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13 Albums That Should be Banned from Dormitories Forever

While you could have a number of issues with affirmative action college admissions policies, they do have one advantage -- they thin out the affluent white guy hegemony. These guys are poisoning America's dormitories, lugging CD wallets full of Greatest Hits albums and MP3 collections that run the gamut from dad rock to twice the recommended daily allowance of Top 40 schlock. Granted, poor musical taste stretches beyond the lines of race and gender, but if I walk into one more of my friends' rooms and discover that his music collection is drawn primarily from the White Guy Canon of Guitar Rock, I'll get so depressed about my peers' musical taste that I give up on my mix tape-making missionary work altogether. I exaggerate of course, but I'm truly tired of hearing the same songs on the way to the shower every morning. Accordingly, here are 13 albums that should be musica non grata in all on-campus housing for the forseeable future.

Editor's Note: Phillip sells the universal nature of his experience short; if people's tastes don't improve in college, they seldom get better thereafter. Based upon my experience with various neighbors, I'd suggest that these albums be banned from any housing facility with more than one unit.


The Beatles' Abbey Road
As will be the case with many of the albums I'm about to issue a restraining order against, this one is pure gold, a bona fide classic. I don't take issue with anyone liking this record -- I take issue with the fact that many people's insistence that it will never be topped seems to be rooted in skewed Rolling Stone lists and an unadventurous spirit rather than in actual love for and identification with the songs.

Bob Marley's Legend
Can someone who was given a Land Rover for his 16th birthday truly grasp the subversion and cultural significance of Bob Marley's work? No, but that guy can give you a neat little dissertation on Marley's belief in the power of cannabis.

The Shins' Chutes Too Narrow
While a number of indie pop acts clearly tip their hats to great bands from the '60s and '70s, these guys sound the most like something you'd hear in mom and dad's record collection. A guest appearance on Gilmore Girls and mad props in the mainstream press have definitely exposed the band to a wider audience, but little did I know that I would be inundated with "So Says I" thrice daily.

Outkast's Speakerboxx/The Love Below
Alright, we get the point. "Hey Ya" is, like, the song of the decade. Songs of the decade still need to take a breather here and there, bro, and don't switch Andre's disc out for Big Boi's, because all you're going to do is play "The Way You Move" -- and it's not even all that good.

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon
Alright, we get the next point. You like to smoke weed. I'm not going to stop you from doing so, but you're, like, so going to get busted if the RA hears "Us and Them" coming out of your room. I mean, people have been lighting up to that song for, oh, I don't know, only the last 30 years. Just giving you the heads up, man.

Miles Davis's Kind of Blue
Along with a few Van Gogh and Monet prints (purchased during the student center's poster sale, of course) and a double major in a Romance language and Literature, Davis's most obvious masterpiece will earn you more than enough easy cultural capital to score more than your fair share of unwitting Fine Arts majors over the next four years of your life. Just don't even think of trying to get that one really cool cellist to go to bed with you -- she'll look over at your stereo and tell you that she likes Big Fun better.

The Clash's London Calling
It pains me to blacklist one of the most diverse and brilliant rock recordings ever, but wouldn't you agree that it's about time that people quit "remembering" Joe Strummer every single day and played another punk album from time to time? I'm sure he didn't want to be remembered as a token punk rock figure in the White Guy Canon.

Jimi Hendrix's Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix
I'm afraid I'm going to have to snipe at yet another one of my favorite artists. Luckily, all I ever hear in the dorms are his big hits, so banning The Best of will eliminate all of those nights where I come home at 3:00 and hear "Purple Haze" playing, while still allowing me to indulge in the sublime oddity of "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)".

Rage Against the Machine's self-titled album
Tom Morello can indeed shred, but for the last time, he is not the best guitarist of the '90s. Have you ever heard of Kevin Shields, or a little band called Sonic Youth? Hell, J. Mascis wins out on even the worst Dinosaur Jr. albums. I always found Rage's updated Bad Brains-isms more interesting than their solos, anyway.

Weezer's Blue album
Perhaps I'm getting a bit brutal with my bans, but geek chic is just annoying to no end. You're not "different" for liking a triple platinum album, you're not even different for liking the damned Get Up Kids. Come on, the real nerds are too busy playing Warcraft to find time to pick up little league baseball jerseys at the thrift store.

Guster's Keep It Together
How people can listen to this band but still decry the Goo Goo Dolls and Train for sounding too streamlined is beyond me. Guster's widespread popularity is also frustrating when I'm going through albums that my music staffers have screened for WUOG -- so many people harbor a soft spot for this band, while still professing to hate "mainstream" music, that I can't tell whether a Guster comparison is supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing in their mini-album reviews. It should also be noted that Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Gin Blossoms were ten times better, and were much more endearing without trying nearly as hard.

Anything by the Dave Matthews band
And yes, this does include your collection of live bootlegs. All 119 of them.

Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head
Listen, I've got this great little album called The Bends that I could let you borrow sometime. It's sorta like Coldplay, but it's actually good. Granted, it's not as makeout-ready (I know that's the only reason you listen to this flaccid mess in the first place), but on the plus side, the vocalist doesn't sound like Dave Matthews... oh wait, you think it's a good thing that Chris Martin sounds like The Dave? Never mind.

-- Phillip Buchan

Think you're some sort of clever boots? Why not send us your damn list? Come up with a creative topic and make certain to include artist, title, and label information. If we use your list, we'll send you some sort of prize...most likely a Splendid t-shirt. Or not, if you'd rather we don't.

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