Well, I’m back after a restful week in Seattle and it seems to be that wonderful time of the year when everyone arbitrarily quantifies all their favorite whatevers – I’m not immune to such behavior. But before I tell you what I thought was so great about 2009, I wish to – in the interest of balance, of course – point out the very worst that 2009 had to offer. I’m limiting this to music because, if you expand the Worst of 2009 list to, say, news stories, you can get depressed fast. I should hope the image of a vomiting clown suggests we’re here to have a good time. So, without further et cetera:
Worst song of 2009: “Desolation Row” (Bob Dylan cover) by My Chemical Romance. Now, I didn’t like the new Bob Dylan album. I do, however, enjoy much of his early work. It just so happens that “Desolation Row,” from Highway 61 Revisited, is my very favorite Bob Dylan tune. Of all time. When I heard that My Chemical Blowmance was going to cover the song for the Watchmen soundtrack, I knew it was going to be bad. I just had no idea how bad. This band truly pioneers shittyness. Fortunately, My Chemical Toilet didn’t bother to cover all 11 minutes of the original. Still, they put together a painfully awful three minutes. I was doing pretty well at ignoring MCR’s evil up to this point. But now, I want them destroyed. Fuck this band.
Worst album of 2009: Scream by Chris Cornell. I should think this is unsurprising to Bollocks! readers. Scream was a perfect storm of really bad ideas (Timbalind producing a dance-pop record by a grunge icon? I thought there were laws against shit like this) and, somehow, the whole manages to be far worse than the sum of its parts. Cornell has been slipping since Soundgarden broke up (I know, that’s putting it mildly), but Scream was the point where I completely lost my faith in the man. With dull, misogynist hooks like “No, that bitch ain’t a part of me,” and vocal performances that could charitably be described as “lackluster”, Scream is terrible enough to be a dark horse candidate for worst album of the decade.
Worst person of 2009: Chris Brown. Oh, I know. He apologized and he wants our forgiveness and wants us to buy his terrible new album, but I don’t feel like letting him off the hook just yet and here’s why: I was able look the other way while Brown became an inexplicably famous adolescent pop star with a swimming pool full of money and a stunning girlfriend. It happens all the time in this country and I don’t begrudge Brown his success, up to the point where, in a sports car that costs more than I make in a year, he smacked around said stunning girlfriend. You don’t get to be an inexplicably famous pop star and an abusive cocksucker, Chris Brown. Fuck you. If you want my forgiveness, here’s what you can do: purchase a Yugo, four bottles of Old English, drive out somewhere in the hills, drink the malt liquor, and then beat the shit out of yourself. You do that, and I’ll run out and buy your shitty new record. I promise.
Worst Live Act of 2009: Ghostland Observatory. I saw these assholes open for the Flaming Lips. They looked like a Ren Fair crashed into a Star Trek convention and sounded like a sack of kittens and a laptop in an industrial-sized blender. At first, I thought this was some kind of Andy Kaufman thing where they were fucking with my perception of what a “good” band should be. But then I realized that no, they’re just no-talent ass-clowns with a pretty good light show.
Most Pathetic Comeback of 2009: Creed. Hey, even Jesus hates these guys. And his word is Gospel.
Worst New Band of 2009 (and Possibly of All Time): Wavves. I guess they’re not technically “new,” because they put something out last year too. But I just wanted to take another opportunity to point out that Wavves is a god-fucking-awful band. How awful? I shit you not, I’d rather listen to My Chemical Blowmance’s Black Parade album at top volume while Gerard Way bad-touches me and reads aloud from the My Chemical Romance Saved My Life Site than listen to Wavves even one more time. If I’ve already doled out a “Fuck this band” to Way’s MCR, I reserve the (much more severe) Triple Dog-Fuck This Band for Wavves. No… Quadruple Dog-Fuck This Band.
Worst Record Label: EMI. And Sextuple Dog-Fuck EMI for not putting out Dark Night of the Soul. It’s ironic to me that labels often assume you would buy an album that you downloaded if you couldn’t get it for free. This is definitely not always the case. But, with Dark Night of the Soul, EMI is putting me in the position of having to steal an album for which I would gladly have paid. Way to keep the kids from getting what they want, EMI.
That’s about the worst stuff I can think of for this year. Later this week (starting tomorrowish – we don’t have hard and fast schedules here at Bollocks!), I’ll tell you some of my favorite songs of the year and 13 of my favorite albums.