Author’s Note: At first, I wasn’t going to include this in the upcoming “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run” blog anthology, but I realized I had some more space to fill, so this epic rant was dug up from the archives for inclusion. I’d like to share this with you as a preview of what you can expect when “Out Where the Buses Don’t Run: Seven Years of Rants, Raves, Dirty Jokes, and Bad Ideas From a Small But Loud Corner of the Blogosphere” comes out in print and digital format very soon.
an open letter to the “music editors” at the creative loafing, charlotte, nc.
October 27, 2006
Creative Loafing Charlotte
820 Hamilton St., Ste. C-2
Charlotte, NC 28206
To Whom It May Concern:
First things first: I know your guidelines state all letters to the editor should be kept to a 300-word minimum. Understandable, but don’t think you’re going to get away with those guidelines if you insist on publishing that abomination to music criticism you called the “Top 200 albums of the ’70s”. Cynically, you must be gleefully aware that publishing such a list would garner commentary, discussion, debate, and the occasional inducing of vomit. That’s what lists like these do, and you’re right to be cynically gleeful in that respect. It’s also understood – and perhaps it goes without saying – that your publication, one that I look forward to reading each week upon publication, appeals to that select few that isn’t waiting for Toby Keith’s upcoming concert with bated breath.
However, printing the music journalism equivalent of a circle jerk is an atrocious insult for those of us in the Queen City who take our music seriously. My question, dear editors, is who are these hacks who moonlight as music editors in your newspaper? And are you that clueless about music that when these hipster posers presented their list of what they deemed to be the 200 greatest albums of the Me Decade, did you not scream “bullshit?” Were you not troubled by the menacing laughter coming from the Music Desk when these hipster bozos were sadistically concocting this ill-begotten list? That should have been a big ol’ red flag, don’tcha think?
Good lord, this list smacks of the worst kind of music snob condescension. I take it back, it’s not condescension; it’s critical fanaticism. Musical Al-Qaeda, that’s what they are. The Top Ten list alone is enough to brand your critics as enemy combatants and have them tried and executed before a hooded tribunal. Funkadelic’s America Eats Its’ Young is the best your critics can come up with? While we’re at it, let’s take a look at the remaining Top Ten:
2. The Band — S/T
3. Maxayn — S/T
4. Labelle — Moonshadow
5. The Allman Brothers Band — Live at Fillmore East
6. Harry Nilsson — Nilsson Schmilsson
7. Leon Russell — S/T
8. Wet Willie — Keep On Smilin’
9. Bobby Womack — Communication
10. Curtis Mayfield — Curtis
The first thing the average knowledgeable music fan would say is, “what kind of self-loathing honky apologist came up with this list?” And, yes, I know that Kandia Crazy Horse, who is a black woman (who’s perhaps the only one of these weenie music poseurs who actually has a valid opinion, even though she doesn’t know shit about rock music in general), is one of the critics who drew up this joke of a list, but, seriously, did Kandia threaten to beat the shit out of the rest of the skinny white boys if they didn’t include enough “black” music on this Top Ten? And, Jesus Christ, there is no fucking way in hell Curtis Mayfield’s best album is Curtis. A fine album, yes, but everyone knows his Superfly soundtrack is far superior, far more listenable, and, most important, more relevant.
Oh, but who am I kidding? This isn’t VH1. Hell, this isn’t Rolling Stone. Only music snob geeks with self-important theories should be trusted with determining what the best records of the 1970s were. Heaven forbid us troglodytes with zero music tastes should tell you that Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is the best album of that decade. It’s not, and I’m not, nor ever, going to argue otherwise, but you get my point. The critical snobbery that oozes out of this list is evident not only in the Top Ten list, but in the “We’re Too Snobbishly Uber-Cool To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due Department”. For example, the one and only appearance of the Rolling Stones is at #82 (Exile on Main Street), yet your critics glaringly omit Sticky Fingers? And are the Stones just that uncool in your eyes that Exile is only the 82nd-best album of that decade?
Some other crimes committed against decency and common sense:
– Are your critics that unfamiliar with Joni Mitchell that her only album on that list is Court and Spark? Granted, it’s an outstanding record, and my favorite of hers, but neither Blue nor Ladies of the Canyon are worthy of inclusion? Ah…I get it…Blue’s being punished because it spawned a legion of slavish imitators, from Janis Ian to Sarah McLachlan to Alanis Morrisette. This, of course, is Joni Mitchell’s fault, so the critics threw a bone at her by including only one album from her impressive catalogue.
– And how can they drop the ball on declaring Houses of the Holy the best album Led Zeppelin made in the ’70’s? An automatic disqualification of IV (aka “Runes,” aka “ZOSO,” aka the Untitled Album) because it contains “Stairway to Heaven,” I suppose. Listen up, idiots: Houses of the Holy should NEVER enter the discussion of Best Zeppelin Albums ever; I know it’s not saying much, but even the bombast and excess of the double-album Physical Graffiti is a hell of a lot more impressive than your entry at #66.
