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Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Old 03-06-15, 10:36 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by UAIOE
I never really liked Eddie Vedder's voice. It's not that I think he's a terrible singer or anything, I just don't like it.
I agree. I do like Layne Staley's voice though.
Old 03-06-15, 10:42 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by hdnmickey
I agree with those that said they certainly filled the role of being influential. But their actual content comes off like somebody trying to do something different, and ground breaking, and falling flat. Quite literally if you focus on the vocals. Just terrible, even for that genre.
The VU was one of the first bands that didn't really give a shit about the vocals. THAT was influential.

You used the proper term: groundbreaking. There weren't many bands that get that label in that time frame (67-72ish). The Velvet Underground, The Mothers of Invention, The Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, King Crimson. They all did stuff no one had ever done before and none of them gave a rat's ass about traditional song structure, vocal ability, or even harmony. They invented stuff.
Old 03-06-15, 10:44 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by inri222
I do like Layne Staley's voice though.
I don't like his voice. I prefer the new guy.
Old 03-06-15, 11:37 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by Hiro11
You're right, I'm taking a broad swath. To generalize even more: there seems to be a large trend of indie acoustic folk - based music created by artist / songriters. This spans everything from the hippy-dippy Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to gruff folk rockers like Ray Lamontagne to the lushly orchestral Fleet Foxes to the afro-stylings of the Do-Dos to thinly disguised stadium rockers Mumford & Sons. These are guys (almost always guys) who have a record collection stuffed with Nick Drake, Tha Band, Fairport Convention, Gram Parsons, Paul Simon, Michael Chapman, Richard Thompson, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, CSN, Bert Jansch, The Byrds etc. They may also have retro R&B stylings or reference 70s singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne or Harry Nilsson. Note that these references are all bands who's music I often simply love. The general trend is that they eschue electronic instruments, the vocals are front and center, Americana instrumentation predominates and the melodies are folk-based.

The problem I have is multifold:
1. The songs simply aren't there with a lot of these bands and too infreqently they're not called out for it. The style can be done well (I like a lot of Kurt Vile / Steve Gunn) but too often the folky / retro trappings are covering up for some weak melodies and arrangements that go nowhere. Critics and popular sentiment seem to forgive a lot with thse bands, stuff they're more than willing to call out in, say, pop.
2. The music often seems deliberately retro and straining to be "authentic" in a way that sounds awfully inauthentic. Lots of banjos, beards and kick drums. Sometimes I feel that these bans are straight-up ripping off older artists but in a bloodless / anodyne / "let's pray the kids haven't heard 'Deja Vu'" kind of way.
3. There's a hell of a lot of bandwagoning going on here. Whenever I sense a "movement" with signifiers ('oh, they're that type of band') I start to get a little twitchy. References become shorthand. Being "influenced" by a band becomes simply stealing an earlier (and better) band's ideas.
Again, you're making broad generalizations about bands, where some of that applies and some doesn't. And honestly, some do go far deeper than some of the older acts you listed. You're really thinking too much about it, as the main reason a lot of these bands are successful isn't so much WHAT they're about, but HOW they're about; they have pleasing, soothing vocals with nice melodies that are easy to sing along to. That's it! Some go deeper, some don't. But it's mostly aesthetics. Today, Bob Dylan would be only a song writer in one of these bands, with a much better singer at the helm.
Old 03-06-15, 12:27 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by slop101
But it's mostly aesthetics.
Exactly my point.
Old 03-06-15, 12:35 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Ray LaMontagne doesn't deserve to be lumped in with hacks like Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons.
Old 03-06-15, 02:09 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by CRM114
Ray LaMontagne doesn't deserve to be lumped in with hacks like Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons.
I think his songs are just as vapid, if not more so.
Old 03-06-15, 02:23 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Vapid is not a word I'd use to describe him. His songs are meticulously crafted and his band is top notch. "For The Summer" is such a tremendous song.

But you know, it's a subjective thing. Not everyone is into the super mellow acoustic thing.

