November 22, 2005
We all have guilty pleasures when it comes to music (like yesterday when I threw a Hall and Oates song into my morning playlist). We also have hidden dislikes, musicians and albums we know we should like but just don’t. In the words of Freddie Mercury, I want to break free. Here are some of mine.
I feel like I should like Radiohead more. More precisely, I feel as though I should appreciate their post-OK Computer output more than I do. But I don’t. Actually? I think a lot of it is complete crap. I listen to a lot of weird and varied shit. My wife often describes the music I listen to as “a bunch of vocals then the cats fight,” referring to the screech of guitars or something. So, I should like the lush, layered production, dissonance and complexity of the ever-thinking Brit band, right? I’ll admit it – I don’t. Author Chuck Klosterman once wrote that Kid A, despite being released just before, was essentially a soundtrack to 9/11. When I read that, and read his full explanation, I realized that, from what I could recall, he was right. Like some evil version of the whole Dark Side of the Moon-Wizard of Oz thing, the events of one mirrored the music of the other. Shortly after reading that, I went downstairs to my music room and popped it in the CD player. And promptly lost interest by about the third track.
As a musician, a guitarist no less, I’m convinced I should dig Jimi Henrix more than I do. I respect the guy; he was a trailblazer and did things with the instrument than had never before been attempted (although there really wasn't much of a need to play the guitar with his teeth or set it on fire). I’ve listened to almost every song he’s ever recorded but I certainly wouldn’t want to sit down and listen to a Hendrix album all the way through. Not my idea of good listening. Better than, well, Kid A perhaps. I’m not sure why. Jimi just doesn’t do it for me.
The Beach Boys are, perhaps, the closest thing the United States has to The Beatles. I appreciate them for that fact. They’re identifiably American. If you’ve been paying attention to pop culture, upon hearing the first few notes of Good Vibrations, you should immediately picture a Southern California beach, bikini-clad blondes, and guys with surf boards. That said, I honestly don’t like The Beach Boys. In my head, they’re like a bizarre algebra equation (or for me, any algebra equation) – there’s just something that doesn’t click, something that I don’t get. And I feel slightly guilty about that. When Brian Wilson finally released Smile, the masterpiece he'd been tinkering with for 40 years, I ran out and bought it. Maybe this would convince me, this critically acclaimed chunk of musical goodness with such history behind it. And? I listened to it once and thought it was silly.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve always abhorred The Doors. Jim Morrison’s vocals drive me up the freaking wall. Like I said a few paragraphs ago, I listen to some weird shit full of electronic blips and strange keyboards. I can tolerate a lot. But Ray Manzarek's organ is honestly the most annoying sounding instrument ever played in popular music. I’m convinced – one day in the future, someone will unearth a Doors album and wonder quietly, what the hell were they thinking, buying this crap?
Perhaps the most alarming admission I can make is this – I don’t like The Boss. I’ve got nothing against Springsteen, but his stuff has just never done anything for me. I really want to like him. But I don’t. Bruce, if you’re out there reading, I’ve tried. I own albums I can’t stand to listen to thanks to you. I’ve heard the Midwestern yarns you spin. I like the stories. I just don’t like the delivery. Forgive me.
There you have it. Just a few of my little music admissions. What are yours?
This week in new music brings…a new album by Enya, despite the fact that all her previous releases sound exactly alike…the debut of the John Mayer Trio, recorded live in Chicago featuring primarily new material…a deluxe version of the latest Rolling Stones album, A Bigger Bang with a few extra tracks…and…former Creed frontman (and notable pompous ass) Scott Stapp’s solo debut.
Music DVD’s include…the Peter Gabriel release I promised you last week and live sets from Keane, Jack Johnson, Franz Ferdinand, Rush and Radiohead.
Re-releases hitting the shelves…Billy Joel’s box set featuring all kinds of great rarities, b-sides and alternate takes…several John Lennon including one from John and Yoko which, if you’ve ever heard Yoko before, you’ll know to stay away from this one…the 30th anniversary edition of Queen’s Night At The Opera…and…Rarities, a collection of live and rare tracks from the last 30 years of the Rolling Stones.
