Tuesday, June 16, 2009

5-4-T: Holes In My Game

Obviously, I fashion myself to be a pretty astute music snob. Perhaps if I didn't, I wouldn't bother expressing my opinions here. I like to have an appreciation of all the great music that's out there in the world, but

These renowned acts that many would consider among the greatest of all time. For whatever reason, I've just never gotten into them. So here's my explanation and regrets. In today's Five for Tuesday, we explore the Top Five Holes in My Musical Experience.

Honorable Mention: Mudhoney, The Jesus Lizard
These bands perhaps aren't considered to be in the same caliber of those below. But I have always felt like I needed to pick up more of their work. Maybe there's still time, what with both bands back together and playing some shows.

5) The Velvet Underground
This almost didn't make the cut. I've never had any real interest in The Velvet Underground. Their music is just too lo-fi and sleepy for me. Like there's no passion in it. But every once in a while, I'll see a movie that perfectly inserts one of their tracks, and wonder if I've been missing out all this time. Can any Underground-enlightened person persuade me to press onward? Here's the best Youtube I could muster:

...even the announcer put me to sleep

4) Kraftwerk
I feel like Kraftwerk is the group I must have decided I'll always have time to come around to. I realize that they are apparently ridiculously influential and without them, many of my favorite bands and tunes would never have existed. But I honestly can't even name one of their songs. In fact, all I can really declare about Kraftwerk is that in The Big Lebowski, the nihilits' rock band was meant to spoof them. They played here in Argentina recently and I didn't make it to the show. We don't get a lot of European bands, so that's a pretty large "meh". Someone gimmie a foothold. Where should I begin? I really think I want to like these guys, but I have never bothered to give it a proper shot. Then again, here's part of the reason why:

3) Sonic Youth
If Kraftwerk was the band I simply never got around to, Sonic Youth is the one that somehow avoided me. I don't know how, but I am pretty sure I've never listened to a Sonic Youth album all the way through. One of my college roommates (and FtY frequent contributor, Biz) was a big fan, and had pretty much everything the band had recorded. Once again, I realize how important they are, and their peers such as Dinosaur Jr. and the Pixies I count amongst my favorites. I have no problem with indie-dissonance. Perhaps it's the fact that they never seem excited to be doing what they're doing, I can't get excited. Biz, any luck helping me out here?

2) Iron Maiden
Maybe I just like the idea of Maiden more than I like what I hear in practice. All the pieces are there. A devoted fan base, wailing vocals, great technical ability, and aggressive rawk. But despite all the morbid CD covers, there's just something about this band that falls flat for me. Like there's a little too much Ratt in their sound. Somehow, this is less compelling than it should be:

1) Neil Young
He's always been around, right? And in many forms. I have the greatest hits, but haven't taken the time to get beyond that. People I know who really know rock and roll swear by the man (once again, Biz included). He's got a great big box set coming out now. Maybe it's time I took the plunge. I'll tell you this much, this video sure is winning me over:

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