Every year it seems like there's more pressure to buy my loved - and sometimes not-so-loved - ones awesome, creative, flawlessly wrapped gifts. Yet even though Black Friday came and went, I have not one giveable gift.
Editor's note: While Danny and I disagree somewhat on the year's best movies, remember he's the expert. Here are his picks.
If you're wondering what to get your music-savvy friends for the holidays, consider buying them these releases to add to their record collections. Ha, just kidding - who actually pays for music anymore? Anyway, I couldn't mention only 10, so here's my baker's dozen of top picks for the albums of 2007.
There is a scene in "Dan in Real Life" where one of Steve Carell's character's shrill, insufferable daughters ("She sounds like a tea kettle," to quote an earlier, better Carell movie) is pleading emotionally with him to let her boyfriend stay over. Once she uses the word "love," Carell suddenly laughs uncontrollably at his daughter's naïve stupidity. Not only is it the only genuinely funny scene in the film, but his line also accurately depicts how I felt watching "Dan in Real Life": "You've got to be kidding me."
Holiday shopping season is rapidly nearing, and you know what that means: prime time for fossilized rock stars to release self-prostituting "best-of" compilations that collect and reorganize all the songs you already have.
Alicia Keys has carried a piano prodigy stigma throughout her career, yet her two studio albums and Unplugged album were punctuated with a hip-hop edge indicative of her Harlem upbringing. But with her latest, "As I Am," Keys' sound matures, often reaching adult contemporary. It's her most mellow, most boring album, but it's still pretty good.
Ever accidentally eavesdropped and overheard something so ridiculous you had to laugh and tell all your friends later? Well, share it with the rest of us. Send your ridiculous, funny or ridiculously funny overheard quotes to Beth Romanik.
Recording and releasing albums is no longer just for bigwigs in the music industry. Gainesville bands are also heading to the studios in order to give fans souvenirs, to get their songs heard and of course, to make some extra money.
Jay-Z may have left the Brooklyn underworld more than a decade ago to establish himself as one of the most successful figures in the music industry, but that didn't stop him from revisiting his dark past on "American Gangster," his 10th studio album in 12 years. Inspired by the Ridley Scott film of the same name, Jay-Z weaves tales of a young drug dealer over 70s soul beats to mixed, but mostly positive, results.