The State Of The CDP Speech – 2006.

Rockin' The Deck Party Since 1982.

“Let’s Get Selfish!” By: theCDP.

Me and the Missus have been experimenting with podcasts for the last two weeks. Now that we have an iMac, complete with the amazing GarageBand program, it’s never been easier for me to branch out in a new creative direction.

All I need now is some creativity.

I definitely want a weekly or monthly CDP Podcast to be a reality in 2007. I also want to further my video production skills and perhaps work on monthly YouTube clips, as well. Essentially, I want the CDP to expand into a more viable source of entertainment, humor, intelligence and creative output. Essays are just fine and good, but I believe if you have the tools to make something else, you should do so. I keep imagining what film representations of certain CDP essays would look like, and I cannot help but think that people would enjoy them.

You can also bet on a CDP book being released sometime next year, complete with old and new CDP classics. As of right now, there’s already plenty of merch that nobody’s purchasing, so I wanted to add another log to the proverbial fire. Fake it ’till you make it; that’s what I always say.

A global empire cannot exist without initiative, however, and this is where I’ve been stewing for months. It’s hard to brainstorm new ideas when your head feels as if it’s been filled with concrete and set on fire. I swear to you, Sweeps Month is the absolute worst time of the year for me. It’s not funny, it’s a ton of work, it exists solely to fuel my OCD-nature, and nobody cares but me. I’m never doing it again; you have my word. When you exert an obscene amount of effort on something that generates nothing but indifference, you start to wonder if there was a better way to spend that time.

Same goes for Lost Friday. I know that I teased pulling the plug on it last season, but I can’t help but do it again. As of today, it’s a coin-flip as to if I’ll be returning for the remainder of Season 3. I’m not saying that to simply generate interest, either. I genuinely don’t know if I want to do it anymore.

On the bright side, the podcasts have been going good, with me and the Missus working on differing ideas, topics and an overall voice and image for the show. We’ve done over 3 hours of practice material over the last week, and we expect to go live as soon as possible; preferrably at the start of 2007. This onset of a new medium, however, makes me nervous. Once people actually get to sit down and hear the sort of person I am, they’re also going to wonder why they wasted so much time at the CDP.

I never said I was a funny guy to be around. I can talk for hours without breathing, however.

Even with the promise of all these new options and outlets, the mantra for the CDP in 2007 is ‘Minimize, Simplify and Enjoy.‘ If I want to take 3 weeks off to work on a film clip, I will. If I want to do nothing but podcasts for a month, I will. If I want to write cartoons, haikus and poetry 24/7, then that’s exactly what I’m going to do. As long as it:

1 – Makes me happy. And,
2 – I find it entertaining.

I can’t be funny when I’m depressed and burned out, so I’m going to eliminate the stressors and get more selfish. It will work out in the long run, I can assure you. You may not always have a new CDP post staring back at you every morning, but when you do, you’ll like it a lot more.

After a few years of publishing 3-5 times a week, giving myself meaningless deadlines and spending more time than necessary on things I didn’t care about, the clouds started to part. I had a moment of clarity and realized that all my work was hindering me. The world I’ve created for myself at the CDP was actually keeping me from venturing forth in my endeavors. I spent more time writing things because I thought I had to, not because I wanted to. There are so many better things I could be doing to make you and I happy, and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be doing them.

From now on, I’m doing only what I want. This will made the CDP far more entertaining in 2007, I’m sure of it.

The hits will drop, the links will disappear, the fan mail will decrease, and the money will- well, I don’t get any money, so that will stay the same.

It will all be worth it.

Thank you so much for making 2006 such a huge year in the lifespan and evolution of the CDP. Every comment, e-mail, kind word, criticism and insult make the CDP a better place to spend our collective time, and I appreciate it immensely. 7000 visitors a month can’t be wrong, and even if they are, I don’t want to be right.

Yes, things will be different here in 2007. By ‘different,’ I mean ‘better than you.’

See you soon.


Drown Me In Egg Nog And Don’t Bother To Save Me.

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.

Every household has their own special Christmas traditions. At CDP Headquarters, I make sure to watch these 5 specific Christmas movies before the end of the year. They are, in no particular order:

1. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians.
2. A Christmas Story.
3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
4. It’s A Wonderful Life.
5. Scrooge (A Christmas Carol – 1951)

The CDP will be off for the holidays until December 27. In the meantime, enjoy the Greatest Christmas Blog Post Ever, courtesy of Let’s Eat Paste.

Merry Christmas. Sound off in the comments section, and spread some holiday cheer.

DECEMBER 29: The State Of The CDP Address.

