Friday, May 30, 2008

A couple of WONDERFUL examples why major websites shouldn't hire just anyone to blog on subjects....

For this exercise in "What were they thinking?!?!?," I turn to the currently under-fire internet mainstay called Yahoo!

Now, I can totally understand the longtime search engine/information provider wanting to get into the heart of the blogosphere and having people on staff to write about all kinds of subjects. It only becomes a problem for me when said staff members demonstrate that they have absolutely *zero* idea of what they are talking about. Sadly, Yahoo! has this happening in multiple blogs within their music subsection.

The latest in a string of offending blogs comes in the form of a list of what music blogidiot Rob O'Connor states in his body text as follows:

But to celebrate, List of the Day undertook the task of picking out 25 infamous guitar riffs that depending on your era were among the ones you mangled when you joined your first band.

Uh, Rob.... unless I missed something, the word infamous has a negative connotation. And to prove I wasn't missing something, the folks at backed me up with the following:

in-fa-mous adj.

1. having an extremely bad reputation (e.g. an infamous city)
2. deserving of or causing an evil reputation; shamefully malign; detestable (e.g. an infamous deed)

He then lists, *as infamous*, his top 25 all-time guitar riffs. So, Mr. O'Connor, what exactly is detestable about the opening riff of Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water? Does the fact that it holds a place as one of the earliest riffs that any beginning guitar player learns offend you that much?

Sir, if you are going to write a blog and actually get paid for doing it, do us one small favor and *LEARN BASIC ENGLISH!!!!*

Now, since it is clear that you don't understand what a dictionary is, it makes you seem that much less credible. Helping that along in the same blog was the entry at #16, I Feel Fine by The Beatles. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I am a big Beatles fan, even though I wasn't born until roughly six months *after* they broke up. Being in this position offers me a chance to chime in on this entry in a way that O'Connor could never comprehend.

He hit it on the head by listing Day Tripper above all other Fab Four riffs, however, listing this song second merely because of the feedback? Come on, now. If I were to play an eight-note riff from side three of The White Album and then follow it with the opener of that song, what would most musicians and music fans recognize first? Guarantee you it would be the former, which happens to be a little song called Birthday. Further, he opted to list I Feel Fine instead of classics like Crossroads by Cream, and ahead of Metallica's Enter Sandman, G-n-R's Sweet Child O' Mine and Skynyrd's Freebird.

Even more offensive, where in bloody heck is Stairway to Heaven at? The one guitar tune that my dog could recognize if he was able to speak English and it's not on the list???? So what if it's an acoustic start, nobody, and I mean NOBODY with any kind of music exposure hears those notes and doesn't recognize the song immediately.

As if this list wasn't bad enough, O'Connor goes one better in his list from a day earlier about what he categorizes as "The 25 Most Successful Solo Acts".

In this list are deserving folks, such as Gwen Stefani, Sam Cooke, Ozzy, Diana Ross, etc. He even gets it right in relation to the Beatles, putting Paul McCartney on the list but leaving John Lennon off it. Before fans of John get into a tiff, hear me out. Lennon absolutely wrote the more important work as far as historical significance, etc. HOWEVER, the list wasn't about importance, it was about success, and Macca was BY FAR the most successful of the foursome commercially.

That being said, O'Connor really screwed the proverbial pooch on this list with a glaring omission: Michael Jackson.

Sorry, but a solo act list without the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" is just junk, no matter how good the rest of it is. Jackson, who was put in front of the family group by Motown in the 70s, merely released two albums in the 80s that half of the solo artists on O'Connor's list would have killed to have had one single off either of them. Off The Wall is a fabulous album in its own right, but the early part of the 80s were defined by the release and sheer brilliance of Thriller.

That album, released 26 years ago (has it really been that long), was the quintessential pop, dance and funk album of the decade, spawning a mind-boggling *seven* Top 10 singles. Yet, for all that, Jackson is not on the list and David freakin' Johanssen under the stage name of Buster Poindexter is sitting on the list at #22. What a joke.

Message to Yahoo!: either get bloggers who actually understand music and its historical background or get rid of all the blogs and stick to search engines and sports.

No comments: