Worst of the Best – a music meme

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

26 Apr 2006

I’ve been posting a lot of music-related stuff over on my journal on last.fm, and at belvane‘s advice I decided to cross-post some music-related stuff here to, for your education, entertainment and elucidation.

The meme is simple – list 10 of your favorite artists (I took my Last.FM Top 10 Listened-to chart) and write your least favorite song for that artist. Explain why. Try to avoid picking pointless/banal/uninteresting songs. Go for the utter rock bottom.

1. Artist: David Bowie
Song: Dancing in the Street
Reason: While Bowie has quite a few lackluster albums in the 80’s and silly/immature songs in the 60’s, nothing quite beats this half-hearted performance and its corresponding horribly embarassing video (with Mick Jagger).

2. Artist: The Beatles
Song: The Word
Reason: I can forgive pointless songs in their early period, but this is pushing it. Rubber Soul has quite a few boring songs like that. Seems like they phoned this one in.

3. Artist: The Smiths
Song: Barbarism Begins at Home
Reason: I know that countless teenagers in the 80’s turned vegetarian because of Morrissey’s crooning in Meat Is Murder, but for me the last two tracks – and especially Barbarism Begins At Home – are a reason to stop the CD playback early and put something else on. Long and stretched out and lethargic and boring. Hard to imagine it’s on the same album as What She Said, which has amazing beat and rhythm.

4. Artist: Elbow
Song: Crawling With Idiot
Reason: I haven’t been listening to Elbow that long so I haven’t really developed any hatred for any tracks yet. I picked this one simply because I usually space out on the album when it’s playing, snapping back when Grace Under Pressure begins.

5. Artist: Tom Waits
Song: The Black Rider
Reason: Tom Waits has his share of bad songs – from early maudlin schmaltz-ballads to later unlistenable experiments. I picked this at random from The Black Rider because it is an extremely uneven album, ranging from the disturbing (in a good sense) to the unlistenable.

6. Artist: Pixies
Song: Distance Equals Rate Times Time
Reason: While I disagree with those who say that Trompe le Monde is a bad album, I will agree it’s the Pixies’ least focused. And of the tracks on that album, this is the least focused. Doesn’t really go anywhere, doesn’t realy do anything.

7. Artist: Radiohead
Song: Fitter, Happier
Reason: I could pick something out of Hail to the Thief that totally eschews melody or rhythm, but that would be too easy. Instead, I will go for the unexpectedly popular monologue of Fitter Happier, which takes a few minutes to come to one rather simple point, does not give it any sort of fulfilling musical accompaniement, and in general reeks of pretentiousness.

8. Artist: Franz Ferdinand
Song: This Boy
Reason: It’s hard to really have bad songs when you don’t step far out of your comfortable pop-rock niche. Most of their songs sound similar enough to avoid being really BAD. I picked this track because it’s exactly the same as their standard (but fun) tracks on their first album, but we expect better than simple filler on their (otherwise also excellent) followup album.

9. Artist: Jethro Tull
Song: Quizz Kid
Reason: From 1969 to 1979 you could hardly find a bad Jethro Tull album. A golden period. But like Bowie during the same decade, there had to be something to spoil the party. For Bowie it was Young Americans, and for Tull it was Too Old To Rock’N’Roll: Too Young To Die. It had some good songs, but some (like Quizz Kid) are simply not it.

10. Artist: Simon & Garfunkel
Song; Simon & Garfunkel – The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine
Reason: A good example as to why grass isn’t always a good thing. ‘Nuff said.

20 תגובות על
Worst of the Best – a music meme

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iod

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 09:29

I really like Fitter Happier. I don’t think it comes to “a point”, there isn’t one, really, which is the whole point. Plus, I think the line “no longer empty and frantic like a cat tied to a stick that’s driven into frozen winter shit” is so fucked up that any track containing it would automatically by a Good Track.

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yggdrasil

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:50

A song can get by with pointless lyrics if the music is good. If you’re doing a spoken-word track, you might as well try to say something. Spouting random nonsense never works, not even for Jim Morrison.

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tammynin

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 09:54

Bowie

That would be so hard to choose the one song of his which is my least favorite.
I think he’s the only artist that has songs in my top 10 lists of favorite and least favorite songs. Possibly more than one song in each list.
And I agree with what you wrote about Trome Le Mond. Totally.

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yggdrasil

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:46

Re: Bowie

I’m not quite as conflicted as you are – Bowie’s my favorite artist, and has few songs I dislike. Most of those are from 1983-1996, so things are also looking up.

And any album that has songs like The Sad Punk can’t be bad in my book.

