Friday, October 16, 2009

U2 and Rolling Stone: Lame Meets Bland

Which has suffered a more precipitous decline - Irish band U2 or the venerable Rolling Stone? We will attempt to find out, inspired by this laughably bad cover:

"Thank you for coming out to space! We'll get back to the music in a minute, but I'd like to take a second to talk to you about the plight of the Vornyxxians from Rigel 4. They're enslaved by debt to the Intergalactic Monetary Fund. They can't even make payments on the space interest."


Once a fairly cutting-edge band with catchy singles and deep lyrics, they've undergone a mystifying transformation into the most punchable band on the planet. Witness the facts:

- All those hit singles since 2000? Same song. You know it.

- As their song lyrics got much shallower ("Un, dos, tres, catorce!"), they countered by becoming insufferable pricks wherever possible about third world debt.

-They call for blanket forgiveness of African debts. I criticize them for not emphasizing infrastructure in developing nations.

- What's that, you say? They're just a rock band, they don't know about building roads, hospitals, and irrigation systems? THEN WHY DO THEY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIRD WORLD DEBT? I don't ask Derrek Lee for his views on pre-natal care for mothers in poverty, and I don't ask for global economic treatises from some sunglasses-wearing pop music douche.

- Their concerts feature 4 minutes of heavy-handed preaching for every 4 minutes of ... ahem ... "rock."

- Just about the one Irish thing this writer finds unlikable.

Laura Dern? Lenny Kravitz? Blues Traveler? Was this some kind of early prototype for Stuff White People Like?

Rolling Stone Magazine

Once a leading voice in the vanguard of rock music, last seen in a Muncie, Indiana, Dominick's checkout lane - right next to Cosmo's "35 Ways to Please Your Man" issue.

- Gives most everything a 3 or 4 star review.

- A notable exception to the last statement is this review of Mick Jagger's Goddess In the Doorway, which received the exceedingly rare 5-star review. How can I adequately stress how awful this album was? Oh, I know!

- You can only get a 5-star review if you're an established legend. Even if you churn out sewage like "Goddess in the Doorway." An rising star on the way to legendhood? Then you can go fuck yourself. Jay-Z's "The Blueprint"? 3.5 stars. Nirvana's "Nevermind"? 3 stars. Bob Marley's "Exodus"? Not even reviewed.

- Radiohead hasn't fared much better, averaging 3.5 stars for their entire catalog. Oh, but wait, Rolling Stone goes back every so often and re-issues reviews. And once Radiohead became one of the most popular and acclaimed bands on the planet, RS changed most of those to 5-star reviews. That's pretty much admitting that you don't know shit.

- They once ran this article, in which they accused then-president George Bush (not the Simpsons one) of being influenced by the authors of those weirdo Left Behind books and their apocalyptic vision of Christianity. They then gloss over the fact that neither of the authors had ever met Bush, and when directly questioned, Bush said that he hadn't read any of them, but had heard the books mentioned once or twice. Journalism! Really, was it that hard to find a legitimate criticism of George Bush in 2004?

- At one time featured the manic, drug-fueled writing of Hunter S. Thompson, a legend in outsider writing who remains relevant today. Now they have Chuck Klosterman, who not only writes about The Sims, but also looks like a big ol' lesbian.

"... and this is my life partner, Willow."

So who wins this matchup of the pompous and the sad? Certainly not us. I say let U2 and Rolling Stone have each other. They both deserve a little misery.


  1. I first saw U2 perform live in July 2005, and I haven't stopped talking about that experience yet!! : lol: Over the years, I've had the good fortune to see them many times, U2 band and their show improve with each new tour! Next weekend I'm gonna see them again since I can compare and get cheap tickets from ; so I can save some dollars to the next concert ...I’m so excited!!

  2. You know, spammers usually have the decency to pretend they're someone else who just naturally talks like a shill. Go fornicate yourself with a rusty spatula, Ticketwood.