Re: Songs I could happily never hear again (though I probably will)

1

Are people tying you down and forcing you to listen to their Overplayed Hits of the Seventies CDs or something?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:43 PM
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Amen, brother. These are solid choices. I'm sure I'll think of more, but for now I'll add Supertramp's "Take the Long Way Home."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:45 PM
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Pretty much R.E.M.'s entire corpus. Except Life's Rich Pageant.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:47 PM
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For me, it's Sergeant fucking Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, especially "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:48 PM
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Now, see, Cala, you instigator, I thought that even saying "anything by the Moody Blue" would get us off topic and into the morass of musical preferences, when there's so much to be said about songs that we're sick of, even if we once thought they were good.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:50 PM
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Moody Blues, motherfuckers.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:51 PM
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There are many to add, but 1. is right, they do evoke a period. Just naming them does.

Now, I loved living in that period; I was in my twenties. But it's true, and odd, that I don't love those songs despite what would be associations.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:52 PM
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6: That's clown-fuckers to you, Mexican.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:53 PM
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I was just thinking of thing I want to vote off my iPod. And I like R.E.M., I'm just pissed at them for sounding like R.E.M. lately.

It is so hot here my cat is licking the side of my beer bottle just for the condensation.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:54 PM
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I used to be thoroughly sick of "Layla" but now the extended guitar-wanking part reminds me of the scene in Goodfellas where they find the dead guy in the car trunk, the guy hanging from a meathook in the slaughterhouse...


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 7:58 PM
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Dagger Aleph: I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I was amazed to see you'd driven to Siwa oasis. I adored a great inter-war adventure/exploration book, Libyan Sands by Ralph Bagnold, which is about the first car journeys in the Western Desert. Do you know that book?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:00 PM
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Ah, let's play freakonomics with my list. Here's some explaining:
1. radio in my area is pretty bad, so I listen to oldies more than you'd expect;
2. bad songs of the moment go away and are never heard again, so they don't really deserve a spot on the list; bad songs that are Venerable Rock Hits come back over and over.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:02 PM
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Cala, that's really sad. Such is my respect for you that I won't extend to you my lewd offer of the other night.

Also, Ogged: yes. We must banish Supertramp.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:04 PM
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How have you heard Alanis Morrisette repeatedly since 1998? Or was it just that overplayed then?

I'll use my one-time token to rehabilitate The Cure, "Just Like Heaven."


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:05 PM
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Heart.
Bob Seger.
Bad Company.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:08 PM
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There's one Bob Seger moment I like, which is the weird break toward the end of "Night moves":

I woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain't it funny how the night moves
When you just don't seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in

That time of year thou may'st in me behold...


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:12 PM
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I would defend Seger, but wouldn't want him piped into my cell, I suppose.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:13 PM
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Early Van Halen played a much too central role in my adolescence to ever really hate it (She was a-seaside sittin' just a-smokin' and a-drinkin' on ringside, on top of the world...).

After college, I thought if I never heard the Big Chill soundtrack again, it would still be too soon.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:16 PM
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16: I was thinking about that very passage while reading the coastal thread. I used to drive between Columbus and Chicago at night in the seventies all the time.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:16 PM
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I would defend Seger

As long as your defense doesn't include "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll", because that song makes my skin crawl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:19 PM
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Dave Matthews Band, 'Crash Into Me.' That song can go fuck itself for many years because it was every third song on the radio in college.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:20 PM
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You oldsters won't recognize this band, but I'll add everything by Smashing Pumpkins to the list.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:21 PM
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Oh, I do love "Just Like Heaven," but I can easily see how others might not love it, or tire of it.

The song I would banish forever, if I could: "Shiny, Happy People." Rah may give me the cold shoulder when I get home tonight for that one, but honestly, that song could be expunged from human history and we would lose nothing.

Also, everything by the Grateful Dead (which would, I guess, include Phish) can go away anytime now.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:21 PM
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IDP: actually, I took several buses to get there (I should change my handle to "I Don't Drive"). It's a fantastic place. I have heard of Bagnold's book (anything you read on Siwa seems to reference it), but unfortunately haven't read it.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:23 PM
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No, didn't care for that one. Trying to think what besides Night Moves I like. Is Fire Lake ok or do I misremember?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:23 PM
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Pretty much anything off the Trainspotting or any of Quentin Tarantino's soundtracks.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:23 PM
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Oh, and reading 22 I am reminded that Pearl Jam can go straight to hell.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:24 PM
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Apo: you nearly pwned me with The Big Chill soundtrack.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:25 PM
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27: oh, for fuck's sake yes. "Alive" and "Jeremy" and that "where oh where could my baby be" shit are on the list.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:26 PM
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I used to use Yahoo's internet radio offering, and I swear "Just Like Heaven" was played about every 30 songs.

Barenaked Ladies gets the automatic "Next!" from me.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:26 PM
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"Only time will tell if we stand the test of time." How true that is.

But who knew that the things which stand the test of time are often the very worst things.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:28 PM
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24: Well I'm a driver, and it's one of the greatest books about driving adventure ever written. But I don't drive as much as I used to.

About Ontario landscape: It's often treated as forgetable, as in the opening chapters of No Such Mischief where the contrast with the terror and grandeur of Cape Breton is obvious, but have you ever read the lyrical memories of it in Galbraith's The Scotch? I wrote a graduate seminar paper on it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:30 PM
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Anything by Paul McCartney post-Beatles. Also, when I'm feeling irritable, any Beatles song that's excessively infected with that happy dopey Paul shit.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:32 PM
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Barenaked Ladies

Oh God, that fucking Chinese Chicken song makes me want to jam pencils in my ears.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:33 PM
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Surely this has to be the worst Macca lyric ever:

Someone's knockin' at the door
Somebody's ringin' the bell
Someone's knockin' at the door
Somebody's ringin' the bell
Do me a favor,
Open the door and let 'em in(repeat)
Sister Suzie, brother John,
Martin Luther, Phil And Don,
Brother Michael, Auntie Gin,
Open the door,let 'em in.
Sister Suzi, brother John,
Martin Luther, Phil and Don,
Uncle Ernie,Auntie Gin
open the door, let em in

For full effect, repeat three times.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:34 PM
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There is a really good thread from Michael Berube's site from about a year ago that deals with this topic and tangiential ones. I shall attempt to locate it.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:35 PM
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Well, maybe y'all are cooler than me, but I'll defend Floyd to the death, and as a Deadhead, I find "Good Lovin'" invokes too many awesome thoughts to hate. And thank god for Armsmasher.

As for never-hear-again list, I'll throw in "Hey Nineteen" (and most Steely Dan), any Zeppelin song referencing LOTR, "We are the Champions," "Your Body Is a Wonderland," and the entire catalogues of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and Kiss.


Posted by: jhupp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:36 PM
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Good example of a fine song that becomes very very annoying: that damn Hootie and the Blowfish song, "I Only Want to Be With You." (I don't know if that was the title....)


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:37 PM
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Good heavens! I've omitted Meat Loaf!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:38 PM
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Aha! this appears to be the one I was thinking about. Berubé's arbitrary but fun challenge is to name the oldie Too Hideous To Acknowledge.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:39 PM
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Barenaked Ladies gets the automatic "Next!" from me.

Every song by Barenaked Ladies sounds like a jingle to a Burger King commercial.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:40 PM
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jhupp: I too like the Floyd and the Dead. OTOH I also like the Dan and the Zep. I'm with you though on Ærosmith (except "Walk This Way"! and their cover of "Come Together" rocks hard!), Bon Jovi and KISS (except "All American Man"!)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:42 PM
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In my first year of university, everyone on my dorm floor seemed to own a copy of the Steve Miller Band's Greatest Hits. "Time keeps on slipping...slipping...slipping...into the fyoocherrrr" is a lame-ass lyric.

(IDP: haven't heard of that book -- but wow, if he makes s. Ontario sound beautiful.)


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:47 PM
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Every song by Barenaked Ladies sounds like a jingle to a Burger King commercial.

Especially the one with the video that was basically a Burger King commercial.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:47 PM
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Some things get overplayed, and then after a decade without, you get over it. I had one of those one 8 track trips way back, having hitched a ride across upper Nevada with a trio of cowboy-looking guys. Before the interstate was finished, so we had to drive through every little town. We would've anyway, since my hosts knew folks in every town, and we dropped by, woke them up, had some heroin mixed with vodka (I was happily the designated driver) and then went on. Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger. Took 15 years before I could listen to it again.

Yes and Hall & Oates are likely going to require another 20.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:50 PM
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I'm with you though on Ćrosmith

Rocks and Get Your Wings are great albums, you philistines.

Off-topic: Labs, have you been holding out on us? This has to be your other blog.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:50 PM
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Weirdly, I just heard a guitar version of a Floyd song (the one that starts "Oh, so you think you can tell/ Heaven from Hell") as transition music on the black-interest NPR show "News and Notes." Some kind of line got crossed there, though I'm not sure which.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:53 PM
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any Zeppelin song referencing LOTR

But that's all of them.

A lot of these - once you cut out the obvious horrors - seem to be pretty decent songs that just get played too often, and maybe give us a giddy little contrarian thrill when we bash them. Saying "the Beatles really suck!", for example, is kind of the music critic equivalent of saying "penis!" really loud in a public place. I assume that anyone who actually hates Dark Side of the Moon is just a soulless little gremlin shriveled by years of spite, for instance.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:54 PM
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49

Wish you were here.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:55 PM
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All Canadian edition:

1. The landscape of rural Ontario is beautiful.

2. The Barenaked Ladies have some redeemable songs on Maybe You Should Drive.

3. Top song that Must Just Go Away is Bryan Adams, "Summer of '69".

No, wait, it's The Guess Who, "No Sugar Tonight." No, Kim Mitchell, "Patio Lanterns." Gah.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:56 PM
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Wow, it only took until comment #2 for someone to mention a song I have never heard in my thousands of hours of mainstream radio listening.

Right now I divide my radio listening into:
20% - the NPR station that plays jazz, at the times when it is playing NPR shows instead of jazz.
30% - the NPR station that does not play jazz, but
10% - the hip-hop station
10% - the Top 40 station, which is about 80% hip-hop
10% - "Bob FM", which plays songs that are overplayed now, were overplayed 10 years ago, or were overplayed 20 years ago.
10% - the oldies station, which plays entirely songs that were overplayed 30 years ago.
10% - the classic rock station, which plays entirely songs that were overplayed 30 years ago.

Basically the last three stations play almost nothing but songs about which I am inclined to say, "How could anyone possibly want to hear this song AGAIN?" Yet somehow I feel compelled to listen.

The only songs that make me actively change the channel are ones which I know, with 100% certainty, that I, a person with no musical talent, could have easily written both the words and the melody, but I'm not stupid enough to bother. There aren't many of those songs, and most of them are either by the Steve Miller Band or R. Kelly.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:57 PM
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A lot of these - once you cut out the obvious horrors - seem to be pretty decent songs that just get played too often, and maybe give us a giddy little contrarian thrill when we bash them.

I don't know about that...I could probably think of 500 songs that we would both agree fit into the category of "obvious horrors".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:58 PM
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49-- Already I'm doubting whether that was the lick I heard. Damned halluncinatory memory!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 8:58 PM
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Is there a difference between Oldies and Classic Rock? I feel like there should be but never listen to the radio, so I've lost track.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:00 PM
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Guh...51 should read:

30% - the NPR station that does not play jazz, but instead plays Damien Rice, Richard Thompson, and Laura Veirs.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:00 PM
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45: This overplay/lie fallow is my sense of how a song becomes listenable, if it ever was.

Couldn't help Reminiscing, but I haven't heard that in years.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:00 PM
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Has NPR become kind of rubbish recently, or was it always rubbish and I just didn't notice, or some third choice I'm missing?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:01 PM
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I could probably think of 500 songs that we would both agree fit into the category of "obvious horrors".

I was mostly getting defensive about the Floyd-bashing.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:01 PM
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Is there a difference between Oldies and Classic Rock? I feel like there should be but never listen to the radio, so I've lost track.

Oldies generally means songs from before Led Zeppelin, including the Beatles. Classic Rock means songs from after Led Zeppelin and before Motley Crue.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:02 PM
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Has NPR become kind of rubbish recently, or was it always rubbish and I just didn't notice, or some third choice I'm missing?

I would go with the third choice, that it is now much, much better than it was 5 years ago. Presumably because of the money from the McDonald's widow's will.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:03 PM
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Ned, it's impossible that you haven't heard the Supertramp song. Seek it out; you'll recognize it.

And because I don't know where else to put this, and it needs said: for the last week, I've been commenting with a full-on Taliban-style beard.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:03 PM
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50: Can't the Guess Who be banned as a cluster? I was given a greatest hits cd by a well-wisher. What do you give a Canadian, was what he must have been thinking.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:03 PM
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Can't the Guess Who be banned as a cluster?

Yes, and we could include BTO also. But I was trying to follow ogged's rule.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:05 PM
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I wish I had been around to participate in Berube's "hits of the past that were just as popular as those that have become 'oldies', but are never heard anymore" thread. I have an intense interest in songs like that, being the 80's DJ at my college radio station.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:06 PM
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for the last week, I've been commenting with a full-on Taliban-style beard

It only took you a week? Man, that's some hirsuteness. Hirsuetude. Something.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:06 PM
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C&C Music Factory.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:06 PM
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sj: there are no references to LOTR in "The Lemon Song."

slolerner: you are so, so right about "Patio Lanterns."


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:08 PM
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The funny thing about Pink Floyd is how little airplay Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here got when they came out. Ditto the Dead: I lived in the SF area from 71-78, and Dead tunes on any station were very rare. That Berube thread tells the tale.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:08 PM
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Also, I feel compelled to defend anything with Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn on it. So Labs, good job covering your asterisk.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:08 PM
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"What I Like about You" by The Romantics


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:08 PM
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I was mostly getting defensive about the Floyd-bashing.

