“That’s the best? Really?”

11Dec08

“I can’t tell,” mused your favorite internet humourist Jay Pinkerton as he forwarded the link to the AV Club’s listing of the best music of 2008, “if the fact that I’ve never heard of basically any of these bands is indicative that a) I am old now, b) AV Club has exclusively selected indie college darlings that nobody’s heard of in an effort to maintain their cherished rock critic cred, or c) nothing of note has come out this year, and this is the best of a paltry lot.”

I think we’re just old. I went to bed at 8:30 last night, after all. But we’re not alone. Coincidentally, I’d just read Tom the Dog’s post revealing his own ignorance of many of the bands on this list. Jay’s wife, Karla, points out a good reason we might not have heard of some of these bands. “A band named ‘Fucked Up’ is their number 2 pick.” she says. “And perhaps the Toronto hardcore punk scene is truly the hot new sensation sweeping both our nations … but the old fuddy-duddy radio DJ in me just goes, ‘You named your band something that can’t be said on-air. Nice one.'”

Fucked Up is a pretty fucked-up name. I put it up there with !!!, which is apparently pronounced chk-chk-chk, but only by African Bushmen and giant insectoid thri-kreen mantis warriors. And in retrospect, the un-Googleable The The was a bad choice, too. (And, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go think of two other utterly uncommercial band names, throw in the words “fucking” and “batshit insane”, and shit out a Cracked article.)

And I’m sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to listen to a band with a name as incredibly gay as Girl Talk. The name evokes an image of sleepovers and pillow-fights and nubile young teenagers — and why do I think this is a bad thing, again?

I don’t know. Much as I gave up eating incredibly hot suicide wings, I no longer feel the need to prove my macho heterosexual credentials by listening to high-octane cock-rock I don’t actually enjoy, like Yngwie Malmsteen. (And yet, I still side with fellow guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani in his current plagiarism suit against Coldplay, who, as we know from the 40-Year-Old-Virgin‘s “Do you know how I know you’re gay?” scene, are gay as hell.) Believe me, I like both Morrissey and Stephin Merritt at their gayest. If they ever had some kind of musical gay-off, I’d be in the front row, throwing flowers. But Girl Talk is simply super-faggy. (The Onion AV Club’s favorite band of 2009, by the way? The Super-Fags.)

Now I realize I’m rushing to judgement by discounting groups based on their names. I missed the first few seasons of The Kids in the Hall that way. So we’re judging albums based on their covers too. “I suspect I wouldn’t be a fan of Li’l Wayne’s Tha Carter III because it upsets me on multiple levels,” says Jay. “There’s a child in big people clothes on the cover, which is cutesy and irritating; the album title is pure gibberish; it isn’t even correctly spelled gibberish; and the artist’s name reminds me too much of Li’l Jinx, whom I wouldn’t buy the album of either.” I agree. Look for yourself.

Now, I grant you that this is at least better than looking at a photo of the godawful-ugly L’il Wayne. Is this baby L’il L’il Wayne? I say that logically, he must be. Jay suggests that he’s probably meant to be Carter the Third, youngest scion of the Carter family and heir to L’il Wayne, whom I guess is the son of Big Wayne or Wayne Sr. or whatever. And I get what they’re going for.

But I don’t buy the teardrop tattoos under that baby’s eyes on that L’il Wayne album. Those have to be earned, man, whether by drive-by shooting or prison shanking. There’s no way that baby has killed anyone. Therefore, I submit instead that this has to be L’il Wayne himself, somehow de-aged through magic or advanced technology, much as Marvel Comics supervillian Mojo temporarily turned the X-Men into the X-Babies. (And you know what? I actually kind of want to hear this album now, just to see if all this is somehow explained.)

On the other hand, there are a couple of albums we’d probably like to hear simply because of the cover art. “Conversely, I think I’d like American Music Club’s The Golden Age, and I base that exclusively on its no-nonsense center alignment and sans serif font selection,” says Jay. “Here’s a band that tells me, ‘We’re ready to rock, but not sloppily. We’ll let our hair down, but also we’ll comb it neatly and use conditioner.’

“Similarly,” Jay continues, “I suspect Pete is enthusiastic about Sigur Ros’s new album, specifically because of all the nude guys on it. ‘Yes please!’ says Pete.”

Man, if I like that, I’m going to go ga-ga over the new Super-Fags album.



16 Responses to ““That’s the best? Really?””

  1. 1 Scott

    That baby needs to return all those teardrop tattoos that he DIDN’T EARN in a drive-by shooting or a prison shanking. WHAT A LIAR he is.

  2. 2 Peter Lynn

    Scott, you always say the perfect thing.

  3. I didn’t mention it earlier, but there IS a band called “The Fags.” Maybe one day they will acheive super status.

  4. 4 B

    Oh my! I guess you are no longer under the employ of Cracked?
    It was the same way with me and that band Sparklehorse. Who the fuck named them? Someone’s niece?

  5. 5 Peter Lynn

    No offense is intended to Cracked, with whom I enjoy a pleasant and ongoing relationship (that can surely withstand a small amount of ribbing). I’d like the other writers to stop leaning so heavily on certain overused words and phrases, though.

  6. 6 B

    Ah, and I agree. I would also like to see a moratorium placed on the word “douchebag.” It’s almost gotten to the point where I can picture my mother casually dropping it during Christmas dinner.

  7. 7 hilly

    Page 3 of the A.V. article has some recognizable names: Portishead and Death Cab for Cutie. Vampire Weekend has gotten a lot of airplay and is deservedly on the list.

    Since my Logan’s Run crystal turned clear seven years ago (as of last Thursday), The List is really my yearly litmus test to see if I should volunteer to go Home (my apologies for mixing my shlocky 70s sci-fi movies). I figure if I can no longer recognize even one band, I need to pile all my CDs into a barge, lay down amongst them, and then have the whole thing lit on fire while it drifts down the Potomac River.

  8. 8 Candace

    One word: Slutarded.

    Best. Band name. Ever.

  9. 9 Peter Lynn

    If there’s one thing I like, it’s slutty retards. And if there’s another, it’s retarded sluts.

  10. I don’t consider myself too much of an indiesnob, but I do recognize between 55% and 70% of those band names (even if I don’t really know much music by them). Yeah, some of them are picked solely by their name, but you can’t just discount them based on that — after all, Holy Fuck is actually a pretty fun band.

  11. 11 Mully

    What happened to Pinkerton, anyway? He seems to have disappeared into the ether? I blame being happily married. (Karla, I’m looking at you)……

    Oh, and I think Cracked already did that article on sucky names. I remember one with “!!!” in it.

  12. 12 Riley

    If I remember correctly, Matt Wilson wrote that one up, and it included The The as well.

  13. Hmm. That’s probably where I found out it was un-Googleable. Sorry, Matt!

    As for Pinkerton, rumours of his etherization have been exaggerated, but if he wishes to use this space to more explicitly explain his low profile, he may be my guest.

  14. 14 Grom

    He turned up on the cracked forums to boast about “being leet at left4dead” and that “everybody will suck my balls with all the extra training I got” so you might want to check that direction.

  15. You’re just old. Maybe if you spent less time writing posts about Mike Love you would have time to listen to contemporary bands.

  16. 16 Peter Lynn

    I will start devoting my time to contemporary bands instead of writing about Mike Love when Mike Love agrees to die, and no sooner.


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