Last edited by CRM114; 03-06-15 at 02:34 PM.
Old 03-06-15, 03:03 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by CRM114
Vapid is not a word I'd use to describe him. His songs are meticulously crafted and his band is top notch. "For The Summer" is such a tremendous song.

But you know, it's a subjective thing. Not everyone is into the super mellow acoustic thing.
I'm only talking about his lyrics. Being mellow/acoustic is fine, and his songs sound nice, but he just has nothing to say.
Old 03-06-15, 06:10 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by cdollaz
I don't like his voice. I prefer the new guy.
You are dead to me.
Old 03-06-15, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by inri222
I agree. I do like Layne Staley's voice though.
I don't know how I ever missed grunge in my teen years. For self-indulgent self-loathing, it's so wonderful.

Basically another gear-grinding thread then :deadhorse: ?

Last edited by hanshotfirst1138; 03-06-15 at 09:39 PM.
Old 03-06-15, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
I think his songs are just as vapid, if not more so.
I assumed a band which did a song about the Allegory of the Cave was smart. Maybe they suckered me .

Originally Posted by Lt Ripley
Add Neil Young to that as well. Constantly sounds like he is about to cry. Play your guitar and let someone else sing.
You must die slowly .
Old 03-10-15, 02:12 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by inri222
I agree. I do like Layne Staley's voice though.
Yes. But it was at its best harmonizing with Jerry.
Old 04-24-15, 09:40 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Alabama Shakes. I don't get it. The singer's voice is the most irritating thing I've heard in a long time.
Old 04-24-15, 10:23 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by CRM114
Alabama Shakes. I don't get it. The singer's voice is the most irritating thing I've heard in a long time.
Totally agree.
Old 04-24-15, 11:15 AM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by CRM114
Alabama Shakes. I don't get it. The singer's voice is the most irritating thing I've heard in a long time.
But she's got soul!

I'm not a fan either, but even worse than hearing her, is seeing her - the way she contorts her face and mouth while she sings is truly disturbing.
Old 04-26-15, 01:13 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

When I was younger I really liked Pearl Jam, but somewhere along the way I started to look deeper at the lyrics and came to the conclusion I have no idea what the hell the songs are about. Its just a bunch of nonsense. Take Animal for example

One, two, three, four, five against one
Five, five, against one
Said one, two, three, four, five against one
Five, five...five, five...five against one
Torture from you to me
Abducted from the street
I'd rather be...
I'd rather be with...
I'd rather be with an animal

What the fuck does that even mean?

And this pretty much sums up Bob Dylan to me


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Old 04-26-15, 04:33 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by slop101
I'm not a fan either, but even worse than hearing her, is seeing her - the way she contorts her face and mouth while she sings is truly disturbing.
Yeah, it's like watching a real-life cartoon character.
Old 04-26-15, 04:42 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by Deadman31
When I was younger I really liked Pearl Jam, but somewhere along the way I started to look deeper at the lyrics and came to the conclusion I have no idea what the hell the songs are about. Its just a bunch of nonsense. Take Animal for example

One, two, three, four, five against one
Five, five, against one
Said one, two, three, four, five against one
Five, five...five, five...five against one
Torture from you to me
Abducted from the street
I'd rather be...
I'd rather be with...
I'd rather be with an animal

What the fuck does that even mean?
That's one song out of their entire catalog. They have plenty of songs that a person can find meaning in and some songs that are just fun rockers like Animal. The same could be said for countless bands with seemingly random songs with meaningless lyrics.
Old 04-26-15, 08:31 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by slop101
I'm not a fan either, but even worse than hearing her, is seeing her - the way she contorts her face and mouth while she sings is truly disturbing.
Can you post an example of the annoying voice and facial contortions? I don't know this band, but I'm a masochist. I feel like being aggravated.
Old 04-26-15, 08:42 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume
Can you post an example of the annoying voice and facial contortions? I don't know this band, but I'm a masochist. I feel like being aggravated.
There's no way I'm subjecting myself to that. Just go to youtube and search for Alabama Shakes SNL, as that was the last thing I saw them on where she looked like a possessed demon. Her voice is actually good, it's just way too forced.
Old 04-27-15, 04:14 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by slop101
There's no way I'm subjecting myself to that. Just go to youtube and search for Alabama Shakes SNL, as that was the last thing I saw them on where she looked like a possessed demon. Her voice is actually good, it's just way too forced.
OK, I don't care for the music, but I find her voice and mannerisms inoffensive.
Old 04-27-15, 04:32 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Huh, you guys got me curious, and I checked out a few of their songs.

