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for April 29, 2003

...And The Winner Is
by Stiffy Biceptz

The media constantly bombards us with everything from "Best of" lists and "Greatest Ever" lists to "Hottest Booty" lists. They must know few of us can resist watching such ranking of our favorite artists. Lists like these allow the fan to feel vindicated in the knowledge that their own tastes are truly the height of culture.
More often, however, we are disappointed to find our band not at number one, but somewhere down by 7 or perhaps 33. This turns out to be even better than being number one, because it allows us to argue with friends and family as to why such a listing is a crock of shit. This is always more fun. After all, the sign of a healthy free society is everyone perpetually bickering and arguing about everything. Weíre in good shape.
But lists are not created for the true music fan. Lists are designed to either reassure the ignorant public that the obvious and most commercialized choices are one, two and three, or to piss off the general public by having obscure (but great) performers in the top spots, thereby making the culture drones look stupid. Thatís the part for us.
However, aside from the gratuitous pleasure of yelling at VH1, Stiffy Biceptz has determined that frequent listing such as described above is a sure sign that the thing being listed has passed its prime. Sadly, I believe this is a bad omen for that pop music genre we love, Alternative. When so much focus is put on past achievements, surely it must signal a lack of interest in current artistry and more unsettling, little faith of greater things to come. When the Ramones appeared, everyone excitedly spoke of what might come next. Nirvana made everyone forget almost everything that came before, and had us all running to the music store demanding every CD from every band from Seattle, wherever that was.
A month or so ago I watched "25 years of Punk" on MTV 2. I enjoyed every minute. It was a thrill to actually see and hear the Buzzcocks, the Jam and many of my old favorites on TV. But as the show wound down, I realized it was all in the past...and that nothing was ever going to top what had come before. At least not "punk". I hope Iím wrong, but maybe Iím not. All things must come to an end. Twenty five years was a pretty good run.
So let me finish by making my list. The greatest band of the punk/new wave/alternative/modern rock era (just about the last 25 years) is, and in my never humble opinion, can only be----U2. If you donít understand, see paragraph three.
2nd greatest list: Band with the longest stretch of perfect albums--R.E.M, for Murmur, Fables of the Reconstruction, Reckoning, Lifeís Rich Pageant and Document.

©2003 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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