We’ve Just Got Two Words For You.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If I could make it any clearer that I’m burned out and depressed without having to hang myself in my bathroom by the elastic in my boxers, I most certainly would. I want Sweeps (aka-this year) to be over even more than you do, so I can be once again funny and creative in 2007. It’s going to rule. I have so many things lined up, I make Tony Robbins look like a life-support patient.

Now that’s motivation.


The CDP’s Best & Worst Of 2006.

The Best & Worst Of 2006.

Here now, the Best & Worst of 2006, CDP-Style.

I only received about 5 or so submissions this year for Best/Worst, but don’t feel too bad for me. I didn’t feel like mailing out all of the free CDP merch, anyways. You all saved me a ton of postage. Besides, the Missus didn’t even submit a list this year, so I didn’t expect much.

Let’s continue with the lists. I get to go first.

The CDP’s Best & Worst Of 2006:

Your favorite & least favorite Album of 2006.
Favorite: Cum Laude! – The Velvet Teen
Least Favorite: Drum’s Not Dead – Liars

Your favorite & least favorite Film of 2006.
Favorite: Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire
Least Favorite: Pirates 2 – Dead Man’s Chest

Your favorite & least favorite Book of 2006.
Favorite: Have A Nice Day! – Mick Foley
Least Favorite: I don’t read books that I don’t like.

Your favorite & least favorite TV Show of 2006.
Favorite: LOST
Least Favorite: Jericho

Your favorite & least favorite Song of 2006.
Favorite: I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab For Cutie
Least Favorite: Damn near anything by a female, solo pop artist.

Your favorite & least favorite Moment In General of 2006.
Favorite: Moving into the new CDP Headquarters. Stephen Colbert blasting Bush.
Least Favorite: Compiling this list.

JT’s Best & Worst Of 2006:

Your favorite & least favorite Album of 2006.
Favorite: Johnny Cash – American V
Least Favorite: Anything by Kenny Chesney

Your favorite & least favorite Film of 2006.
Favorite: Walk the Line

Your favorite & least favorite TV Show of 2006.
Favorite: Heroes
Least Favorite: Desperate Houswives

Your favorite & least favorite Song of 2006.
Favorite: Gone to Carolina – Shooter Jennings
Least Favorite: Anything by Fergie

Your favorite & least favorite Moment In General of 2006.
Favorite: The day my divorce was final.

Any other favorites and least favorites you want to mention.
Favorite CDP Post: Tackling Reggie White

Aaron’s Best & Worst of 2006:

My 10 favorite albums this year, in no particular order:
mewithoutYou – Brother, Sister
The Rapture – Pieces Of The People We Love
These Arms Are Snakes – Easter
Owen – At Home With Owen
William Elliott Whitmore – Song Of The Blackbird
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
Rocky Votolato – Makers
The Paper Chase – Now You Are One Of Us
MSTRKRFT – The Looks
+/- – Let’s Build A Fire

RJ’s Best & Worst Of 2006:

Amon Amarth, “With Oden on Our Side
Twisted Sister, “Twisted Christmas
It is as bad as it sounds, but I couldn’t turn it off…

Casino Royale/The Omen (Remake)

The best book I’ve read this year was Blood and Gold by Anne Rice

TV News?
Finding out they’re bringing back Futurama.

Moments in general-
The look on my ex-fiancee’s face when I told her I was leaving/finding
out my ex-fiancee lied about everything (such as her ex-husband being

Raif’s Best & Worst Of 2006:

Least favorite: Bush reaffirming support for Rumsfled
Most favorite: Bush firing Rumsfeld.

Halochick’s Best & Worst Of 2006:

~ Favorite album: There were actually several for me, I can’t pick
just one!!! The Dixie Chicks album, Taking the Long Way, was great, Me
First and the Gimme Gimmes released Love Their Country and it’s a
blast. Fergie’s Dutchess is a lot of fun when my girls and I are going
out to get drunk. But if I HAD to pick, I’d go with Pink’s I’m Not
Dead. U +UR Hand is a song that almost every female can relate to and
Dear Mr. President is absolutely incredible.

~ Least favorite album: Playing With Fire, K-Fed. I tried to listen to
it with an open mind, but it was so bad I was willing to jump into a
real fire to make it stop.

~ Favorite film: I’m willing to bet that it’s going to be Dreamgirls
when it comes out at Christmas but in the meantime I’ll go with Death
of a President. Yeah, it was fake but the consequences from everything
were all too real.

~ Least favorite film: The Wicker Man and The Omen remake. It was
horrible and I will be so happy when Hollywood stops remaking films
that were fine to begin with. They have ruined so many great movies by
doing this. Just stop!!!

~ Favorite book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan
Safran Foer. It’s really damn good. Bleachy Haired Honky Bitch by
Hollis Gillespie was a lot of fun too.

