17 April 2010

Music Notes: 'Splainin' to Do

Many of you are aware of my puzzlement over the LADY GAGA phenomenon, so it should come as no surprise that there is more where that came from.

Now that I think about it, it is something I have been pondering for years now (in one case) and for a few months (in another case), and I thought it was time to do a brain purge. Musical bookends, you might say.


I am not a child of the '60's, in the sense that many people use it these days. I was born in the '60's, but not early enough to have anything to do with being a hippie or a draft dodger or civil rights activist or Bob Dylan. I was old enough (or young enough?) to hear and appreciate a LOT of music from the '60's*, such as lots of Jimi Hendrix, early Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Rolling Stones, even a lot of "oldies". A lot of it I liked. But I never, ever really liked Janis Joplin. I didn't hate her music, but I never really understood why so many people seemed to really dig it. I guess I always found it be...boring. I heard a Janis Joplin song on the radio today, and I listened intently...I tried...but I just wanted to turn it off and stifle a yawn.


I was introduced to this group courtesy of my beloved local ear candy provider, 89.7 WTMD (Rock on, freaky bro!) a few months back, and since I trust their judgment, I tried to pay attention when they played them on air. I tried to get into it, but each time it was like "Okay...okay...okay...um, what is it I'm supposed to be gushing over?" I gave them the benefit of the doubt for a while, but I couldn't escape the conclusion I was drawing: I just don't get what is so great about it, what makes the DJ's get so psyched about their music. In all fairness, I do really like the song "Cousins", it has really cool Dick Dale inspired guitar work in it. But their early stuff, and the new song "Horchata"? Sigh. It just makes me search for something else. Nothing personal, it just doesn't grab me.

So there it is, my big head is a little smaller now. So what is your musical mystery? What artists do you get (that others don't seem to get) or not get?

*Quite possibly, I may have been one of only three or so people in my junior high school to know of Iron Butterfly. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, baby...


  1. In the garden of Eden, baby...I didn't know that's what they were really trying to say for years. Absolutely years.

    I'm with you, though. I don't get Gaga or Vampire Weekend.

  2. imagine you are bout the same age as me, and the 'new' stuff just doesn't get it with me either. of the great "new" bands would be VanHalen, not Van Hagar, Foreigner (just the first 2 records) Who ever said rock will never die... I think its dead
    Pink Floyd Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Stones, Rush (the old stuff), Ted Nugent, Peter Frampton this is the the stuff of meaning

  3. This answer requires more thought than I can give it at 6:30am on a Saturday.

  4. The music that bores me is the over synthesized stuff. Makes all artists sound the same and I turn it off. There's absolutely no artistic value to an artist when you can't hear their actual voice and determine if they are indeed a good singer and worthy of the praise of millions of listeners. Heck, I could synthesize my crappy voice and sound as good as they do. So what's the point of paying for this type of music?

    I did live the 60's and even then did not care for the screeching of a screen door sounding voice of Janis Joplin. As far as who did I enjoy?? Too many to list here. How many pages do I get?

  5. I grew up at the end of the groovy 60s/70s, and agree you really had to "be there" for JJ to grab ya. I think she embodied so much about the rebellion of that period. 'Course, I'll always have a soft spot for Bobby McGee since they were "...Busted flat in Baton Rouge..." :)

    How ya been?

  6. Funny you should ask, I posted about this very thing a few days ago over at my place and in said post, I linked your last post regarding Lady Gaga. (sorry, forgot to let you know about that!)

  7. Lady Gaga? No. Not so much.

    I love Janis until she starts in with the falsetto. THat drives me nuts.

    Vampire Weekend? A little too "pop" for me, but what the hell. :-) I'll live.


  8. I don't get Gaga either, and CAN'T STAND Joplin.

    Hey !!! Didn't you do Coca-Cola commercials in the eighties !??!

  9. Stifle a yawn while listening to Janis!? I'm in pain here, oh... what a sinister thing to say... I'm down on my knees here... !

  10. Dave Matthews. I've tried, I really have, I just don't feel it.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...