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*Love-nine was our moniker for 2009, partially because synonyms for zero were dwindling down to, well, zero, e.g. Oh-one, Naught-two, Nary-three, Nix-four, Aught-five, Null-six, Ought-seven, Nil-eight. (“Nadir-nine” was a very close second, but given that DFW erased his own map in 2008, that he was former junior tennis player, that tennis was such a huge part of Infinite Jest, and that it largely occurred in the year 2009, we opted for the more positive sounding, slightly obscure tennis reference as our zero in ’09.)

On January 15th, 2010, around 15 people gathered in the lower half of a split-level suburban home in Dublin, Ohio, with one collective objective in mind: to get to the bottom of the list.

The List Party (hereunder referred to as LP) is now in its tenth year and has evolved and grown into something of a major yearly event for many of those involved. I attended the very first LP back in 1999 before I moved away and was unable to attend for the subsequent ten years. Back in ’99, it was a smaller grouping of people, fewer than 10 people, and the categories were what set the standard for all the LP categories thereafter: Best Album of the Year and Best Movie of the Year. There are an additional two or three other (more creative) categories added, such as Worst Movie of the Year, Best Game Show Hosts, Most Hated Band, Favorite TV Characters, Best Movie Villians, Most Annoying TV Characters, Best 80s Songs, etc.

Andrew K. Gopp (aka “Andy”, “The Gopper” “Gopp”, “Kafufka” or “Keith Gopperman”) has remained the impetus for the LP; he has been the all-around MC and creative, organizational juggernaut for this curious event since its inception.

To personally know Gopp is to feel part of a much larger social network. In Malcolm Gladwellian parlance, he is a connector – one of those people through which you make many of your other friendships. He sits high atop anyone’s pyramid of friends, many of those below him linking back up to him.

This year’s LP was to start promptly at 6:30 pm in order to allow adequate time for a relatively new part of the LP called Airing of Grievances. When asked what this entails, he replied, “It’s what it sounds like: basically people bitchin’ about what they didn’t like this past year.”

“You mean, Love-nine?”

“Huh?”

“You mean, in the year two thousand and nine?”

“What other year would we do, Tobin?”

“I mean, people can bitch about…anything at all throughout the year?” I asked.

“Well, it can be, but most people bitch about the List itself,” he answered.

With Peter Hite, a long time friend from back in the college days, along for the ride, we headed over the house hoping we didn’t miss much of the Airing of Grievances. At 7:15 pm we walk into a house filled with people just standing around, the men mostly swilling beers, ripping beezers and burning gaspers while the ladies congregated in the kitchen, some tending to the newborns while the other women tended to them.

“Gopp’s sick,” Mac–another original attendee–said. “Woke up throwing up, but he should be here in about a half-n-hour.”

His vomiting and resilience to trudge onward speaks volumes of his commitment to the LP.

The consensus among the Listers was to go ahead with the the Airing of Grievances, because if we didn’t we would end up being there until past midnight. Ben, the owner of the split-level and host of the LP, started out his tirade against Wendy’s drive-thrus:

“Can I just say that Wendy’s always fucks up my order at the drive thru? It’s amazing, like, I’ll check my…I’ll take an inventory of items, you know, I got three of these here and blah blah blah, well, I’m not goin’ to open all the fuckin’ wrappers and look at all the ingredients while I’m sitting there, like you know, I’ll just make sure I have all the… you know, got two fries, four sandwiches, you know whatever for the family. Then I get home and they’ll have, you know, just shit totally wrong. I got one Wendy’s near work, one near where we live – everywhere I go I gotta Wendy’s nearby, and they’re all capable of bending me over.”

I added my own grievance by stating that I was completely disheartened by the overuse of the acronym LOL (Laugh Out Loud) throughout contemporary society, because, you know, if everyone is actually laughing aloud as much as they state they are, then I would guess that I should be hearing a lot more laughter out and about here in this country than I do. “It’s pathetic,” I declared. Several of the 17 people in attendance nodded their heads in what I assumed was nonverbal agreement. Either that or it was sarcastic disagreement that looked like agreement. I couldn’t tell. Someone snickered.

