Friday, August 28, 2009

Music for the Youth Impaired

A few years ago I lost the cd player function in my car, and have ever since been subjected to the Clear Channel's idea of what good music is. (Apparently it is 10-20 songs on repeat for a year, and then you add one song to the list at the end of that year.) I also live 3.5 hours from my parents, and 45 minutes from work. Needless to say, I drive A LOT. And I'm not always in the mood to have conversations with myself, or be silent, so I have over time caught up with current music. Most of it is crap. But I have made a rule about listening to the radio in the car: stop scanning when something of mild value is on because you won't find anything better. Scanning, I believe, is the hope that "something better" is on. And since scanning is almost as annoying as commercials, I have compiled a list of "acceptable bands." This means, if I find a song- any song- by a band on the list, I stop scanning. Of course, this list does not provide hours of scan-free music, but it does help.
Now, normally, some of these bands I would never have listened to, but each of them has some quality that I like and therefore I can stand to listen to them. Most of you out there will never have need for a list like this- you keep your cd/MP3/iPods in working order- but for those of you who do not care about technology, are poor, or are just sick of the music you own... here is my list. These are the bands you should give a listen to, cause there will not be anything better on the radio;
*Evanescence- after I got over the whole "angsty high school goth" theme of the band, I actually liked them enough to buy their cds.
*Chevelle- this one is new for me, but they have some really good songs. I'm on the fence about buying anything of theirs because they sound like everyone else- but they are the best of the "everyone else" sound.
*30 Seconds to Mars- also part of the "everyone else" sound, but good enough.
*Coldplay- Radiohead light.
*Katy Perry- she's so overplayed she's annoying, but still BTAE.
*Pink- like Evanescence, there was a stupid image to get over, but she's funny, catchy, and pro-woman.
*Bush- the first to run with the "everyone else" sound that bands are still using today. I put them on par with watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
*Kanye West- I think he's actually good music, but so many hate him that I felt he could be put on this list for your benefit. yeah he's creating dances that involve bopping yr head over yr shoulder, yeah he's got a big ego, but you're still tapping yr foot.
*Rhianna- she's also so overplayed she's annoying. I've stopped listening to her, but I always like her new music for a while (before it's played 100 times an hour).
*Pussycat Dolls- I want to hate them... but I end up dancing in my seat.
*Fergie- kinda the same review as above, but she has Black Eyed Peas cred.
*Justin Timberlake- sometimes I laugh at him, sometimes I laugh with him.
*Shakira- it's almost good music. just missing a little depth.
*Gwen Stefani (solo)- same review as Pussycat Dolls. also good to listen to when shopping at the mall or painting yr nails.
*Christina Aguilera- not a fan of her 1st or 3rd albums, but her 2nd was good music, so now I listen to whatever they are willing to play of hers.
*Sean Paul- you can't understand the man, but he has good beats.

Please note this list is made of bands that aren't good, but will do when trapped in the car with only a radio. Some of them have crossed over for me, but they began on this list. Aguilera and Kanye are the only ones I'll admit to liking in public, so don't ask.
Also note- I intentionally left off some okay bands because they belong to "acceptable genres." Basically, if you can find a heavy metal station (Metallica, Ozzy, Iron Maiden, etc.), classic rock (Hendrix, The Doors, Zepplin, etc.), classical (Beethoven, Chopin, Puccini, etc.), jazz/blues (Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Guy Barker, etc.), or country classics (Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, etc.)- listen to it. These genre stations will play more acceptable music more frequently than a rock or hip-hop station. It's just that if you live in Dallas or Austin (I'll keep this statement to cities I have personal knowledge of), you have a ton of choices for rock or hip-hop, but only one or two choices for the others (sometimes none). [Also- Led Zepplin is the one band you can find playing somewhere in any town in America.]
Happy travelling! Hope you don't have to listen to radio!

1 comment:

  1. I am outing you and your love of Gwen Stefani!!!! PS- if in doubt, just listen to NPR