Monday, December 11, 2006

The Song Remains the Same; The List Doesn't

Just an note: the column I wrote a couple of weeks ago detailing my various musical tastes is now updated. Since first posting it, the list has quietly morphed into an even more impressive and unwieldly leviathan of my loves and hates.

Feel free to go back and take a look, as you'll no doubt find new reasons to either validate what you believe to be my stellar musical acumen, or deem that I should be sentenced to listen to the new Gwen Stefani album over and over until making the decision that suicide is the sensible alternative (for the record, it should take about a minute-and-a-half, two minutes tops).

Shut Up. Listen. Learn/11.19.06


uncooked_meat said...

Thank God for your recognition of Faith No More, perhaps the one true, great band that really defined that term "alternative" (in a good way). Angel Dust was one of the greatest albums of the 90's, hands down. And every time I hear "Epic", I get furious with the knowledge that that song is the only thing most people know about FNM.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is indeed wonderful, but the truth is and always will be that anything and everything ever done by either Wilco or Son Volt will never hold a candle to the beautiful genius that was Uncle Tupelo.

I also adore Zero 7. And if we're talking about things we believe - I believe that Moby's greatest album was Everything Is Wrong, and that everything done since has steadily declined. I believe that at the height of the "Seattle sound" days, Soundgarden was 1000 times better than Pearl Jam, and I'd take them or Alice In Chains any day.

I believe the Chili Peppers are now nothing more than a Gap ad waiting to happen, if it hasn't happened already, and comparing them to U2 is insane. Similar longevity, maybe. Similar talent - no chance.

And Gwen Stefani makes me want to murder someone.

Chez said...

You're right on the money about Angel Dust; it's brilliant from start to finish, and indeed one of the best albums of the 90s. In fact, it's probably one of my favorite albums of all-time.

I liked Uncle Tupelo but didn't love them, but I suppose I understand the fascination with them if you're a big fan of alt-country.

Moby has always been a study in serious contrasts for me. His good stuff is excellent. As far as I'm concerned, the more ambient soundtrack-like music has always appealed to me -- his dance stuff on the other hand (besides Bodyrock, which is great) just bugs the shit out of me. Plus, he's an annoying little vegan prick.

Loved Soundgarden, and yes -- LOVED Alice in Chains and Mudhoney and the like, but I also liked a lot of the poppier bands that came out of Seattle at the same time that got a lot less attention (see the absolutely brilliant work of the Posies).

The Chili Peppers can be filed under what I was saying about a band evolving. Their early stuff was powerful and cool, but seriously, after listening to maybe two songs on an album -- you'd heard it all. They've become better songwriters and more journeyman musicians, which adds a lot to their music. Like U2, they also haven't shunned the idea that music and commerce can work together occasionally without the music suffering too horribly. The Chilis still believe in what they're playing -- and that's good enough for me.

Gwen Stefani deserves to be fed to a pack of rabid dogs for the direction she's taken, which is really too bad because as pop bands go, No Doubt wasn't awful at all.

TK said...

This is uncooked meat again, sorry for the bizarre name change.

Indeed, No Doubt wasn't bad. To be fair, once the whole ska trend started to die it's inevitable death, bands like hers needed to either evolve, or... well, turn into some sort of hip-hop nightmare, apparently.

Oddly, I'm NOT a fan of alt-country. I've never been able to really get into Whiskeytown, etc. But Uncle Tupelo has stayed with me for years. Can't really explain it.

And just to show you that two good things don't always add up to one great thing... Loved Soundgarden, Loved Rage Against the Machine... Audioslave? Dear God, could it be any more bland. Couple good tracks, but I don't know that I could make a single good album out of the two. Alas. Time passes.

micheal said...

have you accepted mike patton as your own personal lord and savior?

ps. brian wilson is still alive and still the greatest american song writer. ever. pure genius. we could debate this fact, but i would just put on god only knows and that would be the end of that.

TK said...

I have, in fact accepted him as my savior. In fact, this whole rigamarole prompted me to write an entire post on Mike Patton on my blog.

J.L.Jones said...

I have to be honest, I like Audioslave far more then I liked Rage Against the Machine. Zach de la Rocha annoyed the piss right out of me with every song. I just wish that Tom Morello was allowed more experimentation with his guitar. That man is a genius with the sounds that he can make.

Moby for me, like for Chez, is an extreme to extreme. His good stuff is amazing, his mediocre stuff is better then average and his bad stuff is truly appalling.

For Alt. Country I have a not so secret fascination with Pete Yorn. I know his stuff isn't amazing by any stretch of the imagination. But it's just good. On the whole, I'd rather listen to old country (i.e. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristopherson and older Roy Orbison. Hell I like all Roy's stuff, even the pop tinged stuff.)

Faith No More never really did anything for me. But Mike Patton with Dillinger Escape Plan was on upside of brilliant. I'm not really a metalhead anymore either. But those 4 songs were just... awesome.

I really like these music posts, By the way. Just letting you know.

Oh, And Chez, I finally got a copy of Army of Anyone, And like you said. It's a good solid rock album. No more, No less. I like that. Thanks for the recommendation.

Chez said...

Always glad to help.

And yes, Pete Yorn is fantastic.

sparksinner said...

I can't keep up with all the stuff above. I'm hopelessly lost in the long gone past. So I have no input on the merits of Wilco Tupelo and such.

My backwards trajectory started when I found a classic rock station. A little background: I moved to the U.S. in 1988 as a teenager. I'd all but given up on radio but then someone told me to check out KQRS. Right off they hit me with Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, Black Sabbath, Neil Young... That did it. From there I started digging for the stuff that came before.

That's how I found Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson and Blind Lemon Jefferson. That stuff also led me into old country.

More recently I owe a copywriter colleague for introducing me to a new act: The Black Keys. These sons of bitches give me hope for new music. Two guys: guitar, vocals and drums. They make the White Stripes look like a pair of 7th graders. After getting all their stuff I looked backwards again and found Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside. Burnside is still active, but Kimbrough is my favorite. It's raw, pure hard-hitting blues. No fancy bullshit, just guys with instruments.

Most of the new rock/pop out there sounds like a bunch of whiny twats to me. Current country and blues are no better. The Black Keys simply dominate any space you play them in. It can never get loud enough.

Check these guys out. Their most recent album is really good, but the older stuff, especially "thickfreakness" is the definition of rock & roll.