Mac seemed to have the only legitimate LP-centered complaint, which was that his idea to have a category titled Best Movie Death Scene of All Time has been repeatedly ignored by the LP participants and, well, dammit, simply too many years have gone by with people ignoring this. All the people present seemed to nod their heads in agreement, agreeing with Mac’s complaint. (Although it seemed to me that there were a few eye exchanges going on behind Mac’s back, as if to secretly agree that they would tell Mac he was right and next year there would in fact be a category of Best Movie Death Scene, but in reality they really didn’t like the category and would, in no way, agree next year to include this category. Mac’s lobbying for Best Movie Death Scene may have fallen all deaf (or deceitful) ears, especially after seeing how many people nodded at my LOL-excess comment.

When Gopp finally arrived from a one-and-a-half hour drive, he and his wife brought loads of prizes. These prizes were comprised of basically anything that didn’t make the Gopp-cut in terms of his collection, excessive pop culture bric-a-brac that was destined to be either donated to Goodwill or unrecycled trash.

A random sampling of these prizes:

–VHS tapes of including Greatest Sports Moments of the 80s; Commando; The Jerk; Major League; Adventures in Babysitting

–Several audio cassette tapes including Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s “The Way It Is”, Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” and Van Halen’s “Diver Down”

–Grand Slam MLB Trivial Pursuit

–An Onion Dicer

–Several CDs that included O-town’s 2001 debut self-titled CD, Night Ranger’s Greatest Hits Extended Version

–A tie with the image of The Mummy on it

–An 8-track copy of Loggins and Mesina’s 1973 live album “On Stage

–A ridiculously large coffee mug that reads: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

–Various DVDs including Action Jackson, Obsession, Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and Journey: Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour

–Space Invaders “Funky Coasters” (drink coasters for drinks with images from the 80s video game)

I mention these in list form in part to pay homage to the idea of a list itself, as well as to show what kind of novelty we’re dealing with.

All of these prizes were given out through the winners of Gopp’s trivia categories, which were taped onto a mantle and looked like something like homemade Jeopardy-category blocks would look like.

Categories (with sample questions and answers following the definition):

18 to Life / TriBond /Scary Shit / So Political /Goppcorn /Give me a “Q”

18 to Life dealt with prison movies (“In the movie Natural Born Killers, there’s a very famous 40-minute or so scene in which there’s an all out riot in the prison in which Mickey and Mallory are being held. Give me the name of the actor who plays the interviewer of Mickey Knox.” Answer: Robert Downey Jr.); TriBond was where he would provide three movies that had a particular actor in each one, and you had to guess it based on this information. “Waterworld, Blue Velvet and True Romance?” Answer: Dennis Hopper; Scary Shit was all about horror movies (“Give me the name of the actor who played the original “Stepfather”. Answer: Terry O’Quinn) ; So Political was movies about politics, presidents, governments, etc.; Goppcorn was a category in which the answer, a film title, had to include his name–Gopp–in place of a similar sounding word in the title of the film (“What shitty early 90s family film starred Dennis Leary in a jungle full of wild animals?” Answer: “Operation Dumbo Gopp” instead of “Operation Dumbo Drop“); Give me a Q had to have the letter Q somewhere in the answer’s name (What early 90s metal band had hits like “Jet City Woman” and “Silent Lucidity”. Answer: Queensryche.)

This trivia was used specifically to vary the List monotony; i.e., four hours of listing off everyone’s favorite movie/album from the past year or decade needed to be broken up.

In all, each List votes took from 45 to 60 minutes, each round having a break for beer, bathroom and/or gaspers/beezers. There were around 20 people in attendance, several people at the last minute could not attend.

The process of Listing is supremely simple: Each person present states what their number five choice for film of the 2009 is, while Gopp stands at the whiteboard writing down the names; when the round is through, the first person who started that round gives their number four, and so on, until the all the votes from all the members have been calculated.

