“That’s the best? Really?”
“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 in his current plagiarism suit against , 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 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.
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