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Artists you don't "get"


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Revo's thoughts on The Beatles got me thinking about big name artists about whom I don't understand the hype.

 

For me it's Hendrix. To me Jimi's career was too short, (his own fault, he died of stupidity, as far as I'm concernend), and there is too much dreck out there on the mulititude of post mortem releases. It's tought to separtate the wheat from the chaff.

 

High points: Machine Gun on Band of Gypsies is *fantastic*. The Hendrix "Blues" album is the best total package of Jimi's playing, IMHO. Jimi wrote "Little Wing", which SRV took into another realm with his voxless cover. Jimi opened the door for a new vocabulary on guitar. Since then his legacy has been developed and refined by a couple of generations.

 

But Jimi hasn't really crossed into mainstream acceptance. I can play an hours worth of The Beatles, and my septegenarian parents will both understand and appreciate the music. That ain't true for Jimi. Jimi Hendrix does not have universal appeal. Hendrix does have appeal to guitarists in particular. Stylistically/creativley/technically Jimi burned very bright, but for too short a time. The mark he left is NOT big enough, (I don't think), to warrant the level of appreciation some fans give him.

 

Jimi may warrant the reputation as a "guitarists guitarist", but I just don't see or hear the evidence to put him on the level of a "musicians musician".

 

Four musicians that would make my list of all time musicians: Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Atkins, Lenny Breau.

 

Who don't you "get", and why?

 

Peace,

 

Paul

Peace,

 

Paul

 

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Well i guess this is where to really put it out there. As you stated, i dont get the Beatles. Never have, never will. I dont understand the hype of there music, its way to happy and boring to me. I can see why some people like it, but to say they influenced all music today is to be ignorant of what influenced them. I dont see any inovations the Beatles can be credited for. I can appreciate all the Kings, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, basically roots. But what the Beatles ever did is beyond me.
hot girls, fast cars, and even louder guitars
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I think what really put me overboard was when this popular ignorant fool told me, "You play the guitar, but dont like the Beatles? What kinda guitar player are you." I was so close to knockin the kid the f**k out.
hot girls, fast cars, and even louder guitars
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man i use to think the same thing as you, guessin were close in age (im 18), thought the beatles were all happy and stuff, and there early stuff is..which i think is so so...but listen to the white album, rubber sould or revolver and youll see things alittle different..trust me...and i dont think knowing the beatles makes you any better at guitar or its essential..cause they had influences too ya know? but they are good and listening will teach ya some stuff about music..layers..harmonies...its good just to listen too...etc..
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Oh man, you better put your helmet on Rockincyanblues. But I have to at least sympathise with your post. I go back and forth on Hendrix. I can't say if I would have liked him if I didn't play guitar or at least a musical instrument of some sort. Then again, I don't know if I would have liked most of the musicians I liked if not for playing.

 

Hendrix was certainly a point in time and part of a culture. His songs did not reach the teenage girls like the Beatles did. His psychedelic image probably turned off more people than it turned on. The general public didn't ever get Coltrane either or for that matter most of the "musician's musicians".

 

I can't really think of any major (in the big sense) musician that I haven't "got". Sure there are players I think are over rated. There are whole genre's of music that don't appeal to me. I don't get Opera or Rap. I think though if you listen to any sincere musician long enough you can at least appreciate what they are doing.

 

Sightly off topic but some of the music that I didn't "get" at first, that was an aquired taste, has become the deepest most spritual and life changing music to me. I hated Bach when I was in high school and college. I thought it sounded like a bunch of scales played at one linear rhythm. I had professors at school (I was an architecture major, which kind of has art overtones so all the arts are considered) and kept reading about Bach everywhere I went. I bought a few albums of classical guitarists and would force myself to listen to them periodically to see if I could understand it. I remember very distinctly the moment I got it. I had put on a Segovia album after work and was taking a nap. I woke up towards the very end of Cello Suite #1 prelude and was completly floored by it. I can't desrcibe in words what I liked about it but it hit me hard.

 

Its hard to compare Hendrix, to Bach, to Coltrane but they do all have music that is very deep. Its not always on the surface pretty like the Beatles and most pop music. But it has deep inner beauty that takes some education and repeated listening to discover.

