I am trying very hard to be mean here. I actually really like these artists and, obviously, listen to them all the time. They have many more positive points, particularly the top few - I can't even begin to explain all the things I love about Sleater-Kinney and Sonic Youth in particular...
10. M.I.A. : Trendy pseudo-political arty stuff. She's been an immigrant and had it tough but - uh - she went to St Martins and used to live with Justine Frischmann from Elastica. Also her skillz are somewhat less than mad. 'Dit dit dit on your mobile phone/You fucked my man and wrecked my home/I'll get my boy to rob your phone' anybody?
9. Tegan & Sara : Mainstream-indie blah. And the lyrics seem to be written from the perspective of the mentally unstable. Sample: 'I cried so hard that you pushed me further away/I screamed so loud you called the police on me'. So much dramz.
8. PJ Harvey : Early records borderline psychotic. Later stuff either overly radio-friendly or quirky for the sake of being so. And what is with that white victorian style dress?
7. Le Tigre : Pretentious and somewhat self-satisfied with own politics. Guilty of writing songs about being in a band and being really radical. Some material also conspicuously weak: see 'From The Desk Of Mr. Lady'.
6. Placebo : Teenagey, whiny, self-indulgent, over-reliant on gratuitous drugs and sex references. Sold out circa 2003. Recent material hideous.
5. The Dresden Dolls : Prone to over-cute victorian 'innocent' posturing in songs. Lyrics rife with mixed metaphor, half-formed imagery and arty-crazy-girl teenage angst.
4. Patrick Wolf : Pretentious. Makes weird belching sounds when singing that he seems to consider sexy. Dresses like a 9 year old girl.
3. Rufus Wainwright : Nasal voice. Disgusting laugh (see end of 'Harvester of Hearts'). Tendency to write rather embarassing lyrics (see 'Gay Messiah'). Thinks lederhosen are a good look.
2. Sonic Youth : Pretentious art-school hipster nonsense. Unlistenable in places due to experimental screeching and crashing of guitars.
1. Sleater-Kinney : Singing overly piercing and uncontrolled. Lyrics largely inaudible. 'The Woods' excepted, music often lacks body: two guitars with the same chiming tone make a flat sound. Too much screaming and not enough tune on early records.