Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Week of music lists: 6 Popular Bands I Just Don't Care For

PhotobucketMusic lists week continues, with...


Now, I'll pass on the obvious here -- the Lady GaGas or Jonas Brotherses or Miley Cyruses, which at 37.8 years old I cannot really be expected to like. I like to think I'm fairly open-minded, as far as it goes -- I've got a mix of Britpop, honky-tonk, hip-hop and post-punk in my collection, although classical music and I have never really been on speaking terms. Hey, I just recently got into Black Sabbath for the first time, so I'm willing to learn. But here's a few artists whose work I've sampled, but never really was blown away by despite their reputations.

1. PhotobucketThe Doors - I went through my Doors phase at about age 18 or so. Then someone once painted a very convincing picture for me of Jim Morrison as Las Vegas lounge act singer. Try picturing "Light My Fire," "Hello I Love You" and "The End" sung in lounge-act tones, and you too will never be able to take them seriously again. Also, every time I see a quote by the Doors' Ray Manzarek in a magazine extolling how his art changed western civilization, I practically drown in the pretension of it all. The Doors do have some good tunes, and I do like the way Brother Ray plays his keyboard, but they're a prime example of the over-mythologisation of the '60s "experience" and rock's tendency toward taking itself far too seriously.

2. AC/DC -- I like a bit of the hard rock, but I simply cannot stand that screechy wheedling whine of a voice from either of the band's lead singers. It has the nails on chalkboard effect to me.

3. PhotobucketJames Taylor - He has a very pretty voice, yes, which is perfect for lulling me to sleep. While I admire the craft behind his gentle, sensitive balding '70s male tunes, I just can't quite keep my eyes open if they come on the radio.

4. The Eagles -- I love Calfornia, I grew up in California, but I have never seen this Hotel California they speak of. Music that's a bit too toothless to be exciting to me, despite some nice singing and solid hooks. When it comes to genteel country rock, give me the Byrds, Johnny Cash or The Band any day.

5. PhotobucketEric Clapton -- Conceded: The man is a very, very good guitarist, and he's done some amazing solos, and he seems like a really decent chap. But as a songwriter, I find him often really boring and bland (his frankly unemotive voice doesn't help). I like a few of his songs, but really, if I want the blues I've got a lot more passion for going back to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Howlin' Wolf. I respect his admiration and influence in reviving blues but his take on it is too clean and polite and lacks that Delta grit (by contrast, I do think some other white bands who've popularized the blues have caught the spirit a bit better -- the Rolling Stones spring to mind).

6. Pink Floyd - I don't know why, but these guys just have never quite done it for me. I admire a tune like "Comfortably Numb" but have never felt it transcendent as I apparently am supposed to. I watched "The Wall" once and it was trippy, but I also can get tripped out by lava lamps. Of the bands I list here, this is the one I keep thinking I should "give another chance" to more than any other, though.

Nothing fires up people like dissing on their favorites, and I'm sure some will be offended, but hey, I'm not saying any of these bands are outright horrible -- someone must be buying the millions of albums they've sold -- but they just don't light my fire, to quote swingin' Jim Morrison.

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