Intro & The AV Club's #50 - #31 — The AV Club's #30-#11
The AV Club's Top 10 & Afterword — Alan Greenspan Presents Our Top 10
Note: we, the good people of Et tu, Mr. Destructo?, recognize that many readers will derive little of value solely from a list of negatives without an accompanying list of positives. A mere litany of displeasures offers no perspective unless leavened with the sincere enthusiasms of the critic. Surely someone who excoriates Wordsworth's style can be dismissed out of hand as an anti-Romantic, but if he or she is also an ardent admirer of Byron, then one must read his or her opinion more attentively.
Likewise, we do not wish to be dismissed: we refuse the mantle of Philistines, hatas or bustas. That we are much exercised by the AV Club's list should be manifest by now, but we submit that our criticisms come not from a knee-jerk compulsion to gainsay the hip, the mainstream or the voice of an authority but rather from a sincere, supple and multi-dimensional appreciation of all genres of music. We like many artists similar to the ones dismissed above, just as many of you might dismiss the artists you see below while celebrating their contemporaries.
To show that we are human beings with loves and hates and passions just like yours — that we are men and women who've been born and still yet live and, however so unfair, will surely die — we asked each regular and guest contributor to Mr. Destructo to compile his or her list of the ten best albums of the decade (#1 being the best and #10 the tenth best) and tabulated this consensus staff list. These are the rhythms and verses that syncopated our steps and gave voice to our hearts.
Now, to give voice to our thoughts about these tremendous works, we turn to former Federal Reserve Chairman and clarinetist at the Juilliard School, Alan Greenspan:
Top 10 Albums This Decade That I Totally Woulda Knocked Up Your Old Lady To
by ALAN GREENSPAN
I thought when I wrote for these idiots it was gonna be a one-and-done thing, but apparently all these assholes know about writing music is which one of the Rock Band buttons they hit with their fat fucking monkey hands. That's why they called in the big guns, because they know what you're thinking: "This bunch of jackasses I don't know anything about just ripped on 50 albums in a row. Why???"
Here's why: because even these button-mashers know more about music than your sorry little fuckypants. And I know more than that to the power of a thousand. I played jazz with Stan Getz before I got bored and decided to run a global economy. You talk about this stuff at the IGN boards and y'all gets my balls on your fucking face.
I know it's annoying as shit when a bunch of people have nothing good to say. "Blah blah blah, I hate this" and "Blah blah blah, this food gives me gas," and "Blah blah blah, that's the wrong hole." Well, I ain't stoppin'. Least thing I can do is make sure this shit is real as fuck, by telling you what's bringin' the noise harder than anything else out there. Is it positive? Yeah. LIKE AN ELECTRICAL CHARGE PUSHIN THE BEST BANDS OF THE DECADE RIGHT AT YOU. Click on the pics and listen if you don't believe me.
HELLOOOOOOOO, [YOUR TOWN'S NAME HERE]!
10. Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
This is one of those albums that works on multiple levels, beginning with the title, because between the exultation I feel in listening and the almost primal lust it inspires in me for melody, counterpoint and seizing the beauty of this world and just fucking the shit out of it, I honestly don't know if I can tell you which one wins out. You ever jerk it until you're about to bust a nut and then stop, then jerk it until you're about to bust a nut and then stop, then finally jerk it back on a slow-boil until you just spray this massive fucking load against the wall and it splashes this tidal wave of jizz back like the elevator door opening in The Shining? That's the way this album is. Before Kid A came out, Coldplay seemed like an unsatisfying jerkoff Radiohead, one that was little more than a dumbed-down kiddie version and never quite got you there. Then, right between Parachutes and this album, they completely stepped up their game and started making your legs tingle, just as Radiohead turned into the band equivalent of a chick who used to be hot but then got fat as shit — only she still wears tight leather lingerie making her roll out more muffin tops than a fucking school bake sale. (Oh, and back when she was good looking she used to do this weird shit like suck on your chin or rake her teeth through your hair or whatever, and you'd say, "Yeah, baby, I'm packin' some transatlantic pipe for you right here." Only now she does it, and you slap that shit down and say, "Stop fucking trying to eat me, you load." Radiohead is that girl.) Coldplay walks right up to you and says, "Let's do this," and you want to do it. When Coldplay starts talking about Clocks, they are going to fucking talk about time. They're not gonna start moaning and chinsucking and make you look at your watch. When lead singer Chris Martin says, "Singin'," that means that's exactly what he's going to do, singin'
Yoooooooooooooo ohhhhhhhhh!Guess who else is doing that? Me. With my hand on my dick.