Posted by Chris at November 22, 2005 7:14 AM
Ah geez where to start. First of all I'm with you on the whole Radiohead thing, in my mind they are overrated. And I just don't get it.
While I understand near reverence some have for the Ramones, they too are another band that make me want to poke my eyes out (maybe because I had an ex who listened to them non-stop.) And Springsteen in my opinion is best live. The recordings, any of them, well just suck.
As for Guilty Pleasures... yeah, I have them mostly songs like Usher's Yeah, or Elephunk by the Black Eyes Peas. (Although their latest couple of singles have made me want to run for the hills.)
i think you need to see Radiohead live. i've seen them 2-3 times and they blew me away, totally gave me a new appreciation for their more recent works. my blog title is from one of them, btw.
i'm with you on "the Boss" but must disagree on the Doors, maybe it's a chick-jim morrison-sexy-leather pants thing.
i've been listening to NIN's latest and am adoring it... it's crisp and layered and nicely produced, imo. i've have depeche mode's latest in the car... i've heard it before though, it's just a rehash of exciter.
I'm in the same vote on the Doors. I really did try. I still force myself through a couple songs sometimes. I just can't do it. Same with Nirvana- a couple songs I adore, but I can't do it for more than 10 minutes.
Guilty pleasure? The Cramps!
Pearl Jam---I devoured Ten when it came out and tried really, really hard to like it because the band was so ubiquitous in the early 90s, but I'm completely turned off to anything that even smacks of Eddie Vedder. The brief and ultimately unsatisfying college romance with a PJ fan-atic didn't help, either.
I could not agree with this entire post more. Being somewhat of a music buff myself, there are just some bands/artists that I feel I should like but don't. My top three have always been: the Doors, Radiohead, Springsteen. I also never liked Nirvana but LOVE me some Elton John, Go figure.
I've had a problem with Radiohead after their first album... I just don't get it. I'm also with you on the Boss, because he's always annoyed me, and I've never been able to put my finger on it exactly why.
I think we've discussed this one before, but I cannot stand Echo and the Bunnymen... Again, I have no idea why, but it's not a good thing to have been a Goth in high school and not like the Bunnymen. Also, Husker Du has always annoyed me.
There are a handful of Springsteen songs I like, but as a whole, no way. One time I tried to learn one, and it was IMPOSSIBLE to sing.
You will always have my heart for quoting Freddie Mercury.
And it's too early to think of someone I should like but don't - but my guilty pleasures ABOUND.
ABBA. UGH. About 20 people from my workplace went to see "Mamma Mia" last week...they couldn't believe I didn't want to go. A whole evening of ABBA songs? I'd sooner listen to three hours of a nail gun. The Beach Boys? Gag. Never got that one. As a guitarist you'll probably take offense, but my least favorite jazz instrument (my boyfriend plays a lot of jazz) is guitar. If every guitar part were removed from every jazz song ever recorded, I wouldn't miss it in the least. (Pat Methany's lost on me--and I've seen him live--but I really dig Mike Stern...so I'm fickle.) So I was shocked when my boyfriend started doing gigs with a fantastic jazz guitarist recently (and I've heard him play with some great ones before)...and I actually ENJOYED it. Jimi? Hey Joe is my song...you can keep all the rest.
I hate Bob Dylan. With a passion. We went to the Willie Nelson/Bob Dylan concert (because YAY WILLIE!) and I was in heaven for the first part and during the Dylan part I was watching airplanes fly overhead and trying to guess how many minutes apart they were.
My husband is ashamed of me.
(On the other hand, I do like a lot of good music. I just have that darn hatred of Dylan in the way.)
Hmm... I am gonna have to agree with you on not liking the Boss, as well as agree with ~L in not liking Bob Dylan.