– Has Stevie Wonder become such a persona non grata to music fascists everywhere that the only album of his in that time frame on your list is Innervision, and then you have the gall to bury it at #177? No Picture Book (the one with “Superstition” THE FUCK?” Fulfillingness’ First Finale? Hell, where is Songs in the Key of Life? Where is it? Answer me!
– The only Ramones album on your list is Rocket to Russia. Sure, let’s forget their self-titled debut. Let’s forget that it’s only the GREATEST DEBUT ALBUM OF ANY BAND EVER. Let’s forget it indeed. It’s too obvious to include, right, guys. Hate to think your list would include some obvious choices.
In the immortal words of Johnny Ramone, “Beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah, oh oh yeah!” Which is what should be happening to some of those idiots calling themselves “music editors” right now if I had my fucking way.
– Santana’s III at #12? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Wait! Let me get off the floor! Hang on…Santana…please. Puh-fucking-lease. Most overrated guitarist alive.
– Listen, I get progressive rock has zero credibility with the likes of some of you in your precious little circles, but even the most hardened of snobs will agree there was some killer music being made by the likes of King Crimson, Can, Hawkwind, and Faust, all whose albums are worthy of inclusion. Notice I did not say Rush or Yes or Genesis, whose albums are also worthy of inclusion. You read right. Fuck you.
– This one REALLY pisses me off: Meddle is the only Pink Floyd album on this list. Yet The Dark Side of the Moon, the Floyd’s unquestioned masterpiece, and one of the essentials to both rock music and any record collection, is astonishingly absent. Meddle‘s a decent record, but it’s pretty indicative of how inconsistent Pink Floyd was after Syd Barrett (R.I.P.) took an unscheduled vacation into Looneyville. Of its’ six tracks, 3 are bonafide greats, the other three pure filler. Once the Floyd shit, as opposed to getting off the pot, the result was The Dark Side of the Moon. With that said, Meddle is still a better album than DSOTM? I suggest you critics trudge onto the nearest Best Buy, or whatever small-minded music shop you small-minded snobinistas congregate at, and pick up a copy of DSOTM and apologize to yourselves for making such a gross error in judgment.
By the way, who the fuck is your copy editor, anyway? Did you notice that Who’s Next (which, by the way, is a MANDATORY Top Ten on any list of the best albums of that decade, and if you don’t agree with me, I will smash a Gibson Les Paul over your collective heads) is mentioned on this list THREE TIMES? Or that your list really only has 199 albums: Your #2 album, The Band’s self-titled album, was released in 1969? Cheating, are we? Just couldn’t muster the strength to list an album like the Ramones’ debut, or the aforementioned Dark Side of the Moon that they had to borrow an album that was released in the last months of the 1960’s?
Look, I understand this list is merely an opinion, and we all know opinions are like assholes: everyone has one. And much like you have the right to express your opinion, I have the right to inform you, by letter or any other forms of communication, that your opinion sucks.
I’m so disappointed in you, Creative Loafing. I suggest you refrain from publishing these kinds of lists again, if you insist on keeping on staff these hipster fascists who love to prove their snobbery by carelessly throwing out names and phrases like John Peel, the Farfisa organ, quadraphonic sound and Gram Parsons (who, by the way, is shockingly absent from this list. I take it Grievous Angel is just too bourgeois to make it onto this list, huh?).
(For the record, I’m enough of a snob myself to know who John Peel was, what a Farfisa organ is, can explain what quadraphonic sound is. I’m not just throwing these terms out indiscriminately with the hopes of earning some hipster cred. Fuck your hipster cred, I’ve got some Depeche Mode to listen to.)
Stick to what the Loaf is known for: continuously exposing to the good city of Charlotte what a pack of imbeciles they have running the city, shedding harsh light on the clusterfuck that is the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, and giving enough rope for Mayor Pat McCrory (or Mayor McCheese, as I like to call him) to hang himself…oh if only the voters would cease re-electing this water headed whore. Keep printing Tara Servatius’ self-serving, paranoid, right-wing, doom-laden articles, but for God’s sake don’t ever let this woman go. This city needs her to continuously give her middle finger to the doddering retards that make up our City Council. The local rag Whose Name Shall Not Be Uttered Here sure as shit won’t do it.
I’m willing to forgive you if you fulfill this one request: Fire the bastards. Immediately. Please inform me when you have shit-canned them, or when they have tendered their resignations with great shame and have filled out applications for employment at their local used CD shops.
Yours disapprovingly (for now),
Benevolent Music Snob
PS – Who the hell is Maxayn? Even Google doesn’t know who Maxayn is. Is this some kind of inside joke, because I don’t think it’s funny. This is Kandia’s idea of a joke, ain’t it? FIRE HER!
 S/T – “Self Titled
 Well, of the 1970’s, at least; the Velvet Underground and Nico’s 1967 debut album is still the GREATEST DEBUT ALBUM ever.
 No joke; The Who’s Who’s Next was listed three times on this list!
 Now the Governor of North Carolina.