It's not Floyd-bashing, it's "unbelievably overplayed Floyd song" bashing. There are only about three unbelievably overplayed Floyd songs ("Money", "Wish You Were Here", and "Another Brick in the Wall"), and I fully acknowledge that it isn't Floyd's fault that I never want to hear them again.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:09 PM
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Oh yeah, and every Christmas song ever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:09 PM
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I might have to add Warren Zevon, "Werewolf of London".

I think we're putting the rust-belt classic rock stations out of business.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:10 PM
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What is this "Patio Lanterns" song? Not all of us are Canadian, you know.

That does bring to mind a song by a Canadian which is incredibly overplayed in America - "Insensitive" by Jann Arden. Is it also overplayed in Canada?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:11 PM
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Oh yeah, and every Christmas song ever.

What about the best Christmas song ever written?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:13 PM
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I just went downstairs to get the Albany Park penis picture from the scanner to show my wife, and my son was playing Money cranked up. I'm plugged into these threads on too many levels.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:14 PM
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Has anyone listed to MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" recently?

When it came out, it was the Coolest Song Evar!, but if you listen to it now, the rap is so simple, slow, and straightforward, it' s like some proto-rap from the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, before machines helped laborers rap faster and more productively.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:14 PM
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Patio Lanterns.

Although, now that I think about it, "Go for a Soda" is objectively much, much worse.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:16 PM
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Coolest Song Evar!

Please, Hammer, don't hurt yourself.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:17 PM
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77 makes a good point, but "U Can't Touch This" is actually pretty fast.

When the hip-hop station has its "old school jams" show every Sunday night, there are always a few songs from 1985 or so, by Run-DMC or the young LL Cool J. They do not bear one bit of resemblance to any hip-hop today. To the ears of someone raised on Nas and Eminem, literally any Run-DMC song sounds like it took no talent at all to write, produce or perform. They sound like non-amusing comedy novelty songs.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:17 PM
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I've never heard of Jann Arden, myself. Or at least I don't think I have.

Kim Mitchell is an early-eighties Canadian rock dude, and is mediocrity personified. "Go for Soda" also sucks, and is preachy to boot.

On preview, I see that slolerner beat me to it.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:18 PM
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#72, 75: This is why Scientology is not a real religion. No songs.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:18 PM
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"it's one of the greatest books about driving adventure ever written. "

My great-grandfather was involved in the Citroen-Haardt expadition, but I've never learned that much about it. Do you know of any good books about it or if this moviet is any good.

I have, thankfully, never listened to enough of the Radio to have quite the levels of loathing that other people in this thread do, but I echo the sentiment about Dave Mathews Band, and would add to that anything off of Jewel's first album.

I happen to like American Pie. and (on preview) Warewolves of London.

Love Shack is a song that nobody should ever have to hear again.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:18 PM
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"Too Legit to Quit" seemed so over-the-top I took it for intentional comedy. Was I wrong?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:19 PM
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83 was me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:19 PM
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80: Yeah, those shows are pretty much the unfrozen cavemen of rap.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:19 PM
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The best part of "2 Legit 2 Quit" was the embarrassingly literal hand motions that went along with the rapping of the chorus.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:22 PM
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Oh, I've got one. The entire motherfucking Nutcracker sucking Suite.

(I can occasionally make an exception for the Snowflake dance. All the rest of the songs need to go into deep storage for a century.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:22 PM
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88: When do you actually hear the Nutcracker Suite, other than during performances of the Nutcracker?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:23 PM
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Or the appearance by a mummified James Brown. I wondered what was being sent up. The Apollo? Nation of Islam?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:24 PM
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#80: The beat may fast, but the lyrics are simple and unimaginative. And often quite slow, despite the beat. Consider:

Every time you see me
The Hammer's just so hype
I'm dope on the floor
And I'm magic on the mike
Now why would I ever
Stop doing this
When others makin' records
That just don’t hit?

The flow here is practically in neutral, with plenty of dead time between phrases.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:25 PM
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Willie Nelson's Red Headed Stranger.

You shut your mouth! Willie is a god!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:25 PM
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90: During which performance of the Nutcracker Suite?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:25 PM
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Sometimes, in a dark hour, I find myself not pleased to hear a song by CCR.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:29 PM
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Don't forget to check out MC Hammer's blog.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:29 PM
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I have family members who play in orchestras for a living, so every Christmas I get to hear the same lecture about how the Nutcracker is the most overplayed piece of classical music in history.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:29 PM
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Following up on my #91, "My name is" by Eminem has a very, very slow beat, but quick, complex, and creative lyrics.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:31 PM
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95: That blog certainly is energetic. The best news is that apparently he has a new song and video called "Hammer Time".

I can imagine his brainstorm a few months ago, looking at his old records, thinking "Wait...it's not here either. No, it's not on this record either. Did I really NEVER record a song called 'Hammer Time'? Wow, I guess I didn't. Well, what better time to do it than now?!"


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:32 PM
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Oh, and Clown -- thanks for pointing me to that Berube thread. Awesome stuff.

Years ago I was on a roadtrip somewhere and there was a radio station methodically playing all the songs that ever got to #1; when I started listening they were into the mid-60s. It was so weird because so many of the artists were one-hit wonders.

Does anyone remember the pop rendition of The Lord's Prayer from the early 70s, sung by a nun? Sister Janet something, I believe?


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:33 PM
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Hammer's blog makes up for its low content and its garish fonts with its horrible, horrible loudness.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:33 PM
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3. Top song that Must Just Go Away is Bryan Adams, "Summer of '69".

No apostrophe, please. Per the man himself, the song's title isn't about the year between 1968 and 1970.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:34 PM
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Midnight at the Oasis can go on the list too. 'Send your camel to bed.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:35 PM
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And I'm surprised that "You oughta know" made Labs' list, and not "Ironic".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:35 PM
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The essential Bryan Adams.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:37 PM
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And I'm surprised that "You oughta know" made Labs' list, and not "Ironic".

That's pretty—no, I can't do it.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:38 PM
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61: I don't recognize the lyrics to "Take the Long Way Home".

I've also never heard "Red Headed Stranger" or "Midnight At the Oasis". I know a lot ABOUT these songs, but have never heard them. They aren't played on oldies stations, or classic rock stations.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:38 PM
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102 -- For the benefit of you younger folks, the lyrics to MATO. I don't know if this still gets played, but only a little is too much.

Midnight at the oasis
Send your camel to bed
Shadows painting our faces
Traces of romance in our head

Heaven's holding a half moon
Shining just for us
Let's slip off to a sand dune Real soon
To kick up a little dust

Oh, Cactus is our friend
He'll point out the way
Come on 'til the evening ends
'Til the evening ends

You don't have to answer
There's no need to speak
I'll be your belly dancer
Romancer
And you can be my sheik

I know your daddy's a sultan
A nomad known to all
With fifty girls to attend him
They all send him
Jump at his beck and call

But you won't need no harem, honey
When I am by your side
And you won't need no camel
Oh no
When I take you for a ride


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:39 PM
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My contribution: anything by Sublime, particularly "What I Got". 10 years after Bradley Nowell died, that fucking song is *still* getting regular play on the "modern rock" station here.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:39 PM
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Now to actually respond to the post, my number one choice would actually be "Dancing In the Moonlight" by some random generic 70's feel-good smarmy bearded douchebag. Number two would be "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight", by the same artist. God, that must have been a horrible time to be having one's formative musical experiences.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:42 PM
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My camel is going to bed now, but it is amazing that Maria was present at the creation, and yet is remembered mostly for that song. She was prominantly featured in Scorcese's film about Dylan's development.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:43 PM
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105: Don'tcha think?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:43 PM
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Sorry, 108. There are very few karaoke bars in Tokyo with "Santeria" in the catalog, but when I find one, I sing it.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:43 PM
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108: I still like "What I Got". You have to respect a song in which the same word ("riot") rhymes with two words that themselves could not possibly rhyme ("got" and "high").


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:44 PM
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112: I like "Santeria" too. I tend to think the fact that the lyrics "And I won't think twice to stick that barrel straight down Sancho's throat / Believe me when I say that I've got something for his punk ass" are never once bleeped on the radio might not have been true if it was a rap song, though.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:46 PM
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#114: That may have something to do with the fact that Santeria is just such a peppy, happy-sounding song despite its harsh lyrics. If gangsta rappers would just turn that frown upside down, they probably wouldn't get bleeped so much.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:49 PM
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109: "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" was England Dan & John Ford Coley. "Dancing in the Moonlight" was by King Harvest and is not to be confused with the Thin Lizzy song of the same name, which is excellent.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:50 PM
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89--Clearly you haven't had the entire Suite beaten into your unconscious.

It'sat least a two-hour suite (the last half of which is pretty much just a potpourri of catchy themes), so the Muzak producers have a lot of options for the torturing.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:52 PM
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99: Sister Janet Mead, on Rhino's Super Hits of the 70s Volume 12, along with "The Entertainer," "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," and "Seasons in the Sun."


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:53 PM
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115: This is also true for "Semi-Charmed Life", which actually should have been mentioned in at least 50 comments on this thread, so overplayed it is. The phrases "crystal meth" and "she goes down on me" are seldom if ever bleeped.

Not that it makes sense to bleep them anyway...but there is a double standard. Even the word "shit" is usually not bleeped when I hear Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box" on the radio. Meanwhile they take rap songs and bleep every mention of "gun" or "drugs", often making the listen think that the word being bleeped is "dick" or something like that.

Related issue: I remember seeing the video for "The Humpty Dance" at around age 12, and noticing that Humpty Hump said "I once got busy in a (bleep)ng bathroom". I heard a faint "ng" at the end of the bleeped word, leading me to assume that he was saying "motherfucking bathroom", and was shocked that the seemingly innocuous Humpty Hump would use that word.

It was quite a surprise to find later on that it is "Burger King bathroom". I guess MTV didn't want to give them free advertising (the same reason it was always blurring the logos on people's shirts in their videos until a few years ago).


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:55 PM
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110 -- I gots to go to bed now. But wait -- are you saying that this song Midnight at the Oasis, of which I had not heard til just now, is by Maria Muldaur? Or am I misinterpreting your comment? Cause Maria Muldaur is a wonderful singer from what I know of her work ("Richland Woman Blues" which she sang with Jim Kweskin is one of my all-time favorite female vocals) -- that Midnight song looks pretty lame though. Does she at least sing it really really well?


Posted by: Clownae | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:55 PM
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"Semi-Charmed Life"

Wildly, absurdly overplayed, and yet I still find myself singing along. Also, I salivate whenever anybody rings a bell.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:58 PM
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99: Thanks Kreskin. God, that has to be the weirdest song ever.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 9:58 PM
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Addendum to 117: Josh, I should maybe have explained that I used to do a fair amount of ballet. For smallish companies, it's not a choice: you sepnd three months of the year immersed in the frking Ntcrckr, and that's the way it is if you want to stay afloat. Hence: extreme reactions.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:00 PM
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#119: MTV also bleeped out the lyric "Rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat", simulating gunfire, from Tupac's "Changes", even though the lyric in context condemned gang violence. MTV sucks.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:00 PM
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Also, "Life Goes On."

To bed.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:01 PM
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It's also amusing when MTV/RadioBigWigs suddenly realize that a word that they had hitherto not bleeped is actually slang for something they usually bleep. For example, when the chorus to "Gin and Juice" was changed from "smokin' indo" to "smokin' smokin'" after it had already been a hit for a little while. I believe it is happening with the word "skeet" as we speak.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:03 PM
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#126: I believe it's "endo", not indo. Strunk & White, 2nd ed, p. 48.

And on the Chappelle show, Dave said something to the effect of "when they figure out what skeet means, we're going to be in a lot of trouble."


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:06 PM
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I know that Bon Jovi's entire catalogue has been called out, but in eighth-grade concert band, we played an arrangement of "Livin' on a Prayer" that sill makes me laugh when I hear the drunken masses slaughtering the lyrics (bad, though they already be).

Compromise: a UN resolution agreeing that we really don't like this song, but aren't going go to, like, do anything about it. Deal?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:12 PM
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Kitty has already signed the resolution, by the by. Get on board!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:13 PM
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120 -- yes, Maria Muldaur had a hit with Midnight ATO. I agree that she's a talented singer, and in fact I have her debut album (on vinyl, so it hasn't seen the light of day for many years) but the Oasis song is really too much. And was way overplayed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:13 PM
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128: There are a lot of middle-school choruses singing songs that are not ridiculous, but sound absolutely ridiculous sung by a middle-school chorus. In mine, we were made to sing a song called "After All", which I think is supposed to be a duet between two middle-aged lovers who've been reunited after many unsatisfying relationships.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:15 PM
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The phrases "crystal meth" and "she goes down on me" are seldom if ever bleeped.

And yet there's an entire verse of that song (which includes the phrase "little red panties") that only gets played on half the stations that play that song.

Also, I liked "Santeria"... the first 500 times I heard it. After that, not so much. (What amazes me is that there are songs that can stand up to that much overplay. No matter how many times I play it, I *still* like Blink-182's "Dammit".)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:17 PM
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And yet there's an entire verse of that song (which includes the phrase "little red panties") that only gets played on half the stations that play that song.

That verse wasn't there when we sang it in chorus, either.

Thanks folks! I'm out of here for the night.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:18 PM
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Anything with Rob Thomas' voice, or any voice approximating Rob Thomas' voice. Most especially that "Lets Forget About It" shit. Also Creed.

But come on, Smasher, you of all people should appreciate the Smashing Pumpkins. And Pearl Jam, though often schlocky, is also often good, in a schlocky kind of way. Fine, I've got bad taste. But Rob Thomas still sucks my ass.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:29 PM
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Actually, you know whose voice I never ever ever want to hear again? Joni Mitchell. It's like fingernails on a blackboard. God, how I hate her singing.

