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”.
Re: Internet buzz. I am immensely annoyed by people telling me what I “should” like. There’s a difference between recommending an artist and forcing them down my throat. Sadly, I think that’s why I cannot get into La Roux and even Little Boots (if I want to listen to Kylie, I’ll listen to Kylie.) I like it enough, but it’s just not as great as everyone billed it to be.
Boots is in no way ready to fill Kylie’s boots, but there is some pretty great pop music on “Hands”. I try to keep my praise to the facts, rather than the idolization that some blogs attempt to generate for their favorites.
So you do or don’t like La Roux? I’m confused.
I do like LaRoux. Just not as much as LB.
People will always try and find pop rivalries – it goes back to Debbie vs Tiffany, Oasis vs Blur, and probably further back than that although i’m too lazy to think up examples. If it wasn’t the blogs it would be the press. They just like rivalries whether they exist or not.
Internet buzz has become ridiculous in the past few years. I find myself veering away from recommending new acts because i don’t want people to think i’m saying they are the next big thing. I’m not – i’m realistic. Most the acts i’ve liked over the past few years of blogging have amounted to nothing. That doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed their temporary musical output!
Perez – UGH! Hateful. it’s ridiculous that I am put off Sliimy because of him, but I am. He’s just insiduously horrible, and that whole calling whoever a fag in the black eyed peas faux pas just proved what a nasty little person he is.
Conflict sells, apparently. But you have brought me some pretty fun pop music that I may forget about a year from now (Mini Viva, anyone?), but it’s good for the moment. And thanks for confirming that I’m not the only one who is leaning away from Perez-endorsed acts.
I’m with Dan. If I want Kylie, I’ll spin “Fever” not that sad British tranny impersonating her.
I loved this post because I have so many musical biases. Seriously, there are too many to list!
This is a good point — I never really thought about it but I think everyone has a few walls when it comes to musical opinion.
I denyed La Roux for so long, and then I heard “In for the Kill” and just couldn’t be too cool for it anymore. Haha.
Ditto to the whole Perez AND the Toby Keith stuff. I know you should judge a musician by their music, but sometimes personality gets in the way (I felt the same way about R.Kelly after all that madness with the legal dramz went down…and I still don’t like him for it). And I agree, while I find Perez’s website occasionally informative in a pathetic and often offensive way, I in no way endorse a lot of what he says.
R. Kelly…good call. I don’t care nearly as much about him as I used to. Now 12 Play…THAT was an album!
Sometimes, when I read your opinions and writings, I feel like we are the same person. Seriously, I couldn’t agree more with everything you wrote; especially about my hatred for all things Perez Hilton and Toby Keith.
Although, I want to offer you an instance where a banjo in a pop song could be AMAZING:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxyBiBsVpSQ (even if I hate the Ying Yang twins)
I like to think when she says, “it’s for all those southern boys out there”, she meant me 😀
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