2004 Yearender

Who says you can't put out yearend lists on February? Channel [V] had their 2004 Yearend countdown during February.

Flavour of the year: Maroon 5
Honourable mention: Keane

No band was ever bigger this year than Maroon 5. No better proof than it being my Flavour of the Week for the months of February and July, the first time an artist became a Flavour of the Week twice in a year.

Everybody’s just singing their songs She Will be Loved and This Love. But no one ever seems to know their first single Harder to Breathe except for me and my friend who introduced Maroon 5 to me back in 2003.

Back then, I dismissed them as a Placebo copycat. Wouldn’t realize they would be the gay and loser anthem of the year.

Then there’s Keane. They are set up like Ben Folds Five but they sound like Coldplay. So what? I’m not complaining. Easy listening Britrock is on top of my list. Or maybe
I just miss Oasis.

Genre of the year: emo
Honourable mention: Britrock, RnB

And all the while I thought emo would end when the novelty of New Found Glory and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes would fade. Guess what, it’s more alive than ever and it has even spawned pop hybrids (which purists would point their noses up at).

You have Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, The Used, and what-have-yous keeping the music pure and basi. You also have the more commercially successful bands in Dashboard Confessional, Yellowcard, and Story of the Year. The list won’t seem to end. Simple Plan and Sum 41 are poseurs, please.

This genre has already slipped in our unconsciousness without us knowing when I saw the music video of Kamikazee’s Girlfriend and it drove me to tears, literally. And I only cry in good sad movies. And according to Elaigh, it was already an old video. Oh yeah, Kamikazee was a 2003 thing.

Thank God for Keane, while Coldplay is on hiatus, Oasis is incommunicado, and Radiohead is missing in action, Britrock is still alive… at least in my personal playlist.

Then there is RnB to mess things up. Rhythm and Blues, which I usually relate to the likes of Boyz II Men and Toni Braxton, now has a hip-hop twist to it (which I think is the more proper genre). I mean, Next Episode, which is so last millennium, is still a staple in clubs… and this, to the dj’s and to the dumb people, is already RnB to them. I didn’t know DMX is already RnB.

And yes, because of "RnB", people think that I am into Usher since my aunt gave me an Atlanta Braves cap. Hello, world! I should hit you with a baseball bat to knock some sense into your head.

Comeback of the year: Green Day
Honourable mention: U2

Punk is definitely not dead. If it takes to resurrect Green Day back with their old sound, then why not.

American Idiot the album, they say, is the best unleashed so far by this trio. American Idiot the song, meanwhile, is Minority’s theme mixed with Basket Case’s heaviness.

Couldn’t say the same with fellow contemporary Offspring, which took the pop route a long time ago.

Whoever said that U2 devaluated after Elevation should hit himself with a rock. With How to Dismantle a Bomb, Bono and the guys proved that they are not yet too old to rock with the best of them. This time, it’s their early 80s sound juxtaposed with their late 90s fashion. Still a good combination.

The honourable mention should have been for The Presidents of the United States of America. Although the humour is still there, the hook and flair are already nonexistent. Must still be rusty after five years of inaction.

Song of the year: American Idiot by Green Day
Honourable mention: DV by Cambio, I Miss You by Blink 182

Green Day is definitely back after American Idiot stayed #1 for seven weeks in my uber-biased personal weekly countdown. Add to this the fact that I haven’t bought a single Green Day album my whole life.

Meanwhile, DV gives you a geography lesson of Mega Manila as your staple LSS while cruising through EDSA at 80kph. Sing with me: "Junction, Pasay, Baclaran, Rotonda, Quiapo, Carriedo, Cubao, Bambang…"

Blink 182’s I Miss You is not a videoke staple because of its unusual timing and the chorus is a tongue twister, but it’s the perfect companion while you’re alone in the bus with the headphones on loud. "Don’t waste your time on me, you’re already a voice inside my head."

Best foreign act I didn’t get to see this year: Linkin Park
Honourable mention: Black Eyed Peas, Hoobastank

Kuya A’s testimony is enough for me to convince that Linkin Park had the best concert last year. Glen told me that Black Eyed Peas was worth it with its patriotic flavour. And my editor in chief in my Editorial Management class claimed Hooba didn’t stunk. Plus the fact that Rivermaya was the front act.

Damm, I missed a lot.

Worst foreign act I saw this year: Incubus

And this is the only major concert I saw, unless you also count when I waited for Glen’s younger sister outside Araneta Coliseum after the Vaness Wu concert.