But I get to hear it incessantly because my wife likes it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:43 PM
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#75, I'm very pleased with myself that when you said "best Christmas song ever," I immediately thought of Fairytale of New York. Moments like this let me know that I'm at least a little bit cool.

A friend of mine recorded a guitar and dulcimer duet rendition of it, which probably doesn't turn you on that much, but I enjoyed it.


Posted by: jhupp | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:47 PM
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Apostropher is banned!


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:49 PM
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Seriously, clean the potato bugs out of your ears and try again.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:49 PM
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This thread made me laugh several times.

I nominate "Tie a Yellow Ribbon." Also, more recently, "Candle in the Wind." And that "Na na na na hey hey hey goodbye" thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:53 PM
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Joni Mitchell. It's like fingernails on a blackboard. God, how I hate her singing.

You know, this used to be precisely my reaction to her, but now I wonder if maybe Blue is the most beautiful album I've heard. I'm not sure what happened. It can't be that I'm less manly, because I still like some Pearl Jam songs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 10:59 PM
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"Horse with No Name" and "Wildfire". God, I might have to kill myself right now.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:01 PM
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God, I might have to kill myself right now.

That's a sin, LOL.


Posted by: God | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:05 PM
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I've got to stand up for the Smashing Pumpkins as well, since Siamese Dream is one of the great albums of the 90s. This fact is incontrovertible. I also wish to defend "Just Like Heaven", because that chorus is amazing.

It's tough to really name songs that I'd never want to hear again which weren't just awful to begin with, since I haven't listened to the radio in years. Even at my retail job in college, we had cool managers who would let us play our own music. I would still dump a lot of Tom Petty though, especially "The Waiting" and "The Joker".


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:09 PM
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Seriously, clean the potato bugs out of your ears and try again.

Believe me, it isn't for lack of exposure, SB. She may be a great songwriter and a great lyricist, but I can't get past that horrible, injured dog soprano.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:13 PM
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88, 89: I have three-and-a-half-year-old twin daughters who like to put on the Nutcracker and dance about in little princess dresses. And not just the abridged suite -- the entire fucking thing. I have heard the Nutcracker more than the entire cast of the Mariinsky Ballet put together. If it weren't for the high levels of therapeutic cutons my girls emit, I'd have shredded my eardrums with a screwdriver months ago.


Posted by: jmcq | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:14 PM
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I would still dump a lot of Tom Petty though, especially "The Waiting" and "The Joker".

Tom Petty >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Steve Miller Band.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:14 PM
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That's a sin, LOL.

God is BANNED!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:16 PM
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List of songs in English labeled the worst ever

Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs

The WORST Pop Songs of All Time!


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:34 PM
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#125: You mean the Beatles song or the Tupac song?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 2-06 11:40 PM
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There are a lot of good songs from bands that I like that I am tired of hearing. Right now, I don't particularly want to hear any of the songs off of Tago Mago.

I never liked supertramp, but since I haven't heard their songs on the radio in 20 years I probably wouldn't change the channel.


Posted by: joe o | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 12:22 AM
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I could do without ever again hearing any late-80's radio-friendly R&B/hip-hop. Bel Biv Devoe and Bobby Brown, I'm looking at you.

Oh, and any song I used to listen to while putting in late hours as a corporate lawyer has been ruined for me forver. That includes "Hands" by Jewel, "Closing Time" by Semisonic and "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 12:50 AM
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There's a fair amount of Floyd that I like, but "Another Brick in the Wall," any part, is a song that has been played by too many gloomy sophomores (myself included) for me to need to hear it ever again. I can't even enjoy the Richard Cheese cover of it.

However, I never tire of Christmas songs and I'm not even a Christian.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 1:13 AM
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How is it that no one has mentioned Hotel fucking California?

Also, I second 21. I refuse to be friends with and/or date anyone who professes a liking for Dave Matthews Band and/or Barenaked Ladies.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 3:40 AM
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I would like to note that a couple weeks ago, I went to a benefit for the Center for Disability and Elder Law and there was a fine brass band playing, and then all of a sudden this chick got up and started singing "My Heart Will Go On" (Celine Dion). It was possibly the worst six minutes of performance I've had to sit through in my life. When I hear the opening flute of that abomination, I instinctively wince. For the rest of the song, I alternate between wanting to jab boards under my nails and wanting to cry.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 3:46 AM
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My ex-girlfriend's cat used to meow along to "My Heart Will Go On".


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 4:08 AM
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"To the ears of someone raised on Nas and Eminem, literally any Run-DMC song sounds like it took no talent at all to write, produce or perform. They sound like non-amusing comedy novelty songs."

I don't know what to say...

Sucka MCs doesn't sound like a novelty song. It sounds shocking and brutal.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 4:15 AM
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I find it interesting how many of these songs I've never heard. I think of myself as reasonably knowlegdeable about music.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 4:17 AM
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Whoever mentioned Zevon upthread is going down.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 4:27 AM
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Also I like the following Smashing Pumpkins songs: 1979, the one with the string octet, and one other. And honestly probably more if I ever heard them again.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 4:28 AM
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I'm pretty sure that what Elton John did to Candle in the Wind to produce the Princess Diana version is illegal in most southern states. Even if you hated the original, the rewrite is so much worse


Posted by: NBarnes | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 4:45 AM
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Oh, I hate missing a thread like this. Anyway, 35: worst McCartney lyrics ever? Maybe, but I'd still go with "Temporary Secretary":

Mister marks, can you find for me
Someone strong and sweet, fitting on my knee?
She can keep her job if she gets it wrong,
Ah, but mister marks, I won't need her long.

All I need is help for a little while,
We can take dictation and learn to smile.
And a temporary secretary's what I need for to do the job.

I need a temporary secretary,
Temporary secretary,
Temporary secretary,
Temporary secretary.

The chorus is physically painful to listen to.

I wouldn't disagree with any of the nominations of songs to never hear again, except one: "Dancin' in the Moonlight" is one of the great guilty pleasure songs of the '70's. That electic piano rocks, man.

I wouldn't mind losing about 90% of Bob Dylan's music, even the stuff I've never heard. And just a note, but it's no longer the case that oldies radio means "pre-Beatles"; oldies, at least the mass marketed and formatted kind, works on a sliding scale. It's pretty much ditched the fifties now, for instance, and runs up to the mid-seventies. Elton John get played on oldies radio; it won't be long before Cyndi Lauper does as well.

Also: Simon and Garfunkel, "I am a Rock." No, wait; everything they recorded.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:06 AM
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I can't believe nobody has mocked 38 yet. That song sounds like the promised Hootie they'd turn on pitch correction, and then didn't, as a prank.

"You Oughta Know" is a much better song than "Ironic."


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:12 AM
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I wouldn't mind losing about 90% of Bob Dylan's music

JL, stop giving Ogged cancer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:40 AM
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The thing that always weirds me out about threads like this is that Billy Joel, whose name I would expect to see at the very top of the thread, goes totally unmentioned until I bring him up.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:55 AM
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162: Awww. You have restored my faith in the Mineshaft. Not that I know exactly which song that is, but a Hootie song "fine"? Bwa.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:59 AM
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Probably because I haven't heard Billy Joel in well over a decade.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:59 AM
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Billy Joel is covered by proxy in Gaijin Biker's links above.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:06 AM
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167 -- ok, that's reassuring.
166 -- Not in a decade? He was in really heavy rotation around here as recently as 2000 -- I think not anymore but "Glass Houses" was so drummed into my head as a lad that I will always think of it as overplayed and react in visceral anger if a song of his comes on the radio.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:13 AM
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What kind of lame-ass radio stations do you listen to that Billy Joel was in heavy rotation this decade?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:25 AM
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The best Christmas record ever is the Waitresses' "Christmas Rapping" but I could happily never hear it again.
The Duke Ellington "Nutcracker" is pretty good, still.
I heard a lot of Pat Boone in my youth, and found it far more annoying than Perry Como, and probably still would. I grew up in England, and some days all there was was Cliff Richard. Not good, then or now.


Posted by: dave heasman | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:44 AM
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Hey, I like the Billy Joel song "The Downeaster Alexa."


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:45 AM
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Some Smashing Pumpkins is ok, but "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" needs to die.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:48 AM
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The best Christmas record ever is the Waitresses' "Christmas Rapping"

No way -- that distinction can go to no other than the John Fahey Christmas Record.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:10 AM
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At night, when the bars close down,
Brandy walks through a silent town,
and loves a man, who's not around,
she still can hear him say:


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:10 AM
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The best Christmas record ever is Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis." Or anyway, it's better than the Waitresses (nothing against them). I could happily hear it instead of the usual stuff that they insist on playing for the entire month of December, but I never do.

Xmas Rap is also good but maybe not quite in the spirit.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:11 AM
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169 -- probably it is a New York thang -- Billy Joel is inexplicably popular in these parts (or was when last I was paying attention to that kind of thing.)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:12 AM
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Also "Father Christmas" by the Kinks is a really, really good song.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:13 AM
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Hotel Fucking California. Yes yes yes.

True fact: I have had three friends who've fucked members of the Barenaked Ladies.

Simon and Garfunkel may as well have recorded only five songs ever, since I never hear anything other than those five.

And Bob Dylan is the most overrated rock musician in the history of rock. He's got some good songs, but nothing that merits the adulation he gets.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:17 AM
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You know what people I don't understand? The ones who say they like Simon & Garfunkel, but not any of Paul Simon's solo work. Fuck those people, because Graceland is awesome.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:23 AM
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Cancer, da. Stop giving it to him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:23 AM
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He's got some good songs, but nothing that merits the adulation he gets.

This is just wrong.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:30 AM
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Graceland is awesome.

This is correct.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:31 AM
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I'm one of those fuddy-duddies who preferred Dylan before he went electric, so "Boots of Spanish Leather" is okay.

I must disagree with Silvana about Graceland, but I realize that she must have been about five when it came out and so doesn't remember how absurdly overplayed it was for two years.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:32 AM
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162: Absolutely. That guy sings about 3 different notes in the song, none of them well.

163: A friend of mine's father when drunk used to starting ranting, "Bob Dylan should be shot! John Lennon should have been given the Nobel Peace Prize!" Especially amusing as he was a middle-aged Indian guy. I didn't agree with him, but I think he was closer to the truth than ogged.

164: You had to be a beegshot, deedn't ya, you had to prove it to the crowd.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:33 AM
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Clown and I are polar opposites.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:34 AM
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dagger aleph, the other 268 Simon and Garfunkel songs trend awesome.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:37 AM
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Ogged is much more right than dagger aleph. This proves I was right about Zeppelin all along.

I was kinda not into Dylan for a while, because the overplayed stuff was just too overplayed and Bringing It All Back Home, the album I had and that everyone recommended to me, natters on too much. But The Basement Tapes, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blood on the Tracks are just so awesom.e

*I like the Byrd's "Mr. Tambourine Man" better because it's shorter. Criticism does not apply to "Baby Blue," "Subterranean," "Maggie's Farm," and when I'm in the right mood "It's Alright Ma." And "Bob Dylan's Dream" is funny as hell.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:39 AM
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186: The five that I know might even be awesome, I just can't tell anymore because I've heard them so many times.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:39 AM
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I'm one of those fuddy-duddies who preferred Dylan before he went electric

This is just ludicrous on its face: there is no overlap between the set of such fuddy-duddies and the set of people who think Dylan is overrated. Think about it.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:39 AM
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Fcuk htis, Im' going all typoes from heer on ot.u.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:40 AM
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187: Ogged is much more right than dagger aleph

I'm really hurt by that.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:42 AM
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(Also: I think there is a problem with tenses: You are the same age as I, da, or nearly, which means you were not aware of Dylan "before he went electric" or indeed for a while after he did. So better to say "I prefer Dylan before he went electric."


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:42 AM
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More in the spirit of the initial post, some good songs that are just ruined for me: Aretha Franklin, "Respect" and "Think" (yes, despite the nifty way that guitar part jumps up in the mix at the beginning of the second verse); Eddie Floyd, "Knock on Wood"; Wilson Pickett, "In the Midnight Hour", "I'm in Love", "Mustang Sally"; Otis Redding, "Try a Little Tenderness", "Respect" (again), "I've Been Loving You Too Long", "I Can't Turn You Loose"; and anything on The Best of Sam and Dave.

I love Atlantic and Stax/Volt soul. But combined with the massive exposure these songs get (or got) on oldies radio, I can't listen to these at all.

Also, Peter Gabriel's "Your Eyes" has always driven me crazy. Most boring chorus ever. Two chords can be wonderful thing, but not here. Endless, too.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:43 AM
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)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:44 AM
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The truth hurts, da. (But the truth is all there is. You can't hide from the truth, 'cause the truth is all there is.)


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:44 AM
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192: Thanks Clown. I don't want people to think I'm the same age as Idealist.

All you Dylan-lovers: don't you think that the ratio of his good lyrics to crappy lyrics is in the neighborhood of 1:15?

It seems beside the point to criticize his singing, but his singing does really suck.

I have no beef with the music/tunes/musicianship.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:45 AM
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Hey just to change the subject radically, because that is what I do: are any of you aware that the best book of the rear-so-far was published on Tuesday? It is Jennifer Egan's The Keep and it is a knock-out. You all should go out and purchase it. Several characters would be totally at home in this blog's comments.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:47 AM
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So, the sense I'm getting here is that oldies radio should be avoided. Or perhaps all radio, everywhere.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:48 AM
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rear-so-far s/b year-so-far.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:49 AM
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193 makes me wonder: Are there songs that couldn't possibly be ruined for you by overexposure? I think I could listen to Sam Cooke's "Chain Gang" twenty times in a row.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:49 AM
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199: I liked it better the first way.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:50 AM
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This is probably the right thread to ask the following in. (Answers should take into account that I really know basically nothing about music, and particularly nothing about all the complicated social stuff it all means to you. No, really, I know less than you could possibly imagine.)

1. A month or two ago, we were at a friend's house who was playing an 80's mix, and Newt became obsessed with the GoGo's 'We've got the beat', to the point of figuring out how to put it on endless repeat as he danced. Does this indicate bad taste or lack of good moral character? He's four, turning five tomorrow.