During the course of this process, most Listers softly voice the name of their film, and that would be written on the board. However, some participants invariably ended up being on the verbose side, going into little asides as to why they chose their film. This was especially true when people were voting for their number one movie. Jeremy was heard saying, “You know, 2009 wasn’t an especially great year for film, and when it came time to choose the best one, I had a hard time choosing between this film and my number two, District 9. For me, this film had everything, from the opening scene–probably one of the best opening scenes in recent history–to the acting, the directing, the cinematography, the script. It was, by all measures, the best film of the year for me. My choice is…Inglorious Basterds.”

Several participants felt compelled to launch into an expose of why they chose the film they chose, rather than simply saying, “I chose Inglorious Basterds.”

The final tally looked like this:

In the final round of voting for Best Film of 2009, each choice is considered weightier than other non-first choice picks and will be written and circled. Any duplicate votes get a hash mark/vertical line written next to them. It got tricky toward the end when trying to find out which one exactly was the number one film, because if five people chose Inglorious Basterds as their number five-through-two picks and only one chose it as their number one, does that have more weight than the only three people who chose Fantastic Mr. Fox as their number one film? Tough call.

For this reason, the mathematical rigor of the LP voting system was called into question on a number of occasions. But since this is inexact pop-culture scientific method, it essentially came down to whomever could argue more vociferously for their film after all votes had been tabulated.

2009’s top three films were Inglorious Basterds, The Hangover and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Owing to the fact that more albums are released in any given year compared to films, Best Album of 2009 yielded a much more varied list, which also represented a wider spectrum of everyone’s tastes.

1. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears – Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!

2. Gomez – New Tide

3. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Album of the Decade yielded about the same variation as the previous category.

1. Radiohead – Kid A

2. The White Stripes – Elephant

3. Outkast – Stankonia

As for Movie of the Decade, I apparently never took a photo of this list, but I did record a video that very clearly identifies the problem of determining which vote comes out on top. (Let it be clear that I personally disagree with every one of these top three films of the decade.)

1. Little Miss Sunshine (I know, I know. How is this possible?)

2. No Country for Old Men

3. Slumdog Millionaire

The final category this year (the one which Mac would love to see be Best Movie Death Scene) was Best Song About Weather. It garnered a bit of confusion weeks before the LP because it wasn’t clear if the song had to literally be about weather, should be metaphorical, or if it just had to had some reference to weather in the title. The final decision came when Gopp declared that it could be any or all the criteria mentioned. I, like many others, spent an inordinate amount of time on this particular list, trolling through the web looking for songs about weather and scouring my Itunes for words like rain, snow, wind, storm, etc. The list itself was extensive and most wide-ranging of any that evening.

Bob Dylan had the most entries on the board with “Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, “Hurricane”, “Blowin’ In the Wind”, “Rainy Day Women No. 12 & 35”.

Rain was the most recurrent topic of the category: “I Wish it Would Rain” – Temptations, “Fool in the Rain” – Zepplin, “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” – BJ Thomas, “Have you Ever Seen the Rain?”/”Who’ll Stop the Rain?” – CCR, “Purple Rain” – Prince, “November Rain” – GnR, “Mandolin Rain” – Bruce Hornsby, “Rain” – Beatles, “No Rain” – Blind Melon, “Early Morning Rain” – Gordon Lightfoot, “I Love a Rainy Night” – Eddie Rabbit, “Here Comes the Rain Again” – The Eurhythmics, etc.

Controversy ensued when Peter voted for “Waving my Dick in the Wind” by Ween, because the song title really didn’t seem to be about weather but male anatomy. This prompted Peter to challenge my choice of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, saying that an eclipse is not a weather condition but an event caused by one celestial body obscuring another. I countered by stating that in an eclipse, there is less sunlight on earth, which means it’s colder everywhere and, ergo, it is, indeed, about weather.

In the end, “Purple Rain” reigned, while “Here Comes the Sun” and “November Rain” came in at two and three respectively.

It was almost 11:30 pm; the Listers went home sated and exhausted.