It was a disaster from the get go. I snuck out of my telecine shoot of our Media Production class just to see this one, I spent a year’s worth of Aguinaldo just to spend on two tickets, our spot was miles away from the stage, and I had a lousy date who would rather prefer to spend time with her Beatles jedi master.

Y-groups of the year: The Ground
Honourable mention: <s>ubsandwich, Sugarfree

Rivermaya just became my all-time OPM band and this is not by default (unlike <s>andwich or Cambio). The camaraderie I got from interacting with fellow Grounders was something I didn’t get to experience with the Eraserheads. Then again, the latter was just a countrywide phenomenon and they were big at a time when the internet hasn’t even penetrated our country.

Oh yeah, kudos to the band members who regularly check their mail.

Best movie I saw this this year: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Honourable mention: House of the Flying Daggers, Peter Pan

It was the only film I saw this year that got a 4.0 from me. Oh yes, sue me for being partial to Jim Carrey. With this production, he proved he just rocks. More of him later, let’s talk about the movie first.

Sure it was non-linear. There were parts that made you scratch your upper head. But I still liked it. Know why?

It was an ‘art’ film and at the same time, a commercial movie. What better way to present a non-linear plot that the ‘ordinary’ audience could understand than by a long dream sequence?

That way, they could be ‘experimental’ without coming out too ‘intellectual’. And this is how I like my movies. An easy-to-consume story that makes me think while being presented in an ooh-aah manner. Why do you think I like the Matrix trilogy?
If Hero was poetry in motion, House of the Flying Daggers was poetry in sound whilst not losing the poetic colour of the former. What I don’t like is when Zhang Ziyi’s character, if it doesn’t get raped or molested, is just a bit-role who has lots of airtime.

Peter Pan should have been my movie of the year if not for Eternal Sunshine… Jim Carrey over kids with raging hormones on hyper-drive. What I like about this Brit version, besides being Brit, is that they remained close to the book as possible, although I haven’t read it yet. If that’s the case, Wendy was that in heat, yes.

Worst movie I saw this year: Filipinas
Honourable mention: Liberated 2

After Crying Ladies, Philippine cinema should be going nowhere but up. But no… they have to fall back to earth with these.

Filipinas is your typical clan movie where every member of the family portrays a role. Liberated 2, on the other hand, is a movie trying to be ‘Ricky Lee-intelligent’ but it falters and ends up being a saucier version of Sex and the City what with Francine Prieto and Diana Zubiri’s large pectorals flying around. It disappointed me further when I read the credits and saw Ricky Lee as its screenplay writer.

Makes me ponder on my Thomasian friends’ movie tastes.

Best movie I didn’t get to see this year: a lot
Honourable mention: The Incredibles, Bridget Jones’s Diary: Edge of Reason, 2046, Shrek 2, 50 First Dates

Funniest movie I saw this year: Sex is Zero (DVD)
Honourable mention: White Chicks, Shark Tale

It should have been White Chicks… or Shark Tale. But my friend’s despedida movie took the cake. And what a way to end the year as well.

Released in 2002, this Korean comedy stars the same guy who appeared in If the Sun Rose from the West, the very first Korean movie I saw. My friend’s catchphrase is that this is Korea’s answer to American Pie.

Guess what. This is wackier, crazier, and even grosser than its American counterpart. There was never a moment I didn’t show emotion. Whether it was laughing my heart out, empathizing with the lead character, ogling my eyes out with all the boobies, or almost puking my pizza-pasta dinner.

And I thought only the Chinese could do extremes this well. Guess it’s an Oriental thing.

Best movie that didn’t get to be shown in the country: Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat
Honourable mention: Spongebob Squarepants Movie

Jim Carrey, check. Adam Sandler, check. Mike Myers’ voice, check. No Mike Myers movie this year? Where is the world coming to?

Just because Cat in the Hat is a flop in the States doesn’t mean it would also flop here. It might help that the word "Made in the Philippines" had a cameo.

Another pleasant surprise is the Spongebob feature length, considering that being queer was the coolest thing last year (I’ll kill you, Fab Five). Oh yes, I’m so gay for watching Spongebob at Nickelodeon.

Best performance by an actor that should deserve an Oscar Award: Jim Carrey for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Jim Carrey is god. Tell me how many comedians earn $20M dollars a pop? If Robin Williams could take the serious route and get respected, why couldn’t he? If a comedian like Adam Sandler could do Punch Drunk Love, why can’t he?