~ Least favorite book: Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events,
“The End”. Personally, I didn’t care for the way the series wrapped. I
loved the entire series and just felt disappointed the way it ended.

~ Favorite song: U + UR Hand by Pink. My latest theme song.

~ Least favorite song: Popozao. Enough said.

~ Favorite moment: It’s a toss up and they’re both political. (1) is
Stephen Colbert at the White House correspondent’s dinner. I have
never laughed so hard in my life. (2) is election day. Not only did
the dems take control of the House and Senate, Britney filed for
divorce from K-Fed!!!

~ Least favorite moment: Britney’s downward spiral since filing for
divorce. I would buy her a lifetime supply of panties if I thought it
would keep her from leaving a s**** t**** wherever she went.

Well, there you have it. Sound off in the comments section, and let us know what your Best & Worst of 2006 is.


"Don’t You Go Forgetting About Me."

Only losers wear backwards baseball caps.
(If you want to skip this news article, complete with witty banter, it’s your loss. But please, for the love of God, take the time to scroll down to where it says ‘STORY!’ You’re not going to want to miss this. Also, reading the news article will enhance your enjoyment of said story.)

FORT COLLINS, CO. – High school teacher Carrie McCandless carried on a romance with a 17-year-old student, which included the exchange of 76 text messages in a single day, according to her arrest affidavit.

(Hey, what grown woman wouldn’t be lust-struck by a 17-year old boy? The way their acne shines off of the fluorescent lights, the way that they constantly smell like French fries and Brute, the way that everything on the planet gives them an erection. It’s like Spanish Fly with a crooked baseball cap.)

The teacher also supplied the students she was chaperoning on a late-October field trip with alcohol and “did everything except have sex” with the male student during the outing, the affidavit said.

(Everything? Did they go hang-gliding? Did they play dueling pianos? Was there a Yak somehow thrown into the mix?)

McCandless’ behavior during that weekend ultimately led to felony charges against her of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and contributing to the delinquency of a minor by providing at least one student with alcohol. The 29-year-old was fired from the Brighton Charter High School where her husband, Chris McCandless, is principal.

(This story just keeps getting better. You thought that the students treated the Principal like a douchebag before this incident? Well, let’s just say that the respect won’t be arriving in droves after these facts get out. For a student, screwing around with the Principal’s wife is just about the greatest thing you can do, second only to airlifting his Lexus onto the school’s roof and setting it ablaze.)

McCandless was formally advised of the charges against her in Larimer County District Court on Tuesday. The affidavit, which was unsealed after the hearing, details what allegedly happened on the overnight hiking trip with about a half-dozen students and how the school reacted to the situation.

(What school allows a teacher to take 6 kids on an overnight hiking trip? Just 6?)

School officials did not report the incident to police, who first learned about it from a television reporter. Former school board chairman David Mundy Sr. has been charged with tampering with at least three witnesses or victims and failing to report child abuse.

(Oh, I see. This is the kind of school we’re talking about. Essentially, every school I’ve ever attended. Corrupt, rich, bald, white guys with a stick up their ass and a complete disdain for youth.)

Mundy resigned from the board on Friday. The remaining board members have reassured Brighton school district officials, who hold their charter, that similar incidents would be reported immediately in the future.

(So, they’re pretty much admitting that this sort of thing will happen again. I love Fort Collins!)

The boy has told police that he started calling and text messaging McCandless in early October, when they started planning the trip and was “very excited.”

(Teacher Rule #1 – Don’t give your cell phone number to students, unless you plan on giving them “everything except sex.”)

Phone records reveal that McCandless and the boy exchanged 76 text messages on Oct. 10, according to the affidavit.

(Student Rule #1 – STOP SPILLING THE BEANS, YOU’RE RUINING IT FOR EVERYONE. I know it’s exciting and all, but if you tell someone, the fun will end. It’s a fact of life.)

In one exchange, the boy wrote that he was cold, and she responded, “Just pretend you’re here, sweating with me.”

(Okay, that’s seriously the hottest thing I’ve read in a long time. Can we get a mugshot, anyone?)

On the afternoon before the school trip to Estes Park, McCandless and the boy “made out” in a car outside a Sam’s Club for about 45 minutes, he told police.

(They made out in bulk, and saved lots of money! I suppose they had to move all the 5-gallon drums of Mayonnaise out of the backseat beforehand. They’re bulky, but cheap as hell; just like this teacher! ZING!)

The next morning, Carrie McCandless, the boy, and about a half-dozen other students drove to Estes Park and went on a hike. During the hike, McCandless and the boy lagged behind, the affidavit said.

(You’d be tired, too, if you spent all last night making out in bulk. My personal record is 18.4 seconds.)