2. Have I done a bad thing by buying him a GoGo's album for his birthday?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:50 AM
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198 -- there are exceptions to that rule. Listen to B-Wo's show when you get a chance. Also: WFMU of northern NJ has many very fine shows, as does WWOZ of southern Louisiana. I'm sure there are others -- the Greatful Dead show on WBAI is excellent but you have to stay up pretty late to catch it.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:51 AM
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The first time I even heard Graceland was in 2000.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:51 AM
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203--Hm. I must confess that I'm scared of B-Wo's show, but I should get over that and listen in, I know.

(Gotta run!)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:53 AM
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201 -- yeah I know all about which way you like it better.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:54 AM
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202: The Go-Gos are approved of. I'm not sure I'd appreciate it on endless repeat, though. Have you thought of hooking him on "Chain Gang"?


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:54 AM
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I do make an exception for most of Nashville Skyline, though not the duet with Johnny Cash (and perhaps not a few others, can't recall right now.) It's the only Dylan record I've bothered to get on cd. Very pretty, even the singing, a very good band, and at least one great song in "Tonight I'll be Staying Here with You." Perfect arrangement on that one, too, with the lovely piano part.

Paul Simon solo can be very good. "Late in the Evening", most of Still Crazy After All These Years (Ray Charles did a great version of the title song at Newport ten years or so ago, killed), some of his early seventies hits. Not so much "Cars are Cars."


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:55 AM
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month or two ago, we were at a friend's house who was playing an 80's mix, and Newt became obsessed with the GoGo's 'We've got the beat', to the point of figuring out how to put it on endless repeat as he danced. Does this indicate bad taste or lack of good moral character?

I know less about music than you, LB. But I'm firing up "Head over Heels" right now.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:55 AM
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The ones who say they like Simon & Garfunkel, but not any of Paul Simon's solo work.

These people are from opposite world, where up is down and good is bad.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:55 AM
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Another cool typo in 203.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:55 AM
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Lb,

1. No.
2. Yes.

Just kidding about the second one. Your child will eventually lose the capacity to get freakishly into songs; you should indulge it.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:56 AM
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I'm disturbed by the hating on the Hootie tune. If y'all are listening to pop music saying things like "Oh no! The pitch is off!" or "Oh no! He didn't sing enough notes!" well, maybe you just don't know how to appreciate pop music.

The Go-Go's are cool.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:57 AM
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Your child will eventually lose the capacity to get freakishly into songs; you should indulge it.

Labs, you have a kid? Or did you just turn into a ten year old girl right before our eyes?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:58 AM
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210: No, they're my dad, who's into white-guy harmony (there's probably a term for that that I don't know.) Whatever category includes S&G and the Everly Brothers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:58 AM
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208 -- I like some solo Paul Simon, especially "Graceland"; but "Still Crazy After All These Years" has always seemed like utter dreck to me. "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" is an amusing novelty song, nothing else on the disc rises to that level. The title song sounds like something Dan Fogleburg (sp?) would sing. "Night Game" is one of the most ludicrous things around.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:00 AM
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213; It's not "the pitch is off" or "he didn't sing enough notes" but "God, Hootie is lame."


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:04 AM
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dagger, it's possible that you're insane.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:12 AM
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Whoever was hating on Halen and Heart needs to step. Panama is a fucking awesome song. As is Barracuda.



Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:13 AM
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Also, I never, ever need to hear "Welcome to the Jungle" again. God.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:14 AM
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Chopper, come out and fight me. "Welcome to the jungle" is awesome. That whole album never gets old.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:19 AM
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Nashville Skyline is about where Dylan turned to shit.

216: fuck you, clown. He was just getting warmed up. Rhythm of the Saints is a great record. Anyway, Simon and Garfunkel's flaws are (Paul Simon's flaws x 100).


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:19 AM
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Le Freak really doesn't belong on that list.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:20 AM
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That whole album is awesome.

"Welcome to the Jungle" is played before every Vikings kickoff. It's done been ruint.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:21 AM
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"Welcome to the jungle" is awesome. That whole album never gets old.

God forgive me, I agree with this. But I have a feeling I didn't hear it nearly as often as Chopper must have when it first came out, so it's not on my "overplayed" list.

I don't understand the hatin' on Paul Simon. Lots of insipid wuss-boy music, sure, but he's written plenty of really beautiful songs.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:23 AM
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221 is correct.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:25 AM
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Dear god. 107 is Why They Hate Us.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:27 AM
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he's written plenty of really beautiful songs.

The surgeons took your manhood, didn't they?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:27 AM
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Your heteronormative mind tricks don't work on me, Come Sail Away boy. Paul Simon is good stuff.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:34 AM
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Come Sail Away

That's one song where the cover fucking blows the original away.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:37 AM
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216: fuck you, clown. He was just getting warmed up.

This I can accept. But 208 seems to think SCAATY is itself a great record, which I dispute. Although I can accept that Ray Charles would have done a kick-ass cover of the title song -- I think Simon singing it sounds like Dan Fogelberg (sp?).


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:45 AM
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216: You've just got to get into the dreckiness. It's super mellow seventies, with a heaping of romantic angst on top. "Night Game" stinks, as does "Silent Eyes", though. The title track is far too smart to be anything like Dan Fogelberg, and the lyrics to "You're Kind" are so good, they almost make me want to break my rule about always dismissing lyrics (though on reflect, I'd again argue that it's not the lyrics themselves, but a great match of lyrics, music, attitude, and mood.) "Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy" is a masterpiece of self-pity. You gotta give it up for that.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:53 AM
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If y'all are listening to pop music saying things like "Oh no! The pitch is off!" or "Oh no! He didn't sing enough notes!"

It's not that "he didn't sing enough notes"--who cares about a number? It's that, because he can only sing a couple of notes, the song has no melody. That's a serious problem in a pop song.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:55 AM
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I'm not showing the last several comments all of a sudden, even though they were there just a minute ago.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:56 AM
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You know what people I don't understand? The ones who say they like the GoGo's, but not any of Belinda Carlisle's solo work. Fuck those people, because Heaven on Earth is awesome.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:57 AM
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232 -- well it's been a long time. Perhaps I should take another listen.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:58 AM
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Re: the early Bob Seger discussion. I like "Turn the Page."


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:59 AM
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You know what people I don't understand? The ones who say they like Unfogged, but not any of apostropher's solo work. Fuck those people, because my blog is awesome.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:59 AM
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GB -- Newt will want to take that up with you.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:59 AM
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washerdreyer is banned! Banned! Banned!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:00 AM
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Newt is happy to take anything up with anyone, at any time. The streets of Inwood are strewn with lame donkeys short a hind leg after being drawn into conversations with Newt. He's a lovely boy, but man can he talk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:01 AM
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Is "Come Sail Away" the one with the mermaids that turn out to be space aliens, or the one with the Japanese people that turn out to be robots? I can never keep those straight.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:01 AM
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218: It is possible that I'm insane, but not because of anything I've written on this thread.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:02 AM
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Here is a tip: Never, EVER choose "Paradise City" when you are doing karaoke. You remember it as a fun song, but you quickly learn that the chorus repeats about 48,000 times.

On the other hand, here are some awesome karaoke songs for people who can't sing. You will be screaming so loud no one will care that you can't carry a tune:

-- Cryin'
-- Sweet Child o' Mine
-- Great Balls of Fire
-- Livin' on a Prayer
-- Any rap song (only if you already know the lyrics, because they will be wrong on the screen)


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:03 AM
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244 is funny to me, because I recently had to endure the trials of a firm karaoke party, where they insisted that the summer associates do a group number. I had to cajole the others, desperately shy, into doing it, and did so by selecting "Livin' on a Prayer."

I, for my part, did a solo rendition of "Manic Monday" because it was, after all, a work party.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:07 AM
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Our high school wrestling team played "Welcome to the Jungle" when we ran into the gym at the beginning of a match against another school, to psych them out.

I am not saying this was a particularly clever or effective idea, but there it is.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:08 AM
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I have had the following three songs stuck in the past seven days, in chronological order:
"Lies," Violent Femmes (started just by my thinking about it during the infidelity threads);
"Call Me," Blondie (walked into a liquor store on Monday where it was on the radio and the staff was singing along);
and "Saturday in the Park," Chicago (Not sure why, but it popped up before it was mentioned in this thread, and I agree that it's bad.).


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:14 AM
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high school wrestling team played "Welcome to the Jungle"

This might have been more effective and clever.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:15 AM
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#248: That is an awesome commercial.

I suggested playing wimpy music when the other team entered the gym, but no one else liked that idea.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:29 AM
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209: a radio show worth exposing young Newt and Sally to is WFMU's Greasy Kid Stuff -- they are on hiatus right now but should be broadcasting again in the fall. Lots of great stuff in their archives.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:42 AM
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(I can't guarantee they've played the Go-Gos but the Go-Gos would definitely not be out of place on a Greasy Kid Stuff playlist.)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:44 AM
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160 is so very true. I really thought that Westminster Abbey was going to blow up when EltonJohn launched into that rendition.

I have to admit to a certain fondness for Simon and Garfunkel. Their 1981 Concert in Central Park was the first CD I ever owned, and The Boxer spoke to my angst-ridden teenage self. "In the clearing stands a boxer; he's a fighter by his trade, and he carries the reminders of every blade that cut him till he cried out in gis anger and his shame/ I aleaving, I am Leaving/But the fighter still remains, yes he still remains."

I so identified with the Boxer.

(previously misposted as comment 48 in the "They Just Keep on Doing it" thread, Maybe I need to revive my inner Boxer in order to take on the Bushies.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:59 AM
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Simon and Garfunkel provided one of my favorite embarrassing high-school anecdotes, involving a punk-rock guitarist friend and "Patterns" -- I'm sure I've posted it here at least once.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:02 AM
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I so identified with the Boxer.

Because you took some comfort from the whores on 7th Avenue?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:03 AM
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Also: I loved "Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme" and "Sounds of Silence", the only two S & G albums my folks had, when I was 13 -- I went to the record store and looked for them, and I found "Bookends" which I bought and found out was lame, and quit looking -- so I didn't hear "Concert in Central Park" for a long time after that, and didn't find out about "The Boxer" which I agree is a very good song.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:04 AM
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254: Give her a break, apo. She was lonesome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:52 AM
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I'm reading the 5-star reviews of "Bookends" at Amazon and feeling baffled in an are-we-speaking-the-same-language? kind of way.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:56 AM
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Agreed that "Bookends" is lame. I like a lot of other S&G, though. Haven't heard much (maybe any) solo Paul Simon.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:03 AM
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Haven't heard Graceland? You must remedy this.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:05 AM
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My parents even have the album. But somehow I've never listened to it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:10 AM
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213: Actually, it's that the pitch is off, he didn't sing enough notes, AND Hootie is lame.

Seriously, Ogged, this is a band which is admittedly better at playing golf than making music. *shudder* Even Sister Hazel, which is at best a Hootie-derivative, if such an abomination can be allowed to exist, is better.

Ugh, I can't believe I just got that damn "hard to say what it is I see in you" song in my head. Curse you all!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:28 AM
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I like Bookends. Allmusic.com gives it 5 stars as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:43 AM
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I like bookends

It is very surprising to me, to hear you say that -- you are the last person I would have expected to like that record.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:45 AM
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I'm full of surprises.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:52 AM
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FU, you Bob Dylan-doubting & Paul Simon-questioning clowns. You probably never learned how to masturbate.

I sentence you to a month in a small cell with round-the-clock listening to Journey & Chicago when that blonde falsetto dude sang those grating ballads for them.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:04 PM
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Peter Cetera.

Chicago 17 was my first cassette that I owned.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:07 PM
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The first non-homemade cassette I owned was Talking Heads '77, which I shoplifted from the K-Mart when I was 10 or so. I had never heard anything by them before (just thought the band name sounded cool), and while I liked "Psycho Killer", I found the rest of it pretty mystifying.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:17 PM
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The first album I ever bought was a guitar album by the Shadows, the band that backed Cliff Richard, the Elvis Presley of the UK, which you isolated non-soccer playing US dudes -- who use phrazes like "World Series" for your peculiar homegrown sports activities --probably never heard of. The Ventures was a cheap knock-off of the Shadows.

I'm really pissed at you Bob Dylan-doubters. Next thing you'll start telling me Bush is a good president. Jeez, Bob Dylan is the only American you can put on the same pedestal as the Beatles. What the fuck are you clown-fuckers thinking? Did you smoke too many bongs in the 60s when you thought Bagga Navidda or whatever that thing was called was a great song?

If I hear another bad word about Dylan I will post all the lyrics written by Madonna on this thread. You have been warned, you anti-Dylanists! As for the pretension of even writing "before he went electric" ... stop me from throwing up against my upper palate, please.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:26 PM
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Bob Dylan is the only American you can put on the same pedestal as the Beatles.

Please, a little love for Deedee Ramone.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:31 PM
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Bob Dylan is the only American you can put on the same pedestal as the Beatles.

I love Bob Dylan, but there are plenty of Americans I'd put on a higher pedestal than the Beatles.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:45 PM
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Talk of first albums owned is veering us in this direction.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:47 PM
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First album I owned was Mr. Tambourine Man by the Byrds.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:50 PM
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when i am king, the doors oeuvre will be first against the wall.


Posted by: matty | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:51 PM
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In my head, albums=vinyl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:51 PM
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albums still =vinyl. I've helped my daughter set up a turntable in her room from out of storage, and she's working her way through the archives and acquiring for herself with alacrity.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 2:54 PM
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Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour, bought on the same day.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 3:18 PM
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270:
I love Bob Dylan, but there are plenty of Americans I'd put on a higher pedestal than the Beatles.

Like who, eh?
The Eagles? (Jeez.)
Billy Joel? (Jeez.)
Jimi Hendrix (who had to go to England to make it.) Same pedestal, but not higher.

