When this year is over in a few days, I'm hoping one of the Men in Black comes over and zaps my memory. 2011, the most annoying year in modern history. Look at any year in review from any news source. You see one common denominator? Maybe one person that keeps cropping up? Yeah, that Rebecca Black kid. Is that what we've come to as a society? I kind of feel bad for the kid, because she's a punchline to a joke not of her making. An innocent birthday gift turned into a symbol of our culture. A few decades ago, kids dreamed of being astronauts, athletes, movie/ rockstars, captains of industry. Now, they dream of being famous, but not actually doing any work.
By far, that kid isn't the worst act of 2011. I turn to the professional musicians who worked at their craft, and in my estimation failed. The bad news is that these acts turned out to be popular and somewhat successful -- albums sales, big tours, TV appearances. We all know that general populous has pretty horrible taste in music. The good news is that these acts won't make much of a dent in the future. They have one hit or no hit wonders written all over them.
5. Grouplove -- In 2010, some good acts came from Los Angeles. We're talking Warpaint, Local Natives, Fitz & The Tantrums, Funeral Party, Dum Dum Girls. That's not shabby for a city where its major export is famous people. L.A. a great place to visit, but you have to come back home ... then take a good shower. Thus, we have Grouplove, the winners in the Apple Ad sweepstakes, where good looking multi-culturalal models are passed off as fun-loving, hip consumers. The ad featured "Tongue Tied" from Grouplove. When I first heard the song over the summer, I said to myself, "Why are they screaming at me?" Plus, it's the dumbest chorus, "TAKE ME TO YOUR BEST FRIEND'S HOUSE!!! I loved you then and I love you now" Right, makes perfect sense. The rest of the debut album is all bombast, no substance.
4. Lou Reed & Metallica -- Yes, not a new band, per se, but let's face it, this was a travisty. Universally hailed as one of the worst albums of the year, Lulu is a whole lot of WTF. Who let Grandpa Simpson sit in with Metallica? It's an album so inept that you would hope somebody was fired or demoted for releasing it. Every song sounds it was recorded in one take. The vocals don't match the music, Lou Reed sounds delusional and Metallica seems to making it up as they go along. It's an album so bad that it might morph into something spectacular like Plan 9 From Outer Space.
3. Jessie J -- It's your cookie-cutter, generic, inter-changeable pop star of the year. If you don't follow mainstream pop music, and I hope that you don't, you wouldn't be able to tell Jessie J from all the other pop stars like Ke$ha, Katy Perry or Nicole Scherzinger. What makes this chick an insult is that her atrocious hit song, "Price Tag", questions the pursuit of money. I like to know how much Universal Republic paid Dr. Luke to produce that song. How much she gets paid to be on UK version of The Voice? How much her outfits costs when she tours? Complete bullshit that song.
2. Foster the People -- There was a one-off line in The Hangover, Part II where Alan says something about the Jonas Brothers being an indie rock band. Well, that disinction goes to Foster the People, because I don't see much difference between the two bands. We all know one hit wonder of the year "Pumped Up Kids." There are others just as egregious. Let's take the album's first song, "Helena Beat," which sounds like a lost Starship song. It's the type song where you picture a bunch of record label dudes hi-fiving each other in the recording booth as the band plays. Cut to a scene with screaming fans and the album climbing up the Billboard chart. Foster the People, like Grouplove, are those major label bands that think they are an indie band.
1. Kreayshawn -- Once in a while, the mainstream music critics and us music snobs can agree on one thing, Kreayshawn was wrong from the get-go. She seemed to be over before she even began. Yes, 28 million hits on YouTube, but I want to know the statistic that shows how many got through the whole video without rolling their eyes or throwing up. The reason for the attention is that she's a novelty -- a young, white, short, lesbian who raps about high-end luxury goods --- SHE MUST BE HEARD! I guess nobody learned from Lady Sovereign. If only she had a full album of tunes to draw from. What got me laughing this year was her joint college tour with indie chillwave darling, Neon Indian. The rejects from Bushwick poured their PBR out in mourning, "Our bands are being corrupted ... again."
Oh, Kreayshawn. What can we do? We have failed as a society. The 12-year old who downloaded you're single can't tell good music from shit.