The boy brought a bottle of Everclear grain alcohol on the trip, and he told police “they were all drinking.” He said McCandless also “brought up a bottle of Jack Daniels for them to drink” and shared it with him.

(Clearly, the boy isn’t as innocent as the prosecutors want him to be portrayed as. This is probably going to be the single greatest experience of his teen life, so why send people to jail over it? Everclear is essentially poison, by the way. Don’t drink it.)

Other students told police that they observed McCandless and the boy sneaking away repeatedly, presumably to smoke and drink, for 30 to 45 minutes at a time.

(This McCandless woman isn’t a very tactful and experienced seducer. Get creative; don’t just sneak away! Fake a heart attack and have him ‘drive you to the hospital.’ Where’s the excitement?)

That night, after the other students had gone to bed, McCandless and the boy “made out” on the floor in the front room of the cabin, where another boy was sleeping on a nearby couch. The boy involved with McCandless later told police that they simulated sex with their clothes on.

(Okay, forget what I said before. This is the hottest thing I’ve read in a long time. If I were the boy that was pretending to sleep on the couch, I would have sprung up and outed them like nobody’s business. There’s no way I’m going to let this chance at a free ‘A’ pass me by. Blackmail makes the world go ’round.)

They “did everything except have sex” and it was obvious to everyone what was going on, a friend of the boy’s told police.

(Seems pretty obvious from here, as well. Perhaps she wanted to get caught, as a way to get back at her Principal husband for some reason. Beats me, but I need a shower.)

Hey, we found a photo!

Well, there you go.

Interesting. Very interesting. Allow me to share a quick theory with you.

Women like Carrie (or any of these female teachers, for that matter) aren’t in love or even lusting after these teenage boys that they educate. They’re not trapped in a loveless marriage or living a life of lonely singlehood. All of these teachers have been reasonably good-looking, and would have no problem picking up any guy in any bar in any city in the nation. For women like Carrie, meeting men who want to sleep with them is not a problem. Hell, for any woman, it’s not a problem.

There’s only one reason someone would risk their career to do something like this. There’s only one reason a woman would negate meeting adults the normal way, and carrying on a typical relationship like we all do. There’s only one reason someone would do something like this.

They’re crazy. Plain and simple. That’s the only way this makes sense. Let’s elaborate, shall we?


Rockin' the vest.
(A blurry photo of the CDP in Grade 8. I was too lazy to run this through the scanner.)

When I was in the 8th grade, I met a student teacher named Sheila, who had arrived from a neighboring college. Over the course of the next several weeks, Sheila and I bonded; mainly in that I was the only student mature enough to have a decent conversation with her. She was learning the thankless ropes of the Middle School, she wasn’t getting through to the students and faculty, and she longed for someone, anyone to share typical thoughts and feelings with.

We swore in front of each other. We talked after class and walked in the halls. We even sat next to each other at some of the football games. I was starting to like Sheila as more than a teacher, but was still smart enough to know that I was in the 8th grade. Clearly, she was humoring me, or simply being nice to the one student that she ‘got through’ to. I wasn’t an idiot; I knew that this was sort of a weird relationship we were having, and soon it would end. I mean, she was only a handful of years older than me, but the difference between 14 and 20 might as well have been an eternity.

As the weeks rolled on, something interesting started to happen. Thinking that Sheila was solely being nice to me from a student-teacher perspective, I started to ignore her. I stopped trying to run into her in the hallways, and I stopped chatting with her after class. I didn’t want to look like an idiot with a crush, so I decided to stop leading myself into inevitable heartbreak (I later went on to lead myself into heartbreak multiple times in High School). Amazingly enough, she then started to seek me out, wanting just to talk about things that had nothing to do with school. This relationship was now being initiated by her, and quite astonishingly, she was no longer acting like my student teacher.

This conflicted me to no end, as you can imagine. It made no sense whatsoever. For a teenage boy of my age, this kept me up all night, frantically attempting to understand the validity and nature of the situation. Don’t get me wrong, it was exhilarating, but mostly just confusing as hell.

Students had been talking about me and Sheila for a while at this point; it was difficult to overlook that I was spending more time around her than I was with my friends. I recall one night at a football game, me and her were sitting together and talking in the highest row of bleachers, when a couple of my friends showed up. They asked me if I wanted to leave the game early and spend the night at one of their houses. I politely declined, as I was getting to know Sheila better and almost always chose women over close friends. A minute after they left, she gave me a hug, silently thanking me for choosing her over them. The next day, the same friend that invited me over said, “You’re either doing one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen, or one of the coolest.” Then he started getting saying filthy things, and I tuned him out.