I'm not a huge soul/blues guy, but they sound pretty good to me.
Old 04-27-15, 05:10 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Well, yeah, in the end, it's all just opinion, and as the thread titles suggests, it's stuff most people seem to like that you don't, and there's plenty of people who like Alabama Shakes.

Anyhoo, this here's a great article tearing into what they feel are the "20 Worst Hipster Bands", by multiple writers, and I pretty much agree with them across the board, except for their first and last pick, which I don't love, but don't mind. The 18 other bands can go eat a bag of dicks.

There's a lot of butthurt in the comments

Here's the list:
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Spoiler:

20. The Black Keys

The guitar-and-drums "blues" punk combo thing wasn't very good even when The White Stripes did it. Still, that hasn't stopped legions of bearded, be-flanneled ersatz blues men from bringing great shame upon their ancestors. The Black Keys stand at the very vanguard of posh cracker blues rock, displaying a lack of authenticity that would make John Fogerty blush. Further, whereas Jack White can actually play, Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach is more concerned with beard grooming and disheveling his hair.


19. TV On The Radio

Sure, TV on the Radio concocted an original aesthetic, but it was so hideous we should be glad no one thought of it before. The supposed "soul"-indie fusion of their early work is walled up by rigor mortis drum machines, off-the-grid falsettos and drab, moaning textures. This wasn't helped by their look-at-us Pixies cover or calling their first record OK Calculator. Band member-producer David Sitek has even managed to make Scarlett Johanssen sound ugly.


18. Sleigh Bells

Remember in 2010, when we all lost our collective minds over these guys, with their iPod beats, garage-metal guitars and schoolyard-chant vocals? It was, like, the most original sound ever! Then the second album came out and everyone was more like, "Huh. Actually, this kinda sounds like shit." Also, Alexis Krauss started wearing her own band merch at shows, which you're really only allowed to do if you're Morrissey.


17. Fun.

One could argue that fun. is not a hipster band, that the sincerity behind songs like "We Are Young" by default bars them from the title. We argue that having punctuation in their name earns this distinction by default. The stylization is bad enough, but their music rides the very worn coattails of Arcade Fire and Edward Sharpe, the kind of overblown romanticizing of youth and self-destruction that at this point sounds more cliche than "carpe diem."


16. MGMT

Exploiting LOLcat culture and synthy, psychedoodling indie-dance for pop crossover was such a good idea, apparently, that MGMT made it all their own. They tried to be meta about it on their big 2008 breakthrough single "Time to Pretend," which is about rocking 'til you die with "models for wives." And a follow-up hit was not to come; the hookless prog meanderings of their difficult second album (2010's Congratulations) made it clear they weren't in on the joke after all.


15. Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie is the grandfather of crappy hipster bands. Singer and songwriter Ben Gibbard delivers sickly-sweet lyrics in a nerdy, nasally voice; he's overtly "sensitive" while employing nauseatingly twee titles like You Can Play These Songs with Chords. (First released on cassette, of course.) Musically, the songs are flat, resting in an "easy listening" register. Death Cab sounds like what would happen if you stripped Weezer of their power chords and sense of humor.


14. Wavves

Wavves sound like a high school outfit exclusively influenced by "ironic" rock bands. Perhaps this is how they've become the darling of the hipster Gestapo at Pitchfork, The Onion AV Club and Spin. (And even, we admit, us.) An early cassette release showed they weren't afraid to use obsolete recording formats, and they've since taken the whole lo-fi "punk" with whining, atonal vocals to levels a million Z-grade Strokes copycats hitherto only dreamt of. Throw in guest appearances from Best Coast and Fucked Up members and you've got a band that are trying way too hard to be off-beat.


