Top 10 lists are an exercise in futility, scenester-ism and dick-measuring. But we do them anyway, because they give us (or me and millions of other stunted “adults”) a necessary framework for thinking about the year that passed. A disclaimer just in case: this is a subjective list. It’s my past year, and I’m sorry I didn’t ever get around to hearing the highly-acclaimed LCD Soundsystem record. It’s always something.
Cookies (#1–10 of 2)
For a certain kind of music nerd, the idea of the humorous rock song will always be blasphemy: rock is about rocking, fucking, liberation, etc. At least that’s how it used to be; I suspect that the contemporary equivalent of the embittered rockist for whom Iggy & The Stooges are the pinnacle of civilization is the person outraged that most rock critics these days come from indie-rock land, where raw power is low on the priorities list and ass-shaking is optional.
Typical comment-board shot from the massively contentious A.V. Club’s list of the Top 25 Albums: “Christ jesus: boring white people pick boring white people’s music. ... I know that you feel safe with 90% of this music because it won’t expose that you can’t dance ... but you are MISSING OUT on a wild world of awesome shit that’s going down right now. Please, get up off your SORRY FUCKING ASSES and go do something dirty or scary.” I’m bizarrely fascinated by these kind of aggrieved comments, which suggest the terrifying idea of rock without irony, where no one learned anything from Kurt Cobain’s suicide and where to truly understand music you have to be constantly living in a 16-year-old’s idea of decadent Bohemia.