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Emptiness- yeah im 18 to, go figure. In mot saying i dont like all their stuff. I think "Let It Be", is prolly my favorite. "Help" aint bad either. Ive heard some of their CD's but im not to familiar with their record history. The main record i listened to was the "One" compilation, cuz i had borrowed it for 6 months and listened to it twice. But only 3 out of all of those songs really caught me. So, ill take your advice and try to get a hold of their White Album, ive heard many people suggest that.
hot girls, fast cars, and even louder guitars
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I don't understand how people can listen to the Dave Matthews band and enjoy it. They sound awful to me. Plenty of people are crazy about them though.

 

If forced to pick one or the other, I'd have to take Jimi over the Beatles.

quote:Originally posted by mdrs:

 

It's pure B.S., and obvioulsy inaccurate. I suspect it is posted for effect, not for accuracy.

 

John Petrucci > Johnny Winter

The Edge > Ted Nugent

Guitar One Mag > Guitarplayer

Slash > Carlton

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I really, really, really do not understand the worship with a lot of "musicians' musicians."

 

First up: Steely Dan. I've tried time and again to get into them, but there is absolutely no soul in this band. The lyrics are trite, the tempos are boring, and melodies/harmonies are so pretentious, I wish people would recognize them as the music-school-dropout level they are.

 

Second: Radiohead. When it takes a singer over a minute to sing five notes, that's completely boring to me. Their heavy/loud parts are very basic. Their experimental moments would definitely be novel... if Philip Glass hadn't done them 30 years prior.

 

Third: Pavement. In the immortal words of Beavis: Try Harder!

 

Others:

- Frank Sinatra

- The Rolling Stones

- Iron Maiden

- Pearl Jam

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A little leg work goes a long way.There is so much background information available about musicians these days, and so much great writing by music historians;if I don't 'get' something, a search through Google or a trip to the local library to read through some biographies will clear things up. Whether you like an artist's work or not, there is usually some kind of motive for why they've gone in that direction with their music. Finding out the where's and why's can be more interesting than the music. For example, my understanding of John Lydon increased a little when I read that he had an illness as a child that kept him in bed immobilised for 6 months and permanently twisted his spin. explains to some degree his personality traits, as well as his fascination with Shakespeare's Richard the Third.

 

Not getting equals not understanding usually, and not understanding often reduces itself to lack of knowlege or sometimes predjudice.Also has to do with the need to belong to this or that youth culture - peer group pressure etc. But it's inevitable that most will grow out of that, though some never do.

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I agree with a lot of these, Radiohead, Steely Dan, I enjoy Hendrix's songwriting and rhythm playing, but as a lead player he could even come close to playing in time, or in tune :confused:

 

I'll add The Doors to the list, not very good players, terrible songs, what's to like?

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I don't get Britney Spears, Madonna, Cristina Aguilera, Lindsay Lohan (she's hot, though), The Cure, Violent Femmes, etc... Double the comment on The Cure.

 

I "get" SRV but I don't think he's as 'great' as everybody says. To me, he was a great guitar player, but just ok as an artist/musician. It's mostly sports bar music. But he had this 'mystique'.

 

I hate Styx. There's nothing to get there, I just hate them.

 

I think I get lots of the popular country artists people think are great, but I just think they're crap. Not going to mention any names.

 

Someone I don't get? Drum rolls, please, I'm going to get lynched b/c of this: Steve Vai. There, I typed it! Rather, I don't get his fanatical fans (sorry for being redundant). I think he's got more mystique and chops than actual creative talent... wait, I should say, he makes that mystique overshadow his creative talent. He definitely knows how to market himself, nothing wrong w/ that. He's like the others (Satch, Malmsteen, etc), maybe a bit cheesier sometimes, but w/ this artificial aura of being over them, like a guru who can walk on water or whose feet never really touch the ground, maybe created by his use of the Eventide and his creamy sound, and his album covers and his 7-string guitars, and that fan blowing his hair back, etc. Lots of fluff, that's for sure. Pure Hollywood. I think rockers tend to confuse this w/ "musical depth" (whatever that means). I think in rock culture, sound (as well as image and the lyrics) has always been very important, sometimes even more important than the actual music. I still admire him as an electric guitarist, though, and A LOT. Don't ge me wrong, he's great, just a bit over-rated. Now let me run for cover...

