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10 "Irrelevant" Bands

These are not guilty pleasures. The Geto Boys are not uncool.
December 1, 2002, 12:00am

These are not guilty pleasures. The Geto Boys are not uncool. These are just bands that, for some reason or another, nobody notices that they love. Bands the music press frowns upon but everyone listens the shit out of.

10. Paris
You talk a big Eric B and Rakim game but I’ll be damned if you’ve ever listened to Paid in Full the whole way through. You listen to The Devil Made Me Do It, though. You listen to that every day. Okay, so he got a bit funky after that. Fine. That doesn’t take away from lines like “The only motherfucking pig that I eat is police!” Be prepared for a killer comeback from the black guerrilla. Oh yeah, and The Geto Boys. You were listening to that album last week and it’s still in your CD player. Same with us.

9. Duran Duran

Ever notice how every fucking song these guys ever did is perfect? Every album sounds like a greatest hits album. Ever notice how people instantly stop talking when Duran Duran comes out of the jukebox? How people just kind of close their eyes and bow their heads forward? That’s because they are acknowledging the fact that we all love the living shit out of this amazing band.

I’m going to put on “Wild Boys” right now.

8. Land of the Loops

This is one of those bands where you go to someone’s house and you see they have it out next to a half-eaten doughnut and you’re like, “Aw man, you like these guys too? I thought I was the only person in the world who loved these guys.” I would write some more about how every song on Puttering About a Small Land is the hit single of the century, but I’m going to get up from this keyboard and put it on right now.

7. Kurtis Mantronik

Why should anyone write anything about this Jamaican nerd from Canada? Just because he invented hip hop and his last album I Sing the Body Electro was about a hundred years ahead of its time? Just because the rapper he uses, Tres Lude, is genius enough to say, “Like Tab motherfucker, yo, your ass is out!”? No. Journalists should have given Kurtis more credit because, to this day, every time you put on his shit the whole party starts cheering and waving their drinks in the air.

6. Anal Chinook

Out of all the Southwestern Ontario punk bands of the late ’80s we were the only ones that you actually wanted to go see. Remember in “Acid Rain” where I go, “It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is … DYYYYIIIIING!!!”? I know you do because you can’t stop thinking about us. You saw us play Montreal’s La Terrasse with Pale Priest of the Mute People. You saw us open for Bunch of Fucking Goofs in Toronto and you saw us rock Ottawa’s Porter Hall with MDC. You miss us like crazy. Guess what? You’re not alone.

5. James Iha

Ani Difranco is the critics’ choice because she’s a “righteous babe” and has dreads and once ate a girl out. Big whup. She’s Joan Baez on a caffeine bender. Nobody can bear listening to her anymore, but we all still dig James Iha. Now there’s a folkie pop singer with a guitar. The critics totally ignore him because he sounds like an optimistic little boy, but they neglect to note that he made a great record. Nobody mentions how that “I’m in love with a girl from the country. She’s got no money” song is in your head all day every day. Everyone loves The Smashing Pumpkins, too.

4. Nina Hagen

I know you think you’re the only one dusting off this old platter and basking in her crazy voice when she goes, “A brand new club is opening up,” but you’re not. We all love to hear her freaky mouth go all over the place like a malfunctioning Blade Runner android. Where would The Yeah Yeah Yeahs be without this nutty bitch?

3. Skrewdriver

Okay, some of that white power stuff can get a bit rich. “Row nigger row” and “pakis beware” isn’t exactly finger- snapping material, but how much do you love the song “Bash Street Kids”? That shit sounds like Bob Seger meets Andrew WK. Or “Friday Night”? That’s high-fiving material. Boots and Braces is like Bat out of Hell — a seemingly nonexistent record that sells thousands daily simply because it is fucking amazing.

2. Godflesh

Whoa! Is that Satan doing the vocal tracks for Streetcleaner? Holy shit. They sound like the lord of the underworld is flying over the city deciding which souls he’s going to steal while simultaneously crushing gigantic buildings like it’s nothing. Nobody says shit about Godflesh but you listen to that CD so much it skips.

1. Generation X

The British press thought Generation X were too bourgeois to write about. They’d rather focus on one-hit wonders like X-Ray Specs, working-class bands that could provide an easy “no future” angle for their sensationalist bullshit. Did they ever listen to Billy Idol and the boys? They rule. Who the fuck was playing drums for this band? Neil Peart? Did the critics ever listen to “Night of the Cadillacs”? You did. You’ve probably got Valley of the Dolls on your turntable right now. No wonder Morrissey tried out for them. They are the greatest band of all time. The drums are like “dff df df df df tshh tf tshh tf, dff df df df df tshh tf tshh tf.” Bow Wow Wow have a crazy drummer too. Fuck those bands are great.

OK, OK, OK, maybe you don’t listen to any of these bands. Your favorites are probably even more obscure. You probably have more than three Love and Rockets albums or a boxed set of the Jesus and Mary Chain or a mixed tape of The Legendary Pink Dots but, fuck ... the Talking Heads?