We generally don’t make lists that aren’t all sunshiney and positive, but our writer John Gillanders felt so burned up this year that he had to. He just had to. Read on for what he deemed were the most unforgivable music-related abominations of the year.

5. Lil Wayne and Eminem both release records in 2010

These guys both released records in 2010, right? I was too lazy to check, but I think I heard that somewhere. Just listening to Eminem or Lil Wayne oh so subtly makes anyone — even the most liberal over-educated peeps in lily white pastyville — stupider, more misogynist, materialistic, and homophobic than before. The two worst influences on our culture imaginable. The karmic debt these two continue to rack up cannot be measured in words but rather seen as a plume of blackened sprawling horror in the afterlife. It’s like the endless tire fire in fictional Springfield, comprised from plumes and plumes of wasted lives, terrible records, and battered girlfriends they’ve inspired — burning in eternal brain dead hellfire, forever.

4. 30 Seconds to Mars Videos

You’d think that living through the Bush Administration, I would have developed a Teflon fucking skin by now just as a coping mechanism, but somehow one video managed to break through that gruff exterior and depress the shit out me for an entire day this year. Note to self: do not watch MTV in the morning before work… ever again. The video I’m talking about is for “Closer To The Edge,” which inconveniently illuminated to me a few things I’d have been much better off not knowing. First off, judging from the concert footage, a shit ton of people actually go to 30 Seconds To Mars shows. Secondly, Jared Leto has the most annoying stage presence in the history of music. Thirdly, the video ends with a bunch of kids over-dramatically talking about how “music is their life” and without it they wouldn’t be able to make it through their hardships, or something to that effect. Now, this is where it gets soul-crushing; the music they’re talking about is Jordan Catalano’s uber-antiseptic vanity project. The blandest of the bland. Later in the year, I accidentally catch another 30StoM video where he’s Kung Fu fighting and there’s a bunch of hyper-stupid S & M footage being subliminally cut in. Good lord, this fucking guy. Dude, just save yourself a bunch of money and hire me to direct your next video. It’ll be you staring at yourself in the mirror, gazing lovingly into your own eyes for a minute or so. Then you’ll mystically pull yourself out of said mirror and spend the rest of the video licking your own abs. It’d be funny. The gays and teen girls will eat it up, it’s a concise expression of your work, and it’ll cost you next to nothing. This whole I’m a real artist trip you’re on does not suit you at all.

(Editor’s Note: … and 30 Seconds To Mars actually won 42 awards, according to Wikipedia. Further evidence that awards shows are complete and utter bullshit.)

3. Die Antwoord

I don’t honestly have much of a problem with the music or videos here which are actually kind of creative (if not particularly good), what I have a problem with is that THIS BAND PRETENEDED TO BE POOR TO SELL RECORDS. These cats are poseurs, quite literally. That’s right, they’re not actually white trash from South Africa like they’re fronting, bringing the world Zef culture, as they refer to it. In reality, they’re privileged art school kids from South Africa. But you know, being privileged and white (particularly in South Africa) isn’t going to get you much cred from the indie hipster hop dorks they want to market to, so you know, what if we pretend we’re actually from the ghetto? Yeah, that worked… sadly.

2. Any New Country Bullshit

Now don’t get me wrong; I actually like some country music. I don’t follow it, really, but I like to get drunk by myself on occasion, and it can serve as the perfect soundtrack. But every now and again, I accidentally flip past CMT or most recently, a Country Music Awards show, and catch the blood curdling travesty that is pop-country. I’ve now accidentally heard several songs that have promptly made me want to go deaf. And yet, that wouldn’t even help, because I could still get the gist from the videos. From what I gather, there seems to be a basic formula for success in modern country: make a song about how proud you are to be a flag-waving, neo-con, “bad-ass” hillbilly, who’ll go to war to bolster the profit margin of weapons manufacturers and boldly continue to vote against your own self interest! Then, the cash just rolls in. Hooray for us. I just checked and the top single on CMT right now is by Aaron Lewis (formerly of unforgivable nu-metal dumbmongers Staind). Do I really have to say anything else here?


Okay, so I’m never going to listen to this record, but that’s irrelevant. This was the top album on Spin, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and from two of the primary music writers at The Village Voice (the only ones that made top 10 lists). Are you fucking kidding me? Seriously, you want me to believe that since Kanye’s last few discs (which I’ve heard, not really very good, although not bad, per se), he dropped something that’s SO UNQUESTIONABLY BRILLIANT, that it has to be the number one record of the year. It just has to. It’s so good it makes your ears melt off your head like quivering pleasure centers rapidly ascending skyward to Kanye genius-ville. God, we’re all fucking doomed. Corporatism has fucked us all irreparably. No one can formulate an original thought anymore, and we’re all infected. New rule: once you start taking major label payola, everything you say is suspect and you’re off the artistic and critical map… forever. Kanye’s an idiot. He might be talented, but he’s a fucking idiot. What’s particularly perplexing about this bullshit is that most of the reviews I read talked more about his Twitter posts than the actual music, meaning that these douche-o-tron music scribes actually follow celebrities on Twitter. WTF? Who does that? Nobody with a clue. Roughly 9 gajillion albums came out this year. Maybe this record is good, maybe it’s not, but there is no way, ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING WAY, it is sooooooooooo good that it unquestionably trumps everything else in 2010. Again, NO FUCKING WAY.

(P.S. major labels, I’ll gladly take your payola to pretend this was my favorite record of the year. You think I like working day jobs? Christ, I’m lucky to even have one right now. See the problem?)

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