After the smashing success (by which I mean, slightly less than appalling failure) of my Top Movies of the Decade List, I felt compelled to compile a list that goes in the exact opposite direction. But while it’s nice to play dress up on this site, I am hardly a professional critic. Throw in being poor, and it becomes increasingly difficult for me to accumulate enough items in various entertainment mediums to compile an entire list of pieces I hate in each particular category.
Luckily, monetary issues haven’t prevented me from encountering a great deal of things I detest from all aspects of entertainment. So at the risk of robbing the world of my amusing and articulate observations, I have decided to mash all my hatred into one big, self-indulgent piece. With that, I present to you my list chronicling the most malodorous individual pieces of excrement which have flowed from the bowels of the entertainment industry over the past ten years.
Worst Movie: High Tension (2005)
Listen, I could complain about this horrific waste of celluloid all day. In fact, there’s a good chance that at some point I have. But in the interest of saving space, if you truly want to know how much I despise this sorry excuse for a horror film, this previous review chronicles my feelings in great detail.
Worst Song: “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock (2008)
The mega-success of acts like 3 Doors Down and Nickelback proved that imagination and commercial success didn’t exactly walk hand-in-hand this decade. But there’s a difference between being derivative and being a thief, and while the success of those bands is upsetting, the inexplicable magnitude of which this Kid Rock “interpretation” became a hit is actually offensive.
Now I’m not always outraged by successful cover songs (if the world is an icy cold revolver pointed at my temple, All-4-One’s rendition of “I Swear” is the safety switch) but to just outright steal the music of two classic rock songs and sprinkle them with lyrics about how much fun you used to have sitting around with your friends and stealing other people’s songs is too much. The fact this became a no. 1 hit in various countries is a sad commentary on the taste of the world’s population.
Worst Commercial: Taco Bell’s Black Jack Taco (2009)
A lot of people have told me this is a delicious concoction. Regardless of the culinary delight it may be, I vow never to try it for one reason, and that reason is I hate the fuckstick in that commercial.
There is an undeniable smugness to the way that jackass mutters “black taco” that just makes me want to savagely beat him for hours and hours. What’s worse is you just know this imbecile is going to use that damn line to score for years. I guess I’ll be able to rest easily when the chlamydia he’s bound to contract finally renders him sexually useless.
I hate Family Guy and wanted to make a post to properly express my hatred. However, Zac Pritcher has decided since he disagrees with my opinion that it cannot be brought to light, even though such a censorship clearly mocks the moniker of the site he created. While I am upset and I’m certainly an advocate for accuracy, I will acknowledge everyviewthatzacpritcer,tyrannicalfuckthatheis,deemsworthyofpublication.com simply isn’t a catchy domain name.
Worst Miscellaneous DVD: Bob Dylan: 1966 World Tour- The Home Movies (2004)
Bob Dylan is one of the great idols of my life, and I can’t help but be fascinated by every move he’s ever made. One of the most well-known moments of his career was his 1966 World Tour in which he was greeted with hostility and booed mercilessly because he switched from his usual acoustic folk music to a more commercial and rock n’ roll electric sound. This was a seminal time in music, so how you ask could a DVD with video footage of the tour shot by his drummer possibly be bad?
Well, it turns out it could be quite awful if said drummer Mickey Jones, apparently unable to survive on the royalties he earned from his recurring role as Pete on Home Improvement, decides to falsely use Dylan’s name to sell a DVD featuring Home Movies he shot while site seeing on various tour stops. All told this 90-minute cavalcade of crap contains exactly two clips of Dylan and his band performing. The biggest slap in the face is that these very brief clips contain no sound.
The legendary bootleg album Bob Dylan Live 1966, The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert gives a terrific taste of this tour and is a must own for anyone seeking a better understanding of how tense a time this was in Bob Dylan’s great career. As for this DVD, it’s one of the world’s most useless creations. It’s nothing more than a pathetic vanity project complied by a self-important jackass who has greatly overestimated his importance in music history.
Now, in an attempt at showmanship, I have decided to save the best (by which I mean worst) for last. My “worst album” entry is personally special. It’s a work so bad it’s actually quite powerful in its awfulness. A work so putrid, a disagreement about its quality can actual lead to the end of a multi-year friendship (good riddance, Erik). But, after years of suffering silently, the time has finally come for me to publicly express my most vile of feelings towards what is possibly nature’s worst creation of the last 10 years, if not longer.
So, without further ado:
Worst Album: El Cielo by Dredg (2002)
Remember that old commercial where the Indian cries over the litter on the highway? Well, if the producers of that ad wanted to record a soundtrack, and decided the music should be composed by the most guilt-ridden white liberal douche bags on the planet, the album they made could very likely become the second most pretentious piece of garbage ever released to the public. As for the top slot, California prog-rockers Dredg have that locked for life.
The music of El Cielo, Spanish for “the sky” (anyone else blown away by the remarkable bi-linguality on display here?) isn’t awful in and of itself. I mean it’s the standard uninteresting and self-congratulatory stuff you’d expect from a bad prog rock band, but it doesn’t set a new standard of awfulness. The same can’t be said for the work of frontman Gavin Hayes.
The lyrics of El Cielo are insufferable. It’s loaded with wall-to-wall metaphors about the weary world we live in, all of which are laughable and void of anything even remotely resembling profound thought. If any fun could be found in this album, it would be to see how long you could listen to Hayes’ nonsense without bursting into stunned laughter. With great restraint, I made it to the 2:46 mark of track 2 (track 1 is an instrumental) “Same Ol’ Road” when he encourages the listener to “sit in your backyard and watch as clouds peak over the tallest mountain tops, because they unveil honest opinions about the stars.” Yuck.
Equally appalling is the heavy-handed and hammy way Hayes goes about delivering the verbal vomitoriums he calls lyrics. He seems to believe if he shows enough EMOTION, people won’t realize he’s not saying anything. No such luck.
The biggest lowlight on this album with exactly zero highlights occurs on “Triangle.” After making the Earth shattering revelation that “babies are born in the same buildings where people go to pass away,” the music stops and a solo Hayes, reaching the maximum amount eye-rolling “passion” that can be held on a disc, quietly bellows “paaaaaaaass awaaaaaaaaaaaaay.” Double yuck.
Like seemingly every awful art rock band (Coheed and Cambria, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, etc.) Dredg makes concept albums. While concept albums can be great (my favorite album of all time is such a work) they can also be an easy way to dismiss unimpressed listeners as people who simply “don’t get it.” I don’t know the story of El Cielo, and I don’t care to know it. The only way it could ever be perceived as anything other than a failure of epic proportions is if it were meant to be a parody album, which it clearly isn’t. If you’re ever subjected to this album, be sure to have a friend nearby. That way if you run out of vomit you can borrow some of theirs (a big thanks to Tom Servo for that joke).
That’s all I have to offer for this particular piece. If an acquaintance ever encourages you to seek out anything listed above, my advice is this:
Stab them. Stab them and stab them and stab them until they are dead.
When you consider your time could be spent hanging out with an idiot who is simultaneously watching High Tension and listening to El Cielo to see if they sync up, a life sentence won’t seem so bad.