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pelig

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:00

I actually really like “The Black Rider”- It’s one of my favorite Tom Waits songs.

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yggdrasil

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:42

As I said, I was a bit conflicted about it. Mostly because I haven’t listened to it enough to put my finger properly on the precise song that annoys me in that album.
Oily Night, for instance, is many people’s least favorite Waits song. I like it, if only for the amazingly creepy atmosphere. It would be an ideal soundtrack to a horror movie or gaming session.

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themoniker

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:24

People say Trompe Le Monde is a bad album? I wonder if they simply blotted out the existance of Bossanova from their memory.
Really liked Trompe Le Monde, remember nothing of Bossanova except a vague dissappointment.
I have to agree about Dancing in the Street’s appaling half-heartedness. Most everything else is either outside my experience or too blah for me to remember or have an opinion about it.

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yggdrasil

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:44

While Bossanova has some so-so songs, it’s still one hell of an album. “Is She Weird”, “Stormy Weather” and especially “The Happening” are among my favorite tracks ever.

Did I already mention occasionally waking in a cold sweat to Bowie’s horrible shoulder-padded torqouise jacket and slick golden hair?

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themoniker

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 11:08

I can recall the chorus to “Is She Weird” (Is she weird, is she white, is she ready for promised to the night?). Reading the lyrics of The Happening, nothing clicks. maybe I should listen to it again. Perhaps (like Young Americans…), it grows old gracefully.
And Bowie’s bad outfits outnumber his bad songs by an order of magnitude…

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yggdrasil

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 12:06

“The Happening” is fun, and refers to one of Frank Black’s pet topics, namely UFO spotting and alien visitations.

And I still don’t like Young Americans.

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gaal

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:51

Ha, you just invoked two Laws of Music.

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Anonymous

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:57

And which would those be, pardon my ignorance?

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velfadar

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 10:59

Arg.

That was me, not half as logged in as I ought have been.

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gaal

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 11:10

Re: Arg.

Oh, back in the Ultinet days I had those arrogant rules…

I. Great Music was made in the 70ies
II. Crappy Music was made in the 80ies by Those who Made Great Music in the 70ies
III. These Rules should disregarded by Lovers of Techno
IV. Lovers of Techno should be disregarded by everybody else

(Wow, that was half a lifetime ago. My arrogance has somewhat decreased, my taste in music somewhat expanded, but I still sometimes get this gut reaction…)

Hmm, now this doesn’t really make sense because techno came in late in the 80ies, didn’t it, and hella lot of crap already showed up earlier that troublesome glitzy decade. Maybe there was another rule in there? Maybe someone can still dig it up from their old Hudson base.

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yggdrasil

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 12:05

Re: Arg.

I think what made me abandon those rules were King Crimson’s 80’s albums. While 1981’s Discipline was the best of the three, Three Of A Perfect Pair (1983) was still very good.

And I don’t have any Hudson bases left. Only Bluewave packets.

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gaal

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 12:30

Re: Arg.

You realize, of course, that the only thing making it possible for the 80ies KC albums to be any good at all is how utterly awesome their 70ies stuff was, yes? I’ll take a pound of Red over an ounce of Discipline any day.

(BTW, I heard the funniest snub against progrock the other day. I was watching Return of the Secaucus 7, one of Sayles’ first films, and there was a scene in a bar where a Country singer was saying to this East coast music critic, “progressive rock? That’s like heavy metal that’s gone to college, right?”. She was female and horrified to hear that, and he was quick and trying to get in her pants, so he laughed it off as a joke.)

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gaal

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 13:09

Re: Arg.

Oh, and I have a tool I wrote once to convert BW, Hudson and JAM to, uh, “modern” rfc822 format. Want it?

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yggdrasil

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 13:38

Re: Arg.

Didn’t ijon work on something like that too, a few years ago?
Anyway, does this work on QWK packets too? I think I have some of those from before Ghostwheel moved to that newfangled Bluewave software.

Actually, I remembered I managed to find a Windows-based Bwave reader a while ago. Written in 1995 or so, but still functional. Had some nostalgic fun there.

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ijon

26 בApril, 2006 בשעה 15:44

Re: Arg.

Yeah, I was trying to write UFT, but I did it in C++, which was pretty much my only tool at the time, and it was excruciating and I had little time. Then Gaal, who knew Perl, wrote uft, and there was great rejoicing.

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gaal

30 בApril, 2006 בשעה 06:36

Re: Arg.

I have a vague notion that QWK and BW are the same format, so hey, it might work.

http://forum2.org/gaal/uft-0.03.tgz

I hope the code hasn’t bitrotted.

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