9. Dragonforce, Sonic Firestorm (2004)
Speaking of things I listen to with my hand on my dick, there's English metal band Dragonforce, the masters of a sonic fusillade so fucking furious that I wish I had fifteen hands every time I hear their music just so I can hold onto myself to make sure no more parts of me go flying off due the fierce force of their rock (and it'd take at least three of those hands to keep hold of the Alan Peenspan. MARK IT, DUDE). I can play "Through the Fire and Flames" perfectly on every level of Guitar Hero and on a cherry red Fender Strat with cigarette burns on it — all while drunk, because you literally have to drink to cope with the sheer sonic bombardment. English soldiers in WWI called it neurasthenia. The Who called it Quadrophenia. I call it MELTING YOUR FUCKING FACE OFF. All the albums are so fucking rad it's rude, so I picked this one because I like the bass best on it.
8. Weezer, Raditude (2009)
While we're on the subject of what's rad and what's not, here's what would usually be a NOT: a bunch of homos who like short-sleeved button down shirts and whining about how they're getting laid too much. But Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo seems to have finally ditched his pussy glasses and whining about pussy in favor of GETTING HIM SOME. This band started out tight as shit back in 1995 when they sounded like The Cars gone punk as fuck, and now they've brought the punk back to the pop by getting back those WEEEEE WEEEEE kinda synth keyboards that made people forget Ric Ocasek was ugly and hooked him up with a goddamn model. Maybe we can finally get that for Rivers, now he's shown that he's got the right Raditude. Plus, for my mind, "Can't Stop Partying" is the best rap-rock duo act since Anthrax and Public Enemy.
7. Caramell, Supergott (2001)
I literally do not know dick shit about this Swede band except that maybe they're Christian or something, because why the fuck else would you name your band "Super God?" Pretty sure God already knows he's super, so he doesn't need the favors. The only people trying to do him some are usually the types who can't shut the fuck up about him. Anyway, any band that makes a song that makes any girl on the internet willing to dance on webcam for you or make Anime Con sluts who are all dressed up in cosplay bikinis and giving you INSANE doses of sideboob start shaking all they got is all right by me. Supposedly the video of the Asian girls dancing in this are from some game called Popotan, but nobody cares, because the Caramel Dance is all about makin' shit sticky, and this song helps you do that. Seriously, just click on this Youtube of anime-con sluts making it jiggly. (Plus they're English, so you know they're easy.). Hand to god, I want to see all 40 of the hot girls in the video (I counted) set up on their hands and knees in a line, and I will tap all 80 holes like I'm playing a game of one-man Sex Cribbage. Do you realize this song has been making girls dance like this for four years? That's half the decade. They own half the decade. Our Gott is a Righteously Super Gott.
6. Danger Mouse, The Grey Album (2004)
Finally, someone who has the guts to stand up for what all of us want to believe in and has the courage to show us all the way, and he does it with a freakin' trifecta. Here's what we all knew already. One, downloading albums is much better than buying them, because the record companies are all whores, and because then you don't have to get that Goo Gone shit to clean all the stickers off the album case, which is holding at least three songs inside it that FUCKING SUCK. Two, Englishmen are all huge weepy vaginas, which is why their ladies will spread for just about anything with a tan and a pulse in Majorca. (Go there. Get the Labia Majorca. It's waiting for you.) Three, black music always improves when you add white people to it. Jesus Christ, finally you had a reason to give a shit about the Beatles, and Jay-Z got guitars. Lots of fuckin' guitars. Plus, the whole thing was illegal, so we all got that shit free.
5. Coheed and Cambria, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (2005)
Coheed and Cambria is gay as shit. I don't listen really read Pitchfork or anything (because I'm not gay) (gay) but I heard their next album is gonna be called American Dicklord (Part the First): Split the Ass Fantastic (A Butt Reverie). This is why I like them, because Coheed is bad prog and worse metal, and they are culling the prog metal herd by turning all the people with shitty taste (Coheed fans) gay. Their fans tuck their penises between their legs and drink chablis while Coheed blares in accompaniment to mute televisions turned to the Food Network while they picture-in-picture The View. I saw their lead singer, Billy the Kid-Diddler or whatever his name is, on the teevee, and I remember thinking that he literally played keytar with his wang and released bootleg Coheed Youtubes under the name "Samtaint" and all the videos were just men's gym footage. I don't pity the Coheed fans. I thank them for stepping out of the breeding stock so that only righteous prog and metal fans can go forward into the future SWINGIN' DICKS LIKE BROADSWORDS. That's why this album is #5, because it's actively killing off the next generation of TOTAL WADS.
