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Musical lowlights of 2007

Shaken, Not Stirred

As the only year in the next thousand to end in 007, this past "James Bond Year" was unique. Its never-ending parade of music-related embarrassments, humiliations and gaffes, however, was not. Every year brings a tide of such ignominious moments, so the Houston Press polled a few of our regular contributors for their choices from this particular calendar interval. If you're curious, Amy Winehouse isn't on here because it was impossible to narrow down the field to just one episode. Or 12, for that matter. Chris Gray

Britney Being Britney: Remember back in 2000, when Britney Spears was the queen of pop and hot without needing qualifiers like "She's hot, for having two kids" or "She's hot, for having just got out of rehab"? A lot can happen in seven years, I guess. Despite the success of Blackout (note the title), who would've thought that marrying her backup dancer, a couple of stints in rehab, shaving her head, regular visits from CPS and an out-of-shape, grotesquely awkward VMA performance would've been bad for her career?

Shea Serrano

Chris Crocker Urges, "Leave Britney Alone!": Thanks to YouTube, Chris Crocker is either 2007's most unlikely celebrity or a self-promotional genius. Intentional or not, Crocker's painfully sincere defense of Britney Spears spread across the Internet almost as speedily as Spears's ill-fated VMA performance (see above). The video, apparently filmed under a bedsheet, captures a tearful Crocker informing the media, "You're lucky she even performed for you bastards!" Likewise, the world is fortunate to be so vividly reminded of the difference between devotion and psychosis. Linda Leseman

Of Montreal Shows Flashes of Greatness: Two thousand seven was a great year for the cabaret-pop stylings of Of Montreal, and maybe this increase in popularity was due to frontman Kevin Barnes's stage theatrics taking a turn for the naked at a February Las Vegas performance. Barnes performed five songs with his manhood on full display, ensuring that everybody was indeed going to be Wang Chunging that night. Michael D. Ayers

Xanadu Hits Broadway: This year's musical adaptation of the godawful 1980 movie raises two impenetrable questions. The first: Why? The second: Who is most embarrassed by this debacle, which NYTheatre.com calls "the quintessential jukebox musical"? Whoever is responsible for the idea? The suckers who pay more than $100 a pop for prime seats? Or perhaps all Americans, who must nod in assent and say, "Yes, we the people of the United States are guilty by association of this atrocity on roller skates"? — L.L.

Akon Handles His Own Stage Security: Ah, Akon. You might be Billboard's Top Pop Artist for 2007, but we'll remember you for your amazing ability to take a rowdy fan from the audience at a May concert, pull him up onstage and toss him WWE-style back into the crowd, an act that gives new meaning to the phrase "crowd control." The young woman who suffered a concussion as a result of a fan tossed on her head? We'll have to wait until 2008 to see the results of her lawsuit. — M.D.A.

Kanye West Pouts (Again): People gave Kanye a lot of grief after the backstage hissy fit he threw following his zero-for-five snubbing at the 2007 VMA Awards, but seriously, it's like, a really important awards show. Plus, it's not like he's got a lot else going for him. I mean, sure, he blessedly escaped death in a 2002 car crash to become a respected 30-year-old multimillionaire with the world at his fingertips — but c'mon, he really wanted to win. — S.S.

"Chocolate Rain" Washes Over the Internet: In one of the more bizarre viral Web videos ever, a Minnesota grad student wrote, recorded, filmed and uploaded himself performing his black-power song, "Chocolate Rain," in May. He even gave himself the cool stage name "Tay Zonday." More importantly, his voice is very deep, and he looks like an adult Urkel. The millions of views landed him an opening slot for Girl Talk, a spot on Jimmy Kimmel Live and a self-parodying Web ad for Dr. Pepper. — M.D.A.

Meg White Flips Out: Poor Meg White. As though the origin of her last name wasn't confusing enough, the homespun drummer suffered from "acute anxiety" in September. The misfortune resulted in the cancellation of the White Stripes' fall tour, just days before their headlining Austin City Limits Festival performance. The incident disappointed many Stripes fans — particularly those who purchased tickets on Craigslist in lieu of two months' rent — but also added to the duo's mystique. Somewhere, maybe, Jack White is quoting Chinatown: "She's my sister and my daughter!" — L.L.

Kid Rock Serves Tommy Lee a Knuckle Sandwich: It's simple, really. If you see a guy who used to be married to your ex-wife, and that same guy had, at one time, filmed a sex video with said ex-wife (even if it was before your marriage), and said guy then has the nerve to make a disparaging remark towards you, you punch him in his friggin' mouth. I know the rule, Kid Rock knows the rule and now Tommy Lee knows the rule. — S.S.

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