I know I am gonna get slapped by someone for this but I am not a real big Green Day or ColdPlay fan....**ducks**
i have to admit it, i hate dave matthews. my roommate thinks this is a mortal sin; he prays for my salvation daily.
I love this post. I so do not understand the popularity of the Doors or the Boss.
Great idea for a post. I've always been ashamed to say that I don't dig the Dead. It was hard to be the only long haired college kid without a wall of bootleg Dead tapes. Heck, I didn't have any. I really do have a lot of respect for Garcia and like some of the things he did with David Grisman. But the guitars in The Grateful Dead, they are soooo wet. The tone drives me crazy and I can't get past it. So that's a big one. And Jim Morrison is another big one, but I'm not ashamed of not liking The Doors. And Nirvana. I was cool enough to know that it was cooler to like Nirvana than Pearl Jam, but I couldn't help it. Mike McCready's solos are so blues based and, coincidentally, Hendrix/Vaughn inspired, that I gravitated more toward Pearl Jam.
And I think the thing with Hendrix is that his albums are so period influenced, the songs don't have the longevity that they would have had if lyrics were not about dragonflies and moonbeams. I listened to all the Hendrix I could get my hands on when I first discovered him, but now I only enjoy listening to songs like Red House, that aren't so psychedelic. Because the effects he used were so new, they over saturate the songs. His playing was amazing, but I think that had he lived longer, his songs would have been better a few years down the road. Just look at how unbelievable Stevie Ray's version of Little Wing was. A great song was hidden behind all that sixties poetry.
Oh and guilty pleasures... How about Bonnie Tyler's Turn Around Bright Eyes, Night Ranger's Sister Christian, Falco's Rock Me Amadeus, or Nena's 99 Red Balloons... I have total respect for a purely great pop song, no substance, pure sugar. I mean, who wants to be the snobby food critic that can't appreciate a good Twinkie every now and again.
Amen. And for the record.... Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Jimmy Buffet cannot sing.
(But I can roll with Jimmy 'cause the shows are so fun and he readily ADMITS he can't sing)
Yay! Someone else who doesn't like Radiohead or the Boss. And add the Coldplay in too. Just way too mopey for my taste.
Ssshhh--- I don't like Bob Dylan.
I like "God Only Knows" but that's it for the Beach Boys.
Huge crush on Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day.
You know, I liked Creed when they first came out...better yet I LOVED *GUSH!* Mark Tremonti (grin) but now? I really can't stand Scott's Stapp's voice. I'm not saying he's not a great singer, he's okay, but his 'TUDE sucks ASS! And that hairdo? WTF???!!!
PS. Radiohead is weird but I love the song, Optimistic. Just something about it I guess.
I can't stand Jimi Henrix either. And I've been cursed for it.
I'll also admit, I'm not a huge John Lennon fan either. really. I don't get it. I am still convinced it's because he's dead. I'm missing it.
so yeah i'm with everyone else on not liking radiohead. (i do, however, love the beach boys because they're all my grandma listened to when i was little and visited.)
i just woke up so i can't really think of many but i must say that, while i don't mind the beatles, i just don't think they're AMAZING or anything.
I am surprised no one has mentioned Rush yet. They are very much a love-em-or-hate-em band. And I love em. But my son hates em with a passion (Hmmm maybe he isn't mine after all ;-) ) In the hate-em category for me is most of Nirvana, most of Pearl Jam, Sting (went to see Annie Lennox and Sting in Vegas - Loved Annie, couldn't wait for that pretentious turd Sting to finish each and every 10 minute opus), and, I am sorry to say, so far that Imogen Heap CD you recommended a few days back. I listened to it late on Saturday Night and I was tired and loopy so I will give it a few more listens. That is all that comes to mind right now.
I absolutely agree with your assessments. And an addition that's on my list is Led Zeppelin. I know I'm supposed to like/appreciate them, but I just don't. Robert Plant's voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me, and I guess I don't have the attention span for 15-minute songs. I do appreciate some of the musicianship (is that a word?), but for the most part, I hate them.
