + disturbing descriptions of sexual aberrance... teeheehee! too bad I couldn't write Cormac McCarthy's to-do list...

  4. "Fucking Spider" is still a legend among Caldwell poems! My trick for Caldwell's class was to come up with a title that everybody in the class would just HAVE to hear the story behind. He'd read out titles and ask the class which one he should read, and mine had titles like "S.O.B.", "Missionary Position," "Abusement Park," etc. The most heinous thing I ever got him to read was a graphic horror story in which a lunatic killed the morbidly obese in order to harvest their fat, which he used to insulate his house... It greatly upset Eliska, but I remember Ron Dobbs blandly approved, I think...

  5. Hee hee. Can't remember why, but just the other day I was telling my eldest about the experience of listening to Caldwell read "Jacob's Bladder" out loud in class. I don't want to admit that I'll probably never laugh that hard again in my life because it's a depressing thought, but it may just be the truth: as painfully (and I do mean *painfully*) as I've laughed at South Park, Team America, Borat, Bruno, Family Guy, Doug Stanhope, and lots of other shit that Igor has done, I think hearing Caldwell read that thing is the best it will ever get for me laugh-wise. Jesus H. Crust. WHEW!

  6. I remember Caldwell once responded to one of Igor's stories (which I think involved an eyeball replacing an olive in a martini glass, which years later showed up on a Joe R. Lansdale comic book -- I don't know how he found out about it, but I remain convinced Lansdale stole from Igor) with a note about the high level of spectacle he'd written, and how he was "waiting for a parade of priapic dwarfs to show up."

    That has always stuck with me, partially because it's hilarious, and partially because... who knew Caldwell could envision something like priapic dwarfs on parade? :)