5. Animal Collective
I really wanted to like Merriweather Post Pavilion, even going far out of my way to appreciate the record as it was surely intended: super-stoned, miles from civilization in the northern California woods. Still, no dice. The problem is that Animal Collective are a special kind of unlistenable; their albums don't reward active engagement, but they don't make good background music, either. Their brand of twee is cloying and grating like an attention-starved, sugar-crashing eight-year-old who wants you to admire his finger painting, while you're trying to wash the dishes. -Ben Westhoff
4. Sex Pistols
Touted as the originators of punk, the Sex Pistols were really just a third-rate Faces rip off with a low-rent Richard Hell on vocals. Paul Cook and Steve Jones are great, but were held back by the larger-than-life personalities of Sid Vicious and John Lydon (or Rotten or whatever). Sloppy, derivative and obsessed with shock value for its own sake, the Pistols set the template for British punk rock bands trying too hard. Plus, how much of a dick is Lydon, allegedly punching women in the face, running around with racist goons and slamming Duffy against a wall? Bollocks. -Nicholas Pell
3. LCD Soundsystem
If LCD Soundsystem were only responsible for three albums that are half-filler and a "workout mix" made by people who clearly don't go to the gym -- for people who don't go to the gym themselves -- they wouldn't be on this list. No, they deserve special mention for the critical crusade to pass James Murphy off as indie rock's preeminent male role model in spite of, nay, because of his worldview which remains as rigid and obnoxious as Toby Keith's. It is, roughly, that music achieved perfection in 1977, no one outside of New York City is important, and your interaction with credibility and its overseers is a bigger concern than learning how not to be an insufferable, self-obsessed jerk. In other words, LCD Soundsystem fans are the type of people who think buying their 10-year old kid a Public Image Ltd. record for his birthday is an example of good parenting. -Ian Cohen
The all-mighty arbiter of SoCal cool, Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski was famously willing to be thrown out of a cab because he hated the fucking Eagles, and you should be too. Soporific Laurel Canyon coke rock whose chief existential lament seems to be "What toppings should I get on my burrito?" the Eagles are the quintessential band for a decade whose favorite barbiturate was the Quaalude. -Jeff Weiss
1. Dave Matthews Band
"Once upon a time/When the world was just a pancake/Fears would arise/That if you went too far you'd fall/But with the passage of time/It all became more of a ball." -Some Dave Matthews lyrics
You want a real American Horror story? Sit in the back of an SUV with off-key sorority house members singing along to Dave Matthews Band. "Dave" is a jam act with no jams. They make Perrier seem vibrant and ethnic. Dave Matthews croons like Kermit with a hangover, for a presumed intended audience of trustafarians and frat bros bonding via hacky sack and horseshoes. Them, and folks whose favorite book is The Da Vinci Code and favorite TV show is Two and a Half Men. They are permanently beige, the sonic instantiation of Ambercrombie & Fitch cargo shorts, South Carolina Gamecocks hats, and flip-flops flailing. -Jeff Weiss
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!