I love lists. I love 'em. I can't get enough of em. They're like crack to me. Crack laced with orgasms and breasts. I know people think lists are the death of the music critic, that no one needs to write anymore all they need to do are create lists, blah blah blah. I find that to be as ridiculous as the bouncing cards at the win of a solitare game.
The reason people don't like to read about music anymore is because there are too many assholes like me trying to stuff their face with assholish words. "HEY! Hey jerk! Listen to Kraftwerk if you like that band. No fuck you! You'll like it or I will cut you with a broken, jagged Love LP." But lists can be great! Its a simple way to let people in on a dialogue that is so closely protected by the be-hooded inner cult of critics without making them jump through hoops or draw pentagrams in catsblood on their palms and feet. My top ten picks of the year are X, Y, Z, A, and B, you should hear them. Simple. Clean. not necessarily pretentious (though it could swing that way). No sacrificial celebrity babies involved.
What I hate are when certain assholes out there claim to have recieved some sort of authenticity excalibur handed to them from the deep and vomitous waters of the Frat house keg bucket. You know, a lot of lists can really just be ignored because they're so inane or clearly have absolutely no idea what they're talking about (TIME). Rather, my biggest pet peeve is the opposite end of the spectrum, the worst (whatever) (song/album/yada) of (whenever) kind of lists. Vh1 is a constant offender. But today's whipping (frat) boy is Blender magazine.
If you look at top ten lists as tastemaking then you're an idiot who obviously can't discern for him/herself whether or not you disagree with the author of that list. Its simple: "Oh, hey Steve, I keep hearing that this Joanna Newsom CD is great, can I listen to it?" (much time passes) "Damn Steve, I just can't agree that that Newsom CD is great. Thanks for letting me borrow it, though. Lets go get some tacos, brojangles."
On the other hand there are the "worst of" lists like the one that Blender has pooped onto our plate. "Oh, hey Steve, I heard this album sucks. I don't want to listen to that. Lets go get some burritos, brosef"
My point is this: "worst of" lists do no good to the world. You can say ICP sucks all you want, but you're not opening a critical dialogue about their mysoginy, racism, or violence (the bigger issues than just sucking). As many kids as I'd rather have not listening to ICP I'd rather them listen to it and decide for themselves that they dislike it than listen to someone else's opinion.
Ultimately my personal perturbance stems from this: There are too many people in the world who are more willing to talk when it comes to what is deemed as 'good' because 'good' is easy, but no one ever wants to start a dialogue about what is deemed 'bad' because calling something bad has the potential for harsher disagreement. "worst of" lists give them an exit key without ever having to critically determine what they dislike about ICP's music or Iron Butterfly's music or Starship's music.
But I guess Blender's main audience is comprised of guys who don't know that you can jerk off to fully declothed women anytime you want on the internet.