Monday, November 19, 2007
Listening Post: Guilty Pleasures Edition
Okay folks, many of you have spent the past year-and-a-half (or however long you've been reading this occasionally unrestrained dreck) complaining that I'm an intellectual elitist who delights a little too much in ridiculing any taste or opinion I consider inferior to my own.
To those who feel this way: now's your chance to have your revenge; I'm handing it to you on a silver platter.
I admit having to stifle a wave of borderline nauseaous laughter at the fact that at last night's so-called "American Music Awards," both Daughtry and Rascal Flatts -- rather than having a pair of those phallic trophies rammed up their respective asses -- managed to walk away "winners." (Once again, if someone would please give Chris Daughtry his job back pumping gas at that Chevron in Lubbock, I'd be eternally grateful.) That said, I'm also forced to admit that while I detest both of the above blights on the musical landscape, there are a few bands and artists which many would consider cut from the same worthless cloth as any Daughtry or Rascall Flatts for whom I have an inexplicable and indefensible affinity.
I'm willing to loudly proclaim my devotion to My Chemical Romance and even my strange attraction to Kelly Clarkson, but for these I pretty much have no excuse.
So here you go -- feel free to mock away: It's five of my favorite guilty pleasures.
For the most part, Saliva sounds like about ten other bands I can think of off the top of my head (at least one of which is on this list). At the same time though, there was something about their big label debut Every Six Seconds that caught my ear and kept it. Their singles have always been average at best, but it's the songs in between -- like Storm from 2002's Back Into Your System -- where these guys actually shined.
Yes, I know, you can save the reminders that this song has been adopted by the WWE -- it's still not a bad single.
Saliva's Ladies and Gentlemen.
The aforementioned band that Saliva sounds quite a bit like?
Once again, I don't like everything they do -- but the songs of theirs that I like, I really like.
This is one: Polyamorous.
Jimmy Eat World
Technically, I'm not sure I should feel too guilty about liking Jimmy Eat World; I'm including them because I have several friends whose opinions I respect who seem to feel that I should not only be ashamed of myself for loving this band, but that I should consider either a steady diet of Nick Cave or outright suicide as a means of atoning for my crimes against quality musical tastes.
Maybe it's the fact that Jimmy Eat World, for the most part, regularly churns out unabashedly optimistic youth anthems -- the kind that just a few decades ago were the bread and butter of bands like Journey.
Regardless, not one but two songs from the band's 2004 album Futures haven't left my main iPod playlist since the record's release: Polaris and 23.
From their new album, Chase this Light, this is Big Casino.
Puddle of Mudd
Fuck it, I'll say it: Puddle of Mudd's Come Clean was, at the time of its release, the best debut rock record I'd heard since Alice in Chains' Facelift.
I still like them.
I've saved the best (read: most embarrassing) for last.
My name is Chez -- and I'm a Limp Bizkit fan.
I'm the first one to admit that the world always would've been a better place if Fred Durst had been aborted in the first trimester, but for some reason the first time I sat down and gave Significant Other a real listen, I couldn't help bobbing my head and, yes, wanting to rush right out and start breaking stuff.
I'll do you even one better: I think Chocolate Starfish was a fucking great album from start to finish. A little on the self-indulgent side sure, but anything that ends with Scott Weiland's sullen contribution to Hold On earns a place in my heart.
Here's the Bizkit at their most simultaneously bloated and viscerally brutal -- Boiler.