MUSICAL ENGAGEMENT: What is a band whose music you just don’t get?

TODD BARTHOLOMEW WRITES ...

I think David MIchaels pretty much nailed it. Taste is subjective and a matter of opinion. There have been a lot of popular bands where I just don’t get the appeal or popularity. I don’t disparage them because I know how hard the artistic process can be. Tastes change and evolve and what led a band to be popular falls out of fashion leading it to become unpopular. Musical tastes change. Reading over posts there’s people who don’t like country or classical. I get that. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Are there bands that absolutely grate my last nerve? Absolutely. Nothing like being overplayed leads to that for me. Phil Collins, Journey, and Styx fall into that category for me. They got so overplayed I never want to hear certain songs again. But in Journey’s case I really liked some of the overlooked gems off “Raised on Radio” which got almost no airplay.

But there’s a difference in not “getting” a band versus feeling a band is overrated or lacking in artistic merit. I can point to a lot of bands whose lyrics are trite, cliched, and hackneyed, and yet they are quite popular. That I don’t get. I like some bands who probably fall into the category of “I don’t get it” like Devo (someone else mentioned them), Sparks, Kraftwerk, Oingo Boingo, or the Residents. Again…they all have their artist merits and points of view, but people can get offput by the weird lyrics, unusual vocals or musical accompaniment, or other factors.

FUTILE RESISTOR WRITES ...

I’d answer this question as if it means what bands “everybody else” who generally have similar taste in music as me gets but I don’t get. So what bands are generally very popular given the context and I just don’t want to hear it.

Pink Floyd !!! Lazy fingers, low energy, low dynamics and predictable and bland songs with low level of actually musically derived ideas, more production than music, only slow to mid tempo songs that struggle when the tempo is over slow. It’s like it never occurred to them it could be fun to learn to play properly and try some more musically adventurous ideas. If I had enough money from selling records I could do whatever I wanted I’d play, practice, rehearse and compose until the cows came home. And no, it’s not me we’re talking about here. It’s the giants Pink Floyd!!! Why do they sound like they don’t care about the music they play. It’s always this just barely holding together type of playing through the songs like they’re doing household chores and then fleshing it up in the studio.

David Gilmore is a great guitarist with talent and he’s the one who gets invited to collaborations with others and it always works great. I’m not sure why he stay in such a dreadfully incompetent band.

Roger Waters have some non-musically interesting ideas and concepts and great musicians has helped some solo efforts to great heights, but that’s more likely due to they’re great musicians and you don’t have to suffer from the Pink Floyd groove or lack there of. He’s most often the weakest link barely holding it together in the soundscape on his own records. I have no idea what Richard Wright is about and Nick Mason should have a restraining order telling him he’s not allowed to ever come close to any drum kit.

Still, they’ve sold millions of records (which is true about Meatloaf as well … ) and have some sort of place in the history of rock music although they can’t rock their way out of a wet paper bag. And given how popular they are, any time I happen to hear anything by them if anyone else hit a play button or whatever … I don’t get it!

DAVID A MICHAELS WRITES ...

I don’t feel as though I don’t “get” some bands’ music; it’s more that their music just doesn’t appeal to me, or I am completely indifferent to it. I try to differentiate between things I think are not good and things that are just not my taste. I used the analogy in another reply that I would take a pizza joint over a 4-start French restaurant any day. It’s not because I think the French restaurant “sucks”, and I can clearly recognize the refinement and skill that goes into being a French chef over a pizza cook; it’s just that I don’t care for French cuisine. It’s a reflection of my taste, not the quality of the product. For example:

Aerosmith. This is a band whose music does absolutely nothing for me. I don’t hate it, like “AAHHHHH! Shut that off!!!”; as a musician I can hear that they are tight, can play their tails off, great harmonies…but their overall sound and songs don’t move me at all.

Country music in general is not music that moves me. I think some of those cats are phenomenal musicians, great songwriters, and have tremendous integrity for the music they are creating and performing…but again, like the French cuisine, it just doesn’t appeal to me.

JOHN BARRY WRITES ...

Music I don’t get: Most country music. Kanye West. Metal Core. Pop music. Jam Bands. Dubstep. Most house music. The Grateful Dead except to qualify that with saying I love Garcia’s voice and guitar playing. I think their songs are a drag. Maybe because I don’t take drugs.

Music I love: Rock, Jazz, Classical, some Heavy Metal, Rush, old school rap like Eminem, Alternative rock, Led Zeppelin, some indie artist. I even like old stuff my parents would have thought was too old for them like Sinatra, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Billie Holiday, B.B. King. Reggae. Ska.

I liked Audioslave a lot. RHCP. I guess classic rock is my default value. I like John Mayer because of his guitar tone. I don’t think he’s an all time great guitarist, song writer or singer, but he has a great guitar tone. His amps sound amazing. SRV. Buddy Guy. I like the blues.

My mom liked Queen and the 80’s stuff. I don’t mind it but it’s nothing I would ever buy. I appreciate that Queen is, generally, complex. Beatles, but then who doesn’t like some Beatles. How many kids have asked me to teach them Beatle songs, then I have to go learn the stuff in order to teach them.

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