Monday, June 4, 2007

My biases

Well, before we go nuts, let's examine my biases about this project and my purposes for doing so. As I mentioned, I think the baby boomer are constantly hurting their shoulders trying to pat their collective back. So, I am going into this with less regard for the big bands that get hammered down our throats (Dylan, the Stones, etc.) and certainly with prejudice against that boomer era of '65-'75.

So, I'll outline the things I think will be important going forward:

  • I'm 26 years old, white and I live just outside Washington, DC (two miles over the DC line, actually). I grew up in affluence in suburban Chicago.

  • I am a northerner through and through. I do not care for country music. I am not a huge hip hop guy, but I'm very well-versed in music and do appreciate hip hop (and consequently, find it vastly underrepresented on this list).

  • I do not listen to much jazz or soul music, though I enjoy both. I just don't know it as well as I know rock and roll.

  • As I mentioned before, it was a dream of mine to be involved in the industry, so I am well-versed in music. I own a huge amount of music (over 1700 CDs and LPs). I used to be music director at my college radio station and interned a summer at a commercial radio station.

  • I prefer independent rock to mainstream stuff and hope for music to be somewhat interesting. I think more about music than I should and I probably over analyze it. I appreciate pop music, but if we're talking "greatest," I think it should be really interesting. Again, I like indie rock the most, but I grew up in America, so I'm familiar with and love a lot of classic rock. I grew up listening to the Beatles and Who almost exclusively, as that's what my parents like.

  • Two of my three favorite bands are not on the list. They are, though I'm sure you don't care, Mogwai and Tortoise. Pink Floyd, my other favorite band, is on the list, though I'd argue Floyd is not represented well. My favorite songwriter is also not on the list (Elliott Smith).

  • I am wholly unfamiliar with early rock and roll. The Sam Cooke/Ray Charles/Elvis stuff is mostly alien to me, so I'm hoping to discover some new stuff.

  • I am not religious, so the religious songs might not be very effective to me.

  • Because I grew up in affluence, I don't care for blue collar rock. Sorry.

  • I'm not the world's biggest punk rock fan. For me, it's basically the Clash and Black Flag. Also, I like metal a fair amount, but I'm no metalhead.

  • While I prefer Tortoise and Mogwai, I find The Beatles to be the best straight up rock and roll band ever with the most extensive catalog of truly great songs.

  • I don't really like love songs, because the Beatles wrote all the great ones.

There are a few bands I think are really overrated and therefore, take my views on them with a giant grain of salt:
  1. The Cure

  2. The Smiths

  3. Led Zeppelin (though, only because of Plant's voice)

  4. Dylan, as a performer

  5. CCR

  6. The Rolling Stones

There are three artists I hate who appear on the list multiple times: U2, Springsteen and The Eagles. I find all three to be mostly deplorable (though I like "Sunday, Bloody Sunday").

Those are my biases. Sorry.


SoulBoogieAlex said...

Re: don't listen to Soul music.

You've got a great Blog going here. Your reviews are very insightful. But it is my conviction that you cannot understand R&R without going into Soul, if only just a bit. The same goes for Country for that matter. R&R's original cornerstones were R&B and Country. Even today, quite a bit of the alternative rockers still have a very strong Country vein.

I'd advise any Rock fan to start listening to Johnny Cash and branch out from there, there is a danger though that you'll suddenly find yourself liking some of Dolly Parton's work when you do start exploring.

When it comes to Soul or R&B, just go back to some of the originals of classic Rock songs, you'll be amazed with the nuggets you'll find.

I'll leave you with "Have Love Will Travel" from my own Blog as a starter.

Now back to browsing yours.

Mark said...

You're white and tend to prefer genres that you can relate to. You give Country music as an example of music you can't relate to. Why then do you seem to love every rap/hip hop record on the list? How can you relate to that?