Umberto Eco, Italian Semiotics genius and novelist, illuminated the nature of why we make lists (thanks to Megan Power for pointing this out):

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at least according to Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. We also have completely practical lists — the shopping list, the will, the menu — that are also cultural achievements in their own right.

And thus it was, our little LP on a quiet night in suburban Ohio was attempting to make the infinite finite, and to make the world–or at least the seemingly inescapable world of American popular culture–a little easier to grasp.

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KIP TOBIN's real name is Stephen Christopher Tobin, but no one really calls him that, not even his mom. His favorite letter is "i", which is also one his least favorite words; his favorite words tend to include euphonious consonants like Ls and Rs and Ss, such as surly luscious allure. He relocated to middle America last year. He writes fiction and nonfiction but will not tweet. He's currently working on his doctorate in Latin American Literatures and Cultures, studying the intersection of the body, vision and media in contemporary Hispanic Science Fiction . If asked, he will tell you that S. Gautauma pretty much summed 'er all up when he said: All things are transient. Work out your own salvation. He's constantly in that latter process, all the while trying to become as present and aware as he possibly can in this world of simulacra and simulations. You can leave a message on the board here and he will try to get to back with you. His alter ego sometimes posts music mixes on Tip Robin's Mega Maxi Music Mix Mash (tiprobin.blogspot.com), which is unsearchable on the internet and something of a micro, gotta-be-in-the-know phenomenon. He's no longer a part of the social networking revolution. The revolution, it seems, will not be televised but rather streamed, and he hopes he's not watching it. He wishes everyone good luck whenever he can. Good luck.

41 responses to “Listomania: Selecting Love-Nine*’s Best Pop Culture Offerings”

  1. James D. Irwin says:

    The List Party sounds nothing short of awesome.

    I used to be into making lists a while back, but ultimately it was an exercise in futility. Normally I’d forget to include one of my favourite films or songs…

    My brother and I once put an inordinate amount of effort in compliling our 100 favourite songs and then ranking them in order to compare our musical tastes… of within in a year I’d discovered a ton of new bands that were far superior to almost everything on my list…

    • Kip Tobin says:

      That’s a great achievement, to take the songs and put them in order. I’ve always been a album many myself, though I will say that particular songs make excellent mix CDs.

      And yes, I forgot to include a film/song or two, but the Listers always had my back, suggesting it when I had forgotten. And vice versa. One of the inherent perks of being part of such an event.

  2. Megan says:

    Doin’ DFW proud. Reminds me of his baton twirlers story. Dense. Funny. Anthropological.

    First whilst reading I thought, this party seems like good adult fun. That guy Gopp is a ball. And the movie list I was so down with. But the music? 100% hipster.

    Where is Justin Bieber on there? The Bieb is a WORLDWIDE SENSATION. He is trending on Twitter RIGHT NOW Plus he’s Canadian. And his singing makes angels weep with joy.

    Anyway, are you going to upload a new List Mix to your blog? You should.

    Thanks for linking to me : )

    • Kip Tobin says:

      Thanks for the DFW nod. One can’t escape one’s influences I suppose, but I recognize that I nor anyone else could pull off what he did.

      100% hipster for sure, if by hipster you mean non-RnB inclined, which is what most of the people were. Weren’t you happy about the fact that Outkast was number 3 of the decade? That’s pretty huge. I seem to remember a Timberlake on their as well.

      As for Justin Bieber, seriously? He sounds like a 10-year old girl, and he’s a 15-year old kid. I thought it was a joke at first, this video “One time” I just watched, and thought the kids at the beginning playing a videogame were just actors in the video. But no, one was Justin. Crazy. I don’t think I’ll ever prefer modern RnB-type music, with the rare exception of early Macy Gray, and probably some others i haven’t heard of but are good. That whole genre (also true with pop in general) just does not grab hold of my spine.

      List Mix? I never made a List Mix, but I guess I could, taking one song–the best–from a random sampling of the best albums of the year (top 3 obviously included). Good idea. Let me get crackin’.

      You’re more than welcome, thanks for tipping me off as to Umberto’s erudite insight.

