Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hall of Suck

It is impossible to parody or criticize these idiots adequately anymore.

Madonna and disco queen Donna Summer are among nine acts nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the hall embraces more musical genres.

Other nominees include U.S. rock singer John Mellencamp, Canadian poet-singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, 1960s English band The Dave Clark Five and instrumental rock band The Ventures.

Also nominated are New York-based funk group Chic, rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa and hip-hop group The Beastie Boys, reflecting the Hall of Fame's willingness to accept a diversity of genres.

Where to start? I don't have it in me to rant about the RRHF these days; they've managed even to suck the fun out of that. I'll just say this -- where most past picks managed the simple effrontery of musical lepidoptery, this has to be either a practical joke or the result of the highly technical dartboard selection process.

"Embracing more musical genres". What is this here thing called again?


woodguy said...

You've said it all with the "overhyped bullshit" tag. Seems to me that awards of this nature, i.e. "hall of fame", are by their nature doomed to either perfidy or hyperbole. Since musical talent in this world is not infinite and, in some years, almost totally lacking, what is an institution like the RRHF to do if no one is truly worthy of inclusion in any given year? I think you'd agree that this society, especially this portion of it, demands constant attention and stimulation. Because of these two phenomena, what's any HOF fame to do if only crap is pumped out? I can't imagine an announcement the week before the awards are scheduled that, "Due to the lack of any real display of talent exhibited in the last ten years, the awards have been postponed until next year."

Imagine the lost revenue that these hucksters rely on for their lifeblood. Hence, keep the show and $$$ flowing to justify their existence. It must by nature feed on itself.

In a strange way the similarity to politics is striking. How many people "hold their nose" or vote for the "lesser of two evils"? Or what if they held an election and nobody came? Just saying..

Personally, I hold out more hope for the music than the politics, but that's just me.

Having said that, seems to me electing Donna Summer to the RRHF is like electing an actor to be...never mind.

Heywood J. said...

Well, the Hof goes back 25 years minimum in its selection process. So the "nothing good enough these days" argument would be invalid. I don't believe that anyway; there are plenty of good artists out there these days, probably more than ever, because the technology is so much cheaper.

I think that's part of the problem -- music and its participants have been allowed by cheaper tech and the rise of the internets to drift away from the radio/corporate plantations to which they were previously confined. Artists can now give the finger to the old system and say, "We're not going to be your monkeys anymore."

The HoF is the epitome of that old-school way of thinking. Dipshit studios and A&R weasels who would rather over-pimp one artist and try for a mega-hit than just decently promote a dozen good bands, eight to ten of which are bound to go somewhere if the weasels are as good at their jobs as they think they are.

So the other end of the coin is whether there are any artists from before 1982 who have not been included who might be more deserving than some disco queen who disappered in 1980, or some has-been culture whore like Madonna.

How about the Cars? How about Todd Rundgren? Hell, how about Rush or even Jethro Tull or Deep Purple, bands who have seen better days creatively, but made identifiable impacts in their time and pushed the envelope in various areas. Fucking Ted Nugent would be a better selection than just about anybody there besides Mellencamp, who really has had a very respectable career.

Which you would think would be more relevant criteria than helping coked-up Italian bisexuals find their stupid groove during the Studio 54 salad days. But then, that's probably who's in charge of the selection process. Maybe they should just dig up Steve Rubell's corpse and take turns already.

One other thing (and here I swore I wasn't going to get into it this time around, but I care, man, I care). This weird obsession they have with proving their "diversity", it's fucking retarded. Especially when the long-term goal of a museum overseeing a self-imposed niche (however large) is to strive to make a certain body of works canonical to that very niche, and its lineal descendents.

Thus, the Stones (and I suppose their identifiable antecedents) are obviously canonical. Afrika Bambaataa? Who the fuck is that, and what contributions have they made to Rock and/or Roll? You think the Rap Hall of Fame is going to induct Aerosmith for working with Run-DMC? I don't, nor should they.

But they do this every goddamned time, find some unknown jazz or rap artist to show how very eclectic they are. Well, most jazz and rap is not rock; if they want to recognize some of the hybrid performers as such, then fine.

The solution might be to just call it the Museum of Highly Politicized Corporate Crap, and leave it at that. Like I say, they just pin these people to a board, put them in a frame, and let them collect dust for all time.