You have god-awful taste, and only I can help you

By Jesse Sawyer

Let’s face it. You read the Arts section because you are weak. You aren’t cool enough to make it on your own. You listen to your more highly-informed friends as they downplay their recent chance encounter with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, offhandedly mention the upcoming re-premiere of Antonioni’s The Passenger, or make remarks on the derivative crappiness of any band currently building their musical castles based off of the blueprints laid out by Gang of Four over 25 years ago. These kids are cooler than you. Unfortunately, there’s little you can do to catch up at this point. Just maintain the satisfaction of knowing that, although they may be cooler, they will die first, because chain-smoking and cynicism shorten one’s life. So you win that one, at least. Anyway, just because you’re not cool, doesn’t mean that you can’t at least fake it for the holiday season (please read holiday season' as either: "Christmas" or "Sinful non-Christian devil-worship"). So, instead of giving your friends and relatives the kind of pedestrian drivel that they expect from someone as hopelessly un-hip as yourself, maybe you should read my special gift suggestions, all of which will make your relatives think of you as a mid-90s Steven Malkmus, when in reality you're little more than a 2005 Isaac Hanson. Enjoy!<br /><br /> Albums:<br /><br /> 1. Talking Heads Talking Heads Brick (Rhino)<br /><br /> [Absolutely worth the $120 price tag and I will marry anyone who buys it for me]<br /><br /> 2. Wolf Parade Apologies to the Queen Mary (Sub Pop)<br /><br /> [It's just so damn good]<br /><br /> 3. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! (Wichita Recordings)<br /><br /> [Self-released album turns into mega-hit that you should buy immediately!]<br /><br /> 4. Coco Rosie Noah's Ark (Touch and Go)<br /><br /> [If you don't like this, I don't like you. It's that simple.]<br /><br /> 5. Deerhoof Runners Four (Kill Rock Stars)<br /><br /> [Their best release yet; and the others are pretty much the shit, so this is most the shit of all, right?]<br /><br /> 6. Sufjan Stevens Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)<br /><br /> [He loves God and writes about America. Buy it for grandma!]<br /><br /> 7. The Hold Steady Separation Sunday (French Kiss)<br /><br /> [Get on the train, bitches! Where were you back in the days of Lifter Puller?]<br /><br /> 8. Art Brut Bang Bang Rockn Roll (Fierce Panda)

[Like my sexual experiences, it starts out with a fake-sounding British accent, features impotence on the fourth song, and ends far too quickly.]

9. Gay Beast Gay Beast EP (Freedom From)

[The sleeper hit of the year. You heard it here first.]

10. Liars It fit when I was a kid [seven-inch picture disc] (Mute)

[For the kids: the picture is of the band members engaged in hardcore gay sex.]

DVDs:

1. Weekend

[My favorite movie, finally on DVD; Godard, 1967. Amazing!]

2. Sin City: Recut and Extended

[This new version looks amazing, and it was easily my favorite film I saw in a theater this past year]

3. Me and You and Everyone We Know

[A sort-of romantic comedy about technology, neurosis, and featuring the funniest child actors ever. All I can say is: “Back and Forth. Forever.”]

4. Avant Garde-Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 30s

[Man Ray, Duchamp, Leger, and even Welles have outstanding experimental shorts from the early days.]

5. Bad Education (Original NC-17 edition)

[You already know Almodovar. Now add in the incredible acting and hotness of Gael Garcia Bernal, and you get this NC-17 gem.]

6. Office Space (Special Edition with Flair)

[In high school, we rented this every weekend. Mike Judge makes good.]

7. Oldboy

[An incredible Korean film that I’ve watched sixteen times in the last few weeks]

8. Alfred Hitchcock-The Masterpiece Collection

[All the best of Hitch, plus a few lesser-known pieces that are finally given the proper treatment.]

9. The Man with the Golden Arm

[Finally reissued; supposedly the first major portrayal of heroin addiction on the big screen–and it’s by old blue eyes Sinatra himself!]

10. The Oprah Winfrey Show – 20th Anniversary DVD Collection

[Why the hell don’t you own this already, you trick-ass toy?!]