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The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part IV

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Best collaboration by anthropomorphic studio whizzes embargoed from release by record-label mumbo jumbo: When Danger Mouse (producer/multi-instrumentalist Brian Burton of Gnarls Barkley) reached out to Sparklehorse (the reclusive musical soundscape-ist Mark Linkous) about laying down some new tracks, the result was “Dark Night of the Soul,” an album full of lo-fi ballads of Gothic sweep and apocalyptic churn, chockablock with fuzzed-out hip-hop beats and contributions by a who’s who of invited singers – including Suzanne Vega and Julian Casablancas. Art house auteur David Lynch even stepped in to shoot an accompanying photo book. But when it came time to release the music, Burton’s label, EMI, got litigious about commercially distributing the work in conjunction with the coffee table book. Endgame: “DNOTS” is out there, widely available for free online, but never reached iTunes. (Chris Lee) Photo: Downtown Records

Neonindian Music genre with the most absolutely impenetrable subgenres: Indie rock. Underground rock music has long been about subdividing and pegging names to ever-more-obscure offshoots. But really, can you describe exactly what constitutes “chillwave” or “glo-fi?” What about the unprintable name of an especially nasty strain of shoegaze? 2009 was the year indie rock officially ate its tail and became one massive in-joke for the two dozen people who for whom Neon Indian represents a watershed in production styles. (AB) Photo: Lefse Records

Batforlashes Best year for mystic lady rock: In a secret ceremony in a northern wood, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks got together and let out a siren call, audible only to other mystic ladies-in-training. Not only did we have Bat for Lashes’ “Two Suns,” a lunar romance partially birthed at Joshua Tree, but Bat for Lashes bandmate Caroline Weeks came out with the gorgeously fragile “Songs for Edna.” Closer to home, Warpaint is readying their mysterious psychedelia for a debut album in 2010 from Rough Trade Records. (MW) Photo: Bat for Lashes. Credit: Brooke Nipar



Gaga_moca95 Best pop fashion item: Lady Gaga’s Frank Gehry hat. There were Dali-worthy disco balls, bubble-wrap getups and a coat of Kermit the Frog pelts in Gaga’s extensive 2009 wardrobe. But the most audacious of all might have been her Frank Gehry-designed hat for her appearance at the reopening of the Museum of Contemporary Art. It wasn’t her most attractive piece -- it looked like a post-industrial wasp’s nest -- but to walk outside and behold another Gehry creation down the block was to be reminded that pop is fundamentally public spectacle, and nobody did that better than Ms. Germanotta this year. (AB) Photo credit: Ann Johansson / For the Times

Lambert_ama Performance that spawned the most hypocritical outrage: Adam Lambert at the American Music Awards. After Britney Spears and Madonna’s scripted onstage liplock and Katy Perry’s for-the-boys bicuriosity, it was only a matter of time before a male pop singer planted one on another fellow on a public stage. But who knew that Glambert’s actually-quite-tame AMAs performance would have caused such a kerfuffle? To unpack the public reaction is to wade into deep rapids of double standards; a place where a joyless lyrical threesome with Spears goes unremarked upon and Lil Wayne can proposition literally every single woman alive in a song, but a bit of light S&M among guyliner’ed rocker boys can turn TV audiences apoplectic. Somewhere, a bewildered David Bowie is wondering what decade we’re living in. (AB) Photo: Getty Images

Gucci_mane Best cameo rapper: Gucci Mane. Despite his many legal imbroglios, the Atlanta rapper managed to have one of the most productive years behind the mic in 2009, guest-versing on more than 150 tracks across mix-tapes, albums and singles, all sporting his husky drawl and ubiquitous “Gucci!” catcall. His most popular one, Mario’s magnificently wacky slow jam “Break Up,” had the year’s most reassuring advice for spurned dudes: “Girls are like buses. Miss one, next 15 -- one comin.” (AB) Photo: Getty Images

RELATED:

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part VII

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part VI

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part V

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part IV

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part III

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part II

The 42 most memorable pop music moments of 2009: Part I

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Comments () | Archives (4)

WRONG.

We hated Glambert's performance because of the Simulated ORAL SEX during a Prime Time telecast.
NOT the Male on Male Kiss.

Neither the Lambert Positive Press nor Lambert Himself seems to grasp that his publicity stunt backfired and he DESERVES the criticism for it.

Tick Tock Adam...
6 minutes left of your 15...

Enjoyed reading article ref: Adam's AMA performance. I couldn't have expressed it any better. I watched the performance and must be naive at my age but I didn't notice anything risque about the performance until ABC made such a big deal about it. It brought out some hate groups and think that they were the main objectors. Oh well. life moves on and hope these groups will too. Loved the performance and look forward to more Adam live performances. "In Your Face" ABC..yesssssssssssssss

Spot on re Adam Lambert's performance , especially agree with the Bowie reference. As to the comment below regarding "simulated oral sex", that's actually the incident the Bowie reference refers to, circa 1972. I'm an "original" glamrocker of the Bowie era and was completely bemused and confused by the hoopla! What I found especially disturbing was how moral outrage was employed to disguise and justify bigotry, and the fact that most of the "disgusted and outraged" still don't recognise that.

Actually, I got the Bowie Comment - but the Writer inferred it was Lamebert's kiss that caused the backlash. It wasn't. Oh, and when did Bowie simulate sex on prime time television?
NEVER.

I LIKED Adam until his calculated but ill advised PR stunt backfired and he (and his supporters) cry discrimination and bigotry.

When Every gay man I know says the same thing I said, it's Obvious playing the "Gay" card is a lame and terrible excuse. Lambert was a fool to show such an image on a prime time telecast - which I bet dollars to donuts Bowie would never do now, or get away with without similar (if not larger) backlash.

What I find most disturbing is the excusing of this behavior by Lambert's Supporters who don't seem to understand this yet.


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