Pop Culture Roundup (Best of 2011 Edition)

Happy new year! In case you have been too busy preparing for the new year, here is a sample of recent pop culture stories you might have missed. As you might guess, many of the interesting stories look back at the best and worst of 2011.


— Best of 2011 —

A number of websites and blogs consider the best music of 2011. The New York Post featured Twitter-sized reviews of the best songs of 2011. Ickmusic has a 2011 best-of list of albums and songs. Uprooted Music Revue listed its 50 Favorite Audio Releases of 2011. Entertainment Weekly listed its top 10 albums of 2011. USA Today critics picked their best albums of 2011. Cover Lay Down presented mp3s of the best cover songs of 2011.

A number of sites considered the best and worst films of 2011. Chicago Tribune critic Michael Philips picked his 10 worst films of 2011, and he also picked his 10 best films. Just Go With It was the number one rented film at Redbox kiosks in 2011. All of top 5 rentals were comedies. Leonard Maltin picked the 11 Best Films You May Have Missed In 2011.

Some posts examined the top books. For example, NPR listed its Best Music Books Of 2011. (Thanks @robertloerzel.) The New York Daily News picked the best under-the-radar books of 2011.

There were other end-of-the-year lists. For example, Salon featured the viral videos of 2011. Frontier Psychologist listed The Top 10 Not That Special People of 2011. (Thanks @HipandCritical.) Salon featured the best and worst Tweets of the year. Slate had the worst catchphrases of 2011. TV critic Robert Bianco put together a list of the best and worst of TV in 2011.

DJ Earworm created a mashup of the top 25 pop songs of 2011 in one 5-minute clip. It’s pop. There ain’t no Lucinda Williams or Ryan Adams in here.

— Other Recent Music News —

Beyond “more cowbell!” The New York Post examined Blue Oyster Cult in pop culture.

Kelly Clarkson received a big boost in album sales after she endorsed Ron Paul.

Thanks for saving me, Pink!

Pink saved a puppy thrown in a river. How cool is that?

Singer-actress Kaye Stevens passed away. She performed with the Rat Pack, on Johnny Carson, etc.

Bob Seger recently explained his 2011 highlight was playing with Bruce Springsteen.

The Los Angeles Times
interviewed Woody Allen about his career playing New Orleans jazz.

Bono and Glen Hansard played on the streets of Dublin for charity on Christmas Eve.


— Other Movie News —

Me Tarzan, you ?? Maybe it isn’t true that the chimp that just died was the 80-year-old Cheetah of Tarzan movie fame.

Scientists have discovered the reason for the strange bird behavior that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.


— Other Television News —

Anne Serling has written a memoir about discovering her father Rod through his show The Twilight Zone.

Slate has the best and worst ads inspired by director Wes Anderson.

Barry Livingston, who played Ernie on My Three Sons, is still acting and has a book out.

What were your favorite stories of the year? Leave your two cents in the comments.

  • Bono and Glen Hansard: The Auld Triangle
  • Death in Movies That Remind Us to Enjoy Life
  • Springsteen and Bono Sing “Because the Night” in Dublin
  • Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen “Shout” In Their Third Performance Together
  • Bob Seger on Letterman: “All the Roads”
  • Springsteen and Martin Front U2 for World Aids Day
  • (Some Related Chimesfreedom Posts)

    2 thoughts on “Pop Culture Roundup (Best of 2011 Edition)”

    1. Great post! 2011 has been widely seen as an awful year, so it’s good to see a sample of what was created amidst the mess.

      A New Years gift for you: This is the Scottish version Auld Lang Syne, sung by Dougie MacLean. The refrains that our “English” version has cut out are beautiful Scottish folk music from the 18th century. Makes me want to raise a pint, then figure out what the heck is being said.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acxnmaVTlZA
      Actually, someone has done the work for us:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auld_Lang_Syne#Lyrics
      Happy New Year!

    2. Cool, thanks. That version by MacLean is beautiful, and it’s interesting to see the lyrics from the different versions. Last Sunday on CBS Sunday Morning, the show did a feature on the history of “Auld Lang Syne,” including the story about how poet Robert Burns originally came across the song and the how the music to the tune we know today was not the original music. You may see the story here:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7393462n

      Thanks for the comment!

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