By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
We Twittered, shared and reposted all these stories ad nauseam in 2010—for a good reason. This year, on our Heard Mentality blog and elsewhere, trashy viral videos made more of an impact than the Grammys, and Antoine Dodson was more memorable than Beatles songs finally getting on iTunes. So the line-blurring of talent and fame is more negligible than ever—but who cares? As long as you retweet it . . . right?
10. Avenged Sevenfold drummer’s cause of death
James Owen Sullivan, a.k.a. the Rev, died on Dec. 28, 2009, in Huntington Beach at the age of 28. The Avenged Sevenfold drummer was found in his condo. He was first reported to have died of natural causes, but on June 9, the cause of death was revealed to have been an acute polydrug intoxication due to the combined effects of oxycodone (OxyContin), oxymorphone (a metabolite of oxycodone), diazepam (Valium), nordiazepam (a metabolite of diazepam) and alcohol. Maybe it wasn’t a WTF as much as it was a waste. And despite his death, the band released their fifth album, Nightmare, in July; it featured the Rev’s songwriting and debuted at the top of the Billboard 200.
9. Kanye West discovers Twitter and uses it as a soap box
When Kanye West signed up for his Twitter account on July 28, no one knew it was going to be everyone’s direct line to West’s most intimate feelings—about gold-encrusted goblets, the Bonnarroo organizers (a.k.a “squid brains”) and his beef with the Today show—in 140 characters or less.
8. Sublime With Rome “reunion”
It’s one thing to have a band reunion when all your members are still alive—portly, but alive. It’s another to recruit a 22-year-old lead singer who is a dead ringer for, well, your dead singer (vocally, anyway) and perform all the songs that made you famous 15 years ago. It just seems wrong. Maybe when they write some new songs?
In May, The New York Times published a not-so-favorable profile of MIA by writer Lynn Hirschberg. In it, MIA was revealed as a hypocrite for leading a contradictory lifestyle—taking about terrorism and Sri Lankan politics while living in an ultra-rich LA neighborhood with a billionaire husband. Then the singer refuted these allegations by releasing her tapes of the actual interview, forcing the Times to issue a correction! It was a triumph for every misquoted musician everywhere, and everyone was talking about it. Too bad MAYA, the album that preceded the interview, wasn’t as explosive.
6. Tila Tequila vs. the Juggalos
In August, Juggalos tried to kill Tila Tequila at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos in Illinois. The Insane Clown Posse fans were so angry that Tequila was at their “underground” Shangri-La that they threw eggs, poop, cans of Faygo, dildos and diapers at her. Apparently, Tequila continued performing once objects started flying; she shouted, “I don’t give a fuck!” then pulled off her top before she got hit on the head and was carried away by security. Awesome.
4. The worst moment of George W. Bush’s presidency
Another Kanye West entry! Well, why not? George W. Bush served two terms. He was president when terrorists crashed American airplanes into the World Trade Center and during Hurricane Katrina. And yet, West calling him a racist on national TV was the “worst moment of his presidency.” Congratulations, Kanye: You’re a bigger deal to Bush than nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and invading the wrong country.
3. The Dougie (and every other wannabe dance du jour that tried to ride on Cali Swag District’s fame, such as the Bernie and the Wheelchair Shawty)
Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” was like bubblegum, so we had to chew it. Apparently, the whole country felt the same way. Justin Bieber knows how to Dougie. So does Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards—who did the Dougie on cornerback Darius Butler after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots. The downside? A bunch of ridiculous copycat dances, from “the Bernie,” a step that tells you to shuffle around like you’re dead, to the “Wheelchair Shawty,” a dance that mimics the arm movement that disabled people make in a wheelchair when they’re wheeling around. Not cool.
2. Antoine Dodson
Antoine Dodson made “Hide your kids; hide your wife” the biggest catchphrase of the year—and it’s also the most heartwarming. If you haven’t been living under a rock the past few months, then you should know that a rapist climbed into the Dodson family’s apartment in August, thus becoming a catalyst for the biggest viral video of 2010. Dodson’s virulent tirade against the crime was broadcast on TV, then auto-tuned into a song by the Gregory Brothers. Since then, the “Bed Intruder Song” featuring the Gregory Brothers and Kelly Dodson charted on iTunes’ R&B/Soul Chart and turned Dodson into a bona-fide celebrity, with a BET appearance, a hit Halloween costume and various celebrity endorsements. (Soon after the song peaked, Dodson had made enough money from his inadvertent fame to move his family out of the projects.)
1. Imperial Stars get arrested for stupid publicity prank—er . . . calling attention to homeless children
On Oct. 12, Christopher Wright, Paul Arabella (a.k.a. David Paul Hale) and Keith Yackey headed for Hollywood’s section of Highway 101 and blocked three lanes of traffic at 10:20 a.m. to play one song atop a semi. The lead trio of the Garden Grove-based Imperial Stars played “Traffic Jam 101” for a captive Los Angeles audience—commuters who were stuck in the traffic jam they caused. Soon after the stunt, the California Highway Patrol came to arrest the trio and tow the semi; 24 hours later, the band members were released from jail and celebrated in Hollywood after posting $10,000 bail. In November, they were charged with conspiracy. No matter; they’re doing a ton of press and “benefit shows”—not to mention they’ve been offered a TV reality show, so we really hope the homeless children are benefiting from their brushes with the law.
This article appeared in print as "Top 10 WTF Stories of 2010: Guess who’s No. 1 on our music blog? (Hint: It’s not Antoine Dodson)."