BEST OF THE BEST OF 2011: JIM FARBER, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
JIM FARBER WINS. I’m sorry. When you list the "Top 40 CD’s of 2011," you are officially the coolest motherfucker on the face of the planet. You know about how there’s a "cassette resurgence?" Well, Farber is on the forefront of the CD resurgence that both hasn’t happened yet and also will never ever happen. He is the guy who’s going to stick with the format to the point of referring to album-length releases as "CD’s." I hope he also has a movie library full of laserdiscs and refers to them constantly as "laserdiscs." As in "I dunno, why don’t we just stay in and watch a laserdisc? Have you ever seen ‘Logan’s Run’?" I am being simultaneously dismissive and envious. As ludicrous as the hypothetical is, I desperately want to have a best friend who has "Logan’s Run" on laserdisc.
His is actually a boring list. I’m not even gonna go over it. It’s got the same stuff on it as anybody else’s list, more or less. In the singer-songwriter pop writ large AOR mold. Not for me. I struggle to understand who it IS for, but I’m sure there are people in the world who buy CD’s (albums on a CD) on the recommendation of the guy from the New York Daily News. They are the kind of people for whom it is either A. no surprise, or B. exciting news that Glen Campbell is still alive. But that’s the content of Farber’s list. The content does not matter.
It’s the delivery, you guys. This thing is the comedy hit of the year. It’s punctuated by a bunch of uses of the word "CD," often preceded by a chronological modifier. Example sentence: "The son of Richard and Linda Thompson once again proved he’s his own man on his fifth CD." What a gutbuster! This guy is out there counting Teddy Thompson CD’s! In public, no less! What a kook! What a fantastic example of a guy being exactly only himself!
Of course with the "New York Daily News" credentials, he’s probably a composite devised from the PR desk of some megalithic dinosaur of a record company, but imagine if there were such a person! Genuinely excited about the fifth Teddy Thopmson CD! Proud of the product of such legendary progeny emerging, yet again (!), as a significant artist in his own right, despite the dual obstacles of both unreasonable expectations and near-universal indifference to his ability to meet them. It’s a real heartwarmer of a story, and Farber tells it straight.
You know what, Jim Farber? I’m gonna give this Teddy Thompson CD a listen. Hmmm. About what I expected. Boring in a kind of Lyle Lovett meets Rufus Wainwright way. But you know what, Jim Farber? Thanks to you I know I shouldn’t give credence to lazy first impressions. Not as far as Teddy Thompson goes. After all I haven’t listened to his previous four CDs.
And hey, you also put that "Those Shocking, Shaking Days" comp on there too, which is tough to find fault with as far as spiking the punch a little. So I get it. You’re not preaching to the converted and you’re cashing a check or two, provided you actually exist in the first place. Good work. Your sweetness and positivity once again have eroded all of my bitterness, Jim Farber. I am not at all mad at you. Shine on, and keep clinging to those crumbling fringes of the remaining music-press infrastructure for dear life. Long may you run.
"The triple-threat songwriting tag-team in Gomez continues to ensure their CDs contain only their cream."
HA HA HA! YOU ARE THE BEST, JIM FARBER.