4. The Decemberists, Her Majesty The Decemberists (2003)
Upon first discovering this band and their name, I felt ashamed for my fellow Bright who had obviously chosen to name his band after some allegiance to a month instead of the 19th century Russian revolutionaries who agitated for change. But it was only upon accessing the sublimity of their set-pieces that I realized how fitting their calendric fetishism. The Decemberists music creaks like tree branches burdened by ice in winter, like doors that must be forced open against the immuring chilling winds and the coldness of the human heart: "Billy Liar" vibrates like a paean to the last time warmth was felt. The cruelest appellation bestowed on this groundbreaking band is the term "quirky" or perhaps "eccentric," which reduces the power of writing about piracy and wind-powered frigates and seeks to dismiss them as too twee to apply to the vagaries of modern humanity. Lead singer and songwriter Colin Meloy's lyrics encapsulate everything that is the precision of humanity: they are a surgeon's knife wrapped in 16mm film of a child's hug. The air, indeed, is "thick with incense, cardamom and myrrh" as every note of the Decemberists' fills the room with the rich sweet smoke of memory, choking back tears to open new vistas of imagistic transcendence. Who has not felt at sea in high school? Was life more than a schooner, adrift from your beloved, surrounded by men? Of course it wasn't.
3. mc chris, Dungeon Master of Ceremonies (2006)
Hesh from Sealab 2021 and Aqua Teen Hunger Force's MC Pee Pants are both a real, live human being named Christopher Brendan Ward IV. Or, under his Nom d'OWN: mc chris (all lowercase, bitches). This album would have gone straight to the top of this list like Mentos in a Coke 2-liter, if only mc chris hadn't gone complete Benedict Hey Arnold! on nerdcore and turned his back on it after he'd used nerdcore fans to level up his album sales. Up until that point, chris has been like the opening track, strictly "FTW," but now a lot of fans want to "Smackababy" and maybe kick him till he eatin' "Booties for Breakfast," and frankly, if I catch him in a bad mood, the booties can fuckoff, because Ima give him "The Package." SEE, CHRIS, YOU FUCK: DROPPIN' NAMES LIKE THIS AIN'T NO THING. IMA DROP YOU TO THE GROUND, IF I EVER SEE YOU. GREENSPAN WILL FUCK YOUR ASSHOLE FROTHY, YOU JUDAS MOTHERFUCKER. GOD-DAMNIT, WHY DOES YOUR ALBUM STILL HAVE TO BE SO FUCKIN TIGHT?
2. Tool, Lateralus (2001)
Tool expands our conscious understanding of music and reality by exploding melody and then smothering our ears in silence. The track "Faaip de Oiad" literally means "Voice of God," and I'm telling you that voice is Maynard James fuckin' Keenan. Look, I don't want to sound like one of those poseur fans who think they "get" Tool when they obviously DON'T GET TOOL and are just along for the commercial ride, but the whole point of this album is to break down how we understand the rhythms of reality. Drummer Danny Carey uses time signatures like 9/8 and 7/8 to take us out of what we think is breathing, while Maynard uses his vocal arrythmia and wailing to give us a sense of the pain of childbirth. It's like hearing your mother's hearbeat ripped out, only you realize you are being ripped out of her as you are born into a world of staccato hammering unreality and the agony of your first cries. Do you think they WANT to do that? No, they NEED to. Do you think anyone can just do that on a whim? That sort of thing only happens when you're quantumly leaping people to an in utero pre-state state and aborting everything they thought about rock and roll. Listening to Tool takes WORK. You can't just plug the sumbitch into the wall and let the music come out and sit there thinking, "Oh, hmmm, HARDCORE," because as soon as you do that, you're the joke. Throw the CD away or give it to someone who you can tell has two ears on his soul. That anger that they think they're rocking the shit out on is a mask they can't even peel back to reveal the non-euclidean geometry of human emotion. Don't believe me? Watch this. This video will tell you everything you need to know about where to BEGIN:
If you didn't even understand that, get the fuck off the internet. You make me fucking sick. You don't even belong here.
1. Boots Randolph, Yakety Sax (1963)
I know what you're gonna say: that wasn't written this decade. Well, some of us don't have the luxury of that kind of pre-9/11 thinking anymore. The world changed on September 11, 2001. That was the day someone made Tribute.wmv, a video where footage of the horror of the World Trade Center attacks was set to Enya's "Only Time" before a record scratch brought us sped-up footage, "Yakety Sax" and the single soundtrack that changed the world of comedy forever. EVERY FUCKING THING is funnier when it's sped up and set to "Yakety Sax." Go to any message board online, and watch a multitude of Youtubes as they're shooting out of people's heads like Athena or a demon on a metal cover, and you'll see I'm right. Everyone wants to see that shit. It's the soundtrack to our lives if we want them to be funny at all. I've actually got an idea about how to make something so funny it would kill people. Film someone like Dave Koz playing "Yakety Sax," then take the film and speed it and the sound up and set "Yakety Sax" OVER IT. Maybe have Arsenio come out and do his WHUH! WHUH! WHUH! fistpump thing to it, too, only he's going so fast that it looks like he's hitting the LARGEST PUNCHING BAG IN THE WORLD like a speedbag. Then put his show back on the teevee. Goddamn, that shit was proper.
PLAY MY MUSIC!
Intro & The AV Club's #50 - #31 — The AV Club's #30-#11
The AV Club's Top 10 & Afterword — Alan Greenspan Presents Our Top 10