Sheila’s last day at my school culminated with a dance in the gymnasium. She was there, acting as a chaperone for wee children like myself. I was feeling down, mainly because I knew I would never see her again. Regardless of how she may or may not have felt about me, I was still sad to see her go. Part of me felt like she was merely screwing with me; using me as a martyr for all of the other students that treated her like crap. Because of their folly, I would suffer. Still, another part of me felt as if she genuinely liked me, and I was about to miss out on the chance of a lifetime. Yet another part of me thought that she was mistaking me for a Special Need student, and she was merely doing her part as a humanitarian to make sure I didn’t swallow my tongue.

I did my best to act as invisible as possible that night. I didn’t dance, I didn’t run around like crazy with my friends, and I didn’t spend all of my Mom’s money on candy bars. I sat under the bleachers, keeping my eye on Sheila at all times, wishing there was something I could do to temporarily stop time. When I saw her interacting with all of the students, saying goodbye and mingling, I felt deflated. That’s when a friend came over to me, and broke the news.

“Hey, did Miss _____ find you yet?”

“What? No. Why?”

“She’s been looking for you all night, dude. She’s asking everyone where you are.”


“Yeah. You better go talk to her.”

I really didn’t want to talk to her. I mean, what was the point? One of two things was about to happen. Either she would thank me for being such a good student and walk away, or she would throw her arms around me, kiss me, and still walk away. No matter the case, I’d be hurt, regardless of how much I prepared myself not to be. There was no getting out of this one.

When Sheila saw me walking toward her, her eyes lit up as she ran in my direction. Just then, a slow song started blaring through the gymnasium, as couples started to pair off.

I don’t have anyone to dance with,” she whispered. “Where have you been?

I was all set to say, “Well, I’ve been hiding under the bleachers like a child because I have a crush on my student teacher who’s been sending me mixed messages for three months and I don’t want to look like an idiot and I wish I knew what was really going on but you’re leaving tonight and I’m never going to see you again and I’m just a dumbass kid that doesn’t understand how to act in situations like this so I’m just going to call my Mom and have her pick me up and take me home.”

I didn’t have a chance, though, because as soon as I opened my mouth, she grabbed me by the arm and kissed me.

Shocked, I took a couple of steps back. I looked around to see if anyone else caught a glimpse, but it appeared as if the coast was clear. Sheila again stepped closer, staring me down and acknowledging the slow song by tilting her ear to the ceiling and saying, “Do I hear you calling my name?

By this point, the song was all but fading out, but she still interlocked with me and swayed until there was silence.

“I’m going to miss you,” she said. “Don’t you go forgetting about me.”

“Me, too” was all I could muster. Looking back, I’m well aware that it made no sense.

As we said goodbye to each other, I (in a moment of bizarre bravado and charm) held her right hand and kissed it, chivalry-style. It was simultaneously the strangest and most romantic thing I’ve probably ever done as a teenager.

Before I knew it, one of the weirdest chapters of my life was over. Sheila was gone, and I never saw her again.

Do you want to know why?

Because she was quite obviously crazy, that’s why. My aforementioned theory works, because I’ve experienced it first-hand. Looking back, I remember the way she acted very clearly. And yes, she honestly did like me as more than a student, but it was because she was nuttier than a squirrel’s breakfast.

That doesn’t make it any less amazing, though. It was a lot of fun while it lasted. I also realize that I end a lot of my essays with “…and I never saw her again.”

However, if I knew then what I know now, I would have taken more advantage of her than you could ever imagine. I consider it a lost opportunity, and I also consider myself an asshole with no moral compass.

Just recalling this story is making me shake my head in disbelief.

How’s that for Sweeps Month?

WEDNESDAY: The Best & Worst Of 2006!
FRIDAY: The Best Comments Of 2006!

The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2006 (Part IV.)

Top 5 Albums Of 2006.

We’ve finally made it. Here are the CDP’s Top 5 Albums of the Year. This list represents the albums that have stayed in my car the longest, the albums that have blown my mind the most, or the albums that changed the way I thought about music in 2006. It’s no easy task, but they bravely stepped up to the plate, and promptly gave me a swift boot to the rod.

Polysics - Now Is The Time!
Honorable Mention – Polysics – Now Is The Time!

Because this album was technically released in Japan in 2005, Now Is The Time! was controversially omitted from the Top 20. I still felt it deserved recognition, however, as Polysics still hold the CDP title of Greatest Band On Earth. Even though Now Is The Time! doesn’t stand up to the best of Polysics (buy Polysics Or Die!!! for a crash course), they still destroy everything in their path, even on their worst day. These geniuses make their instruments do awful things.

