DO LOOK BACK

THE YEAR IN MUSIC: IT JUST DIDN'T GET MUCH BETTER (OR WORSE) THAN THIS

Yet another 12 months of popular song have come and gone--for many, a year of soul-touching hits, for others, an unfulfilling mess of redundant backwash. But one thing's for sure: 1994 was a year of events in the music world. Michael and Lisa Marie got together, Kurt and Courtney broke up, Woodstock turned 25 and celebrated with a pale imitation of itself, Green Day made "punk" a multiplatinum-selling category. And don't think any of the sights and sounds of '94 slipped by Valley residents, more than a few of whom are about to weigh in on what went down best--or otherwise--for them.

Karen
"Exotic entertainer" at the World Famous Shakey Drakes Topless Saloon. In reverse order, Karen reveals her fave songs to play when she's revealing herself:

10. Offspring, "Self Esteem." This describes too many patrons not to receive heavy rotation.

9. Garth Brooks, "Hard Luck Woman." You have to admit, there is some sort of twisted beauty to Garth Brooks doing a Kiss cover.

8. Prince, "Get Off." Songs about sex are always good.
7. Madonna, "Hanky Panky." So are songs about bondage.
6. Alan Jackson, "Little 'Bout Love." Huh huh--he said "hoochie coochie."

5. Consolidated, "You Suck." Guys in titty bars really like this song, though I'm not sure why.

4. Iggy Pop, "Pussy Power." Any song with the word "pussy" in the title is perfect material.

3. Cramps, "Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?" See previous explanation.
2. Green Day, "Longview." What's better in a topless bar than a song about masturbation?

1. The Reverend Horton Heat, "One Time for Me." Okay. Maybe there is one thing better, a song about asking someone else to masturbate while you watch.

Dave Parker
Assistant manager, Zia Record Exchange. Parker lists the Top 10 trade-ins, counting backward, starting with a tie for the No. 10 spot:

10. The Bodyguard soundtrack: Whitney just has no staying power (ask Bobby Brown). Milli Vanilli: still holdin' strong!

9. Spin Doctors, Turn It Upside Down. A worthy heir to the powerful legacy that was A Pocketful of Kryptonite.

8. Bodycount, Born Dead. Stillborn may have been a more accurate title for this one.

7. Arrested Development, Zingalamaduni. I called this one early on. "Life music" just doesn't do it for the Dr. Dre/Snoop Doggy Dogg set.

6. Depeche Mode, Songs of Faith and Devotion. Maybe leather pants, keyboards and bad hair are finally out of our lives.

5. Sonic Youth, Experimental Jet-Set. Very simple--three noisy chords only work for the Ramones.

4. Poison, Native Tongue. We see this one--still sealed--almost every day. No takers.

3. Ice-T, Home Invasion. This year was not kind to the Iceman. Bad movies, worse albums (also see No. 8).

2. Any CD, as long as it's scratched. The fickle tastes of this market demographic are seen every day from my counter. And if you kids can't take care of your toys, don't blame me.

1. Blind Melon, Blind Melon. The Bee-girl is dead. Let her lay.

Laurie Notaro Spoken-word artist, local-music editor for Planet magazine. Laurie, who likes to have a good time, traces her best live-rock memories of the last 12 months, and holds nothing back:

1. Hole. The only thing I remember is being threatened with getting kicked out of Minder Binder's for passing whiskey through the underage gate and for commandeering the men's room for my personal needs. 2. The H.O.R.D.E. Festival. Since I was the seventh person through the gate at 1:03 p.m. last summer, all I remember is Sheryl Crow, heat stroke and dehydration.

3. Ramones. Held in the world's largest perspiration factory, Grind, all I remember is putting ice in my bra and drinking my own sweat.

4. Prong. The band sucked. I retreated to the bar after my then-boyfriend left with another girl.

5. Mazzy Star. I fell asleep.
6. The Reverend Horton Heat. All I remember is being chased around the Roxy by a strange fat girl. I later discovered I was dating her boyfriend.

7. L7. I was sick, so I indulged in a NyQuil/Jack Daniel's cocktail. It was so potent that not only did I dance, but I lighted my hair on fire with my cigarette.

8. Poster Children. The memories are fuzzy, but I recall that my current boyfriend told me that he loved the bass player, Rose, and that I convinced myself that I was invisible and informed a lot of people of this.

9. Sugar. I was on the wagon, and I had a stronger handshake than Bob Mould.

10. Dig. I remember everything, because I was completely on the wagon. It was a great show. Brian Smith

Singer for Beat Angels. Unable to come up with ten '94 releases he actually liked, Brian took the easier--and certainly more fun--route, listing the worst of the year:

1. Candlebox, Candlebox. The smelly residue of bad Eighties arena metal mixed with a shameless batch of songs that everybody else wisely forgot to write. The worst recording of the year by quite possibly the worst rock 'n' roll band in history. It sold millions, of course. Go figure.

2. Stone Temple Pilots, Purple. Unimaginative, witless droning passed off as something profound and deep. Feigned sincerity does not a song make.

3. Guns N' Roses, The Spaghetti Incident?. Some of my favorite punk songs of all time butchered to death by sheer stupidity and misinterpretation.

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