  3. Andy Johnson says:

    I could never fully decide if that Phoenix song was about the “charting” phenomenon you define pretty exhaustively here, or the truly demented Ken Russell biopic of Franz Liszt, starring Ringo Starr as The Pope (yes, that Pope), which goes near the top of my All-Time Favourite Ridiculous Movie Premises list:

    1. ‘Legend of the Guardians’ – Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter in a CGI fantasy epic about intrepid and exciting warrior owls.

    2. ‘Kindergarten Cop’ – Arnold Swarzenegger plays a tough policeman undercover in a nursery school.

    3. ‘Valley of the Wolves’ – Billy Zane and Gary Busey feature as ‘broken arrow’-esque US servicemen on the rampage in Iraq, harvesting human organs from war casualties (sic).

    4. ‘Weekend at Bernie’s II’ – re-united with the dead body of a man they previously pretended was alive to blag a free weekend in the Hamptons, two hapless twenty-something lads attempt to a voodoo resurrection of the corpse in order to get their hands on his money.

    5. ‘The President’s Analyst’ – I don’t know where to start… CIA agents disguised as a British beat combo, anyone? (Please, watch this film.)

    • Kip Tobin says:

      I love that you made a whole new category –BAM!– and followed it up with your top five. That’s great, double-o, what a good post should do: engage. Maybe the Listers will take heed and use this as a category next year (while still bumping Mac’s Best Death Scene All Time suggestion?)

      I watched most of that The President’s Analyst preview. Hilarious. How in the hell did that ever get past the movie execs, with some A-list stars no less. I guess we know know where Analyze This and Analyze That (both DeNiro and Billy Crystal mob-goes-to-the-shrink schlock) got its idea.

  4. Irene Zion says:

    Kip,
    You should invest in some freezer paper.
    You can write on the non waxy side and it’s way bigger than
    those ordinary pieces of paper which were confining you.
    When Bob Dylan is on one of the lists, I like all the lists.
    Although I also really liked the Sci Fi list.

    • Kip Tobin says:

      Irene,

      Ingenious idea. Maybe the Listers will take heed next year? Let’s hope so.

      Bob Dylan should be on every list.

      And Best Science Fiction is yet another good suggestion, one which I don’t doubt has already been mentioned, though I do not know if it already had its day.

      Pan’s Labyrinth was my number 1 (or 2) best film of the decade. That’s not quite SciFi but getting close.

      • Irene Zion says:

        Pan’s Labyrinth was pure genius. Did you see the one he did before that? The Devil’s Backbone? . Brilliant. Cronos (sp) was before both of them.
        There are so many movies that are so mind-blowingly beautiful and frightening and astonishing.
        It makes a person grateful. Yes it does.

        • Kip Tobin says:

          I have not see the other Del Toro films you mentioned, but will. I also feel like I miss most of the really great thought-provoking stuff that never makes it into the mainstream.

          This reminds me, have you seen Herzog’s “Invincible” with Tim Roth? I just got it from the library and am going to check it out. They had a Cassevettes film there, too, “Opening Night”. I always feel like I’m missing out on some legendary cinema by not choosing more artistic directors. (I’m a sucker for a shitty action flick.)

        • Irene Zion says:

          It’ll be hard to catch up with us, Kip. We see two or three movies a week, when we aren’t traveling or having guests. We have a great theater in Miami Beach that shows art movies and we have the University of Miami which has it’s own hotsy-totsy cinéma. We are really lucky to have access to films that are brought here because they are the very best in their countries. Naturally, we get the great American movies too. Everyone talks about Crazy Heart, and it was good, but it was almost a carbon copy of The Wrestler with Mickey Roark (sp) and Marissa Tomei. After you’ve seen Crazy Heart, rent The Wrestler and see for yourself. It’s even better.

        • Kip Tobin says:

          I’ve seen both The Wrestler and Crazy Heart, and I can definitely see some comparisons, but the endings were quite different and Mickey never really got straight whereas Jeff did. There are strong parallels, but the endings were too different to pass one movie as a ripoff as the other.