The Crane Wife.
#5 – The Decemberists – The Crane Wife

The Decemberists are consistently releasing music at a plane of existence higher than just about any band playing today. On the heels of the amazing Picaresque, The Crane Wife is more of what we’d expect to see from Colin Meloy and company. When Arcade Fire releases four straight albums that are on par with what Funeral was, then I’ll start to compare them to the Decemberists. To be this good all the time is downright scary.

#4 – Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites

Already a well-established group in their native Denmark, Mew’s monolithic sound and lush landscapes even put Muse to shame. And The Glass Handed Kites is truly one of the most beautiful albums of the year, in that it honestly transports you to somewhere else, while still retaining a melodic rock sensibility. It may take a listen or two, but eventually you’ll understand why this group has such a devoted following.

Return To The Sea.
#3 – Islands – Return To The Sea

Even though they received plenty of buzz for containing two members of The Unicorns in their group, Islands’ Return To The Sea was a severely underrated album this year. Perfectly-crafted indie rock with touches of Neutral Milk Hotel and buzzing amps for good measure, Return To The Sea marked the release of an album done amazingly proper. From the swirling 9-minute intro to the almost radio-friendly singles, Return To The Sea will make all fans of music happy at some point.

#2 – P.O.S. – Audition

Out of absolutely nowhere, Minneapolis’ own P.O.S. released the hip-hop album of the year. Hands-down, no argument and no conversation necessary. Almost more punk than rap, the angry beats, angrier rhymes and intelligent musings of P.O.S. will make this man a huge star in no time. If you thought that angry, political, smart, funny and once again, angry hip-hop was dead, Audition is your new best friend. There was no other album that was played in my car more than Audition this year.

Before we crown the Best Album Of 2006, a quick look back at the CDP‘s previous Album Of The Year choices:

Reconstruction Site.
2003 Winner: The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site
Runner-Up: The Postal Service Give up

2004 Winner: Arcade Fire – Funeral
Runner-Up: Communique – Poison Arrows

The Sunlandic Twins.
2005 Winner: Of Montreal – The Sunlandic Twins
Runner-Up: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

Okay, here it is. The CDP‘s pick for the 2006 Album Of The Year:

Cum Laude!
#1 – The Velvet Teen – Cum Laude!

The Velvet Teen is one of those bands that constantly reinvents themselves with every new album, yet consistently maintains their own signature sound. With 2004’s Elysium, recorded entirely on a laptop with no guitars, The Velvet Teen propelled themselves into a world of orchestral arrangements, experimental techniques and truly heartbreaking imagery. Advancing further with Cum Laude!, they again take a concept to its natural conclusion, all without alienating the listener.

It’s a rare breed that can take an artistic statement, and still make it catchy, melodically pleasing and instantly memorable. It took me a couple of listens to fully realize the magnitude of what was happening, but once I heard it, I couldn’t stop hearing it. This was the sound of original beauty; raw, coursing and without comparison. They gambled with an altered, ‘distorted’ vocal technique which paid off in spades, and replaced the late Logan Whitehurst with one of the most technically amazing drummers I’ve ever seen in a live setting, Casey Dietz.

A quick snippet of an interview with Dietz reads: To those who have never seen him play, Deitz is the best drummer in town, and to many (myself included) he’s the best they’ve ever seen in person. I’ve seen people watching him play for the first time shake their heads in disbelief, turning to their friends and pointing at the show Deitz is putting on.”

I don’t know how the Velvet Teen manages to keep these tracks as tight as they do in concert, but it’s truly a sight to behold. You’ll be wondering how they even managed to do it in the studio. I don’t know what else to say, other than that I had absolutely no doubts about placing Cum Laude! in the #1 spot. Truly the best album I’ve heard this year.

Sound off in the comments section, call me a loser and mock my musical tastes. I’ll be waiting.

(The final CDP essay of the year; I saved the best for last.)

The CDP’s Christmas List.

In case you were looking to buy me something this year, here are 15 suggestions. This list will also come in handy if you happen to have a hipster asshole in your family that wears a size Small and hates the outdoors.

Gifts have been organized by price. Tally-ho!

Nintendo Wii – $748.25

This is the best used price I could find online, so don’t wait! They’ll just get more expensive! After seeing how large and cumbersome the PS3 is, my next-gen console mind is made up. I swear to God, the PS3 is the size of an Atari 2600, only the 2600 actually had cool games.

Electronic Drum Kit.
Hart Dynamics Prodigy Electronic Drum Set – $500

Living in an attached townhome, I can’t just go into the basement and drum away like I used to. Even with the attached silencers, it’s still loud and not the least bit gratifying. I’d learn to play the guitar, but that’s like eating dog food when you could have lobster. Vegan lobster.