Higher than the Beatles? You must be joking. Maybe you were born in 1989, so I'd have to forgive you for losing your marbles over REM or Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins or some other young pretenders who are warts on the a-hole of John, Paul, George & Ringo. The thing about the Beatles is that the two best songwriters in post-60's pop ended up in the same band -- a historical coincidence of such proportions, it could only be topped by Hitler and Stalin being in the same cabinet.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 4:57 PM
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Like who, eh?

George Clinton
John Coltrane
Charles Mingus
Frank Zappa
Muddy Waters

I could go on, but I don't feel like it. The Beatles had some great albums but c'mon, so did lots of people.

Maybe you were born in 1989

I'm almost 40, dude.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:40 PM
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At least you two agree about infidelity.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:52 PM
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Billy Joel is the antichrist, I swear to god. But both Paul Simon solo and Simon and Garfunkel together are good, people. And hatin' on Run DMC or LL Cool J is the mark of someone who is Not to be Taken Seriously about anything.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:53 PM
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Interesting list, apostropher, but it's a cop-out. It's a list of jazz & instrumental geniuses, not popmeisters. You're mixing your genres.
I ask you again: tell me one American pop star or rock 'n roller you can put on the same pedestal as the Beatles.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:57 PM
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Sam and Dave, "Soul man"*

That's it. You are definitely NOT my favorite Unfogged poster, and never were.

I bet you dance around in your tighty whiteys to the Blues Brothers' cover.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 5:59 PM
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re: 278

Muddy Waters?

You can't seriously be claiming he had better albums than the Beatles? Really?

I like all of the people on your list -- with the possible exception of Muddy Waters* -- and they all produced substantive bodies of good work. But in terms of producing a series of consistently great self-contained albums that stand as a whole piece of work, I don't think any of them are up there with the Beatles.

And Coltrane, good as he is, is, like, the most over-rated musician, evar.

* But then I'm mostly all about hating on blues music.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:00 PM
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That's it, McG, you officially suck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:02 PM
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Matt McG, you might want to save your best material for the Official Unfogged White-Off.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:02 PM
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And hatin' on Run DMC or LL Cool J is the mark of someone who is Not to be Taken Seriously about anything.

I dunno, I've never really cared much for the old-school rap by the big name 80s rappers. I think it boils down to how much deference you grant an act because of their historical importance. There's a lot of classic bands and artists that are held up on pedestals for their contributions to future music as much as for their actual music itself. When I listen to things, though, I tend to only care about the music itself. Often this means that I really don't end up liking these "uncriticizable" acts very much, even if I'd consider them very important and exceptional for their time.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:05 PM
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I should clarify. I love just about every genre of music that derived from blues: old-school R & B, funk, soul and jazz (especially jazz).

It's just that straight-ahead blues itself is mostly piss-boring and formulaic. There's the odd transcendentally great song and some brilliant voices but I just can't sustain interest in most of it for more than a song or two.

Also, years of hearing people murder blues tunes in shit pub blues bands -- and occasionally actively participating in such murder -- has soured me on the whole genre.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:06 PM
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#280: For the record, I would like to point out that I have hated on neither Run DMC nor LL Cool J. I commented (#77) on the slowness and simplicity of MC Hammer's flow, and someone else mentioned Run DMC and LL Cool J in #80.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:11 PM
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the Official Unfogged White-Off

Oooh, where can I register? Will there be a pot-luck after?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:13 PM
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#281: I ask you again: tell me one American pop star or rock 'n roller you can put on the same pedestal as the Beatles.

Bruce Springsteen?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:14 PM
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I wouldn't actually put him up there, but he's the best choice I can think of right now.

Or how about Elvis?


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:15 PM
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Nah, you're right. The Beatles are above all those guys.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:16 PM
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I don't think he's in the same league as the Beatles, but Todd Rungren had a pretty decent run of early 70s albums that inhabit the same pop-rock-other genre.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:16 PM
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I know this will start some major hatin', but it's worth pointing out that the Beatles regarded the Beach Boys as serious competition at the time.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:18 PM
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The Beatles were right to regard the Beach Boys as serious competition.
Brian Wilson turned out ditties as charming and plentiful as the Beatles -- and then he made Pet Sounds, perhaps the only US album outside of Bob Dylan's five or six best ones that ranks right up there with the best of the Beatles, which is just about every album from Revolver on right to perhaps the best Beatles album of all, the John Lennon solo Plastic Ono Band album, the one with "Mother" and all those other primal scream songs on it. That fucking album combines intelligence, rawness and heartfeltness like one could not think possible of a pop album. That is some dangerous music, folks.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:27 PM
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Which pedestal are we talking about here?

For popularity and record sales there's Michael Jackson.

If you want sustained critical success as well as commercial success you can rely on The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan.

If you want sheer influence then it's hard to go wrong with The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Buddy Holly, Grandmaster Flash, etc.

But it is harder to come up with American bands and artists than it is to come up with British bands that can give The Beatles a run for their money.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:31 PM
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I confess that I like the Beatles and the Beach Boys about equally.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:45 PM
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I guess the pedestal I'm tallking about is "sustained critical success as well as commercial success" and I agree with you that Dylan and the Beach Boys are the the only contenders.

British bands that can give the Beatles a run for their money? I'd really like to hear about them. Who are you thinking of -- Oasis or Blur?!

As for influence, I'd rank only Chuck Berry with the Beatles.

The thing about the Beatles is that no one has their range -- neither Dylan, Beach Boys or Chuck Berry.

Just think of it -- classic love melodies like Michelle and Yesterday andf Jealous Guy; out-and-out rock 'n rollers like Ticket to Ride and Maybe I'm Amazed; folkie stuff like Working Class Hero; music-hall ditties like Penny Lane; mindfucks like A Day In The Life; songs of utmost pathos like Eleanor Rigby and She's Leaving Home; monster ballads like The Long and Winding Road and Hey Jude (even the occasional bang by George Harrison like While My Guitar Gently Weeps) ... there are no other songwriters that did everything and anything.

Also, the Beatles basically nailed down the whole idea of (a) being a band that (b) writes its own material, something that had never happened before. If that ain't influence, I don't know what is.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:47 PM
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ogged, you're being way slippery.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:47 PM
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Adam is completely right about the Beatles.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 6:52 PM
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I actually agree with 287, at least in part, but especially about where the blues hatred comes from. I love r+b, sometimes think I could be happy listening to nothing but gospel, and own many, many Duke Ellington records. But blues, or at least a lot of it, eh. There are plenty of individual blues songs I like, but at a certain point in time, the idea of "the blues" degenerated, or rather, the songwriting in the genre did. And then there are the Kenny Wayne Shepard fans.

May I take this opportunity to point out that no one is on a higher pedestal than Elvis or James Brown? Do not doubt the King--The Beatles didn't, at leat when they had their shit together. Not to mention Ray Charles. Shit, Van Morrison has spent a lifetime trying to figure out how to be Ray Charles.

295 has it exactly wrong regarding what is good about the Beatles.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:01 PM
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All these new people around, slol, I have to have my fun.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:01 PM
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British bands that can give the Beatles a run for their money? I'd really like to hear about them. Who are you thinking of -- Oasis or Blur?!

Oh god no, I may be young but I know more than britpop.

The Rolling Stones, The Who, Radiohead (not doing too badly with 5 great albums to their name and more in the works), David Bowie, Led Zeppelin...

They've all got a large number of classic albums to their name (except Radiohead, but even they have a couple) and they all have had considerable influence. I can't really think of any others though. And it really annoys me that I can't think of anyone active through the 80s or 90s (excluding Bowie) who had a number of great albums coming out.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:03 PM
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Adam is completely wrong about the Beatles. Fucking boomers and their over-rated hack job pop "geniuses"

Oh our music was so wonderful not like you kids today and your orful, well, it's just noise, now innit, dearie?



Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:04 PM
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The argument that "at a certain point the blues degenerated" is one I have a lot of time for. But it seems totally bizarre to me to argue from this, that there are no vital blues artists. Muddy Waters certainly, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Willie McTell, The Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller -- these at a minimum belong in any pantheon of American musical genius.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:06 PM
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Actually, I don't really agree with 295. Mostly just 298.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:08 PM
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I went through a Beatles phase in high school. Now I think Paul is too chipper all the time.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:10 PM
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Putting Dylan and the Beatles together in a single class seems unfair to the Beatles. They were a pop band, he was something else.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:13 PM
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Annoying?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:26 PM
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Chopper, are you looking for trouble, or are you just one of those hiphop troglodytes?
I figure you for a Nirvana and REM freak. Hey. they ain't bad, but the Beatles and bands mentioned by JAC in 303 cannot be topped -- not in the 80s and 90s and 00s. The template was laid back then, and afterwards everybody has just been doodling.

There was the invention of rock 'n roll with Chuck Berry and Elvis, then the bands of the 60s and early 70s, and after that, a great and interesting more-or-less pygmies after the giants, a huge gap so staid it was easy for hiphop to drive its particular truck through it, because the scene needed another breakthrough, but hiphop still hasn't yielded anything like the Masters of the 60s -- a few albums, NWA, Public Enemy, Eminem, Outkast, it doesn't add up to a muchness that slammed the ears as hard and new as the Boomer Bands did.

Also, then there was a sexual revolution, too, which you are too young to appreciate. Boomers invented the New World which you are swimming in, your fish in the pond we created.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:26 PM
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305: I'd agree with that. Part of the problem is that the music of the people you name has become to some degree buried by what "the blues" nowadays signifies. On the other hand, anyone who doesn't realize that Bobby "Blue" Bland's Two Steps From the Blues has a problem--probably that they are dead inside.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:30 PM
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Is 311 missing a clause?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:33 PM
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anyone who doesn't realize that Bobby "Blue" Bland's Two Steps From the Blues has a problem

Eh, that said record rules, of course.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:35 PM
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312 was posted by the same person as 314. And 313 confirms what I thought 311 meant.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:36 PM
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The Beatles were indeed pop geniuses, even if McCartney gradually descended into extreme suckitude on his own (remember "My Brave Face"?). But I would put the Talking Heads up against them, at least up to, and including parts of, "Little Creatures." And hate Nirvana, whatever, "Nevermind" was one of the greatest albums of the last 25 years.


Posted by: jmcq | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:39 PM
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I like the beatles, but they aren't something I am not willing to give up to avoid boomer triumphantalism.

The boomer who created the world we are swimming in.


Posted by: joe o | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:39 PM
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286: No, it's not because they're old and we should respect them. It's because their music is actually good, even if you infants can't appreciate it yet.

As to the blues being boring, that shit is nuts.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:40 PM
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315 gets it exactly right. Except I have no opinion regarding Nirvana or their "Nevermind".


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:40 PM
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316: I wish you wouldn't do that. I'm trying to drink.


Posted by: jmcq | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:42 PM
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I heard a comedian one time who was going to do a Bob Dylan impression. To set the scene, he said something like, "Back before he was famous, Bob Dylan used to go outside and sing in the empty solitude of the forest. By request."


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:55 PM
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I figure you for a Nirvana and REM freak.

REM is annoying. Nirvana was great, but I want to slap every 13-year-old fucktard with a Kurt Cobain t-shirt I see. But the Pixies? Oh yes. That's the good stuff.

The Beatles are purest pap. If you want to talk about musical genius from your long-gone era, at least talk about Hendrix.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:55 PM
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Helen Reddy!


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 7:57 PM
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Oh, and seriously:

Boomers invented the New World which you are swimming in, your fish in the pond we created.

The boomers didn't do shit. All your icons are pre-baby boom. The boomers gave us disco, Charles in Charge, George Bush and Tony Blair.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:00 PM
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The Beatles are only very slightly pre-baby boom.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:02 PM
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317: Eh, I just don't like them as much as more recent hip-hop, or even the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy albums that followed them by just a couple years. Hell, I prefer Grandmaster Flash and Afrika Bambaataa to what Run-DMC and LL Cool J were doing in the mid-80s, but admittedly this is all partially because I'm so producer focused.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:04 PM
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Oh, that reminds me of a song that I never ever ever want to hear again. I would be so happy if "Walk This Way" by Run-D.M.C. got wiped off the face of this earth tomorrow.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:06 PM
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It is true that "Walk this Way" is way overplayed. But I totally blame Aerosmith for that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:07 PM
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"You'll never hear surf music again."

So which is better, Ravenswood 1999 Belloni Zinfandel, Lagavulin, or Leffe Brun?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:09 PM
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I haven't had the other two, but Lagavulin is mmmm good.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:15 PM
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wait is that a fancy way of saying de gustibus non disputandem est?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:17 PM
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The zinfandel is really good too -- though I could not say that the Ravenswood 1999 zinfandel I have drunk was Belloni because I do not know what that means. It was definitely not Bologna.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:19 PM
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Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas. Underrated genius. They did everything th Beatles did, and better -- and a lot more too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:22 PM
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Chopper, now I remember, you're Mr. Butch.

Beatles pap?!

Listen, jejune greenhorn of the Pixies era, you want heavy Beatles? I give you Ticket to Ride, Helter Skelter, Revolution, Lennon's versions of Twist And Shout and Money and Roll Over Beethoven, I give you the whole of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band outing, I give you I Wanna Hold Your Hand, No Reply, Day Tripper, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, I'm A Loser, I've Got A Feeling, She Came In Through the Bathroom Window, Why Don't We Do It In The Road ... the Beatles could rock like muthafuckas.

Manson committed fucking murder to Helter Skelter, dude, that ain't no pap.

Just becasue the Beatles could write melodies doesn't mean they were all pap. Mind you, when it came to pap, they could out-pap everyone else like they could out-rock everyone else.

The world back then waited for every new Beatles album like the next fart from God. That will never happen again in pop music.

You poor post-revolution fuckers, you willl never know the sweetness and the madness of those years, when the Beatles mapped out the whole carpet for everyone to follow up with a few stitches here and there (and some honorable mini-stitches from the likes of the Pixies and Talking Heads).