I haven't had coffee yet so this is going to be good!
Bob.Dylan's.voice.drives.me.up.the.freaking.wall.(fingernails and chalkboard!) He and Tom Petty. (but I loved me some Refugee!) And HATEEEEEE Coldplay. Bigger than U2? HA! Chris Martin will be lucky if his career lasts that long. Whiny British hanger on. Guilty pleasure? Bon Jovi and pretty much any 80's music.. Great topic!!
i'm so glad someone finally said it-- the doors are completely over-rated. my musical admissions would have to be... 1.) that robin hood song by bryan adams totally rocks, and 2.) unlike most pink floyd fans, i actually like their later stuff just a little better than the "classics". The Division Bell (1994) is, in my opinion, probably the best album they have. contrary to their other albums, every song is mind-blowing.
So I glance over at my iPod as I'm reading the second paragraph, and realize that Kid A is playing. Nice...
Everyone you mention (including Radiohead) is pretty overrated. Point by point -
Hendrix - agree
Beach Boys - I enjoy them, but don't see the big deal about Pet Sounds, et al. And Smile is very weird. Good Vibrations is still amazing, though.
The Doors - handful of good songs. No good albums
Springsteen - Very good. BUT there are some freakin' FANATICS up here in NYC, the ones who trade bootlegs and drool over his accoustic shows, which make me scratch my head
Also overrated - anyone who played at Woodstock, especially Janis Joplin, but also Neil Young and the Who (although I really like Who's Next)
Kate Bush - blah blah blah
Blur & Oasis - what's up with the Brits?
Husker Du - half their stuff in unlistenable to me
Aerosmith - outside of Toys in the Attic & Rocks, what's really worth listening to?
Velvet Underground - probably a controversial choice, but I just don't see the appeal
Talking Heads - See above
Smashing Pumpkins - if any alternative band ever mystified me, this was the one. what the hell were they doing, anyway?
That doesn't mean I don't like some of their stuff, they just don't have the consistent emotional appeal of ELO or Cheap Trick to me...
I pretty much agree with that you just said. And I never agree with people on music. Interesting.
The Boss...yeah, just don't get what the big deal is. And he isn't good looking like everyone says.
The Beach Boys...I want to hide my head when someone says they like them. And no, you can't compare them to The Beatles. You can't compare anyone to The Beatles (I liked how you metnioned to stay away from the new John stuff because Yoko sings on it. She sucks).
Speaking of music...ever heard of the Old 97's? My husband introduced them to me when we got married and I've been hooked every since. So in love with their music (and I'm not usually into "alternative country" AT ALL). Check them out!
Anyway...I'll stop typing now.
First, thanks for a great conversation-starter post. Any chance to spout off about music is a chance to show what a cheap musicwhore i am.
Consistent Displeasures: madonna, michael jackson, ornette coleman, van halen, billy joel, elton john, black crows
those i hated when young but have learned to enjoy: miles davis, willie nelson, the dead, (early) rolling stones
those i liked when young but can no longer stand to listen to: the who, csn, bad company
those to whom i remain indifferent but should probably pick a side on: U2, bruce, every band modelled after coldplay
those to whom i remain slavishly enamored even though it contributes to my dorkiness: blue oyster cult, peter gabriel, every prog/art-rock band that ever touched a mellotron, anything featuring a Hammond B3 (except Soulive - send me an email and i'll send you a free CD), and anything ever issued on the ECM label
Hold the phone. Rush? How did my brother fail to beat me over the head about this? Hmm. Interesting. tee!
Someone I know and love dearly might read through these comments and in order to protect her sanity, I'm going to tell her to STOP READING MY COMMENT RIGHT NOW.
I have downloaded two of JM3's shows and love them. I don't really think I could spring for the live album because it's strictly "highlights" correct? Not an entire show? Eh. I don't know. I like my downloads :)
The one I feel that I should like but don't is Peter Gabriel. I've never been able to get behind him.