80GB iPod.
80GB Black Video iPod – $350

This iPod has a larger capacity than my last computer, and could very well store 30,000 tracks. After some quick math, I’ve determined that accounts for almost every worthwhile song in my CD collection. If someone doesn’t buy this for me, I’ll buy it myself the day after Christmas.

The Prisoner.
The Prisoner – Complete Series Megaset – $130

Why this DVD collection hasn’t decreased in price is beyond me, but it seems worth it. The Prisoner is #1 on my list of television shows I’ve never watched but absolutely have to at some point. Besides, I needed another excuse to sit in front of my television for weeks on end.

OBEY Savage Posse Gang Jacket – $120

If this jacket doesn’t help my transition from emotional cute ‘boy‘ to a serious, badass ‘man,’ then nothing will. Furthermore, I find it ironic that I’ve given several hundreds of dollars to a company that so opposes brand stereotypes that they can’t help but create tons of merch.

Kids In The Hall.
The Kids In The Hall Megaset – $119

When it comes to sketch comedy, The Kids In The Hall rival even Monty Python when it comes to the art of deconstructing the one-act comedy piece. Still fringe after all these years, Kids In The Hall is, in the CDP‘s opinion, one of the funniest shows of all-time.

Calvin & Hobbes.
The Complete Calvin & Hobbes – $100

True, I have every Calvin & Hobbes book ever published, but there’s still something all-encompassing about getting the complete treasury. Nobody has encapsulated the warmth, humor, intelligence and beauty of the comic strip better than Bill Watterson.

Rhodium-Plated Top & Bottom Grill – $92

When I wear my grill,
I know I’m better than you.
Because my teeth shine.

Wrestlemania: The Complete Anthology (Volume III) – $70

I’m watching every WrestleMania in reverse order from XXII, so this is the next logical step in my progression. Even though the WWE is nowhere near the peak of their late 90’s popularity, you can always count on being entertained by the biggest Pay-Per-View of the year.

Serial Experiments Lain – Signature Series Box Set – $40

Lain is the only Anime that the CDP has ever cared about. Impossible to understand after just one viewing, Lain was in the forefront of online, hacker and cyberpunk culture. Now, while that all doesn’t interest me too much, the series itself is addictive and surreal, as you’d assume.
Trivial Pursuit.
Trivial Pursuit: Totally 80’s – $40

Every year, Trivial Pursuit comes out with a game that I want more than the previous one. Everyone who grew up in the 80’s should have an 80’s trivia game somewhere in the house, and nobody does it better than the Pursuit folk. Not sure if this is a DVD game, but who cares?

Swiss Army.
Swiss Army Cologne – $35

Someday, when the Internet develops ‘Scent Technology,’ you’ll all realize just how amazing I smell at all hours of the day. However, when this Internet breakthrough does occur, you might want to stop visiting certain sites. “Ain’t It Cool News” instantly comes to mind.

Arrested Development.
Arrested Development – Season 3 DVD – $30

Folks, when it comes to situation comedies of the last decade, it gets no better than Arrested Development. This final season sticks it to FOX, the fans and the state of popular television in general, leading to some of the best satire ever seen on the small screen. Brilliant stuff.

I Walked On The Moon.
Brian Regan – I Walked On The Moon – $20

I would get a Brian Regan CD, but he’s a comedian that works better under a visual medium. Unlike a Demetri Martin or Steven Wright, Brian works the entire stage, adopting a high-energy, 100% clean-yet gaspingly funny act that could get a laugh out of absolutely anyone.

Walk Into The Light.
Communique – Walk Into The Light EP – $6

I could easily buy this myself, but I’m too lazy to do the mailorder thing anymore. I’m an instant-gratification guy; if I have to wait a week for an album to arrive in my mailbox, I simply won’t buy it; instead opting for whatever second-rate album I can grab at Best Buy.

Best Buy.
Gift Cards For The Following 10 Locations (Any Price):

Barnes & Noble – Who doesn’t want to spend $20 on a CD?
Best Buy – If Best Buy didn’t exist, I could have retired years ago.
Borders – Just like Barnes & Noble, only with more magazines!
The Buckle – Where the CDP goes when he wants $100 pre-torn jeans.
Exclusive Company – Wisconsin’s best indie record store. A WI hipster tradition.
Express – Where the CDP goes when he wants to look gay.
Godiva – Because I happen to like truffles. Jealous?
Marcus Theatres – Why does it cost $50 for two people to see a movie?
Olive Garden – Unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks? It’s not even my birthday!
Target – Where the CDP buys pretty much everything he truly needs.

Get buying!


The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2006 (Part III.)

Top 10 Albums Of 2006.

We’re officially in the Top 10. The meat of the order. The tomato on the patty and so forth.

