Thursday, April 24, 2008

Your Band Sucks: An Ode to Dr. David Thorpe (A Love Story)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:23 AM

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At some point, some of you may have come across the "Your Band Sucks" column, hosted on the mischievous site Something Awful. If you're familiar, you know that writer Dr. David Thorpe, who recently penned his last column for the Burn Unit in Boston's Weekly Dig, is hilarious, contrarian, cantankerous and all-around one of the most entertaining music writers. Note that I didn't say I agreed with him, or that his lazy writing and take-no-prisoners attitude toward all rock is particularly useful to anyone looking for real rock criticism. It's just damn funny—some of the most side-splittingly funny music writing I've ever read. In fact, it's better than Chunklet. Yep. Better. And if anything, it deflates the monstrous cock that is the rock ego a little.

His conceit: "According to Dr. David Thorpe and 'Your Band Sucks,' the music you hold dear is actually unimportant, dull, and staggeringly awful. Everything from folk music to terrorcore-techstep is absolute garbage that has somehow fallen off the trash heap of modern music and found its way into your CD player."

I was sad to see Thorpe leave the Burn Unit, though some folks felt he lost a little of that acerbic bite when he began writing for them anyway. The point is, where can I go for the ultimate asshole's dissection of all the sacred cows? In his column entitled "The Greatest Albums Ever Suck," there are these gems to delight in:

"Even if Pet Sounds has the most elaborate production on Earth, that still just makes it rock and roll’s most highly-polished turd."

"Tom Verlaine may sing like an amateur yodeler who got punched in the throat, but at least he had the balls to self-indulgently noodle away on a guitar like nobody was listening. Wait a minute, nobody was listening."

"More like exile on lame street."

"I wasn’t around in 1977, so I can’t pretend to know how magical it felt when a bunch of ugly, dirty guys got on a boat and made fun of The Queen."

There's also a hilarious field guide to North American hipsters, which includes a wincingly funny section on "Local Scene Idiots."

The key is to not take it seriously. Oh, but the real point of this is that Thorpe wrote this really funny YBSAT, or Your Band SAT test, which should help you determine whether you should in fact start a new band, and it's based on your particular motives, influences and attitudes about rock. I can go ahead and tell you that the answer is no, but that shouldn't stop you from taking the test anyway.

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