ALL-TIME DESERT ISLAND TOP FIVE: in the spirit of the conversation being carried on by Will Baude and Chris Lawrence on music critics who are too pretentious, the following top five: Bands You Wish Had Never Recorded a Note:

5. Beastie Boys--never got them, really. If I want Jewish New York rappers, I'll listen to Fun Lovin' Criminals. They're not so big on beats, their samples cross the line from hip-and-obscure to even-if-I-knew-that-one-I-wouldn't-care, and their lyrics leave something to be desired in creativity.

4. Pearl Jam--were it not for the fact their lead singer is occasionally thought attractive, they'd be filed between Mudhoney and Tad under 'grunge bands you've never listened to.'

3. Pink Floyd (exception: "See Emily Play")--Music is such a warm, emotional, thoroughly human form of expression, you kind of have to admire a band that played, on average, three-tenths of a degree above emotional absolute zero. One can, of course, use entirely synthetic sounds to create something very emotive (see Air's Moon Safari), or be out and cerebral and also emotionally resonant (Can's Tago Mago), so the Pink Floyds really have no excuses available.

2. Tom Petty (exception: "It's Good to Be King")--The poor man's Rolling Stones.

1. Creedence Clearwater Revival--It's not so much that their music is bad, per se, as that your average Creedence song is regularly outclassed by the Stones, the Animals, the Small Faces, the Byrds, etc etc, who were all writing the same kind of music. Listening to CCR is like picking a five-dollar box of wine over a thirty-dollar bottle.

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