You're right, Chopper -- Jimi Hendrix was a monster. He invented the electric guitar, basically. But like all the others, he just doesn't have the wideranging catalogue of The Beatles. The Stones tried, I'll give them that. They were a little like the Beatles in that they could rock hard, but also do the pretty pappy stuff like Angie and Wild Horses and As Tears Go By.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:30 PM
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331 -- RW's highest end zins are vineyard specific. I picked one of the ones they used in 99 at random, the point being yours of 330, expanded to categories so completely distinct as to make the question worse than useless.

And the Hendrix quote just kind of floats there.

I'm now thinking that line from A Merman I Shall Be: Oh say, can you see it's really such a mess would've fit my mood a little better. And they also threw this in my face, they said:
Anyway, you know good and well it would be beyond the will of God, and the grace of the King
. . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:40 PM
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john lee hooker was still doing it last time I checked.

Emerson, you just made that band up, right?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:44 PM
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Wild horses, Gah! Why are there so many hideous horse songs?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:46 PM
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335: Sadly, No!


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:47 PM
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shit.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:48 PM
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335 -- The band Emerson referenced is produced by Brian Epstein and sang McCartney/Lennon songs which the Beatles did not use.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:48 PM
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And Sadly, No! again. Actually this isn't as sad.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:48 PM
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it's a cop-out. It's a list of jazz & instrumental geniuses, not popmeisters

Well, if we're restricting it to white guys since 1960 who wrote 3-minute songs in 4/4 that follow the verse verse chorus bridge chorus verse chorus scheme, that's one thing. Perhaps next we could discuss which sitcom stertched the boundaries of modern film the most. Look, I like pop and rock as much as the next guy and listen to more of it than any other genre, but let's be realistic about what it is.

then there was a sexual revolution, too, which you are too young to appreciate

Yeah, sex was invented forty years ago. All those roaring 20s folks with their mitotic division must have really cursed their poor timing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 8:59 PM
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But what was the Beatles' position on bonobos, is the question...


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:02 PM
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John Lennon married one.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:05 PM
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The thing about the Beatles is that no one has their range

That's a silly statement. See my first sentence in 341.

Manson committed fucking murder to Helter Skelter, dude, that ain't no pap.

Is this supposed to be an accomplishment?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:06 PM
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It was putting "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "muthafuckas" in the same sentence that reminded me that Adam likes to troll us.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:09 PM
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I Wanna Hold Your Hand is pretty much the definition of pop. It practically has the screaming teen girls scored in.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:09 PM
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343: Okay, that's teh funny, if totally cheap.

I used to try to convince myself that the Beatles sucked, if only to distance myself, in the vanguard of so-called generation X, from the boomer oppressors. The Beatles totally don't suck, and how anyone could listen to the White Album and call it pap is beyond me. And the distinction between boomer and gen-X is pretty untenable now that I'm fucking forty.


Posted by: jmcq | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:17 PM
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Look, I like pop and rock as much as the next guy and listen to more of it than any other genre, but let's be realistic about what it is.

What is it, oh Intellectual Sage of the Higher Reaches of Musical Appreciation?


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:21 PM
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347: Of course the Beatles didn't suck. But neither were they the beginning or end of popular music. Their main impact was cultural more than musical, not unlike Sinatra, Elvis, and Madonna.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:24 PM
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What is it, oh Intellectual Sage of the Higher Reaches of Musical Appreciation?

A single not-so-huge slice of the musical spectrum.

I'm pretty inclined to agree with Apostropher on this one. And I don't think anyone's trying to say that the Beatle's were shit. It seems pretty undeniable that they wrote some great songs, even to someone like me who doesn't even like them much. But I just think they're a bit overrated from a musical standpoint. Their music alone was not super untouchably fantastic. They do, however, recieve special consideration for their pioneering studio techniques and widespread popularity.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:25 PM
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What is it, oh Intellectual Sage of the Higher Reaches of Musical Appreciation?

Project much, Adam? It's like w-lfs-n just accused me of being pedantic. To answer your question, see my second sentence of 344.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:27 PM
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I suspect I'm going to get crucified, but....

I think that Tom Waits is better than the Beatles.

He doesn't have the same critical acclaim? Well, that's all to the good.


Posted by: dagger aleph | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 9:55 PM
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349, 350: I had in mind Chopper, who dismissed the Beatles as "purest pap." I also had in mind those pioneering studio techniques -- consider the transformations from, say, Meet the Beatles to the White Album -- which I think make them more musically significant over the course of their career than Sinatra, Elvis or Madonna, though I suppose that depends on how much credit you extend to the arrangers, bands and producers of those three. But sure, their cultural significance is part of the package.


Posted by: jmcq | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:01 PM
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Listen you guys, apostropher et al, you're trying to say that pop and rock are to music like the sonnet is to poetry, a little slice of a way bigger thing.

But I happen to think that the song (the marriage of words and music in a short, managable form) is more than that: it's a basic component of popular human speech, which anyone with half an ear can sing or whistle.

This is very unlike, say, humming or whistling a symphony, which you have to be a trained pro to do.

When it comes to writing songs, you have Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and the Gershwins. -- the American songbook guys -- and you have Paul McCartney and John Lennon and Bob Dylan, and throw in maybe Brian Wilson and Paul Simon, and that's about it -- they're the absolute masters of this most basic form of music, the song.

Your classical composers and your jazz improvisers, who don't write songs, make up the other half of music, the "learned" or "trained" or "academic" half, which is perfect for you pretentious lads to lounge along with in your groves of academe, and congratulate yourselves on how your good taste eclipses the vulgarity of the great unwashed.

But pop and rock explore the song: they enter a vast area, which is the most basic area, not a small slice at all, but at least half of it, if not more.

Now go fuck a clown.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:06 PM
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I think that Tom Waits is better than the Beatles.

I do as well (though better is a matter of subjective taste), and he is certainly covering a larger and more adventurous chunk of musical territory. On the other hand, the Beatles have had and will continue to have a much broader influence on the musicians that followed them than Waits ever will. We could probably have this same conversation about which season is the best. It's autumn, quite obviously, but I don't begrudge people their delusions to the contrary.

I've said it here before, but when it comes down to brass tacks, the best music evar is generally whatever music you were listening to when you entered adulthood.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:08 PM
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Now go fuck a clown.

She's asleep and wakes up grumpy. Can I just stay here and pontificate instead?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:12 PM
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You can pontificate as long as you promise to fuck her tomorrow.

Mind you, in this goddam heat, I can't even get a boner thinking of Sophia Loren's tits crossed with Marilyn Monroe's ass and Julia Robert's lips.

I'd like to hear what you think of my novel division of music between the basic song and the "academic" other half, a division I just pulled out my non-existent boner.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:18 PM
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355: Autumn rules. I knew you were a smart fella.

About Tom Waits: I heard an interview with Linda Thompson a couple years back in which she made the distinction between great singers with lousy voices -- she singled out Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen -- and lousy singers with great voices. She offered as an example of the latter Mariah Carey, who she said "couldn't sing to save her life." Spot on.


Posted by: jmcq | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:29 PM
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At least you two agree about infidelity.

Why are there no female bloggers?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:39 PM
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I can't even get a boner thinking of Sophia Loren's tits crossed with Marilyn Monroe's ass and Julia Robert's lips

Try Lorne Greene's tits crossed with Marilyn Manson's ass and Raul Julia's lips. On second thought, don't. Eventually the heat will break and you'd hate to still be bonerless.

in your groves of academe

I'm 14 years removed from my lowly B.A. in polisci.

But pop and rock explore the song

They do, and so do Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Lorena McKennett, Woody Guthrie, Ali Farka Toure, and the Baptist Hymnal. Like I said, I listen to more rock and pop than anything else (probably more than everything else combined, if I added it up).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 10:47 PM
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Those are all pop giants you mention.
Lorne Green's tits -- jesus, you are a perve from the dark side.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 3-06 11:46 PM
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It seems pretty obvious to me that the Beatles were one of (and probably the) greatest band(s) ever. I still can't think of a group that even really comes close if we are talking about the writing of songs and album production.

However, Apostropher's also right that that's just one genre of music making and there are loads of giants in other areas.

Miles Davis and Tom Waits, for me, for example, made consistently great and varied music over decades. Or, if just talking about the writing of music, there's a bunch of those Dead White Guys -- all those German chaps with names beginning with 'B'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 2:05 AM
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Bob Dylan's Dream is, indeed, really funny.

To all the people who say things like "Bob Dylan's/Tom Waits'/whoever's voice/singing sucks", you are fools. The fact that you think that Waits, say, has a bad voice (or can't sing) merely shows that your criteria are flawed. Actually I frequently can't tell what people mean by that. I think the problem is similar to that which one can find in Hume's essay "On the Standard of Taste", in which he (mis)relates an anecdote from Don Quixote about Sancho Panza's kinsmen. Their abilities as judges of wine is supposed to have been proven by the fact that, when at some town or other they sampled some from a barrel, one of them detected the taste of leather and the other of iron, judgments vigorously denied by the locals, until the barrel was overturned and—a key on a leather thong! However, all that is in fact thereby demonstrated is that the kinsmen were able correctly to detect the flavors of the wine—it doesn't mean that their further judgment (...and it's bad, too!) was confirmed. Similarly, it's certainly true that Neil Young has a nasal voice, or that Waits is no Heldentenor, but that doesn't mean they have bad voices.

203: thanks!
I saw Simon & Garfunkel LIVE in CONCERT and it was pretty awesome, though I have to confess that even awesomer was when they brought out the motherfuckin' Everly Brothers.

Blues question: who are the current greats? L and Tetuzi Akiyama don't count.

354 is wrong in so many ways I'm just going to agree w/ ogged that AA is trolling.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 4:34 AM
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When it comes to writing songs, you have Irving Berlin and Cole Porter and the Gershwins. -- the American songbook guys -- and you have Paul McCartney and John Lennon and Bob Dylan, and throw in maybe Brian Wilson and Paul Simon, and that's about it -- they're the absolute masters of this most basic form of music, the song.

Trolling or not, I think we have a new presumptive frontrunner in the Official Unfogged White-Off.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 5:19 AM
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Is there a proper term for a trollish insistence on self-parody? No matter.

I saw Tom Waits once. Totally didn't work for me. I'm not saying he's not a genius, just that, in my case at least, he was no entertainer.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 5:28 AM
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who are the current greats

IMO this is like asking who are the current greats of big-band swing. Without paying attention, I'm sure there are some swing-playing big bands around, and that some of them make beautiful music -- would that orchestra led by the former Stray Cat whose name I can't recall count? -- but the more interesting thing is ways the historical style plays out in modern music. "Blues" is something that happens in the first half of the 20th century. "Blues revival" is something that happens in the 60's and is pretty played out by the following decade. When you listen to contemporary music by e.g. Bruce Springsteen (to pull a name out of my ass) you will hear threads of influence.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 5:52 AM
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At times like this I wish I was Jewish, so I could just say, "Oy".

How is Elvis Costello, especially up to and including Mighty Like a Rose, not as good a songwriter as John Lennon? Just for instance. And in case any part of that question can be quoted out of context to suggest that I accept the overemphasis on pop songs that some folks are advocating, I'd just add that I was whistling Für Elise on my way to work, and I certainly only have half an ear.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:08 AM
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OneFatEnglishman is clearly being insufficiently tribal.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:11 AM
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"Blues" is something that happens in the first half of the 20th century. "Blues revival" is something that happens in the 60's and is pretty played out by the following decade.

I think your general point is on, but this leaves out the '50s which I think is pretty much the heyday of electric Chicago blues. Chess Records got that name in 1950.

Anyway, Cephas and Wiggins? I haven't heard most of the surviving Fat Possum people.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:24 AM
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Thanks Matt -- I was thinking about saying something like that but I don't really know that much about electric blues -- I sort of thought Chess dated from 1945 or so. So put a sentence about "Chicago blues" in between the sentence about "Blues" and that about "Blues revival".


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:28 AM
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that orchestra led by the former Stray Cat whose name I can't recall

Brian Setzer -- it is the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Are they strictly "big-band swing"? Or more of a big-band/rock-and-roll fusion or something?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:32 AM
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The 50s were indeed, pace McG, also the heyday of Muddy Waters. Who benefitted from being seen live, oh yes he did. I saw him in the 60s, probably past his pomp, supported by a bunch of 20-something revivalists, all ripped jeans and flashy Strats. Muddy's band (Otis Spann, Charlie Musselwhite, etc.) came on in tuxes, with 30 watt amps, and blew them all out of the hall. Unbelievable.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:37 AM
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I saw Tom Waits once.

My wife is visiting her sister in Nashville and is going to see him tomorrow night. That bitch.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:38 AM
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Mozart sucks. Eine Kleine Mein Eyes Ausgefingerpoken.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:38 AM
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Something I'm wondering about this morning: what is pop music like in England (and Europe) before rock and roll? I know only one European jazz act, the Hot Club of Paris, and a couple of French singers whom I don't know by name but would recognize their music.

And 374: you young whippersnappers are just upset you missed the Classical revolution -- you probably grew up on Bartok and Stravinsky -- pure pap. Mozart rocked hard.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:45 AM
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374: woot! Some friends, while not taking the general point, called it Eine Kleine Schittundscheine.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:51 AM
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375: In England, unless you go right back to Music Hall styles, you've mainly got 2nd rate American influenced pap, plus Noel Coward - a light shining in darkness. In France you've got the chanson tradition culminating in Piaf. Far too many accordions, which are what they'll make me listen to in Hell. The Italians belted it out much as they still do. God knows about the rest. Probably more fucking squeeze boxes.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:53 AM
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Oh, come the fuck on. You guys can say that Mozart's overrated, but you can't possibly in good faith assert that he sucks.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:55 AM
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No no, he's objectively good like Led Zeppelin. I just don't enjoy listening to most of his music at all.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 6:57 AM
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What I mean is, dum tweedletweedletweedletweedletweedletweedle. I returned to the computer just to write this comment.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:00 AM
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379 -- Mozart of course pales in comparison to Rossini.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:02 AM
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The great tragedy of Mozart is that he was born into an era that demanded that he compose Mozarty music.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:04 AM
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It should be added that early British "rock and roll" was unbelievably bad. There was a youth called Tommy Steele who had to be seen to be believed and ended up having a huge hit called "Little White Bull". There was Cliff Richard (he of the Millennium Prayer). There was Marty Wilde, who at least looked as if he had balls, but he retired on the dosh.

