Music Criticism in the Hands of Hacks

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Paul McCartney & Wings: 13th worst band of all time?

L.A. Weekly has released another “Worst Of…” list, and it’s as thoughtfully assembled and informative a piece of journalism as any of their others. Which is to say, it’s a waste of cyberspace.

The 20 Worst Hipster Bands: The Complete List is certainly a conversation starter, bound to evoke a response from those who agree and disagree, which I’m sure is the point of this exercise–as opposed to, say, the passing on of any useful information or opinion about music.

The 20 Worst Hipster Bands: The Complete List: http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2012/08/worst_hipster_bands_all_time_c.php

Once the incendiary headline peaks your interest you may glance over the article and notice that several popular and critically acclaimed bands have been singled out for derision (The Black Keys, The Decemberists, Death Cab For Cutie, fun.) at which point you might decide to actually read the opening paragraph to see what the author’s actual criteria are for inclusion. There you’ll find that “It’s not the mere existence of hipster groups that distresses us…it’s their lemming-like tendency to…ape each other.” and that “They’re all playing variations of retro garage and soul music — or bringing glockenspiels and choirs on incestuous nationwide tours — all the while clad in vintage garb likely infested with lice.”

Certainly an airtight thesis.

The Decemberists and fun. (to cite two examples) have almost nothing in common as far as I can tell, except perhaps exceptional songwriting. Yet they make the list due to their “lemming-like tendency to ape each other”. Also, anyone who has listened to them knows that “retro garage and soul music” are laughably inaccurate descriptions of either band’s sound. So I think it comes down to the “vintage garb” and “lice”. Both solid reasons to name a band among the worst, of course. This is rock criticism folks. These writers are getting paid for this.

Of course, this comes from the same people who brought you Top 20 Worst Bands of All Time: The Complete List, which heaped slag on iconic artists such as:

#13 Paul McCartney & Wings (“Using the spoils of the Beatles, Wings built a castle out of cheese.“) Has the writer actually heard the Band On the Run LP I wonder? Any rock journalist, any rock fan of any credibility recognizes Paul McCartney to be among the greatest songwriters of the past half-century. Is it possible that any band that included him and played his compositions could be singled out as one of the worst of all time, except by a total idiot?

#9 Rush (“It’s often said that people either love Rush or hate them, but a more accurate statement is that most people hate Rush, while a scattered few really love them.“) That’s certainly why they have so much trouble selling concert tickets. Drummers especially hate Neil Peart.

#2 Eagles (“Soporific Laurel Canyon coke rock whose chief existential lament seems to be ‘What toppings should I get on my burrito?’) Yes, I recall the burrito dilemma being bandied about in many an Eagles lyric. And I think “Best of My Love” was about a chalupa.

I do remember the 70’s and seem to recall far worse bands than Wings and Eagles on the radio, but I must be mistaken because The Buoys and the DeFranco Family weren’t mentioned, and this is indeed The Complete List.

Top 20 Worst Bands of All Time: The Complete List: http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2012/02/top_20_worst_bands_ever_complete_list.php

I’ll be honest: I just added the L.A. Weekly music blog to my favorite sites list. Edgy, LA-centric music journalism with a side of sheer youthful ignorance is valid entertainment to me.

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Dave Matthews Band: #1 Worst Band of All Time

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. americas sweetheart
    Oct 30, 2012 @ 22:48:34

    Don’t forget… Jimi Hendrix is the greatest guitar player of all time….. LOL. I think they (music critics) just do this nonsense for attention, in every sense. These “best ever” and “worst ever” lists by mags like the rolling stone are a joke, just a tool they use to get people hyped (positively or negatively) about their issue in hopes to sell more copies. It’d be like me telling the FBI I masterminded 911 just so I could be on the media feed for a few days. Pointless.

    Reply

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