A lot of crazy shit happened in music in 2008, I think we can all agree. Much of it was good- hell, it could even be called great, but there were some unforgivably bad stumbles along the way. As usual, utter bullshit music saturated the mainstream last year, with sonic nightmares like Britney Spears selling hand over fist thanks to unprecedented promotional campaigns and, it seems, a total abandonment of album purchases by people with taste and musical sensibility.
Meanwhile, a select few have managed yet again to fool people with the same song and dance, while barely selling enough to touch the charts, much less earn a respectable position. They’re bullshit hype riders, most of them suck badly, and they deserve to be called out. With any luck, our collective disdain can outshine the billboards, bus benches, tabloids and trendy haircuts, and we can forget these losers once and for all.
10. The Verve
Most of us only know the Verve from Bitter Sweet Symphony, off 1997’s Urban Hymns. You remember it- the video was pretty much just a long shot of singer Richard Ashcroft walking down the street singing, looking like his face is melting (not a special effect- he just looks that way). They broke up all kinds of times over the usual drugs, ego and legal problems, and nobody really cared that much (hell, Ok Computer came out the same year, what did you expect?). The Verve got back together 10 years later to pluck our nostalgia strings, but the tune is an outdated and uninspired one. Nobody cares. Again.
9. Gym Class Heroes
Seriously though, who thought emo-rap was a good idea? The built-in douche factor, the collabs with Fall Out Boy, the… Daryl Hall cameo? Everything about this group is wrong- all the way down to pierced & plugged frontman Travis McCoy’s sappy lyric quotes in his blog re: his breakup from Katy Perry, who clearly got bored of the manboy and moved onto something less… lame.
8. Ashlee Simpson
Thanks to her pseudo-bisexual, overgrown attention-whore emo manboy husband, a nosejob and a retardedly-named son (Bronx Mowgli? Come the fuck on) she’s more famous than her “superstar” hick idiot sister, despite a highly-pimped album that barely cracked 100,000 in sales. Naturally, she’ll remain a part of the tabloid fabric for some time to come, until another useless, no-talent sister of a pop star prodigy gets her shit together enough to step up (where are you, Jamie Lynn?)
7. Plain White Ts
You likely remember that stupid Hey There Delilah song from about a year and a half ago, but chances are, you’re having a hard time remembering the band who played it. That’s because the album tanked, and they couldn’t follow up in ’08 with another Delilah. Just add these guys to the Ridiculous Band Names list- it’s just under the One-Hit Wonders.
One Coldplay is more than enough, thank you. Their synth-pop douche-fest, Perfect Symmetry, righteously fell off the US album charts after just six weeks, selling a paltry 74,000 copies- about a third of what their previous album moved. Unremarkable, utterly bland and entirely useless, it’s about time Keane moved on to other things.
Let’s forget about the nasty recent pictures of her onstage, looking like a velociraptor dressed as a tranny circus ringleader with full-blown AIDS, and focus on her ridiculous Hard Candy record, which thanks to a 20 year trend gap in developing countries has sold nearly three million copies worldwide. It hasn’t fared well at all here in the States, because we see her for the ridiculous, washed up, menopausal megalomaniac hag that she is. Note to Miley- when you start looking like the Bride of Skeletor on steroids, it’s time to get off stage, eat a fuckin sandwich and go adopt some more African kids.
Since (and possibly before) Ray Of Light, her ambition and greed have far outreached her talent. The rest of the world can have her. Sure, it’s a stretch, but with any luck, we can forget about Madonna in 2009.
4. Jessica Simpson
Wow, right? Both the Simpson sisters made the list. The shelf life of each has long since expired, but particularly for Jessica, who should’ve dropped permanently from view with the demise of her reality show, however the fuck long ago that was. But she stuck around, due in part to a maniacally opportunistic manager-father and her ability to actually hold a note (unlike a certain Ms. Spears, who despite having the voice of a 9 year-old girl trying to sound like an oversexed grownup, has pushed her pendulum back into gullible hearts once again- stay tuned for breakdown 9.0). But her ill-fated crossover into country music fared worse than the same career choice for Darius Rucker. Yeah, the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish. How much worse? Less than half- she pushed 135,000 copies before it dropped into complete obscurity.
3. Panic! At The Disco
Dropping the exclamation point, wiping off the makeup and getting rid of the geometric hairstyles appears too be too little, too late for the wave of reformed emo kids looking for something real to believe in. Their attempt at redefinition through pop psychedelics, Pretty. Odd. sold just over 300,000 units, which is about a fifth of what their last record did. And that one was pretty goddamned bad to begin with.
I suffered through an interview with frontman Josh Todd to get in good with their publicist, which left me feeling like I’d been on the receiving end of an unrequested full-body massage by a greased up, horny La Pequeña.
Tattoos, strippers and brand-new STDs are the name of this game, but nobody seems to want to play anymore; Black Butterfly has moved just over 150,000 copies since its release, despite a huge marketing campaign all but hailing them as the next Mötley Crüe. Or wait, maybe that was Hinder. Who fucking cares- they both suck with soulless abandon.
Despite whatever Axl may try to tell you, just ’cause your songs are played in strip clubs doesn’t mean your album’s gonna sell. Maybe all those Crazy Bitches on Sunset aren’t so crazy after all. Count that as one for rock n’ roll integrity.
Jesus, where to begin? With one god-awful power ballad these sleaze-rocking idiots somehow became entirely too famous, going double platinum with their shiteous, uninspired debut thanks to devil-deal promotion schemes and an undoubtable gift for industry blowjobs.
Thankfully, the purveyors of greasy trash are shifting their sights elsewhere these days, as their most recent offering barely cracked 200,000 in sales. That’s what happens when mediocrity is a fantasy and you’re struggling, like an obese paraplegic who’s fallen in a pool full of ugly strippers, just to stand out from the pack of useless derivatives that you come from.
And yes, that’s really the cover of their album. Sometimes a picture’s worth a thousand shitty songs.
Amy “Will You Fucking Die Already?!” Winehouse
I can’t decide whether it would be better to get a collection going to send her enough crack to finish the job, or actually put her in a cage, nurse her back to health and get some more of that amazing shit she spits when she’s got her head on straight. We’ve got some tough choices to make this year.