If socialists are going to take your money, it might as well be us.
This column is dedicated to one of the baddest motherfuckers ever to play the rock and roll game, Lux Interior, ringleader of outrageously influential trash rock primitives The Cramps.
He died on Wednesday, February 4 of a pre-existing heart condition. He was 62. He is survived by his wife and co-conspirator of the last 37 years, Cramps lead guitarist Poison Ivy.
I’m not one to get sentimental over the deaths of old punk rockers; I’m amazed when any of them live long enough to die of old age. So rather than write a cloying, overwrought obituary, I will simply say this: The rock ‘n’ roll daddy has done passed on, but his bones will keep a-rockin’ long after he’s gone.
Roll on. Rock on. Rest in peace.
I know what you’re thinking.
“A year-end list in March? That’s pretty lazy, even by your standards, Eric.”
And to this, I say, you’re right. But think about this: the music industry itself doesn’t put out its own official year-end list – that execrable wankfest known as the Grammys, or as I like to call it, American Idol: Insider Edition – until February 8, even though the cutoff date for consideration is September 30.
Suddenly, my little indiscretion doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
And so, without further ado, I am proud to present to you, humble reader, the first ever Platinum Beastie Awards, recognizing the best and worst of what I bothered to listen to in the year 2008.
First up, the cream of the crop:
The Natalie Portman’s Character from Garden State Award for Band or Artist that Will Change Your Life, I Swear goes to:
Fucked Up, for the album The Chemistry of Common Life
Jay Reatard, for the compilations Singles ‘06-‘07 and Matador Singles ‘08
Torche, for the album Meanderthal
If you tried to have talk to me about music last year but couldn’t get a word in edgewise because I wouldn’t shut the fuck up about one of the above bands, please accept this as my formal apology.
I would also like to apologize to Al Uthman, the editor of this great publication, who, due to the nature of his job, couldn’t avoid reading my fawning, histrionic reviews of these bands even if he wanted to. (In case you were wondering, Al, the answer is yes. It is very, very hard to type with a dick in my mouth.)
But still, you should totally check these guys out.
Seriously. Do it. Now.
The Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold Memorial Award for Band that Brings Back the Fondest Memories of the Times that I Played the “Potential School Shooter” Card to Keep People From Picking On Me in High School goes to:
Bloodbath, for the album The Fathomless Mastery
A lot of more-brutal-than-thou metal elitists don’t give this band much respect for reasons that, as a former member of their ranks, aren’t all that clear to me. (To coin an analogy, diehard metalheads are to bands as teenage girls are to boys. They’re fickle as hell and you’ll never really understand the logic behind their ever-changing tastes.)
But I don’t give a flying ping-pong ball fart-launched out of a washed-up pornstar’s disturbingly elastic butthole what any of those fat chick thrillers say. Bloodbath is still the most enjoyable pure death metal band in the world today.
Their music is a perfect mix of Swedish songcraft and American brutality. It’s raw enough to sandblast your flesh to the bone, but melodic enough to still sound like music.
And Mikael Akerfeldt is the only death metal vocalist who legitimately scares me. I’m convinced that he’s made some kind of Robert Johnson-esque pact with Satan. It’s the only explanation that I have for how he can get his voice to be so guttural and yet so perfectly intelligible at the same time.
The Lux Interior Memorial Award for Band that Best Keeps the Spirit of a Bygone Musical Era Alive Without Indulging in Lazy Copycatting Under the Guise of Being “Retro” goes to:
The Bronx, for the album The Bronx (III)
You got your cock rock in my hardcore. You got your hardcore in my cock rock. However you to-MAY-to/to-MAH-to it, they’re two great tastes that taste surprisingly great together.
The Lemmy Kilmister Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Rocktitude goes to:
Lemmy Kilmister (duh) and Motorhead (double duh), for the album Motorizer
If you thought that anyone else would win this award, you seriously need to go back to rock school.
The Chris Pontius Award for Album Most Likely to Get the Party Started, Anytime, Anyplace goes to:
Girl Talk, for the album Feed the Animals
Ludachrist, for the free downloadable single Bangfest
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if the backing track to Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys” “Paranoid Android?” How about if “Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check” was paired up with “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic?” Or if Li’l Jon got crunk over “Money for Nothing?”
Yeah, probably not. But lucky for us, these mashup masterminds did. They took all of the songs that you pretend to hate but secretly sing along to when you’re alone in your car, dissected them, rearranged the parts as they saw fit, sewed them back together, threw in an abnormal brain, and shocked them back to life.
The result? Two releases so good that they should be slapped with a warning label that reads, “Instant Party: Just add horny young hipsters and the mind-altering substance of your choice! If you hate fun, PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK!”
The Angus Young Circa 1979 Award for Band or Artist that Best Shows that Originality Can Be Overrated
Disfear, for the album Live the Storm
This almost didn’t make it on the list because I just heard it a couple of days before I wrote this. Usually, before I commit to saying that something is the “best” of anything, I like to see if it has any kind of lasting power.
However, this is so fanfuckingtastic that I can’t see it leaving my playlist any time soon, or ever, really. It’s everything I love about obnoxiously loud rock music in one neat little 35-minute package. It’s the straight-up, no-bullshit directness of hardcore punk, mixed with the heavy-handed, explosive punching power of early 90’s Swedish death metal, sprinkled with a dash of Motorhead worship and doused in enough fuck-it-let’s-rock sauce to drown an entire Wacken Open Air Festival’s worth of sweaty, smelly heshers.
