September 19th, 2007

it's magic

Musical heresies

Inspired by yesterday's fightstarter about cuisine, hipsterdetritus started a thread on a music forum where we hang out dedicated to musical heresies. Here's some of mine.

1. The Ramones are nothing close to a great band. They're fun as hell, and they came around at the right time, but they basically recorded the same exact song a hundred times and never got any better. Good? No doubt. Great? No way.

2. The band who commands the most vastly overinflated reputation I can think of? The Kinks. Bloated, samey, self-satisfied, and often annoyingly theatrical. They did some great stuff, but they also really, really wore out their welcome fast.

3. Henry Rollins is a egomaniacal bore, and every singer Black Flag had before him is better than he was.

4. Elvis Costello hasn't made a record worth listening to in 20 years. What's more, some of his latter-day efforts have been on a Rod Stewart/Billy Joel level of embarrassing, and the only reason people don't say so is out of respect for his great early stuff.

5. There's an awful lot to dislike on Television and Richard Hell's early stuff.

6. With very few exceptions, the two genres of music I would least like to ever listen to again are doo-wop and jazz vocals. I can't stand people who say 'I like every kind of music but _____', but man, do I hate doo-wop and jazz vocals.

7. For the most part, I would rather listen to the JBs' instrumental versions of songs than the ones with vocals by James Brown.

8. I'd rather listen to almost anything by anyone than listen to Van Morrison.

9. With the exception of Brian Wilson. The Smilemania that swept the nation three years ago remains one of the most inexplicable things I've ever seen; when I finally got around to listening to the thing, I couldn't figure out for the life of me what the big deal was, and I still can't.

10. Assorted rap heresies: the Fat Boys were a good band. Rakim was a great MC, but calling him the greatest is way off base; he was just the greatest at that moment, insofar as he pioneered techniques that have since been done better by a bunch of people. Run-D.M.C. were better longer than anyone gives them credit for, and evidence of how great they were can be found in the fact that almost no one copies their steez even in the biter-heavy MC arena of today.

11. Related to #2 (as well as the great Ys rift): everybody talks about what a towering genius Van Dyke Parks is, but everything I've heard that he's a part of makes me want to take a nap.

12. Bob Marley is about the least interesting reggae performer I can think of.

Now you! This is so much fun, I might make it a theme week...