13. The Decemberists

The real Decembrists protested Nicholas I assuming the imperialist Russian throne. If you think adding an 'e' (like this band) is an ingenious play on words, you're cordially invited by Colin Meloy's cult for a "free stress test." It includes: 1. Fans who think he's literary 2. Fans who think listening to him makes them literary and 3. Folk-rocking 40-somethings who made the Decemberists certified chart-toppers after Peter Buck and Gillian Welch helped them safely cross over to NPR. Meloy's endlessly nasal prog-folk operas deserve them all.


12. Pomplamoose

If you experienced the worst Christmas of your entire life in 2010, it was either because you were too broke to buy gifts, or you encountered one of three Hyundai commercials featuring the Bay Area duo Pomplamoose covering Christmas carols like "Up on the Housetop" and "Deck the Halls." These encounters grew ever more frequent as the holiday season wore on: This compelled some viewers to become infatuated with Pomplamoose, while greater numbers ventured into the streets looking for Hyundais to smash into. Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte, the real-life couple who make up Pomplamoose, seemed to epitomize everything about too-ironic, too-precious, too-self-conscious indie pop. If creating cutesy YouTube videos of club staples like Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and Lady Gaga's "Telephone" made the band an Internet sensation, it also betrayed an annoying propensity for holding the wink a little too long, musical talent notwithstanding.


11. Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

This gang of overgrown children aren't just hipsters, they're hippie-sters: A double whammy of annoying that melds the folly and creepiness of a hippie cult with the semi-ironic pretension of a hipster's attempt at spirituality. Their grins are a little too wide, robes a little too Jesus-like and sing-songy joy a little too childlike to ring true, and it distracts from their legitimate talent as musicians. It's good and well that frontman Alex Ebert is sober and pushing himself in different artistic directions, but the new beard and persona make him less of a Bowie than the Charles Manson of twee.


10. White Rabbits

Why do bands need a second drummer? In recent years everyone from Local Natives to Bon Iver to fucking Radiohead has thrown a second kit out there, or at least a floor tom or two. If you think all that extra bashing make bands' music more interesting, then you must love Brooklyn's White Rabbits, because they've sometimes employed three drummers! Unfortunately, they end up proving that when you write forgettable, buttoned-down indie rock, no amount of percussion can save you from sounding like a second-rate Spoon.


9. Beach House

Beach House lead singer Victoria Legrand has been compared to Nico, which makes sense in that Nico has an extremely vapid voice. A wash of down-tuned Baltimore neo-soul, it's trip-hop for people who never knew Massive Attack and post-rock for those who missed Stereolab; in other words, derivative electro mush. The band's moniker is also misleading. As Linda Richman might say, they're neither about beaches nor house music. Discuss.


8. The Airborne Toxic Event

They named themselves after a Don DeLillo plot device. They frequently play with a string quartet. They released a live album recorded at Disney Concert Hall. Their best-known song contains the lyric, "She's holding her tonic like a cross." They favor the sort of spiky, Modest Mouse-y guitars that signify "edgy." And the bio on their website touts their "captivating blend of literate, visceral indie rock and propulsive, anthemic choruses." If any L.A. band has hipster pretension down to a science, it's TATE.


7. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti is the Inception of hipster bands: From the '70s sitcom synth lines to Pink's nonsensical psychedelic babbling, their music is layers of irony within irony manipulating you into thinking you're listening to something original or innovate. Live, Pink has the stage presence of a bored teenager and sounds like he's doing drunk karaoke covers of Hall & Oates on Sesame Street.