We are talking about THE Jim Carrey here. The greatest actor of all time.
Maybe I am overstating it but the fact remains that Hollywood and the Academy don’t take their comedies seriously. Eliciting laughter from the audience is much way harder than making them cry. Go ask the theater people. Comedy is where real acting is.

If only the Oscars give out acting awards for "international" artists: Zhang Ziyi for House of the Flying Daggers and 2046

Her roles may be disappointing to me, but she should at least be considered. Why present the Oscars as a worldwide spectacle when they are only handing out the trophies among themselves?

Championship song of the year: Praise You by Fatboy Slim for the 2004 UAAP men’s basketball champion

This has been one of the weirdest championship songs in history, along the lines of Simple Plan’s Perfect when the Adamson Falcons won their first men’s basketball trophy of any sort after more than a decade.

I smell Lopez and ABS-CBN expecting a Banal championship. They’re just so Ateneans.

Champion of the year: De La Salle Green Archers (UAAP men’s basketball)
Honourable Mention: Detroit Pistons (NBA), New England Patriots (NFL), Greece (Euro League)

What do you get if you put together The Coach, The True MVP, and The Sophomore in one team? ‘Nuff said.

The Pistons should have gotten this outright by just humiliating the HoF4 Lakers if they didn’t derail the Indiana Pacers along the way.

Sure this year is another year of the underdogs. Who would have expected both Greece and the Patriots win in their respective tournaments?

Loser of the year: Los Angeles Lakers (NBA)
Honourable mention: Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles (UAAP men’s basketball)

Should I still say something about the Lose Angeles Lakers and the Ateneo de Manila Blue Egos?

Second placer of the year: Far Eastern University Tamaraws (UAAP men’s basketball)
Honourable mention: China (2004 Summer Olympics)

Just because they ended second doesn’t mean they are not good enough. The Tamaraws were the most consistent team the last season, losing only thrice in the eliminations. Except for their defeat in the first round against the Green Archers, all their other loses were close ones.

It’s just a matter of them being so evenly matched up against the other green squad that’s why the series was decided in the last two seconds.

As for China, they gave the USA a scare by giving them a good fight in the medals standings. Just a sign that things are evening up between the east and the west.

Male athlete of the year: Roger Federer
Honourable mention: Alex Pagulayan

He is the Pete Sampras of the mid-00s. It’s just a matter of him maintaining it.
Alex on the other hand proved that even though he plays for Canada, he is good at a Filipino sport and still acknowledges his local roots.

Female athlete of the year: Maria Sharapova
Honourable mention: the rest of the Russian Invasion

The Cold War isn’t over yet. This is Russia’s answer to America’s Serena Slam, an invasion of a plethora of Russian ladies in the WTA top ten rankings. A proof to the theory that Marthy and I made that the then USSR had been producing genetically enhanced babies all this time.

This may be the last time we’ll see them though as these super athletes were born just before Communism fell in the old Soviet Republic.

Shot of the year: Joseph Casio, :24.9, Game 3, UAAP men’s basketball championship
Honourable mention: LA Tenorio’s two clutch shots vs Adamson University and FEU, UAAP men’s basketball first round

The shot of the gods from the previous UAAP basketball season, but only one stood out among them. And that was the one that won the championship for its team.

Reminiscent of Aldeguer’s miracle three against UST in 99, this shot and the one who made it has a lot of similarities with Renren Ritualo.

Look again. The second coming of Renren is actually a Bedan, and not some Letranite lucky enough to win the NCAA junior’s basketball MVP in his senior year. And definitely not some big-nosed point guard who plays for the blue side.

NBA Appreciation List 2004-05 (last of three parts... finally)

Yeah, yeah, it took me two months to update my entries, but it was worth the wait, right? Whatever...

Then again, it's just so timely for the All-Star Weekend.

21 Milwaukee Bucks

What do I like with this team? Hmmm… lemme see. Michael Redd? He’s not even fantasy-friendly. Keith Van Horn is overrated. So is Toni Kukoc. Dan Gad! Man, white men can’t really jump.

For a while there, I mistook D-Mason for Anthony Mason.

Props: Mason, Joe Smith, Erick Strickland… wait, I was thinking of Rod Strickland. My fault. Terry Porter.
Rants: Kukoc, Van Horn. I don’t even know who the other guys are.

