Here are some CDs, DVDs, books for today's athletes
Posted: Wednesday December 21, 2005 2:51PM; Updated: Thursday December 22, 2005 10:33AM
Terrell Owens would be a fan of My Morning Jacket.
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
The end of the 2005 is nigh, which means it's time to recap the year that was. Instead of handing out awards, though, we're handing out gifts, which will allow us to also touch on the best movies, DVDs, books and albums the year gave us. To the goody bag:
Z, by My Morning Jacket: This was a bit of a brash statement from the Louisville boys, who called their disc Z shortly after Coldplay released one called X&Y. We like that kind of brio, so we're giving it to Terrell Owens, who knows a thing or two about being brash. Like T.O., Z delivers quality. It's the first truly great album from a band that has shown flickers of greatness in the past. More important, the catchiest tune on the disc (indeed, one of the catchiest tunes you'll hear anywhere, with its reggae-meets-Hawaii-Five-O-theme motif) is a number called Off the Record. Perhaps T.O. will take the title to heart next time he gets the urge to speak his mind to a reporter.
Kicking Television, by Wilco: I'm tempted to give this to Stu Scott, because I get an urge to put my foot through the tube every time he boo-yas. But I'm giving this incredible live album to LeBron James. Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy cedes many of the ancillary responsibilities to the rest of his recently expanded six-piece band, and the result is astounding: a live album that improves on the studio versions of virtually every song. There's a lesson to be learned in there for LBJ. If Tweedy can step aside and let Nels Cline handle some guitar work for the good of the band, King James can work to get Larry Hughes some shots for the good of the Cavs.
Twin Cinema, by the New Pornographers: A great, great rockin' record that'll get your toes a-tappin'. This one goes to the Vikings, the NFL's new pornographers, who this year took unseemly behavior to new highs.
Devils and Dust, by Bruce Springsteen: An older gent who showed he's still at the peak of his powers. Let's give this one to cycling's Boss, Lance Armstrong, another guy who's been around the block a time or two without a discernable dip in the quality of his work.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: They're a precocious Brooklyn outfit who put out their self-titled debut with no label support (they've since signed a deal), and the record, which has more hooks than a discount tackle store, is, for my money, the year's best. We're giving it to Michelle Wie, who was arguably the year's best (or at least most interesting) performer. For starters, she made us want to clap our hands and say "Yeah," which is some trick for a female golfer. She's got moxie that belies her relative green-ness, just like CYHSY. And the disc closes with a nice number called Upon this Tidal Wave of Young Blood, which would serve as a nice cautionary tale for the teen.