No matter how much a person says they are open to all kinds of music, there is always going to be some kind of bias that keeps them from embracing every piece of music they hear with open arms, and I am no exception to that. Here are a few of the (possibly irrational) biases that I bring to the music-listening experience, for better or worse.
- Banjos in pop music – If someone can find a way to legitimately utilize a banjo in a pop song, I’m right on board. [See: "Rainbow Connection", Jason Mraz] There is something about a banjo that just can’t sound depressing, and when you hear a banjo, chances are good someone’s having a good time. Except if you’re on the wrong end of the Deliverance equation.
- Toby Keith – Early on in his career, Toby Keith was the man. He came across as an everyman who was just trying to get through life without too many missteps, and songs like “Who’s That Man” and “He Ain’t Worth Missing” made for great country music in the 90s. And then 9/11 occurred. “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” is supposed to be a tribute to his dad and the United States in the aftermath of his father’s death and the terrorist attacks of September 11th. By his own description, he didn’t want to originally release the song himself, but at the request of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, he did record it, and the rest is history. What I DON’T think he had to do was wrap himself up in the flag as much as he did, and then attack the Dixie Chicks for Natalie Maines’s comment about being ashamed of then-President Bush while performing in England. By getting involved in that rumble, he ended up with a lot of people saying the same thing about him. Shouldn’t performers be able to express their own opinions, just like anyone else?
How much do I dislike Toby Keith? I won’t even buy a record by an artist on his record label.
- Perez Hilton – So stupid is this man that anything he touches is like Kryptonite to me. For example, PMN favorite Ida Maria, whose “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” was one of the jams of last summer, is about to embark on a tour of the US, and normally this would be cause for rejoicing. However, she’s on the bill for a “Perez Hilton Presents” tour, and no amount of love would get me to purchase a ticket that his name appears on.
What caused this hatred? Take your pick…the whole Will.I.Am altercation in Toronto, the way he handled the fallout from the Miss America gay marriage controversy, his amazingly juvenile and vile website. As long as someone thinks that he is the spokesperson for the LGBT population, he will continue to be among my least-liked people. But you know who I like better because of him? Kelly Clarkson, who was also in Toronto at the time, and called a punk a punk in an interview the next day. We REALLY love Kelly.
- Internet buzz – Yes, I know I am a part of it at times, but there have been times where so much buzz has surrounded an artist that I find myself instantly against that artist, which isn’t fair, but it is what it is. A good example of that is LaRoux, who I didn’t get right away, and the chorus of
angels bloggers singing her praises. It didn’t help that an unneeded rivalry was set up in the blogosphere between Roux and Boots, just like they did with Duffy and Adele a year earlier. (BTW, Team Adele FTW!) I know it happens, and I’m at least admitting that I succomb to it, but I doubt it will ever fully go away, given all of the info overload I get from my daily blogroll.
Speaking of Internet buzz, I think the new V Factory track has a chance at being their breakthrough single. But then again, I thought that about “Love Struck”. Props to Mel for sharing “Get Up”.