I also strongly dislike U2, and as an extension, Coldplay. But I don't feel bad about that.
I also really, really love Billy Joel in all of his Piano-Man-We-Didn't-Start-The-Fire ness. This totally distroys all of my hipster indie cred.
Sometimes you make me ashamed to call myself a musician, because you know so much more of this stuff than I do!
I don't like radiohead. I know everyone goes ga ga over it, but I think it sounds awful. I also don't like Wilco. I love John Mayer, hall and oates, lots of the 80's stuff (I'm 36 of course I do.) I love Diana krall, Michael Bubbel (sp) I just don't get a lot of the crap out there. Then again, I love to sing Justin Timberlake. I'm a oddity--I know this already.
oh, chris. the springsteen thing hurts. and i would think you WOULD like him. Live he is absolutely incredible - and I've only seen him at 50+. I can't imagine how crazy he must've been in his younger days.
oooooooh *rubs hands together*
Bruce sucks at the midwestern thing cause hes from JERSEY..dumbass. (Bruce, not you!!)I have tried and tried to like him and I just can't do it. Besides, I am a Mellencamp fan, and no one does Midwestern like JM. (shush....)
I cannot stand Nirvana/grunge at all. Just don't get it. Same with Death Metal. To me it is just noise. I just posted about this yesterday lol.
I am sooo glad to find someone who doesn't like the Beach Boys! I am NOT alone. Add the BeeGees to that too. *cringe*
But, I am a sucker for cheesy 80s hair metal, and one hit wonders. I like fun stuff..things that I don't have to think much about..stuff I can just sorta bop around too.
And while Bob Dylan and Tom Petty can NOT sing, I love them both. Go figure.
Someone above mentioned Pink Floyd...The Division Bell is by far my favorite from them.
Jim Morrison...I get creeped out that a dead guy makes me swoon.(Michael whatshisname from INXS does the same thing to me...) There was just something really hot in Jim. I guess it IS just a chick thing. I always liked how he would sorta hang off of his mic stand and sway. *meow*
I only like certain songs from them, and I agree that the keyboards are highly annoying in most songs.
My guiltiest guilty pleasure....I LOVE ELVIS. Oh man...I can't believe I just admitted that..
*runs and hides from the internet*
oh and RUSH...
H A T E T H E M.
Geddy Lee makes my ears bleed.
I don't like Radiohead. a friend of mine looooves radiohead, so I bought one of their CDs to see if I would like them. Good GOD.. it reminded me of video game music.
I don't like Coldplay. Don't like the White Stripes (primarily because of Jack White's voice). U2 bothers me because they're played way to much on the radio. I get sick of their songs.
I'm also putting in Dream Theater just because my best friend kept talking non-stop about them. When she finally got me to listen to one of their CDs, they didn't live up to the hype.
I have NEVER liked The Rolling Stones; Mick Jagger and Keith Richards skeeve me out. Also, Madonna can’t sing and is a media whore. The Rollings Band, The Grateful Dead, and B-A-N-A-N-A-S Gwen Stefani have all been critically acclaimed to my deep confusion.
Oh but I do love The Beach Boys (though Smile is just strange), Andrew Bird, Tracy Chapman, Frou Frou, Ben Folds, Foo Fighters, CCR and, God help me, Abba.
I feel like I should respect/like female musicians more. as a "feminist" I should stand by women in music. However, the only femalse musicians I really like are the older ones, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday.
I feel exactly the same way about Radiohead. I loved OK Computer, everything else has been crap, but I keep buying it hoping I'll like it. It was jsut the other day that I finally admitted I had to stop calling myself a Radiohead fan.
And the boss, right w you on that too. Nothing objectionable about him, if he's on, I'll listen. But I just don't CONNECT.
