[Editor’s Note: Joel Murphy is out reinventing the wheel, so today we bring you a special guest column from Brandon Miller, which originally ran on the site on April 6, 2009.]
They really do. I’ll tell you why – there is a better band or performer out there than those no-talent hacks. They have real jobs right now, but Ryan Seacrest and the ever-lucid Paula Abdul will find them and they will be much bigger than your favorite band. I mean, five years ago no one knew who Ruben Studdard was and here it is five years later and you still don’t know who he is. The fat guy from Journey and that English Pratt obviously have their finger firmly on the pulse of America and know exactly what kind of music you want.
You want to make me angry? Tell me how much I’m going to love this new album by your favorite artist/band. And if I don’t like what you like, tell me I just don’t get it.
Don’t trust people, even your closest friends, to tell you what kind of music you’ll enjoy. Often times, friends who want you to like the same type of music they do will ask you the ever-popular question: The Stones or The Beatles? Original, I know. This tells me that they have a shitty play-it-safe record collection that probably includes ‘The Classics’ that every disc jockey from coast-to-coast has told you are great and always include some Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz thrown in so they can seem hip to the kids. Not to mention a ton of songs that they downloaded off of Itunes with no imagination (and probably just bought directly from some ‘most downloaded’ list). I’m convinced these are the same songs you would find on an mp3 player of a thirteen-year-old girl in Kansas.
My answer to the age-old Beatles-Stones question is always:
“Neither, but my mom was a Beatles fan when she was growing up so I heard a lot of their stuff – good harmonies, but I like what they did once they started doing drugs with Ravi Shankar. Out of those two I would take C.W. McCall. I remember as little kid wanting to be a truck driver (second pick was ‘Duke Boy’) or at least one of the 11 long-haired friends of Jesus in chartreuse micro bus. I had daily Matchbox convoys in the living room while I would listen to the 45 on repeat until my dad got home from work. I had to pick them up quick so we did not reenact the fateful day he stepped on one and almost broke his leg and I lost the better side of my ass … Hey, do you remember BJ and The Bear?”
By this time the person asking about my musical tastes in an effort to mold me into a model member of the Coldplay fan club is now wondering quietly how much lead paint chips and paste I ate as a child and how to quickly escape from this conversation.
That’s right. I would take a fictitious truck driver over the Stones or John Lennon and Co. That is how trivial your question is.
It’s like asking: Bacon or Sausage? They’re both pig. Do you like your pig ground up with sage, spices and gristle (which leads to link or patties?) or sliced thin and fatty and fried to perfect greasiness? (Kind of like The White Stripes or The Raconteurs?)
It answers nothing, except you have an opinion of what you think is good music (or pork) and I should take your lead and listen to the crap you and your dog love jam to on rainy nights when you light candles and take a bubble bath (hopefully sans dog).
I also can’t stand when someone thinks that music was reinvented every time they find a new band they love. I have news for you: that great thing your band does that you love – it’s already been done. More than likely the person or persons that did it first were made fun of relentlessly by our parents or our parents-parents when they were our age. Music is not new. Styles of music like big band/swing, jazz, blues and bluegrass seem to never be out of style or have a shortage of new bands that play that style of music. It’s all in how the artist chooses to spin the traditional music style.
I think music that you enjoy is directly related to the music you were raised on. So if your parents listened only to The Stones or The Beatles, you’re screwed. You have no direction and you will listen to and buy crap because you were raised on music that your parents were supposed to be listening to. I respect everyone’s musical tastes as long as you make an informed decision about why you like it. Not just because it’s on the radio or Apple tells you that this is the next big thing and is what everyone is buying.
So with that said …
- License to Ill or Paul’s Boutique?
- Bob Marley or Van Morrison?
- Poison or Ratt?
- Herbie Hancock or Devo?
- The Bangles or The Go-Go’s?
- Rick Derringer or Molly Hatchet?
- Kaga goo goo or Flock of Seagulls?
- Kanye or Jay Z?
- Whose side were you on in the Uncle Tupelo split – Son Volt or Wilco?
Really? You know who I think you would love? Your favorite band!
Just don’t try to get me to like them because my taste in music sucks, but it’s mine, not yours … and yours blows big time.
And for the record, bacon was the correct answer … unless it was a link sausage being fried by Paul McCartney or Keith Richards. Thank you and good night.
Brandon Miller is a grown up version of Milhouse Van Houten from The Simpsons.