Why do I think your music taste sucks? Why is it that when I go to see your band I want to leave?
Nine reasons why your music sucks
Why do I think your music taste sucks? Why is it that when I go to see your band I want to leave? The answer is that I’ve been spoiled by superior bands from 20 to 30 years ago who put so much (even too much) originality, danger, noise, passion, and all-out, balls-out, no-bullshit chutzpah into what they did that listening to any new, hip bands is like being forced to eat miso soup when all I really want is a fucking double cheeseburger!
Beware…the following is a list of albums (in no particular order) that you’ll love (or hate) so much it will be impossible for you to enjoy the latest emo band ever again.
These four intense, comical, uber-intelligent, drug-devouring, cynical, misanthropic nihilists slowed punk rock down to the speed of molasses at a time when everyone else in San Francisco set their controls to mach five.
In their heyday, they had more anti-fans than actual fans, that is to say more people showed up to see them play because they hated them. This particular masterpiece showcases the late Will Shatter and Bruce Loose, who take turns between vocals and bass, wailing existential diatribes set to a steady, bass-led, hypnotic drone. They took no prisoners, and to this day, people either despise them or love them so much it makes them drool.
Best tracks: “Ever,” “Life Is Cheap,” “(I Saw You) Shine,” “Life.”
Sir Lord Baltimore Kingdom Come/ S/T
Look here metal heads, this is where it starts. If you dig heavy stuff like Blue Cheer, Sabbath and Raw Power-era Stooges, you’ll shit bricks for this CD. Way back in the late 1960s, this Brooklyn quartet set the bar so high that very few “heavy”‘ bands in later years have been able to match them. Joey Dambra wields his axe quite literally like a madman wielding an axe. This double album is so heavy your testicles will drop even further. Even if you’re a girl.
Best tracks: “Kingdom Come,” “Hellhound,” “Master Heartache,” “Lady Of Fire.”
If sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick started a band, it would sound like Chrome. Need I really say more?
Best tracks: “TV As Eyes,” “You’ve Been Duplicated,” “New Age,” “Electric Chair.”
Fela Ransom Kuti and Africa 70Expensive Shit
If Bob Marley was the archetypal voice of the third world, Fela Kuti is the Molotov cocktail thrown onto the archetypal imperialist cop car. Taking what he learned from James Brown, mixing it with the indigenous flavors of his native Nigeria, and throwing down some politically potent lyrics, his music will continue to astound. He was loved by the poor of Nigeria and even had his own compound/recording studio, the Kalakuta Republic, where he, his many wives (who also provided background singing), and his followers dwelled. In making his music, he managed to royally piss off the post-colonial, pre-globalization authorities that they raided his compound, threw his grandmother from a two-storey window and locked him away. This is kind of why I think your band is boring.
Best tracks: “Water No Get Enemy.”
Various Artists25 All-Time Greatest Bubblegum Hits
You think pop music is easy, huh? Listen to track five, “The Grooviest Girl in the World,” on this disc and tell me you can write a song just as fantastic yet as subtle and simple. Bubblegum music kicks fuckin’ ass, and your band sucks.
Best tracks: 1910 Fruitgum Co.’s “Indian Giver,” Fun and Games’ “The Grooviest Girl In The World,” Tommy James and the Shondells’ “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Capt. Groovy and His Bubblegum Army’s “Capt. Groovy and His Bubblegum Army.”
Les Rallizes Denudes (also known as Hadaka no Rallizes)Le 12 mars 1977 a Tachikawa
Someone told me that these guys’ name translated means “Fucked Up and Naked.” You better be able to completely fucking destroy if you’re gonna have a name that awesome, and destroy they do. These mystical Marxists formed in 1968 at the height of the student revolts in Japan. This live two-CD set features only seven tracks, each running an average of 10-15 minutes. Those of us with short attention spans may have a hard time getting into something that’s longer than two, but these psychedelic geniuses manage to contort the pop format in such a way that the songs take on a time of their own.
Best tracks: “Enter The Mirror,” “Track 3/CD 1,” “Track 1/CD 2” (titles in kanji).
The Velvet Underground White Light/White Heat
It’s still kind of surprising to me that people now recognize the greatness that is The Velvet Underground. Believe it or not, there was a time when this was not the case. I tried to play The Velvet Underground and Nico once in my drama class in high school and got made fun of, but now I’ve noticed that a lot of folks love that album as much as they love Sgt. Pepper. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed that this is not the case with this particular follow-up. To those folks I say two words: “Sister Ray.” How can one go wrong with a track about sailors as male prostitutes and someone getting their head blown off all in one 18-minute jam?
Best tracks: “The Gift,” “Lady Godiva’s Operation,” “Sister Ray.”
Simply SaucerCyborgs Revisted
The country that gave us such disgusting, vile acts such as Barenaked Ladies, Alanis Morrisette, and Billy Talent, can take solace in the fact that a few of their native sons started a band that surpasses all others: Simply Saucer. This primitive, science fiction, proto-punk rock band took the groundwork laid down by The Velvet Underground and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and made a volcano of it.
Best tracks: “Nazi Apocalypse,” “Electro-Rock,” “Bulletproof Nothing,” “Illegal Bodies.”
Plastic People Of The Universe Egon Bondy’s Happy Hearts Club Banned
If there’s anything good that came out of the Cold War, it’s this band. Back in the ’70s, these dissident rockers, hip to Zappa and the Velvets, made a sort of psychedelic-punk-jazz hybrid that sounds like the music played in the Cantina scene in Star Wars, only weirder and sung in Czech. Unfortunately, like Luke Skywalker, that weird alien known as the communist government of Czechoslovakia didn’t like them, and that one weird pig-faced guy, known as the secret police (who were not wanted in any system, let alone seven of them), didn’t like them either, but luckily that light-saber-wielding Obi-Wan Kenobi, known as the end of the Soviet era, managed to pacify the two, and the Plastics continued to play well into the ’90s. May the Plastic People of the Universe be with you.
Best tracks: “Zacpa,” “Magicke Noci,” “Podivuhodny Mandarin.”
Other honorable mentionsMichael Yonkers–Microminiature LovePink Floyd–Piper At The Gates Of Dawn The Slugfuckers–Cacophony The Pretty Things–SF SorrowFaust–IV Ornette Coleman–Sci-Fi Voivod–War And PainThe Electric Eels–God Says Fuck You!King Tubby–Dangerous DubJesus And Mary Chain–Psycho Candy