          Just watched Herzog’s Invincible. It was terrible. And it’s the last time I listen to Ebert and Roeper with their “Two Thumbs Way Up” and Ebert’s solo “One of the Best Films of the Year”. Tim Roth was the only thing worth watching, cause the script was Exposition 101 and most actors were flaky cardboard. To boot, it was a pre-WWII film set in Berlin, with the tensions between the Jews and the Aryans brewing. The whole movie they spoke in English! I cannot for the life of me believe this, I mean, most of the actors were German speaking English with thick German accents. Avoid this movie. I’m sure Herzog has some stuff worth watching, but damn, not this one.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Oh Kip, I didn’t mean to imply that Crazy Heart was a rip-off. It was just such a similar story. That’s how movies, and books, are. Sometimes people get the same ideas. I (I never do this code right, I’m trying to simply put one word in italics, but I’ll try again,) loved the ending of The Wrestler. It was beautiful.
          I thoroughly enjoyed both movies, I just preferred The Wrestler. How could anyone
          not like Jeff Bridges?
          Tim Roth played the best shaky drug-addled characters in so many films. He’s on a TV show now, and I so wanted to like it, but it’s
          awful, unwatchable.
          Victor doesn’t get emotionally affected by upsetting movies. I, on the other hand, do. Two thousand years ago, he took me to Sophie’s Choice. I sobbed in the movie, I sobbed leaving the movie and I probably kept on sobbing fitfully for two more weeks. Sometimes we go to the movies and see two different films at the same time. I see something he wouldn’t be caught dead in and he sees something I know would make me want to slit my throat.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Someone needs to teach me how to stop the damn italics.
          I do this: Less than sign, i, more than sign, italicized word, less than sign, i, backwards slash, more than sign.
          Anyone? What am I doing wrong? I’ve already tried putting the backwards slash before the i, but that has the same result.
          I’m old for this stuff, but I’m trying here.

        • Irene Zion says:

          I forgot to say that I didn’t see “Invincible” and now I won’t, HA!
          I know Victor loves Cassavettes and so does every movie buff, but there is something about him and his mother both that gives me a huge case of the willies. I don’t know what it is. They just creep me out.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Irene, here’s what I can tell you:

          If you want italics… you want to format like so:

          [i]Here is where the italics start. And then the italics stop [/i]

          Except, instead of these guys:

          [ ]

          Use these guys:

          <>

          Man. My jokes would be screwed with italics. I need them for comic emphasis.

          Emphasis.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Thank you, Simon!
          You are a prince among men.
          You also had a way smarter way of describing what to do than I could come up with!

        • Simon Smithson says:

          You’re welcome, Irene!

          It’s OK.

          Kind people showed me how to do it way back in the days of MySpace.

        • Kip Tobin says:

          Between the two endings, I would have to agree that The Wrestler’s was more open-ended, maybe more artful, opening to interpretation, whereas Crazy Heart seemed to have, at least to me, a very satisfying ending. Not happy per se, but satisfying. And closed. No loose ends. In the end, thematically they were both nearly identical and both protagonists had some similar turns, but I am unable to see CH as a “carbon copy” of TW.

          I’m sorry to misinterpret your use of carbon copy as a rip-off, although it does mean duplicate.

          I have neither seen nor read Sophie’s Choice, but I hear they are both excellent. I have read a book of short stories by William Styron, and he’s amazing.

        • Irene Zion says:

          I am so so sorry I ever used the term “carbon copy” here.
          I only meant that the story line was very similar.
          The characters were very similar.
          Old broken-down guy.
          Young gorgeous woman who has no reason on earth to be attracted to old, broken-down guy.
          Young gorgeous woman has a kid, (were they both sons? I forget.)
          Young, gorgeous woman is the impetus to the rebirth of broken-down old guy.
          That’s all I meant.
          (Sheesh!)

          Somehow, I have never read any William Styron.
          (I think that having admitted that, I will surely be kicked out of the club!)
          I guess I better get something of his and read it.
          Got a suggestion for my first?

