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Monday, August 23, 2004

THE KIDS ARE NOT ALRIGHT

Occasionally, when I'm in between books, I'll buy a music magazine to read on my commute home. Last week I bought the recent issue of SPIN because of the article on the HIVES, whom I like. It was the article that followed the one on the HIVES that I'm about to take issue with. I have already blogged about how stupid lists are, and true to style I follwed up with an imperfect list of my own. This particular insult to my intelligence was called "Top Fifty Frontmen". First of all, get your terminology right. A 'frontman' is a member of the band, like David Lee Roth or Mick Jaggar. Prince (number one on the list) is not a front man, he's an artist who employs musicians to back him. So with that goes Elvis (#3), James Brown (#4), and even my hero David Bowie (#7). The second offense was the points system employed to rate these musicians. A one thru ten for 'prescence', 'fashion sense', and 'musical ability'. This sounds okay until you see Freddy Mercury gets a 7 for musical ability, and Axl Rose gets a 9. Freddy Mercury, who wrote 'A Bohemian Rhapsody' is less musically talented than Axl Rose? David Bowie get's a fashion sense of 7 ? Do they know who he's married to? Have they ever seen Zoolander? David Bowie is fashion. That's just wrong. Thirdly there are no points given for innovation. Karen-O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's ranked higher than Iggy Pop who's act she completely ripped off. How can Prince rank higher than James Brown? There would be no Prince without James Brown. Does Spin not have an editor? Is Spin's editor seventeen years old?
Here's my list of magazines I no longer read:
1) SPIN

Comments:
I love your "Lists of Things Ted..." This one is absolutely accurate. Rolling Stone is experiencing the white wash of youth and generational changing of the gaurd. This is evidence in the lists they publish. I recall "Exile on Main Street" falling from number four to something less than the top ten of greatest albums of all time. What next? Sgt. Pepper's falling below a NIN record? Kids... They don't know shit unless we show them.
 
I agree with your anger on the rankings, but I think a front man does not have to be a band member. James Brown was the quintessential front man. Peter Gabriel is a front man; he was for genesis and still is. Bowie has always been a front man, Springsteen is a front man with our without his band.
 
I agree with your anger on the rankings, but I think a front man does not have to be a band member. James Brown was the quintessential front man. Peter Gabriel is a front man; he was for genesis and still is. Bowie has always been a front man, Springsteen is a front man with our without his band.
 
Well I disagree about the definition of frontman. I think if you go to see James Brown it's a given that James is the center of attention. If you went to see the Ramones, Joey was fronting the band. That being said, the list was made by morons.
 
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