6. Beirut

Beirut's Zach Condon? Please step into our office. It's time to talk about what it is your band does here at Rock Industries' Eclectic Division. "Ok. Um, well, you see, we take Boards of Canada..." Go on... "Then we throw it to a merciless horde of Slavic horn players to be savagely violated while an unintelligible cheap Jonathan Richman knock-off croons. Sounds interesting, right?" No Beirut. It does not. In fact, it sounds like the type of thing you invented just to get laid at Bonnaroo. To boot, Balkan Beat Box is killing you in every performance metric right now. Please collect your things, security will see you out.


5. Grizzly Bear

These altar boys embody everything bad about the clean-scrubbed end of the hipster spectrum. They spend more time on expensive and fastidious arrangements than choruses, which they sound annoyed to have to throw in occasionally. Their lyrics evoke nothing you can see with your eyes, as if they assume the "beauty" of their tentative melodies will fill in the blanks. Many bands have made vaguer, more directionless music but none of those ever had the chutzpah to crack Billboard's top ten. At least with say, Godsmack, you can tell why they're depressed.


4. Bright Eyes

Conor Oberst has been straining to open an impossibly sealed mason jar for about 14 years now. At least, that what his singing sounds like. Between his impish whine and depressing lyrics, it's a wonder he has any fans who aren't yet suicide victims. Since he basically robbed fellow Nebraskan Simon Joyner of his sound, he's even unoriginally terrible. Oberst once hilariously told an interviewer that he was influenced by a Cure record he bought in 3rd grade -- perhaps the worst "I was into them before you were" hipsterism possible. Presumably he was really into Leonard Cohen as a zygote, too.


3. Arcade Fire

If the essence of hipsterdom is fetishizing the authentic, then Arcade Fire deserve a Canadian Nobel Prize for sucking the life out of the pop music canon. Sure, all artists build on their influences, but Arcade Fire sap the passion, intensity, and sincerity from greater acts who came before them, wringing their sounds out through a sponge and lustily devouring the drops. In a way, they're like the over-processed food our generation consumed as children; with color and nutrients added after the fact, they almost smell and look like something that's good for us. But they're not. Arcade Fire is not good for us.


2. tUnE-yArDs

tUnE-yArDs hAs a mOsT aNnOyInG nAmE and their sound isn't far behind. The group's magnum crapus, 2011's w h o k i l l, is a collection of sonic refuse cobbled into atonal melodies and rhythms that fail to approximate tUnE-fUllNeSs. That the album won the 2011 Pazz and Jop awards is a testament to the emperor has no clothes phenomenon that continues to afflict music writing.


1. Bon Iver

"But the melodies! The harmonies!" You protest. Sorry, but it's time to admit that Bon Iver is the sonic equivalent of an empty canvas totebag. Worse, the Justin Vernon-fronted act is wholly indicative of our musical fall from grace. What happened to us as a generation that this guy gets to bear our sonic torch? Those who came before us rocked, bumped and grinded. They exuded raw sexuality, riotous anger, and sweaty human realism. They hoovered drugs or angrily rejected them, they humped strangers in club bathrooms in adolescent indiscretion; they broke shit, laughed, cried, partied on rooftops or in warehouses, exorcised cultural demons and personal failures, made spectacles. We, instead, get a whiny guy who built his own studio in the woods, perfectly exemplifying that narcissistic hipster ethos of "Whatever man, I'm just gonna go over here and be chill, I don't want to be bothered or have my mellow harshed." Bon Iver coos the celebratory ballads of hip poseurs who refuse to get their hands dirty, that is, unless that filth is quaint and photogenic
Old 04-27-15, 08:25 PM
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Re: Bands or Musicians That Almost Everyone Seems to Like... But I Don't

Originally Posted by CRM114
The VU was one of the first bands that didn't really give a shit about the vocals. THAT was influential.

You used the proper term: groundbreaking. There weren't many bands that get that label in that time frame (67-72ish). The Velvet Underground, The Mothers of Invention, The Grateful Dead, Miles Davis, King Crimson. They all did stuff no one had ever done before and none of them gave a rat's ass about traditional song structure, vocal ability, or even harmony. They invented stuff.
Why the fuck are those bozos appearing in the same post as some of the best bands/musicians of the 20th century?

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