A Favorite Album?! Sheeeeesh....

band o' young dudes in the studio. last night the drummer asks, "so, what's yer favorite band? like, do you have a favorite?"

man! i *used* to be able to answer that question! it was a dose of reality that my relationship with music has changed dramatically over the years. i mean, in high school, who you liked DEFINED who you were (or were trying to be), didn't it? The lines were clear. In my twenties, I had more of an idea of who I was, and my true tastes, but I still harbored fear over over other people's opinions - especially as a musician. "No, wait, I can't write a song like that! My "fans" won't understand it!"

Now? Fuck it, man. NO apologies. As a musician and/or recordist, I think this is where it's at. As it relates to recording/writing/performing, I mean, truly, you must be unafraid to launch with reckless abandon into complete-fucking-mess-and-go-fuck-your-"good"-tasteville in order to get to the REAL and honest shit, no? I think so. I am becoming more convinced that in order to acquire taste (as an artist/recordist - whatever) that one has to abandon thought of whether something is "cool" or "in good taste" or not before their shit can really become all it can or wants to be. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of your own internal cool-o-meter, which is likely to A. be out of whack and B. be preventing from enjoying a vaaaast amount of amazing music out there. I can talk about the bands/records that have been incredibly important to me and my own music, or that I find inspiring, but, a favorite....?

I tried to answer the dude. I can't answer the "who's your favorite" question anymore. I just can't. Any attempt to do so, I've realized, for me, is an attempt to shape someone else's opinion of me. There's just too much good music. My new answer is "I like good music,"and that of course is judged by my tastes alone. Some one else's tastes are just as valid, of course. It seemed like a cop out.

"Oh!" I said, "This'll give you an idea." I said. I grabbed my macbook and plugged it in to the monitors.

"I Like this.." elvis, heartbreak hotel (piano under the solo! so good!)

"i like this..." eddie grant, electric avenue (oi! crazy synth-or-ama goodness)

"I like this..." Black Keys, Next Girl (nasty shit)

"I like this.." Bryan Adams, She's Only Happy When She's Dancing (straight up party rocking fun)

"I like this" Mose Allison, My Brain (dry, hilarious, love the "mumbling", piano sound. great tune)

"I like this..." *I play half of Thriller.* (mama-say! mama-sah mooma-coo-sa!)

"I like this..." Slobberbone, lumberlung (brilliant imagery, an immacualte presentation/production. *killing* band)

"I like this..." Tom Petty, won't back down (do i need to explain?)

"I like this...." Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, 40 day dream (great vocal, feel, pop. so good.)

i dunno if the drummer was just confused, but it was an "aha" moment for me.

Also: Bryan Adams' "Reckless", while being incredibly personally enjoyable to me is, tastes aside, I maintain, an example of absolute song-writing, performing, production, arrangement, and mixing excellence. top to bottom. as good as it gets. Yes, I get why people react negatively to it Bryan Adams. The cheesy 90's ballads, the 80's production, and he's not exactly "deep" - but so what!

MJ's "Thriller" too. It's as good as you "they" say it is. Absolute greatness. I still don't like the ballad at the end, but whatevs.

Now, as for bands and/or albums that have *influenced* me the most, or played an important part in my own development?

beatles, dylan, stones, early elvis records...the classics, blah blah blah

more specifically, in no particular order:

U2- "the joshua tree" & "the unforgettable fire"

Uncle Tupelo - "March 16-22" & "Anodyne"

Willie Nelson - "Stardust"

Neil Young - "Zuma" & "After the Goldrush"

Bruce - "Darkness on the Edge of Town"

Wilco - "Being There"

Richard Buckner - "Bloomed"

Whiskeytown - "Strangers Almanac"

Old 97's - "Too Far To Care"

Emmy Lou Harris - "Wrecking Ball"

Steve Earle - "Train A' Comin'" & "I Feel Alright"

Marah - "Let's Cut the Crap & Hook Up Later on Tonight"

The English Beat - "Special Beat Service"

The Police - "The Police" & "Synchronicity"

The Replacements - "Pleased to Meet Me"

General Public -"General Public"

Kenny Rogers - "The Gambler"

Michael Jackson - "Thriller"

and, not to be left out. there's whatever was on my clock radio in middle school and high school, which played music as I went to sleep every night ... standouts: 'jack & diane', 'pyromania', 'Come on Eileen', 'Who Can it Be Now?' & 'Man Down Under', 'Rock the Casbah', 'Africa' (yes, by toto), a shit ton of 80's madonna, sanctuary (the cult), 'i wanna new drug', 'the heart of rock and roll', 'old time rock and roll'......and shit, there are so many more.....

1 comment

  • LC from Chicago

    LC from Chicago

    "March 16-22" ?!?!?

    "March 16-22" ?!?!?

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