Guzzlin' the Haterade

Modern music could do without these.

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An Unfinished Life Shaker Square Cinemas
Mustache malfunction: Jack White is in dire need of a shave.
Mustache malfunction: Jack White is in dire need of a shave.
As if Wham! and Madonna's new accent weren't reasons enough to hate the British, the Crazy Frog seals the deal. By now, you've heard "Axel F," the über-annoying techno casualty produced by dance duo Bass Bumpers and Jamster -- and if you haven't, does that rock you're hiding under have room for one more?

The tune, which blends the Beverly Hills Cop theme with a thumping beat and the fingernails-on-a-chalkboard blathering of a cartoon frog, has rocketed to the top of the charts in the U.K. and become one of the most popular ringtones ever. This is the kind of stuff that compels folks to open fire in fast-food restaurants.

While we're venting, there are plenty of other things in modern music that we could do without, such as . . .

Courtney Love
Have you seen Courtney Love lately? Actually, she's kind of hard to miss these days. It's bad enough that she got her Sally Struthers on, larding up like she's auditioning to be the Browns' new left tackle. But she took it to a new level with her disastrous, totally shitfaced appearance on Comedy Central's recent roast of Pamela Anderson, where she fell down, exposed her panties, and slurred her words like Nancy Spungen with a cheeseburger fetish. This from the lady who penned one of the best albums of the '90s (Live Through This) and followed it up with a stellar pop firecracker (Celebrity Skin). But now Love's little more than a walking punch line -- or, to be more accurate, a staggering, stumbling, wind-sucking punch line. Get clean, Courtney, or limit your public appearances to court hearings.

Skits on hip-hop albums
Remember the last time you heard a skit on a hip-hop album that didn't suck worse than Bob Taft's accounting? We do. The year was 1992, the album was Dr. Dre's The Chronic, and the skit was the "$20 Bag Pyramid," a laugh-out-loud parody of a game show, where the prizes included weed and sexual favors. But in the 13 years since then, the hip-hop skit has become the ingrown toenail of the genre. Nowadays, we get Eminem pretending to get blowjobs from ICP ("Ken Kaniff"), and Ol' Dirty Bastard's touching "Takin' a Shit," which -- as the title suggests -- is the sound of the late rapper pinching a loaf. Let's follow ODB's lead and flush the toilet on these turds.

Jack White's Mustache
What's up with Jack White's new, Ralph Macchio-style pube 'stache? Dude looks like he's spent the last year scouring Star Trek conventions, studying all manner of testosterone-deficient dudes, just to get a better understanding of penciled-in facial hair. Maybe he's trying to join the cast of Degrassi Junior High or attempting to make Michael Jackson feel better about his patchwork peach fuzz. Either way, it ain't workin'. Look Jack, we know you're big on trying to be quirky and shit, but you're not Ronnie Belliard, and you're not an eighth-grader, so shave that thing already.

Every man, woman, and child citing Gang of Four as an influence
Like Sonic Youth in the '90s, Gang of Four now gets name-dropped approximately 1,649 times for every album sold. As absurd as it was for shirtless himbo Gavin Rossdale to cite Thurston Moore and company as a prime influence a decade ago -- solely because he heard Kurt Cobain do the same -- it's just as ludicrous for the overrated hacks in Hot Hot Heat or the Bravery to act like they're taking their cues from Gang of Four and not Republica. Every single band with a guitar and a vaguely danceable beat -- Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, even the friggin' Killers -- now gets endlessly compared to a group that half of them probably have never even heard. How can we be so sure? 'Cause unlike what's been generated by most of the aforementioned acts, Gang of Four's tunes will still be remembered in 10 years.

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