Complaining about somebody else's "greatest" list is like complaining about rain on a Saturday or the price of beer at a sporting event/concert/New York bar. It's boring, commonplace, and expected. So I decided to write a whole piece about it!
Here is Rolling Stone Magazine's 50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now. It's moderately horrifying:
50. Fiona Apple
49. Taylor Swift
48. Green Day
47. Sigur Ros
45. Lady Gaga
44. Janelle Monae
43. Mumford and Sons
41. Tame Impala
40. Eric Church
38. Queens of the Stone Age
37. The National
36. Florence and the Machine
35. Bruno Mars
34. Foo Fighters
32. Sleigh Bells
31. David Byrne
28. Patti Smith
27. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
26. Leonard Cohen
24. Dave Matthews Band
23. Pearl Jam
22. Tom Waits
21. Red Hot Chili Peppers
20. Kanye West
19. The Roots
17. Nine Inch Nails
16. Alabama Shakes
15. Paul McCartney
14. The Black Keys
13. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
10. My Morning Jacket
09. Rage Against the Machine
08. Jack White
06. Jay Z
05. Neil Young
04. Arcade Fire
03. The Rolling Stones
01. Bruce Springsteen
Allow me to begin with a cut-and-pasted comment from the comments section of another music blog that posted this list (since we all know the comments section IS the internet):
"Tool at 46? This is why I wouldn't even use Rolling Stone as toilet paper."
I believe there should be a few more important reasons one wouldn't use glossy magazine paper to clean one's anoose, but I concur, comment section commentor guy, Tool at 46 is yet another valid reason.
Further perusal of the comments section reveals another sticking point for most readers of this list: Sigur Ros at 47. I typically think most human inhabitants of Earth are fully awash in dumbassity, so it disturbs me (or refreshes me if I've been drinking coffee) to find such common ground with the trolls of the www.
But don't worry, don't worry, I'm not gonna do what everyone thinks I'm gonna do, which is try to add in my Indie/local/obscure live band that's better than all these "mainstreamers." I'm not even going to re-order the list.
I'll simply point out the objective mistakes.
I'll start with the bands that are way too high (low numbers) on this list:
6. Jay-Z...live rap usually sucks. A lot of what most people love about rap happens in the studio, not on the stage. #6 is simply too high.
16. Alabama Shakes...Brittany Howard of A.S. was one of the voters.
32. Sleigh Bells...no, just no.
36. Florence and the Machine...I hate this band.. Objectively.
37. The National...The National is bad Morrissey. Morrissey is bad The Smiths. The Smiths are bad.
Now, bands that are too low (high numbers):
47. Sigur Ros...if you've seen them, you know they're top 10.
46. Tool...46. Really? 46. There are 46 and 2 reasons this is slap-worthy.
43. Mumford & Sons...they're not my fav band, but they go hard (as the kids say).
39. Rush...even if they turned off all the lights and just played their songs, the musicianship alone warrants higher than #39.
34. Foo Fighters...not terribly far off, but Grohl is one of the last true rockstar front men. He goes hard (as the kids say).
29. Muse...huge show, huge vocals, huge guitar, huge sell out huge arenas, hugely.
25. Phish...can millions of white people ever be wrong? I haven't read a history book in a while.
24. Dave Matthews Band...as fun as it is for hipsters to hate DMB, their shows are on a level most bands will never reach.
Those are the most glaring problems. The top 10 could be worse. They got some of it right, but when they were off, they were way off.
I think I mentioned two lists. Well, I'm tired of lists for now, so here's Cliff's notes on the other list.
-It is Rolling Stone Magazine's 10 Greatest Stoner Movies of All Time.
-The Big Lebowski is #1
-They are correct (allegedly).