Just a quick word on the validity of this list. It’s by no means a ‘difinitive‘ or ‘good‘ list; merely a list of the 20 best albums purchased by me this year. I’m not Pitchfork, I don’t get free albums, and I don’t actively seek out things that would boost my indie cred. I’m just a dude, dudes, so get right the hell over it.

Let’s go.

St. Elsewhere
#10 – Gnarls Barkley – St. Elsewhere

The oddest duo in popular music, Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse released one of the most eclectic and universally praised albums of the year with St. Elsewhere. What started as a mostly underground movement slowly turned into a multi-platinum success, mainly centered around one of 2006’s biggest singles, Crazy. I would venture that at least half of the album is more diverse and listenable than Crazy, so it’s well worth a listen.

Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album
#9 – Reel Big Fish – Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album

After being (mercifully) dropped from Jive Records earlier in the year, RBF took the reigns and released their first official live album, boasting a DVD and two discs full of material. With tracks ranging from their entire 10-year catalog, I instantly remembered how amazing and memorable their live shows are. OLAIBTYLA is the perfect way to check out the greatest 3rd wave ska band ever, doing what they do best.

Happy Hollow
#8 – Cursive – Happy Hollow

Tim Kasher is a jerk, or at least that’s what my wife says. She doesn’t like that he mopes around and feels sorry for himself, despite the fact that he refuses to stop acting like a jerk. Simple logic, I guess, but Happy Hollow contains almost none of the self-effacing pity we’ve grown to expect with Cursive. Taking a concept-album approach, Kasher leads us on a tour of Anytown USA, and the things we like to pretend aren’t within.

Boys And Girls In America
#7 – The Hold Steady – Boys And Girls In America

I’m quite certain that I’m the last person to become intensely aware of The Hold Steady’s awesome-ness. Don’t hold that against me, however, because I’m catching up as fast as I can. Boys And Girls In America picks up where we left off, showcasing troubled youth, sex, drugs and stories that most of us would have to make up to sound cultured and world-weary. Not only that, but the melodies and powerful sing-along hooks make Boys And Girls almost untouchable.

The Beatles - Love
#6 – The Beatles – Love

A Beatles album full of mash-ups of over 100 Beatles songs. Need I say more? In all honesty, this would officially qualify Love for “Best Album Ever” honors; I simply placed it at #6 for the fairness of equality. The production value, creativity and timeless excellence of the Beatles all come together on what amounts to a completely overwhelming and emotional experience. If you don’t yet own any Beatles albums (dumbass), pick this up and change your life.


The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2006 (Part II.)

Top 20 Albums Of 2006!
Another day, another 5 albums on our countdown list. Away we go.

Supersystem - A Million Microphones
#15 – Supersystem – A Million Microphones

As we now know, A Million Microphones will be the last album from Washington DC post-punk outfit Supersystem. As is the case with many of the albums on this year’s list, Microphones doesn’t compare to Supersystem’s previous showcase, Always Never Again. That being said, this album contains multiple influences and excuses to dance, so it’s easy to overlook.

Saves The Day - Sound The Alarm
#14 – Saves The Day – Sound The Alarm

Saves The Day is a band that evolves within themselves. A band intent on not listening to what the fans want (to a certain capacity; they are quite in touch with their audience); instead going where their musical tastes dictate. Sound The Alarm is STD’s angriest album yet, continuing to change the emo and hardcore game that they created (and abandoned) years ago. To this day, Stay What You Are remains as one of my most beloved albums ever, so Chris Conley and company can do no wrong in my book.

Demetri Martin - These Are Jokes
#13 – Demetri Martin – These Are Jokes

Never mind Jim Gaffigan’s Beyond The Pale; this is the comedic performance of the year. Demetri Martin’s first comedy album explodes with creativity, abstract one-liners, endlessly quotable bits and a signature charm. There is something here for everyone, so if you’re unfamiliar to Demetri’s world, say hello to your new favorite comic.

Guillemots - From The Cliffs
#12 – Guillemots – From The Cliffs

On the strength of Trains To Brazil, one of the best singles of the year, Guillemots presented From The Cliffs to the United States. Fyfe Dangerfield’s beautiful voice and amazing songwriter prowess allow Guillemots to rise above the rest of the indie pack, creating something very unique and nostalgic at the same time.

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am...
#11 – Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

After shattering UK sales records and being hyped as the Next Greatest Band In The World, Arctic Monkeys came close to living up to the hype. This young group of incredibly tight musicians (they claim to have learned their instruments in less than a year) takes us on a tour of the UK after dark, weaving tales of clubs, alcohol and shady characters. The act wears thin after a few tracks, but there’s no denying the impact that the Monkeys made in 2006 (I’ve always wanted to say that).

The CDP’s Top 20 Albums Of 2006 – #10-#6.