        • Kip Tobin says:

          Irene,

          And I’m sorry if I sounded defensive, it was just that after using the word carbon-copy you went on to say one wasn’t a rip-off, which was kind of a contradiction in two terms. Not trying to be a stickler here, and I’m sure I do the same thing, especially when it comes to commenting on blogs. So let’s move on.

          I’ve only read one book of three short stories by Styron called “A Tidewater Morning: Three Tales of Youth.” Unbelievably, I have yet to go back to read any of his stuff after reading this and thinking his writing was excellent.

          Great quote by him: “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You should live several lives while reading it.”

          And one thing about WS w/r/t this site or with most people I ever talk to literature about: nobody really talks about him or has read him. So I doubt Listi will kick you off the site cause you haven’t read him.

          A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted. You should live several lives while reading it.

        • Irene Zion says:

          That quote alone will make me buy that book.
          Thanks for the recommendation.

          I was frustrated with myself because I DO write too quickly on my comments and do not always think them out sufficiently.
          I need to work on that.

  5. jmb says:

    I’m not sure if that comment about Justin Beiber was sarcastic but I love that Baby song.
    You could skate to that.
    I heard Price Purple Rain in the dentist office yesterday which is not the place to hear Purple Rain but still, i concur to the power of that song.
    It should only be listened to about once every five years, when sober, and in the context of the film.
    The Man says he wrote it because someone said he should do a song like Bob Seger’s Turn the Page
    but I think that’s typical Prince B.S.

    Mathematical rigors stun me badly
    I’m no good at lists.

    Isn’t anyone going to say
    they thought you meant
    a Listi party?

    Has 3.0 forgotten that guy?

    • Kip Tobin says:

      I think that Justin Beiber comment was genuine. I refuse to comment on Beiber.

      I can’t imagine any Prince song is ideal for the dentist’s chair, really. They’re either too dance-oriented or too sultry. Purple Rain should be heard in the context of that film and not without, as it’s a very long song as it is, and he caws like a crow there toward the end. And I can’t believe Prince was inspired by Bob Seger, and more specifically, that he didn’t cite Like a Rock as its muse. Did Runnin’ Against the Wind inspire When Dove’s Cry?

      Rumors of Listi’s disappearance are not exaggerated enough.

  6. Simon Smithson says:

    Oh my God…

    So… everyone wants to go to one of these now, right?

    • Kip Tobin says:

      It definitely seems like a unique way to spend an evening. I mean, rather than just congregating at a bar and talking over everyone, why not do it for the Chart.

      Nice gravatar, Simon Skywalker. Über-cool, that is.

  7. Becky says:

    List challenges have been a regular staple of bar conversation in my friend group for years, but I never even considered the possibility of organizing a whole party about them.

    Hat’s off, man. This is genius.

    • Kip Tobin says:

      I honestly thought this was worthy for reporting for that precise reason: someone, somewhere will hear of this and host one of their own. We are so damned pop-culture centric in our downtime conversations, why wouldn’t why?

      Thanks.

  8. Richard Cox says:

    Kip Tobin,

    I commend you on the thoroughness and uniqueness of your lists. I love that Inglorious Basterds and Kid A were winners.

    I am even more delighted that, as best I can tell, The Hurt Locker was not even mentioned.

    Respectfully,
    Richard

    • I am even more delighted that Taken was!

    • Kip Tobin says:

      Richard Cox,

      thanks for the commendation.

      I spoke with a good friend of mine yesterday who asked me if I had seen it. After admitting that yes I had, she said she thought it was the best film she’s ever seen. I couldn’t believe it. I just can’t see how it got so much laud. Mind you, I thought it was good, but not great.

      Will Entrekin,

      I have not seen Taken yet, but I will. Hear it’s pretty good.

      Cheers for the comments.

      Kip

  9. I’m surprised it doesn’t look like either Roger Clyne or Butch Walker made it to the album list, especially considering you mention the weather list was heavy on Dylan.

    Sounds like a fun evening, if one I would fail at entirely. I’d be the one pulling for Transformers 2.

    Well. That’s a lie. But only barely.