I think Metallica and Pearl Jam are #1 on my HATE list. I do enjoy Radiohead, however. Some stuff you have to just listen to and not try to comprehend everything. As for someone's comment about Dave Matthews Band-I'm right there with you! They act like they're God's gift to the world!! Well, sorry, but they're not. I admit I did see them for my B-Day a few years back, but paying $75 a ticket did not appeal to me very much considering about 208734598734 people attend their concerts you think they would be able to price tickets at $20. Whatever.
I don't get the White Stripes. I want to give them a chance, but I just can't get past all the hype. And anyway, something about them freaks me out. But, I do like the Loretta Lynn album Jack White worked on - and I'm not really even a Loretta Lynn fan (or I wasn't before that album).
About the JM3 album - JM has a myspace account where he's been leaking tracks from the new album for the past two weeks. I caught the Trio in Atlantic City last month & it was a great show. It's good stuff, I'm definitely looking forward to the album.
I listen to Hall and Oates also sometimes. But let's keep that a secret.
Someone above mentioned ABBA...I LOVE ABBA, it's quite scary actually, though right now my ipod is stuck on the ABBA gold album, so I'm pretty sick of them. Ok, now that I've embarrassed the crap out of myself, I'm done.
I come from a musical family. I play bass guitar myself. My best friend is a professional musician, one of the big boys in Nashville. I lay this ground work so you don't scoff.
My favorite music is southern gospel. I love the guitars, the booming bass, the steel guitar.
I listen to everything from the cherry poppin daddies to prince.
Yes, I love country, but my true, true love is southern gospel music.
The list of bands I am supposed to like but can't stand or don't get at all (include, but is not limited to): Dave Matthews Band, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, the Doors, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan, Radiohead, Sleater-Kinney. The Ramones make my head want to explode and I have to be in a certain mood for the Clash.
I am a geek for Neil Diamond (I want his new one), Hall & Oates, the BeeGees, and all old rockabilly (Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, etc., even Ricky Nelson).
Of course, I love many, many cool bands, but most of them have been mentioned. I am currently digging on the Eels and I was crushed this morning when someone told me they didn't care for their latest album.
I hate the grateful dead, and pink floyd(except I love Dark Side Of The Moon), I DESPISE AC/DC, Bruck Springsteen never did a thing for me either.
*gulp* no likey the boss?? it's okay. he's not for everyone. i never really was into him until i meet suisse - now it's been close to 2.75 years with him and i've been to jersey for two concerts, phoenix for one and even went solo to the dallas show. *shrugs* people, bands that can be that energetic and amazing live i just can't stay away from. he's much, much better live.
I don't like the Rolling Stones.
I still and will always hate the Doors. I make people turn the radio dial even if I barely know them and tell it's for their own good.
perhaps my cousin Wendy summed it up best when she turned 30 (this being the liberating age for females, we can now feel free to do whatever we want without worrying about lokoing "cool") --- I never have to listen to a f***ing Pearl Jam record again!!! (though Eddie Veder is HOT)
Just have to respond to Anita's comment here. I too love the Eels but only their Novacaine for the Soul album because there is so much to that album. I really want to love all of their stuff but I don't. This just saddens me that the rest of their albums aren't as likable.
I have such questionable taste in music that I often feel everything I own is a guilty pleasure. As for things that I should like but don't, the whole alt-rock thing is something I don't get.
Also, I downloaded the Fiona Apple album when it was making the rounds on the internet because of all the hype. I listened to a few songs and had an immediate negative reaction to it. I left it on the laptop for months because I thought I'd come back to it and discover the genius everyone was fussing about but I finally had to admit that I'm not an Apple fan. I deleted the songs about a month or so ago.
I'm pretty much in line with all of your admissions. Though I feel slightly guilty about saying that since I've never made a concerted effort to listen to any of the artists/bands you listed.
Also, you realize your non-affection for the Beach Boys and Bryan Wilson means you can't ever be Don's best friend, don't you? So sad.
Oh thank gawd!! I thought I was the ONLY one the didn't like The Boss. I really can't stand him. *feh*