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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Classic Artists

What happens when you don't know a classic and legendary artist's music? You recognize and know they're important, but don't know any of their songs, except for one or two that are incessantly played on the radio. There are a lot of supposedly important artists that I know absolutely nothing about, or care about. The Rolling Stones are right up there. I understand they've been around since the time of Christ and now look completely gross, but nothing they have done thrills me at all. I enjoy "Ruby Tuesday" and "Play with Fire," but that's about it. The only reason I don't make a bigger fuss about it is that I understand that some people who now play good music were influenced by them. However, I choose to view them as influencing/inspiring people to make better music than theirs. The Rolling Stones are easily one of the most overrated bands of all time. It could be because I haven't heard all of their 29 albums, but I do no appreciate their "talents." Maybe I'll buckle when they die...which I hope is soon.

Another guy who I don't get is recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leonard Cohen. Apparently the man is a great songwriter, but the only song of his that I don't loathe is "Hallelujah," and it's definitely not the version he sings. His voice honestly makes me cringe a little.

Neil Young is a semi-talentless ass clown. Perhaps his inability to sing makes him great, but he doesn't bring a whole lot to the table if you ask me, aside from his Canadian poncho. Bob Seger, too.

I don't understand why Lynyrd Skynyrd is important at all, aside from their excessive use of the letter "Y." They loved the Confederacy and the South as a whole and died in airplane crash. Too bad, so sad...that was a little harsh...but still. Jefferson Airplane/Starship? What the hell did they ever do? I have no idea. No f-ing clue why they are important.

Now there is a whole string of artists that I know almost nothing about their work, but acknowledge as important people: Patti Smith, Allman Brothers (mostly because two died in motorcycle accidents at the same intersection a year apart from each other),Van Morrison, The Band, and Jeff Beck, just to name a few. To my knowledge, I have never listened to their music, yet I still acknowledge their importance...

What separates these guys from those other ass-clowns? I honestly do not know, but it is my quest to find out why and to listen to some of these "classic" artists.


  1. This is brilliant stuff Nate. Read what the ass clown critics write about "classic" or "defining" artists and why their shit doesn't stink. Create your top ten list for rock. Talk about why Sabbath is more influential than Zeppelin. You are on the precipice of greatness.

  2. "I understand they've been around since the time of Christ and now look completely gross [...]"

    Now that's good. I'm partial to a few earlier Stones records including the following - Also, Neil Young is a pretty talented guy. Here's one of his best -

    Ultimately most of the artists you are skeptical about have been vetted by older generations, specifically the Boomers. That isn't to say they are especially good (or not-so-good), but the general consensus over time has put them firmly in the classic popular music camp. If you look into the Halls of Power today, you'll see many a Boomer. Also, that generation still buys music as opposed to taking it from blogs, etc.

    Most of the artists you cite also came up during a period of time when radio was much more prevalent as a medium (and probably a bit more listenable) and before the eventual disintegration of the music industry which we are seeing today. There arguably wasn't as much "clutter" in the marketplace, to cite a very tired metaphor.

    But, as I haven't been around since the time Jesus walked the earth, I can't claim to know exactly why any of the artists you point out achieved the popularity they did.



  3. I do like some songs by the Stones actually. "Under my Thumb", I really like "Sympathy for the Devil", and they do have a slew of other songs that are impressive like "Satisfaction", "Paint it Black", let's be serious, there are a shit-ton. We just get the played out, old Stones who look like leather handbags run through the washing machine.