Top 20 Worst Bands of All Time: Numbers 20 to 16

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For cool, progressive East Coast collegiate types.

We're not entirely sure what scientific methods our savvy colleagues over at our sister paper LA Weekly's West Coast Sound blog used to constitute the absolutely worst 20 bands of all time. But aside from clearly cribbing their steez to generate some dialogue over on our coast, we've added to this already impressive collection, utilizing our own laboratory chops.

There are some obvious bands like the Black Eyed Peas, Pretty Ricky, Phish, and the Spin Doctors that we will not and cannot contest. Some we took offense to, like Pearl Jam, Rush, and the Pussycat Dolls (listen to their videos on mute and you'll get it). And yet others we figured OK on, like the Eagles. However, most of our college interns were flabbergasted with the inclusion of, nay, the crowning of Dave Matthews Band at number one.

I never went to a cool and/or progressive college on the East Coast, nor do I pretend to play guitar and have never been in a frat, so I don't know what their tears are all about. Maybe I just don't care. Oh well, here are our 20 cents!

20. Sisqó
All I can say about the former lead singer of Dru Hill is that his little ditty the "Thong Song" was the STD epidemic of the spring of 2000. It spread far and wide with a bizarre notion of Manifest Destiny. The goddamned song could not be avoided. 

A few months after the storm blew over, I found myself at a strip bar down south in Miami-Dade and this gorgeous Puerto Rican dancer with cornrows came onstage to this track. Needless to say, I left the bar, a belly full of suds, fired up the old Napster, downloaded the fucking track, and the rest is musical history.

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Go back to Jersey, marry Ay-talian princesses, and leave us alone.

19. Blues Traveler

If the blues are really gonna come from New Jersey, I'm gonna be a blind cabdriver. We can go on and on and be some real meanies sarcastically pointing out the appeal of John Popper's former girth (but that would be bullshit, because here at the Grind, the only thing about Blues Traveler that we like is John Popper's former weight), Sheehan's self-destructive appetite for drugs, the dorkiness of their fourth album being titled four... But we will do no such thing. We'll say this much: Spin Doctors. That should be enough.

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We are so cute, we have bored ourselves back to Europe.

18. Ladytron
Now, before anybody goes off and starts getting their little feelings all hurt and shit, let's first understand that to qualify as worst, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are bad overall; it just means you've been really bad at something sometime. That said, we are actually pretty big fans of Ladytron here at the Grind, and we were all gushy when they performed in Miami back in 2007, I believe in support of their album Witching Hour

I, for one, was ecstatic to see them at Miami's Studio A. Although I knew I wasn't going to watch the band wildly pogoing onstage, I certainly was not ready for the complete boredom they showed or the purposely blinding light effects they had set up behind themselves. First show I found myself more interested in making conversation with the bartender than watching the band. The worst. 


17. Social Distortion
I would like to point out that Mike Ness is on our celebrity death predictions of 2012

Seriously. If punks and goths retire to the hell-raisin' country good time of rockabilly, Mike Ness, and whatever version of Social Distortion backs him, have been the soundtrack for aging tribes for a really long time now. It has been with morbid curiosity that I wait for Ness' card to be called. A man who excessively excessed on voracious drug and alcohol appetites bears posthumous donation to the medical sciences. Geez. 

(Side note: Current rhythm guitarist Johnny "2 Bags" Wickersham is a supernice guy. I met him when he stinted in Youth Brigade.)

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We have no friends.

16. The Rippingtons

Russ Freeman's gigantic fuck you to the world of jazz has been going strong for close to three decades. Hiding under suspicious terminology like "fusion" and "smooth," he has chosen to take what talent he has and run a train through a revolving door of players to purposely create television ID spots' background muzak. It is a known fact that the few elevators that piped his tunes are suicide scenes.

Not even 1991's kitschy and suggestive Curves Ahead could save them. C'mon, a jazz band that dreams of the powders of Aspen and Vail? Who the fuck do they think they are kidding?


The next 15 worst bands are soon to be posted.


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