Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blender - The 50 Worst Things Ever to Happen to Music

You gotta love these lists. I don't agree with all of Blender's 50 items. In fact, some of them I REALLY disagree with, but here are some of my favorites:

#49 - The dude who yells "Freebird" at every concert.

#46 - Decency - In 1967, the Rolling Stones were forced to change the lyrics of a not particularly salacious song to protect the tender sensibilities of the American television-viewing public. Thirty-nine years and one stray Super Bowl breast later, the Rolling Stones are forced to change the lyrics of a not particularly salacious song to protect the tender sensibilities of the American television-viewing public. Viva progress!

#42 - Scott Stapp - Although he's rehabilitated his image in recent years by becoming an incorrigible drunk and trying to beat up 311, there's no getting around the music. The fourth-generation grunge he's peddled solo and with Creed might be harmless if it weren't swathed in quasi-religious pomposity and delivered with an arrogance that -- in light of his musical, er, gifts -- feels downright delusional.

#40 - Parrotheads - For millions, Jimmy Buffett isn't just a guy who writes songs about putzing around the Caribbean -- he's a shining symbol of the "good life." That so few of them will get any closer to this life than hanging out in a dank bar called the Banana Boat, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, sipping a frozen daiquiri and waiting for their turn to karaoke 'Margaritaville' is monumentally depressing.

#35 - Van Halen fires David Lee Roth.

#34 - Van Halen hires Sammy Hagar.

#33 - Van Halen fires Sammy Hagar.

#32 - Van Halen hires Gary Cherone?

#31 - Jazz Fusion - It's a rule of thumb that any music that uses "jazz" as a prefix will make you want to saw your head off from boredom (see also: jazz funk, jazz rap, jazz house). But none is as wearying as the genre that thought what rock really needed was monthlong bass solos and time signatures even Stephen Hawking wouldn't understand.

#29 - Popera - Soaring key changes! 53-year-old groupies! Incessant use of the word amore!

#28 - Disappearance of Indie Record Shops - Sure, the big-chain megamarts save you a few dollars. But do their employees know you by name? Will they hook you up with unexpected new imports? Will they ridicule you when you mispronounce Sufjan Stevens' name? For music geeks, losing the mom-and-pop stores is like losing a musty, nerd-filled home away from home.

#27 - Jukebox Musicals - Why is crow barring classic rock songs into a play with a "plot" apparently written on the back of a matchbook so detestable? Not just because the results are creaky and insulting -- the Queen-themed 'We Will Rock You' -- but also because they reveal that the rock stars involved don't care about art, only money. And, despite recent high-profile flops -- 'Lennon,' 'Good Vibrations' -- there's no end in sight. Coming soon: 'My Humps: The Musical!'

#23 - Woodstock '99 - The lineup was bad enough -- a lame attempt at multi-culti harmony mixing patchouli-soaked pied pipers (RUSTED ROOT) with brain-dead alpha males (INSANE CLOWN POSSE). When the event got going, the second sequel to the Summer of Love quickly degenerated into an ugly free-for-all of sexual assault, arson, ODs -- and $6 pizza slices. No wonder those ATMs were looted

#21 - Nearly Every Hip-Hop Video - We get it.

Your ride is pimped, your crib is a castle and at the drop of an ice-encrusted hat, you can have tons of scantily clad ho's pouring bottles of Cristal down your gullet while you kick it in the hot tub. Congratulations to a generation of hip-hop video directors for making decadence seem so … boring.

#17 - Fred Durst

#16 - Replacement Lead Singers - AC/DC's impressive recovery from singer-vomit-asphyxiation is the exception that proves the rule. If the phrase "Van Hagar" fails to convince, consider 'Rock Star: INXS' and the macabre spectacle of Queen fronted by a leather-faced Paul Rodgers.

#14 - Florida - Let us be perfectly clear: We are not besmirching Florida, the strong African-American matriarch of TV's 'Good Times.' We are besmirching Florida, the Sunshine State, unholy font of the BACKSTREET BOYS, 'NSYNC, O-TOWN, LIMP BIZKIT, 2 LIVE CREW, dangling chads and an army of drum-pummeling, grizzly-bear-mimicking death-metal bands with names too "evil" (i.e., moronic) to mention.

A curse upon the balmy southern realm!

#13 - Light Aircraft - The first day the music died, it took BUDDY HOLLY, RITCHIE VALENS and The BIG BOPPER with it. The next day it took country star PATSY CLINE. And then JIM CROCE, half of LYNYRD SKYNYRD, STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN, JOHN DENVER and AALIYAH. There is, it seems, a good reason the tour bus is such a popular transportation option.

#12 - Kevin Federline - Golfing and wifebeaters? Whatever. Multiple baby mamas? Hey, do your thing. Even the rapping isn't that bad. But snatching away our favorite pop star -- that cannot be forgiven. Two years ago, BRITNEY SPEARS was America's sexy sweetheart, then the ex-backup-dancer pounced, and it was bye-bye 'Toxic,' hello diapers and Cheetos.

Listen, here's another reason to hate Kevin...'PopoZao'

#11 - "You really have to see them live!" - First heard muttered by a proselytizing GRATEFUL DEAD fan sometime around minute 13 of the studio version of 'Terrapin Station, Pt. 1,' this reflexive, defensive cry has long been used as an excuse for the existence of reams of irretrievably dull PHISH, WIDESPREAD PANIC and MOE. records. If your studio albums feel limp compared with your live show, don't put them out.

(I'm cracking up at this because I own the studio CD 'Terrapin Station, Pt. 1,' and I really love it. No, I never saw the Dead live, but seeing Springsteen live did make me, previously a nonbeliever, a believer.)

#8 - The Age 27 - For most of us, the Bermuda Triangle of morbidity lies between the ages of 50 and 53, after which, if you dodge cancer, heart disease and other bullets, you'll probably live for decades. For rock stars, the year to fear is 27 -- the checkout date for JANIS JOPLIN, JIMI HENDRIX, JIM MORRISON, KURT COBAIN, BRIAN JONES and blues legend ROBERT JOHNSON among others.

Honorable mentions to NICK DRAKE (at a wizened 26) and TIM BUCKLEY (at a boyish 28) -- who were, after all, eccentric.

#7 - Finding God - Once the Big Guy gets under an artist's skin, the work tends to suffer. AL GREEN went from making the sexiest music known to man to making gospel albums known to nobody. MASE quit hip-hop for the ministry, and when he returned, his skills didn't come with him. The less said about BOB DYLAN's born-again albums the better, but the idea of Jehovah's Witness PRINCE proselytizing door-to-door in purple pumps still brings a smile. Esther, née MADONNA, caused quite the mishegas by hopping aboard Kabbalah's Judaism-meets-New-Age-hooey bandwagon. And CAT STEVENS loved Islam so much, he named himself after it when he converted and then quit the music biz in 1979.

#6 - Madonna's British Accent

#1 - Kids Today - Back in our day, we didn't have any of yer fancy iPods and ringtones and downloads. We didn't have the luxury and convenience of your scrotum-rings and your World Wide Web logs. When we wanted to steal the new URIAH HEEP album, we couldn't just troll the Internet for it, we had to do it the old-fashioned way -- by hiking to the store (uphill, both ways) and shoving 12" of vinyl under our sweaters (which we had to knit ourselves). That's why you sniveling whipper-snappers don't appreciate the real value of music. Or Uriah Heep. Now get the hell off our lawn!

(John Wetton was in Uriah Heep, you know.)


At Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:08:00 PM, Blogger ffleur said...

That was HILARIOUS! Thanks for posting it LA. Esp liked the last one (#1) So funny!

(midnight-the cat was poking at me for attention the entire time I was writing this post)

At Thursday, June 01, 2006 8:24:00 AM, Blogger Mike V. said...


These are great. I agree with every one of them.
Particularly KFed, Fred Durst, Scott Stapp (all three need to be punched, hard).

And I never knew that FLA is responsible for spitting out all that horrifying music. Who knew??

At Thursday, June 01, 2006 8:56:00 AM, Blogger Softball Slut said...

That list is hilarious and mostly true. BAD KFED BAD!!!
And I used to think Florida was good, though *shame* I like Limp Bizkit.
And Amen to #1

At Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:46:00 AM, Blogger Scottsdale Girl said...

OH good gravy now I am gonna be mesmerized by the kitty that plays with my cursor.

At Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:58:00 AM, Blogger GetFlix said...

Great list. Parrotheads crack me up!

At Thursday, June 01, 2006 2:11:00 PM, Blogger uglykitty said...

you are awesome. i subscribe to blender and i giggle like a mental patient everytime i read it!

At Thursday, June 01, 2006 4:52:00 PM, Blogger GetFlix said...

Oh, and come to think of it, the original Woodstock should be on that list.


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