Does It Rock or Does It Not?

In this most excellent month of Rocktober, you may find yourself wanting to rock but being a little bit unsure as to how to proceed. What bands rock? What things can your band do to rock more? What are you doing now that is making you rock less? Well, friend, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find a mostly random list of things/bands/people that rock and things/bands/people that don’t so you can proceed to your rocking in a more informed position. Behold:

Metallica does not rock. This may seem counterintuitive to some of you out there, considering that Metallica seem to think they are a heavy metal band. But let’s consider the facts. Metallica is a bunch of middle-aged millionaires singing about death and pain and darkness. Death Magnetic is probably the most unintentionally hilarious thing I’ve heard this side of Insane Clown Posse’s anti-science, pro-total-fucking-stupidity song “Miracles” (scientists apparently “be lyin'” and gettin’ ICP pissed. You guys write songs about rape and claim to be evangelical Christians. You’ve forced me to gain two respect points for Kid Rock, bringing his total up to two points higher than negative infinity). Metallica is the musical equivalent of Wes Craven movies, which can be divided into two categories: hilariously stupid and infuriatingly stupid (sample dialogue from a Craven movie: “If something is evil enough, can it come back from the dead?”). Also, Lars Ulrich can’t take a shit without a click track. So fuck him.

Naming your guitar only rocks sometimes. Don’t name your guitar after a girl. Just don’t. It’s one step below getting a girl’s name tattooed on your arm. B.B. King can call his guitar Lucille because he’s an octogenarian Southern black man with barbecue sauce in his veins. You are not. I personally do not name my guitars, but I think certain names for certain guitars are okay. If you’re in a metal band and name your guitar Skullfucker, that’s pretty cool. Especially if your bass player uses “Skull” as a stage name. (Note: if you wear masks or makeup or any other such bullshit in your metal band, you will never rock, no matter how awesomely you name your guitar.). I think you can name your first really awesome electric guitar Excalibur. I think that because I learned to play guitar on a really shitty J.C. Penny catalogue acoustic.

Referring to your guitar as your “axe” does not rock. People who do this probably also talk about “shredding” and are probably inclined to buy those pre-dented Fender guitars. If you think shredding on your pre-dented Fender rocks in any way, there are telethons for people like you.

The Screaming Females fucking rock. I know I’ve already reviewed their new record, but this is Rocktober and you need to be reminded that Castle Talk brings the noise to your house and uses it to beat up your family. A Rocktoberfest with no Screaming Females is hardly a Rocktoberfest at all.

Tattoos rock (conditionally). I am all for body art. All for it. But there are rules, if you wanna rock. Numero uno: no names of people you’re fucking, even if you’ve been married for twenty years. You’re basically asking the Relationship Gods to shit on you and even though we’re in the 21st century, laser tattoo removal could be more honestly renamed “replacing your tattoo with a bunch of gnarly scar tissue.” Next rule: unless you are of Celtic/Irish descent, no fucking Celtic symbols. Same for Japanese kanji and kana, kids. Third rule, from my friends who actually have tattoos: only a total fucking tourist gets a design that’s hanging on the wall of the shop. Originality rocks, picking the same thing every other drunk college kid picked is both bogus and sad.

Kid Rock does not, in fact, rock. A friend of mine (I’m going to keep this person sweetly anonymous, though this person does not, to my knowledge, read Bollocks!) recently acquired Kid Rock’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Jesus album and I got to hear it for free. It’s fucking awful. What isn’t wholesale stealing from Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bob Seger is just egregiously stupid. There’s a track were Mr. Rock laments being made to feel guilty for being white. Guess what, you rich redneck motherfucker: there was a time when the people who made the music that you’re stealing were beaten by the cops for wanting to vote. So fuck you and your guilt. The point here is that Kid Rock should change is name to Kid Suck lest he be sued for false advertising.

Songs about your kids most definitely do not rock. “Afraid of Everyone” by the National is the exception that proves this rule. And that’s because it’s about how Matt Berninger has to fight the urge to fuck up anyone who so much as looks at his kid. Mostly though, you’re never gonna rock singing about how precious your baby is. This doesn’t mean your baby is not precious, it just means you shouldn’t sing about it.

2010 (so far) totally rocks. I gotta say, kids, with only a couple months left in this year, I have been bombarded with a bounty of awesome fucking music. Bands I’ve loved a long time (the National, the Hold Steady, LCD Soundsystem) have dropped amazing records and I’ve found new artists to love as well (the oft-mentioned Screaming Females top that list). Either I’ve gotten better at finding music I’ll love or this year is just a perfect storm of musical awesomeness.

You should understand that this is not a complete list of everything that does and does not rock (that could fill volumes), but more a list of things that are on my mind right now. Still, you’d do well to avoid Metallica and Kid Rock, name your guitar something badass, and then listen to the Screaming Females. Until next time, faithful Bollocks! readers (all thirty-ish of you), please feel free to rock on.

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