Nothing that it does is particularly unique, but it does what it does so well that you really shouldn’t care.
I can’t say enough good things about this album. If you have even the tiniest sliver of metal in your heart, you should give this one a shot.
And now, the cream of the crap:
The Marilyn Manson Award for Artist Most Likely To Have Removed His or Her Floating Ribs to Aid in His or Her, Shall We Say, “Exotic” Masturbation Techniques goes to:
Axl Rose, for the album Chinese Democracy
If any of you who read last month’s issue actually believed that I thought Chinese Democracy was the greatest thing since freshly baked banana bread, there’s this Irish guy named Jonathan Swift who has some pretty interesting ideas about population control. I think you should check him out.
The Diablo Cody Award for Most Indietastic Display of Indieness goes to:
Vampire Weekend, for the album Vampire Weekend
I, unlike a fair number people in the music world, find it impossible to feel one way or the other about this band.
To me, they just sound like a bland college-town indie-pop bar band, like any number of fledgling groups that I used to see on Thursday nights while I finagled ways to drink underage at B.J.’s in Fredonia. (Protip for prospective or current Fredonia State students: wear long sleeves, drink fast, and watch out for the owner’s flashlight.)
The only time I ever really had an opinion about them was when I saw them play live on Conan O’Brien, and even then, I didn’t really give a shit about the music. I just wanted to hang the keyboardist from the lighting rig by his stupid-ass scarf.
You’re inside, you fucking tool. Take it off.
The James Blunt Award for… ZZZZZZZ… goes to:
Coldplay, for the album Viva la Vida or Oh God This Title is So Pretentious it Makes Me Want to Hurl
I hate Coldplay.
Actually, scratch that. I hate Coldplay fans.
Actually, scratch that, too. I don’t really hate Coldplay fans. I’m just very, very confused by them. I genuinely don’t understand why they soil their pants with sexual fluids and scream “BEST BAND EVER!” in orgasmic delight when they listen to Chris Martin mope over bland, faux-U2, Dad Rock pomposity.
To me, when someone says, “You know what my favorite band is? Coldplay!” it’s like they’re saying, “You know what my favorite food is? Plain iceberg lettuce!” Granted, Viva La Vida pours some fancy oil and vinegar over that lettuce, but when you get down to it, it’s still just lettuce.
The Mae West Memorial Award for Aging Sex Symbol Whose Racy Behavior Now Inspires More Laughs Than Lust goes to:
Madonna, for the album Hard Candy
Madonna queefs dust.
The Mike Skinner, a.k.a. The Streets, Award for Most Inexplicably Lauded Album of the Year goes to:
Metallica, for the album Death Magnetic
One of the biggest mysteries of the way that we process sensory information is our brain’s peculiar ability to make us hear things that aren’t really there. If we really want to hear something, we’ll hear it, whether or not the sound is actually present.
This album, designed as a return to form after the almost universally reviled St. Anger, is on the year-end “best of” lists of Q, TIME, Revolver, Rolling Stone, Metal Edge, Metal Hammer, and Metal Maniacs. In Revolver and Metal Hammer, it was named the number one heavy metal album of 2008.
Do you see what I’m getting at here?
The Clay Aiken Award for Creepiest Breakout Single goes to:
Lady GaGa, for the single “Just Dance”
Dear Lady GaGa:
We, the members of NANCLA, the North American Non-Consensual Love Association, would like to extend our sincere thanks to you for helping to soften the public image of non-consensual coupling -- colloquially known as “date rape” -- with your megahit single “Let’s Dance.”
We would be honored if you if you would allow us to use your song as the theme song for our 2009 “Urgl, Hurk… Baaaaarf Means Yes” campaign.
Please get back to us as soon as possible. Thanks in advance.
Pete “Sleazy P” Worchester
NANCLA Vice President of Public Affairs
P.S.: What are you wearing right now?
The Everyone Who Participated in that Godawful 2001 Cover of “What’s Going On” Award for Artist Who Makes the Biggest Mockery of a Legitimate Social Issue goes to:
Katy Perry, for the single “I Kissed a Girl”
If Toby Keith came out with a heartfelt ballad called “Hate to See Him Go, But Love to Watch Him Leave (Goin’ Gay in the USA),” it would be revolutionary.
But when Katy Perry flaunts her boobalicious bicuriosity in a bouncy, bubbly club anthem… Eh, not so much. It’s pretty much the textbook definition of “tries too hard.”
And I don’t care that she’s been featured in Out and The Advocate; she has almost certainly set back the mainstream acceptance of legitimate female bisexuality by further equating it with attention-starved bimbos who make out with their equally needy girlfriends to gain the approval of mongoloid frat-tards who wear those “pre-worn” Hollister* shirts that make it look like their mothers went, “Oh, honey, we can’t afford to buy you a Hollister shirt. I’ll just go ahead and make you one!”
*Did you know that on the Hollister website they refer to “men” and “women” as “dudes” and “bettys?” And I thought I couldn’t possibly dredge up any more hate for those faux-surfer bleachbrains. Thanks for proving me wrong, duuuuudes!
Assail Eric’s taste at email@example.com
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