The Most Worthlessly Obscure Bands on The Soundstrike's Arizona Boycott List

Well, Thursday is finally upon us -- however, what could have been an entirely shitty day was made less so by the wonderful foresight of U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton and her injunctions on SB 1070. Gov. Brewer's evil army of mercenaries will have to wait until a decision is made on the merits of the law to fully enforce it, and she doesn't plan to wait that long, as she will file an expedited appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today. Sadly, she'll probably get her goddamned greedy way somehow.

In spite of Judge Bolton's injunctions, Zach de la Rocha's The Sound Strike will continue on. The most obscure, irrelevant member of The Black Eyed Peas -- Taboo -- joined de la Rocha on Wednesday and even wrote a song and filmed a subsequent video for his newly joined cause.

This all got me thinking: if an obscure, irrelevant artist no one cares about boycotts something, does it really matter?

The Sound Strike's Arizona boycott list may be impressive in length, but a fair amount of those same artists are so painfully obscure that it detracts from the efficacy of the list. Sure, you can fight for something you passionately believe in, but if no one really knows who you are, why the fuck should they listen to your opinionated ass?

Behold this list of the five most worthlessly obscure bands to be a part of The Sound Strike's Arizona boycott.

5. Meklit Hadero

A quick glance at Hadero's Myspace page reveals this little nugget, "If Joni Mitchell were East African and met Nina Simone for tea in San Francisco's Mission District, she might end up sounding like Meklit Hadero."

Well, Joni Mitchell isn't East African and she never met Nina Simone for tea.

It's noble that so many hippie-chic singer/songwriters these days list Joni Mitchell as an influence, but seriously -- let's cut the shit. You're not Joni Mitchell, you never will be, and its hardly admirable to want to measure up to someone who had so, so many vices and personal problems. That picture of Hadero's forthcoming album cover is smug to the point of reckless abandon -- one can just picture her walking her rescued dog in her favorite pair of Tom's, carrying a canvas bag full of organic produce while sipping on kombucha tea.

Now, there's nothing wrong with any these things when enjoyed separately, but when they are enjoyed in tandem, the self-satisfaction levels are dangerously high.

4. Los Faggots

Before we deconstruct the band's name, I'll must mention that they are Mexican -- now, that is not an excuse to ever use the other F-word, but I suppose that sort of thing flies for a non-English speaking band. If ever you needed a politically incorrectly-named Mexican garage rock band, Los Faggots are your guys. The band is friends with other Mexican titans of rock such as Los Sex Drunks, Los Peyotes and Los Infraseres.

American garage rock sucks enough as it is, so singing in Spanish isn't going to spruce it up. Bad, stale music knows no cultural bounds, and we have Los Faggots to thank for that. Los Faggots also broke up in 2008, only to reform again in May of 2010 -- seemingly for the sole purposes of boycotting Arizona over SB 1070, because they sure as shit aren't churning out anything new or even remotely enjoyable.

3. Abyssal Creatures

Being the ninth hit on a Google search for "abyssal creatures" won't stop Aspen, Colorado's Ian Fellerman from churning out his unique, DIY and just plain awful "avant-garde punk."

I know what you're saying, "Awful? Don't be so harsh on the dude. He tries really, really hard." If you can honestly listen to "College is a Racket" and find it even the slightest bit redeeming, then you are a better person than I. As if we don't have enough dipshit white guys singing with a heightened sense of snark, along comes Fellerman to bolster the ranks -- laptop pop never sounded so uninspired.

I know Aspen, Colorado is a hotbed for tortured artists who lived a depraved, hard-knock life, but you might as well lie and tell people you're from Denver, or at least Boulder. Hey Fellerman, don't bother mentioning Malcolm X amongst your list of influences, especially when that list includes Howard Stern, Andy Kaufman, Robert Crumb and the recently-departed Harvey Pekar. Either make the list entirely comprised of stodgy white dudes or don't.

Keith Clark
2. Red in my Head
You know what the world needs? Yeah, me either.

But I'll tell you what it doesn't need: More shitty pop groups from Massachusetts who named their band after a Marilyn Manson song.

Some of Head's Myspace songs have upwards of 60 listens. Conversely, that means that some songs actually have less than ten plays -- in fact, eight people have taken the time to sit through the band's live take of The Ramones' classic "Judy is a Punk," and that song lasts less than two minutes. If the fact that Head's fans have dedicated less than 16 minutes to listening to one of the songs featured on the band's Myspace player helps boycott Arizona, then this whole Soundstrike effort is complete and utter bullshit. I honestly believe that Red in my Head has never once played the state of Arizona -- based on the assumption that they've probably never played a show outside of New England, let alone Massachusetts.

1. Goodnightparis
This band has to be the most worthless band on The Soundstrike's list.

A look at the band's latest Myspace blog post (from January of 2009, mind you) reveals this: "Unfortunately, Goodnightparis will most probably come to an end midway through March." That's right, March of 2009. Yet there they are, smack dab in the middle of The Soundstrike's Arizona boycott list. Did de la Rocha or whomever the fuck was responsible for putting together this grandiose, culturally important list of 300-plus politically active musicians even bother to research any of these bands?

The inclusion of Goodnightparis proves The Soundstrike's list to be a complete crock of shit. As well, these five bands I have highlighted expose a pretty laughable hole in The Soundstrike's logic.

Sure, Michael Moore, Chris Rock, Conor Oberst, Nine Inch Nails and Steve Earle are all pretty big names, but some of these other bands are painfully obscure to the point that it distracts from the list and its sole purpose. An unsigned band toiling in obscurity hardly bolsters The Soundstrike's efforts. It's nice to have a lot of names on the artists boycotting Arizona list, but if a fair number of these same artists have absolutely no music profile outside of a standard Myspace page -- a page that has no mention of them joining any sort of Arizona boycott list -- then where does the effort lie?

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? If some unsigned, attention-seeking pop band from New England joins an Arizona boycott list, does it even fucking matter?

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Lopez