By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Foxiest: The Strokes, The Strokes (RCA); Betty Blowtorch, Are You Man Enough? (Foodchain).
Fastest: Slayer, God Hates Us All (American); Static-X, Machine (Warner Bros.).
The Best of the Best: Petals: The Minnie Riperton Collection(The Right Stuff), the late great singer’s double-CD compilation of hits and unearthed jewels. "Lovin’ You," "Perfect Angel," Can You Feel What I’m Saying?" and "Memory Lane" — ahhh, now this shit is true honest-to-goodness music for grown folks. It was considered sacrilegious in old-school R&B circles when white Negro Quentin Tarantino used Riperton’s classic "Inside My Love" in one of his flicks. Simply put, it’s the most erotic tune of all time.
Best Album by a Legend: Herbie Hancock, Future 2 Future (Transparent Music).
Worst Album Released by a Legend: The O’Jays, For the Love (MCA).
Best Album by a Young Black Artist Who Makes Most Neo-Soul Musings Sound Like Self-Congratulatory Overproduced Poseur Bullshit: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Stay Human (Six Degrees).
Worst Album by a Young Black Artist To Cash in on Hype, Retro-Soul, Crossover Marketability and Shock Value All at the Same Time: Macy Gray, The Id(Epic).
Most Overhyped Albums: The Avalanches, Since I Left You (Modular); Alicia Keys, Songs in A Minor (J Records).
Most Underrated Albums: Juan Atkins, Legends: Volume One (Om); Attica Blues, Test, Don’t Test (Higher Ground); Mos Def, Black on Both Sides (Rawkus).
Single of the Year: Beatless, Life Mirrors (Ubiquity Records).
Dance Albums of the Year: Terence Toy, h2House (Water Music); Jerome Sydenham & Kerri Chandler, Saturday (Ibadan); DJ Deep, Respect to DJ Deep (Astralwerks); Ron Trent, Sessions Volume One(Giant Step Records).
Best Albums by a Hype-Free Local Electronic and DJ Artist Without a Residency: Worldship Music, L.A. Confidential Featuring the Teflon Dons (www.worldshipmusic.com or Aron’s Records); Joey Santa Cruz, Close Encounter (House Vibes) (www.pureacidmixtapes.com or Wax Records on Melrose).
Best Live Sets and Homemade Dance Music Compilations by a Hype-Free Local Electronic and DJ Artist Without a Residency: Brad Kent.Alan Rich: Music Destroyed, at the Hands of . . .
2. The Gravediggers: West Side Story exhumed and turned into a violin concerto.
3. The Inflators: 10 minutes of good blues blown up into two hours of Wynton Marsalis’ All Rise.
4. The Self-Destructors: The record industry eliminates its own relevance as a serious musical force.
5. The Pablum Producers: Carlisle Floyd’s new opera in San Diego, the latest but the same-old.
6. The Fabricators: Best-selling baroque fakery as Morimur, son of Pachelbel.
7. Prevaricators: Won’t-hurt-a-bit music-appreciation books, as in It’s Not As Bad As It Sounds et al.Music Redeemed, With the Help of . . .
1. Standing United: The Stravinsky and Schoenberg celebrations, a community effort.
2. Honorable Restoration: The L.A. Opera’s enlightened Handeling of Giulio Cesare.
3. Reverence: Attention finally paid to Lou Harrison, and to Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron.
4. A Final Flicker: As it disbands, the Angeles String Quartet’s complete Haydn recording proclaims what we’ll miss.
5. Life at the Center: Mark Adamo’s Little Women at Opera Pacific, a quiet, beautifully fashioned masterwork.
6. The Spirit of Adventure: Long Beach Opera’s giddy Elektra, followed by its fabulously off-the-wall Powder Her Face.
7. Tellers of Truth: The latest revision of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which has all the answers.Paul Rogers’ Tops ‘n’ Flops Destiny’s Child: The first half of their Survivoralbum was a romp of rampant, disjointed beats and functional, high-street feminism — then they torpedoed any hard-earned cred with the truly vomit-inducing 8 Days of Christmas holiday collection. Shameless cash-ins aside, main gal Beyoncé Knowles is here to stay — don’t fight it. Weezer’s Green Album: Rivers Cuomo and his designer nerds raised the bar for pure pop with this ultra-lean, remorselessly hook-laden collection. Cuomo’s weakest song on his worst day would be the masterpiece of a lifetime for mortal musicians. Ultimate melodic geek chic. Paul Wellerat House of Blues, July 20–22: England’s Modfather finally returned for three nights of alarmingly poignant solo acoustic shows, earning endless ovations from diverse, sold-out crowds containing only smatterings of the expected drunk Brits yelling for Jam songs. Living, relevant nostalgia. Radiohead: Having taken the "emperor’s new clothes" concept to minimalist extremes with their Kid A and Amnesiacalbums, they then milked the experiment with a live disc of songs from these (all Capitol/EMI). The Great Rock & Roll Swindle, Part 2. Slipknot’s audience at L.A. Forum, September 29: The music seemed almost irrelevant as Slipknot whipped the Forum’s crowd of 13,000 into one enormous, seething pit. Matters dissolved into a vision of orchestrated mob-rule, more disaster movie than rock concert. An unforgettable, surreal scene, transfixing and terrifying. Depeche Modeand Poe at Staples Center, August 14–15: Poe’s Haunted (Atlantic) — the best album you never heard — became flesh and fun through her ambling live show. Depeche delivered melancholy classics and the cream of this year’s excellent Exciterdisc (Reprise) with vigor, grace and a surprising amount of humor — not all of which appeared intentional. Two nights was too little of this priceless pairing.