22 New Jersey Nets

Flash report: Air Canada just went into the hood. This is what I get for not updating my blog that quickly. And for that they should go lower in my list. Just negated the brownie points they got from me after they sent away K-Mart.

Jason Kidd was injured for most part of the season and they just lost Richard Jefferson, the only remaining Net I like, to injury.

Props: Jefferson, Jason Collins, Kidd, Travis Best… former Pacers are on top of my list. Elden Campbell.
Rants: Carter, Brian Scalabrine.

23 Portland Trailblazers

Finally, the bell curve is already on its way down. Either I don’t notice these teams or I’m just in a hurry to finish this entry.

Sayang ang Miles,” as that HSBC tv ad went. I didn’t realize that the bloated Blazers are a thing of the past until they had a spate of injuries middle of the season. What you have now is a lean and machine made up of sickly young stars.

Props: Richie Frahm… hooray for former PBA imports! Miles… for the simple reason he is Aubrey’s namesake, otherwise, don’t see any good in him actually. Ruben Patterson, Zach Randolph… they traded away JO and Bonzi Wells so that they could develop this guy. Would rather have Wells and O’neal in my team instead. Theo Ratliff, Damon Stoudamire, Nick Van Exel.
Rants: Actually my props list should be my rants list. If that’s the case, the only player I like in the Blazers lineup right now is the recently activated Ha Seung-Jin.

24 Los Angeles Clippers

Something tells me I’m starting to hate the West Coast teams. Let me count the ways. Atlanta Braves, New England Patriots, Indiana Pacers. What can I say, East is the beast!

Props: Elton Brand, Marko Jaric, Chris Kaman, Kerry Kittles, Corey Maggette, Bobby Simmons, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Mikki Moore… sounds like Mandy’s younger sister.
Rants: Come to think of it, I don’t have anything to hate in this underrated squad. Always overshadowed by its flashier co-tenant. But still, it’s LA.

25 Atlanta Hawks

Speaking of a (former) Ted Turner team, I actually hate this one. Especially after acquiring Antoine Walker, my most hated Celtic of all time. Worse than Rick Fox.

Given some considerations since they have Al Harrington. Still, they have Walker.

Props: Pedrag Drobnjak, Harrington, Tyronn Lue, Kevin Willis.
Rants: Walker.

26 Orlando Magic

If only for Grant Hill and Steve Francis, I loathe the Magic. Yes, this was the team that one time in history defeated the Pacers in the Conference Finals. That time, they had another O’Neal and a Hardaway in their lineup. God is good because they got swept by Olajuwon and the Rockets in the Finals.

For a moment there, I liked them because T-Mac was the team, what with Hill already over the hill. Then, T-Mac went to Houston in exchange for Francis. End of story.

Props: Stacey Augmon, Tony Battie, Kelvin Cato, Doug Christie, Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, Hedo Torkoglu.
Rants: Hill, Francis.

27 New York Knickerbockers

Ever since 9/11, I never wanted anything New York. Kiddin’.

But then, my opinion doesn’t change especially what after Isiah Thomas, a player that I admired, did with the Pacers on the bench. He’s basically doing the same thing. At least the players don’t pile DNP’s for no apparent reason.

Props: Jamison Brewer, Nazr Mohammed, Kurt Thomas, Tim Thomas.
Rants: Vin Baker, Jamal Crawford, Penny Hardaway, Allan Houston, Stephon Marbury, Moochie Norris, Spike Lee.

28 Toronto Raptors

Air Canada is gone, but that doesn’t make things better for the moment.

Jalen Rose, Skip to my Lou… not bad actually.

Props: Rose, Alston, Chris Bosh, Donyell Marshall, Mo-Pete, Alonzo Mourning… his kidneys.
Rants: Guess what, Carter is gone!

29 Philadelphia 76ers

Three words: Iverson, Iverson, Iverson.

We're talking about practice, man.

Props: Kyle Korver, Willie Green, Andre Iguodala, Aaron McKie, Kevin Ollie, Kenny Thomas, Jim O’Brien, Samuel Dalembert, Marc Jackson… actually, it’s the other Jackson.
Rants: Iverson, Iverson, Iverson… did I mention Iverson? Glenn Robinson.

30 Los Angeles Lakers

Kelangan pa ba i-memorize 'yan?

Props: Caron Butler, Brian Cook, Devean George, Brian Grant, Chris Mihm, Lamar Odom.
Rants: Kobe Bryant. No other explanations needed.

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