It was pathetic. It was embarrassing. Anybody with a shred of self-respect listened to revivalist jazz.

(BTW, I'm not quite that old, it was friends' big brothers and sisters who were suffering. I was listening to my dad's Bix Beiderbecke 78s.)


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:05 AM
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You know, this question of "objectively good" v. "enjoy" is one that has interested me for some time. Your Mozart attitude is similar to how I feel about pretty much all the art produced between 1700-1910.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:05 AM
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You know what else? Monet looks like shit in a print. If I have to see one more goddamned shoddily framed Water Lilies print, I'm going to start carrying around a boxcutter. Unless you have a fucking original, I don't want to see any Money on your wall.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:08 AM
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It's much easier to determine "objectively bad" work.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:08 AM
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I actually wouldn't mind seeing Money on a wall, if it were creatively arranged.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:09 AM
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if it were creatively arranged.

Or "there for the taking".


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:12 AM
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If I have to see one more goddamned shoddily framed Water Lilies print

Marry me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:17 AM
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I actually wouldn't mind seeing Money on a wall

What about Eddie Money?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:18 AM
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Do you have a license to print Monet?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:21 AM
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Mozart is all twiddley.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:28 AM
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Mozart is all twiddley.

But people complain this about Bach, too, which is clearly wrong.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:35 AM
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But people complain this about Bach, too, which is clearly wrong.

And Charlie Parker, who was probably the next best thing after Bach. Twiddley ===> demands attention.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:39 AM
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Do you bastards realize that nothing--nothing!--makes me happier than hearing Non piu andrai? And that I have a cherished memory of saying goodbye to my college boyfriend at the end of his senior year, a goodbye which had been preceeded by my several hour crying jag, and which he was determined to set to his cheesy Opera's Greatest Goodbyes CD, and how when Non piu andrai came on I interrupted a smooch to sing aloud, because such is its imperative to happiness?

All of The Marriage of Figaro is basically pure happy syrup. Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute are also good stuff.

I hate you all. /ogged.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:39 AM
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tweedley is not twiddley. Twiddley good, tweedley bad.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:43 AM
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394 -- "Marriage of Figaro" s/b "Barber of Seville".


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:44 AM
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Mozart is fine, but it was probably a good career move to die when he did. I once heard Mozart's Requiem and Salieri's Requiem played back to back, and Salieri survived better than I's expected.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:46 AM
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Hey Tia, are you coming along this evening? Can we get a count of people who will be there, so I can try and stake out a spot for us? Last night we got up to 7 but I don't think everybody who will possibly be there was participating in that thread.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:47 AM
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OneFatEnglishman, you need to open your ears to the beauty of the accordian.

Monet is great, but it's best to look at his stuff like only once every two years since he's massively overplayed.

Mozart is also great.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:48 AM
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399--I'll be there.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:49 AM
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(The 7 so far is: me and 2 family members, Teo, LB, JM, Becks. The males are radically outnumbered; I am hoping Felix will supplement our numbers.)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:50 AM
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If I have to see one more goddamned shoddily framed Water Lilies print, I'm going to start carrying around a boxcutter.

I, on the other hand, seek to fill the world with shoddily framed Water Lilies prints. And get paid.

Seriously, 384 is crazy talk. I like me some Old Masters and modernism too, but nothing between 1700-1910?


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:50 AM
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I'm coming, though leaving somewhat early.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:50 AM
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What about Eddie Money?

Eddie Money will kick your ass.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:52 AM
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404 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:53 AM
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(Oh and: anybody who can get there a little early, I'm showing up at 5:30 in hopes of staking out a table -- it is difficult though for one lone Clown and his scant entourage successfully to defend a table for 8 against all comers)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:55 AM
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404 gets it exactly right

In what sense?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:55 AM
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I realize that it's crazy talk, but I don't care. Like I said, I appreciate that a lot of the stuff is objectively good, but I just don't enjoy it. Actually, I'd like to revise what I said and make a Gauguin exception.

Mostly I'm still on the heels of having visited the National Gallery in London the other day and it was exasperating. Also, I noted that there is a gallery called the "w-lfs-n Room," with shiny pink wallpaper.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:55 AM
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408: I am in New York now, and will be coming to the meetup and leaving early.

("Why are you spending so much of the summer in the Northeast?" Rephrase that as "Why aren't you spending the summer in Lubbock?")


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:59 AM
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But people complain this about Bach, too, which is clearly wrong.

Who says this about Bach? Fat men and Nazis, that's who.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 7:59 AM
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I don't say it about Bach. Bach transcribed his music straight from God, and I don't even believe in God.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:02 AM
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410: Oh. Very cool. 9 it is, then.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:07 AM
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(And: 2 girls for every boy!)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:12 AM
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Why will no one recognize that, in his prime, Mingus outshone Parker, Davis, and Coltrane together, with Monk following closely behind?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:13 AM
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Mingus is my favorite of all the jazz greats.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:17 AM
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409: Gauguin, actually, is not objectively good, at least not most of the time (though I do like ours.) A lot the time he's facile but pretty bad--and don't get me started on his self-portraits. I thought the big "Gauguin Tahiti" show of a couple years ago should have been titled "My Name is Gauguin and I'm a Big Fraud." You could see how his use of color was instructive to the Fauves, but that was about it. Papa Corot, though--that's some painting.

What was exasperating about the National Gallery? I know people who have a love/hate relationship with it, but I've never been.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:18 AM
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389, 416: It's settled.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:18 AM
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416: Apo, I've always liked you.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:20 AM
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415 -- One of the things about Mingus was that he was the only avant-garde type who captured the fun aspect of jazz. Most of the rest were pretty existential and gloomy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:21 AM
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415, 416 -- I like all those guys a lot, and Duke Ellington too -- but the jazz I feel the strongest connection to/greatest appreciation for is Fletcher Henderson, who never seems to get mentioned in the same breath as the greats so I assume he is objectively not on their level.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:21 AM
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And "Live at Antibbes" is my favorite of all the Mingus albums (that I've heard).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:22 AM
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Also, if you've never heard it, this compilation is so, so totally worth seeking out.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:25 AM
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420: Indeed. His musical genius aside, any artist who would name a tune "All the Things You Could Be by Now if Sigmund Freud's Wife Was Your Mother" is guaranteed to have a special place in my heart.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:25 AM
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421: Probably not, but pretty close. It gets overlooked how much early early Ellington owes to the Henderson sound (at least, that's how it sounds to me). Another aspect is that Henderson was a bandleader more than a sole genius; Don Redman did most of the early arranging, and Fats Waller did some.

420: I'd dispute that about Ornette. And Mingus may not be avant-garde in the same way, he certainly didn't ally himself much with 'free jazz'.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:25 AM
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Apo, thanks for that link. Wife's birthday sorted.

I think most people think of Henderson primarily as Goodman's arranger, which probably doesn't help. I must dig some out, haven't listened to it for years.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:31 AM
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425 -- Does Henderson's music predate swing? Some of it sounds pretty swingy buy some not at all. Is there a named style of jazz that subsumes his band?


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:32 AM
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buy s/b but


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:34 AM
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Alvin Ailey choreographed a hotttt dance to a Mingus tune; I can never hear Mingus now without feeling Ailey in my muscle memory, and that's a very good thing.

I'll try to pick up that album mentioned in 422.

JL, I agree that the Tahiti paintings aren't all that, but his earlier landscapes? You don't like those? They rocked Van Gogh's world!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:36 AM
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That looks like you're telling me to buy Standpipe's butt.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:37 AM
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Only to your twisted mind.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:40 AM
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423: Aaargh! I don't like that at all, and I'm generally pro-Willner. If you've never heard "Open Letter to Duke," stay the hell away from that; and definitely no one should let it be their introduction to Mingus.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:42 AM
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429: I botched the title. It's Mingus at Antibes, and the cover of my copy looks nothing like the one displayed there. Same album, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:44 AM
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I don't like that at all

Huh. Different strokes, I guess. You're right, though, that it shouldn't be an introduction to Mingus.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:46 AM
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427: Not really AFAIK. "Harlem jazz"? The category 'swing' is somewhat vexed; it was Goodman's recording of Henderson's arrangement of Jelly Roll's "King Porter Stomp" that started the Era of Swing for the wider public. At least that's what my potted history tells me.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:46 AM
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Didn't they think of it as swing at the time, though?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:49 AM
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Hey BTW my father-in-law was president of the Benny Goodman fan club for a portion of the mid-20th century.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:49 AM
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Later Ornette is fun, but his first three albums strik me as existentialist. Which is great.

Mingus wasn't exactly free jazz, but no one ever stuck him in one of the reactionary camps. Perhaps because he would have punched them out if they had.

I love the stuff Don Cherry did in Scandinavia -- proto World Music. Jan Garbarek and Marion Brown also do that kind of thing. It's not jazz at all any more. (They all even sound a little proto-New Age, but totally without the Vallium effect, they're all pretty sharp and lively.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:50 AM
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(Like I think in the late 40's before his children were born but I'm not sure of the precise dates)


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:51 AM
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Apropos of Apo's 423, but switching to Miles, I really enjoy this album. (Lots of people disagree with me, but screw them.)


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:53 AM
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BTW I have a history of electric guitar up at my URL. The early electric guitarists all came from the middle of knowhere (I call it "The Muskogee-Waukesha-Bismarck Triangle".)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:53 AM
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Mispelled URL. Here's the good one.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:55 AM
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Emerson -- "the system cannot find the file specified".


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:55 AM
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Nemmine.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 8:56 AM
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429: I do like the early landscapes better, but they're very derivative of Pissarro and Cézanne. Which shouldn't bother me, because I try not to let the argument that something is dervative affect my appreciation of it, but it does. Perhaps because they're so facile, perhaps because Gauguin was such a jerk about it. He pissed Cézanne off no end.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:02 AM
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436: Not sure, I think 'swing' wasn't considered a style of music originally. Jelly Roll Morton has a piece called "Georgia Swing" but I don't think it's supposed to be swing music. Anyhoo, not sure the genre labels are too helpful here; early Henderson's beat is very different from Goodman's though.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:02 AM
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Gauguin, actually, is not objectively good, at least not most of the time

What do you mean by objectively? I like Gauguin's European paintings, like "Vision After the Sermon", which rocks, or "Still Life with 3 Puppies" (puppies!): I think his color was better then than in most of the Tahitian paintings.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:08 AM
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I didn't used to like Cezanne, but I recently learned that Manet though that he was an oaf, and I'm pro-oaf so I'm going to try to like Cezanne. I just assumed that he was an aesthete of some sort.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:09 AM
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"Manet even gave as a reason for not exhibiting that he could not afford to commit himself alongside Cezanne, who was thought of as a little freakish even by those other members who sensed his strength. And Cezanne gave them plenty of reason for feeling so. He was rough in manner, sometimes surly, always unsure of himself, and defensively contemptuous of fine manners."

MAnet on Cezanne


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:13 AM
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445: I think you could piss Cezanne off by breathing in the same room with him. Not to say that Gauguin wasn't a bastard.

Silvana, you're willing to leave out Cezanne? and Manet? and Goya?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:15 AM
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How can you not love a guy like that? (By "you" I mean "I".)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:18 AM
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If I was around, Silvana would diss Goya at considerable risk, but it's poetsday, so I'm for the pub. Have a good meet, lads and lasses.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:20 AM
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What do you mean by objectively?

Nothing, really, just taking a hold of a phrase others were bandying about. I've no interest in arguing about the objectivity of aesthetic judgments, at least not right now. I suppose all I meant was that mainstream opinion, both among art historians and the broader audience (although with some doubters in the first group, I think) place Gauguin among the litany of the true greats, and I think that's wrong. Which may amount to, if anything, the opposite of objectivity, but I put a lot of weight on my own opinion.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:39 AM
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451: Of course you have to love him. I also love Joseph Cornell, not just for his art, but for the fact that he spent his entire life in a poky middle-class house in Queens.

JL: I think his European period was great, and if he's not in the top echelon, he's close, and also an awful person, so encrusted with myth that you'd (by which I suppose I mean I'd) like to have a go at him with a fire hose.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:54 AM
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What do you mean by objectively?

I think "objectively" is actually of some potential use here, at least in defining what is not good, e.g., Hootie's inability to hit the right note. The absence of basic competence is objectively bad.

Now, the presence of competence is not by itself enough to be good, but it gets you to a certain threshhold.

I make no claim about Gauguin in this context.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 9:58 AM
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Mm Joseph Cornell.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:01 AM
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mcmc: Apart from being an awful person, which could be said about a lot of artists, it's those parts of his awfulness that got translated into his paintings, especially the self-mythologizing schtick, that bugs me. And yeah, Cézanne was a prickly guy, but it was that sort of thing that (in part) bugged him about Gauguin too. And that he thought (rightly) that Gauguin was trying to rip him off. But anyway, yeah, I do find the European stuff more convincing, even if I'd put in on a lesser level than others. As for Joseph Cornell, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to this.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:17 AM
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Hootie's inability to hit the right note. The absence of basic competence is objectively bad.

No no no no no. You're so wrong you're making ogged's 213 right! Some singers with wandering pitch are still great; I will brook no criticism of Iggy's singing with the Stooges (the pitch there may not be 'wandering' so much as 'nonexistent'). Hootie's inability is probably objectively bad, but that's because it comes in the context of Blandy McBlanderson.