    • Kip Tobin says:

      I heard Butch Walker’s album-before-last. It was quite good. As for Clyne, I think I’ve heard his name before somewhere on NPR. I’ll have to check him out.

      As for your Transformers 2 pick, well, we all have our preferences. I saw it in the theaters when it came out, and thought it was pretty good eye candy, but not nearly as good as Avatar (which would’ve been my pick for Movie of the Year if I had seen it before I went to the list party).

      • I sort of love them both. They have similar roots: almost-big bands back in the mid-90s, dropped from their labels, now indie, touring, and workin’ hard. Total rock-and-roll minus the suits’ influence, which I quite like.

        I was totally joking about Transformers 2. Totally agree about the awesomeness that was Avatar.

  10. Marni Grossman says:

    I want to be invited to next year’s LP. If only to win “O-town’s 2001 debut self-titled CD.”

    • Kip Tobin says:

      Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until Gopp procures another copy, because I have that particular copy! (Seriously, I won it, and lost it immediately on the ride home.)

      The party is growing, up around 30 people now, though just under 20 were at this one. Not sure if I’ll go next year, as I’ll be in grad school and doubt I’ll be on top of all this AmPopCult as I am now.

      But of course, you’re invited.

  11. Inés Pérez says:

    Hi Kip!!!

    I enjoyed your post so much. As you know, I LOVE these kind of parties and lists. I remember some friends of mine and myself had a kind of reunion in December 31st. We met always in the same filthy bar, having several tapas (and beers, of course), and made a top-five list with the following cathegories:

    – The best news of the year.
    – The weirdiest news of the year (for that cathegory, we even had to bring the article and read it as if we were on TV!!).
    – Best movies.
    – Worst movies.
    – Best albums.
    – Friends’ highlights. I loved that cathegory. It was the best anecdote (more laughable, it’s understood) that everyone had from each other during the year, and we voted for it as well.

    Please let me know if you have another top five reunion, and I will take a plane if necessary. People here in Madrid are making less top-five lists and I miss that!!
    Un beso enorme,

    Inés

    P.S1: Told you that Avatar was great ;o)
    P.S2: please let me know what were you guys having for the best movies of the decade deliberation, just for my own safety…

    • Kip Tobin says:

      Inés,

      That’s great that you did this yourself with a group of friends, and expanded it even further to include weird and best news of the year and friends’ highlights. Definitely a bit more personable and not so limited to popular cultural in terms of music and film. I hope the List Party does the same.

      You did tell me Avatar was great. Story-wise it was not the most original, but filmically, in terms of cinematography, pace, action and colors colors colors, it was phenomenal, unlike I have ever seen before. The story didn’t impede my liking it, but it would’ve been one of my all-time favorite films had the story been more original. As it was, it was like a mixture of Dances with Wolves, Enemy Mine, The Last Samuri and Dune, et al.

      As for the Best Movies of the Decade, I never took a photo of the list! I can’t believe it. If you watch the video that I linked to youtube, you see the Listers arguing about the top 3, but I unfortunately did not take a picture of the List.

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      Un besote mastodóntico,

      Kip

  12. Kip:

    Very cool post, my friend. In your “Rain” category you could also add the Travis song, “Why Does It Always Rain on Me?”

    It’s another very cool one. And a nice video as well:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwh3FmpZ7kg

    Peace and paraguas,

    R.

    • Kip Tobin says:

      Rich,

      Thanks for the woof.

      I loved loved loved that Travis album back in the day, coming right off the heels of Radiohead’s rise to unstoppability. And then, for some reason, Travis just out sucky album after sucky album. I bought and listened to the two follow-ups to the “The Man Who…” and was very dissapointed. In fact, I wonder if they even put out a total album’s worth of good songs totaling every one they’ve released since.

      Thanks for the vid. Hadn’t seen that.

      Paz y parabolas…

      Kip

  13. Ryan Day says:

    I love it. This goes in my top ten top ten Kip stories. You are one meticulous man and I’m glad to know that you have a group of meticulous cohorts. If it were anywhere near New Year’s I’d make a resolution to integrate more list-making into my life.

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