When I say 'objectively good' I mean something like, "There's clearly a lot of complexity and depth there [Mozart], or power [Led Zeppelin], and it isn't obviously ruined by wankery or the wrong kind of stupidity, and a lot of smart people appreciate it, so my failure to appreciate it is an indication that I'm missing out on something. Nevertheless I don't like it. (And probably I have my reasons.)"


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:21 AM
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458 -- this is (not even all that) roughly what I meant in 421, too.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:25 AM
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Yes, if only the complexity and depth of Mozart could be joined to the power of Zep. Now that would be music!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:25 AM
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That is, I meant "It's my fault (for the reasons cited in 458) that I don't dig Mingus as much as Henderson."


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:26 AM
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460 -- I think you are looking for Megadeth.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:27 AM
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All, have a lovely week; I'm officially done with work now (my summer associateship) and will be in Berlin for 'holiday' and not sitting around wishing people weren't sleeping instead of commenting on Unfogged.

So I can't make OFE mad by dissing Goya, gots to go.


Posted by: silvana | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:31 AM
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Some singers with wandering pitch are still great

Yes, but they still have wandering pitch. They are overcoming it by some other quality x so you are saying that despite their inability to hold a note, they captivate me, because they possess much more important qualities.

Aren'tcha?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:36 AM
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In other words, I do listen to Tom Waits and I do not listen to Mariah Carey, but it's not because of Waits's technical competence making melodies with his voice, it's because of what I guess is his skill as an actor---at conveying emotions, states of mind, etc.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:38 AM
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465 -- but I think that invalidates your above thingy about technical competence being a precondition for objective greatness. Or anyway it makes the definition of "technical competence" way fuzzier.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:43 AM
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by "your above thingy" I mean 455.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:45 AM
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466 - That's why I hinge my use of the word "objective" in these sorts of things more upon a general consensus of critics and artists/bands on someone's influence. If that fails, then I fall back on my opinion and wild hyperbole.


Posted by: JAC | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:45 AM
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457: That looks great. We should have an Unfogged museum trip, if we're all still here in 2007. Have you read Simic on Cornell? A book I love.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:46 AM
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Wandering pitch is a traditional Irish style also found in the Appalachians. So it's not just a way of being fucked-up (like the Dead's "space music", for example).

I mean, you're not trying to say that the Irish and the hillbillies are fucked-up, are you?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:46 AM
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technical competence being a precondition for objective greatness

But technically, I didn't say that. I said the absence of technical competence is objectively bad; I didn't say it couldn't be overcome by some other quality. Similarly, I would say that the presence of technical competence, while objectively good, can be overcome by some other bad quality.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:47 AM
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470: How could anyone possibly make that argument?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:49 AM
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No one within arms reach of Shane McGowan and a breakable bottle, I can tell you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:50 AM
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471: Hmm. Well I like JAC's criteria better -- it seems awfully presumptuous (for me) to talk about artists' technical chops or lack thereof, but fine and rational to talk about the critical response to artists and their position in the culture, and also my own love or hatred for their work.


Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:52 AM
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I wouldn't say that wandering-pitch singers are not competent, they're just singing in an untempered style. The same way that three-chord songs aren't harmionically illiterate, they just use a restricted harmony. And a cappella singing isn't lacking in accompaniment.

On the other hand, if everything someone does has been done better before by someone else, I'd call that incompetent or mediocre.

Two of my musical heros, Musorgsky and Satie, were regarded as incompetent because they were somewhat limited and made obvious mistakes. They were really forming a new style, but they didn't have a critical vocabulary to justify the new style. Debussy came along later and picked up their stuff, developed it furhter, and gave arguments for it.

My understanding of the second half of XIXc music is that a certain kind of music (common-practice harmony and voice-leading, the sonata, the symphony) had been more or less perfected and no one knew which way to jump. For example, imitators of Beethoven were almost always worse and lesser. Wagner was a sort of last gasp.

So you really had to ignore the rules in order to make music interesting.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:58 AM
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But John, if you're doing it on purpose, then it isn't a demonstration of technical incompetence, it's an artistic choice.

And LB, I'm pretty sure Shane's aim is a bit off since his heyday.

And Clown, I think you're perfectly licensed to say of Hootie, dude can't sing. And to say further, even so, a song with so few notes in it is (normally) not worth singing. (Exception, e.g.: "I Happen to Like New York"---how is the near-absence of melody overcome? Well, it's a deliberate effect, innit, that has something to do with the song's message.)


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 10:58 AM
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476 -- It was probably true that Musorgsky and Satie were not able to do things the "right" way. They were both self-taught and hadn't bothered to learn school music. They were able to do things a different way, but there was at the time no theory argument for what they were doing. People used the term "laws of music" unironically.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:02 AM
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Have you read Simic on Cornell?

I haven't--wasn't even aware of it. I'll look for it.

Museum trips are always good.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:06 AM
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464/465: Are you going to say that if Tom Waits hit every note on target he would be even better? No, because that would be crazy. His wandering pitch is part of what makes him a good actor. And 'good actor' isn't the right word; one who is skilled at conveying emotions etc. by singing songs is a good singer.

I don't know whether (as per Emerson) Waits is precise and deliberate in his wandering pitch, but I suspect not. We could argue the question of whether someone who precisely controls their wandering pitch is ipso facto always better than someone who doesn't, given a style (like Waits's) to which wandering pitch is essential, but I don't think it'd be a very interesting argument. I also don't think Miles Davis meant to crack every single note he did crack.

a song with so few notes in it is (normally) not worth singing

You have insulted the Stooges. Prepare to die.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:07 AM
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I don't want to say you have to control your wandering pitch---that's an oxymoron. I'm saying, you have to know you're going to emit unreliable pitches, and make that part of your art.

Look, I like Lou Reed, Dylan, Waits.... any number of people who don't, in the technical sense, sing very well, but whose art is built around how they actually do sing. All I was trying to say is there are in fact some actual objective criteria, though not exhaustive, which one can apply to art.

And if I'm going to let Cole Porter be an exception, I can certainly let the Stooges. Jeez.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:15 AM
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you have to know you're going to emit unreliable pitches, and make that part of your art

I agree totally. Comity!

there are in fact some actual objective criteria, though not exhaustive, which one can apply to art.

I doubt this, in the case of music anyway, because

if I'm going to let Cole Porter be an exception, I can certainly let the Stooges.

by the time you're done with this you have more exception than rule.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:18 AM
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I think that this guy is saying that the Irish and the hillbillies are fucked-up.

Sure hope nothing happens to him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:19 AM
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Now, the Dead's "space music" is a way of being fucked-up. Any filthy hippies care to disagree?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:23 AM
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I said the absence of technical competence is objectively bad;

So a classically-trained singer who couldn't sing like Waits, he'd be technically incompetent? Or what?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:24 AM
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484: Well-trained classical musicians seem to have difficulty picking up other styles (not just wandering pitch, a lot of things). If classical and another style are learned simultaneously and maintained, though, a musician can do both, W. Marsalis being a well-known case.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:41 AM
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a classically-trained singer who couldn't sing like Waits, he'd be technically incompetent

I really don't get that mine is a controversial position. Are you just trolling me or what? (I mean, I know Emerson is.) If Kathleen Battle (or whoever you'd like to insert here) set out to record "Eggs and Sausage", yeah, she's incompetent to do it if she's sticking with her usual style.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:45 AM
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Greg Sandow has occasionally mentioned that he has difficulty getting classical musicians to play his pieces with the requested rock-like rhythms*. Talk about technical incompetence!

* At least I'm pretty sure he's mentioned having had this problem himself; I'm certain he's mentioned it being a problem in general (being able to play rock-like rhythms, that is).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:45 AM
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Trolling? Moi?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:47 AM
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Trolling? Moi?

In, of course, the most charitable and generous way possible.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 11:48 AM
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I just mean, you know, technical competence is relative to a particular style. Ralph Stanley has a crazy nasal voice, but it's not a flaw.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 12:02 PM
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Speaking of Mozart, I like this description:

Before about 1800, similarities of style were almost meaningless: you can't really tell whether Leopold and Wolfgang Amadeus had similar compositional interests because there was such a strong common language at the time. Everything that Wolfgang did differently from Leopold can be explained more or less simply as "being really awesome, rather than lame."


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 12:08 PM
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Classical training and technical ability aside, I think what Linda Thompson was getting at in that quote I mentioned above (about Tom Waits/Leonard Cohen vs. Mariah Carey) is that Waits and Cohen make great music with very limited instruments, whereas Carey, who has an extraordinary range and great control, makes shitty music. Her art is about as real as her breasts. It's like the way that Robert Johnson or Leadbelly, say, could make sublime music with a guitar that most people today would throw in the trash, while legions of posers play crap even with beautifully crafted instruments.

I am compelled to point out the following nifty convergence. In the songs-I-like-that-other-people-don't thread above, I mentioned "Cherchez la Femme" by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band (whatever. shut up.). The first line of that song is "Tommy Mottola lives on the road..."

Tommy Mottola was, of course, married to...

Mariah Carey.

I win!


Posted by: jmcq | Link to this comment | 08- 4-06 1:49 PM
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I thought (not having read the interview) her point might have been that Carey just doesn't know what she's doing: she has high-quality tools but doesn't know how to use them. That would accord more with saying she has a good voice but is a lousy singer than would saying that she just makes bad music.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 5:51 AM
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Mariah Carey is great, you oaf.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:01 AM
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At what?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:15 AM
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Writing songs and picking good producers, mainly. She's only really great in a few songs, but good in a lot of songs.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:32 AM
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OK, no lectures from Swedes about pop music.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:34 AM
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I listened to a bit of Run DMC on Youtube after writing that comment, and realized I kind of hate everything I've heard of them involving Rock, which is like everything they did. But Sucka MCs is great.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:35 AM
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And since this thread is back up...


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:35 AM
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500!


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:35 AM
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Hey, that worked.


Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:36 AM
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She's only really great in a few songs, but good in a lot of songs.

Weman, Weman, Weman. Stop trolling.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:41 AM
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I really like the roof and the remix of fantasy w odb.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 6:48 AM
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Picking up Emerson's point about well-trained classical singers having trouble singing in other styles, I agree, and the ways they choose to get around this are interesting. I'm going to be seeing Renee Fleming at Ravinia tonight. I saw her in the same place a couple of years ago. She'll do her demonstration pieces, and then she'll do show tunes, but differently from the way they'd be done in an actual production. And that kind of singing is not as different as blues would be. She won't be trying to sound like Billie Holiday, another singer with a very limited instrument who made great music with it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 7:23 AM
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Can I just second OneFatSassenach's comment on Bach, that his music is transcribed from God (and I don't even believe in God)?

Oh, and Mozart is teh suck.

The (exclusively) classical musicians suck at other styles thing is also largely true in my experience.

Jazzers, in particular, can cross over between all kinds of styles and good rock players can usually fake it too in ways that people who've been taught in the classical idiom since day one, and who don't come to other genres until late, simple cannot.

Also, Mingus is brilliant but I don't think he's up there with Davis as an influence.

Mingus was a real 'auteur' in ways that most of the other jazz greats were not -- he was a brilliant instrumentalist, composer, arranger and band leader -- whereas someone like Davis relied a lot more on the talents of his collaborators -- Gil Evans, Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, the various 'electric' era players, etc. -- but that collaborative approach, for me, produced a wider range of more interesting music. Mingus music is always just Mingusmusic, iyswim.



Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 7:24 AM
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Also, I was listening to Smokey Robinson this morning, and reminded that he pwns pretty much every song writer mentioned by Unofficial White-off Favourite Adam Ash above.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 7:28 AM
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Shouda added Stevie Wonder & Marvin Gaye (& Roy Orbison) to my pantheon of great songwriters, but Smokey didn't write enough tunes to count, though the ones he did write were great.

Holland Dozier Holland also count. God, they churned them out like fries at a Burger King.

I could add the Bee-Gees, except their lyrics aren't all that great -- but they sure had a way with a melody, and their disco stuff elevated the whole genre for a year or two.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 8:08 AM
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Without looking it up, Smokey surely wrote more songs than Marvin Gaye. Add up all the songs by the Miracles, the songs he wrote for other Motown artists in the '60's (and beyond), plus his solo records from the '70's onward (the last hit I can think of by him was in the late '80's sometime, but I assume he's recorded more since then) and you'll get a big number. Granted, the solo stuff isn't what one thinks of first in measuring his achievement, but some of it was quite popular ("Cruisin'"), influential ("Quiet Storm"), and often just plain good ("Let Me be the Clock.")

I love Marvin Gaye, own pretty much everything he did after gaining creative control over his career (including the classic Here, My Dear as a fold-out double record) and a lot of what came before, including all three records of duets with Tammi Terrell. His reputation as a songwriter, however, rest chiefly on just a few records--What's Goin' On, Let's Get It On, and to a lesser degree I Want You, Here, My Dear, and Midnight Love (and mostly just "Sexual Healing" from the last one.) Through in the title track of Trouble Man as a bonus, but that's about it. It's terrific stuff, and I'd include him on any list of greats, but to also exclude Smokey for not being prolific enough (!) is crazy.

(Just looked up: according to Wikipedia, Smokey recorded 70 Top 40 hits between 1959 and 1990. That doesn't include the hit songs by him that others did.)


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 10:00 AM
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I'm gonna have to smoke up on Smokey. Seems been missing a whole chunkagoodstuff there. Thanks.


Posted by: Adam Ash | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 10:05 AM
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My wife's first, very perceptive gift to me was a repress of Hi, we're the Miracles. Started us off right.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 10:43 AM
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Smokey recorded 70 Top 40 hits

Holy crap.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 11:22 AM
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Smokey Robinson was the man.

And subject of that infamous Bob Dylan quote where someone allegedly asked him what it was like to be 'America's greatest living poet' and he replied 'I don't know, you'll have to ask Smokey Robinson'...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 5-06 1:33 PM
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