 

I suspect that when we think we don't "get" an artist or a song, what we don't get are their fans. Fans I don't get? Kiss' fans. Man, that was a fun-but-lame band. I'm sorry but I think most of their stuff is downright LAME! I've seen live footage of them and heard live recordings, and geesh... one notch over punk-rock (exaggerating a bit).

 

I love Radiohead's OK Computer, and like the Beatles and Jimi, and Led Zep, by the way.... and I like certain bands people tend to flat-out hate, like Rush, Megadeth, Death, Cynic, and many others... of course, not all their material.

 

I half-get Eric Johnson--again, kinda cheesy.

 

Now, where's my drink?

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

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I don't get rappers. Oh, wait, they wouldn't be "artists" ;)

 

I don't get artists who have guitar in their songs, but no solos.... :cry:

 

I get hendrix. I don't get why he had to do all those drugs/alcohol and kill himself.

 

I gotta say the beatles are one of my all time favorite bands. I don't get why they just couldnt have gotten along and stayed together though. Oh yeah, yoko - :D

 

Never listened to much Radiohead...

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I don't get guitar based songs written by people/bands who insist on incessantly wankin' on exclusively open chords in combinations already beaten to death worse than inmates at Abu Garib

 

One example is Springsteen. I think I saw him playing a "new" song on TV and he's still wankin' on G chords singing like he's gonna croak.

 

Come on guys, let's take music somewhere new.

 

Like if you're gonnna play an open G chord, make it the flat 2 major in an F#minor phrygian progression or something

 

I have declared war on mediocrity as Brother Mushroom Cloud of Meditation

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Originally posted by GtrWiz:

I'll add The Doors to the list, not very good players, terrible songs, what's to like?

i like a couple of there songs but my friend has this theory about how everyone thinks Jim Morrison was this genius who was really creative and all that...but really he was just messed up from drugs and i dont mean ON drugs, i mean he was just so dumb from doing drugs that he didnt know what he was doin... by the way i heard this on the radio today...the drummer from the doors was recently offered 15 million to ha ve break on through used in a cadillac commercial but he declined...
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Originally posted by revorhythm:

Emptiness- yeah im 18 to, go figure. In mot saying i dont like all their stuff. I think "Let It Be", is prolly my favorite. "Help" aint bad either. Ive heard some of their CD's but im not to familiar with their record history. The main record i listened to was the "One" compilation, cuz i had borrowed it for 6 months and listened to it twice. But only 3 out of all of those songs really caught me. So, ill take your advice and try to get a hold of their White Album, ive heard many people suggest that.

The CD "one" is comprised, mainly, of The Beatles early, poppy, work. The White Album is raw. Songs like Helter Skelter have been said to have influenced and been the roots of, a lot of metal music.

 

The White Album didn't get the reception from the critics that they may have wanted, but it is truly a ground breaking album.

 

Most of their albums contain a few love songs and a few poppy songs, but as they progressed through the years, the drifted away from the "I want to hold your hand/Help", stuff to the "Why don't we do it in the road/Don't Let Me Down", stuff.

 

The Beatles came during a crest in music. They changed with the times and were responsible for a lot of the changes that were occurring. To understand who they were as a band, you really need to sample more then the "Beatlemania", shaggy hair, beatle-boots era and listen to some of their later stuff.

 

I hope, even if you don't decide you like them, that you will hear the experimentation and genius that brought music to the point it is at today.

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Originally posted by MILLO:

I suspect that when we think we don't "get" an artist or a song, what we don't get are their fans.

I think that's a big part of it for me. I don't see what the fans see.

 

There is obviously nothing wrong with me, so there must be something wrong with either the artist or the fans, right????? (sarcasm off).

 

Some bands have been named in this thread that I do "get", (Steely Dan, Beatles), and to some extent Kiss. (In a younger time, I was in the Kiss Army).

 

Another artist I don't get is Nirvana/Kurt Cobain. I just don't see how that catalogue will hold up in 40 years time. I don't hear in the lyrics how KC was the "spokesman" or "poet laureate" of his generation. I don't think his career lasted long enough to encompass a generation.

 

 

There is very little pop music that has any kind of half life. The Beatles have one for sure, The Who have a period from Tommy to Quadrophenia that is tough to match, even Led Zepellin, (who are to my ears the world's most succesful white boy blues band).

 

Peace,

 

Paul

Peace,

 

Paul

 

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Good thread going here, it is controversial but everyone has kept it civil. It is interesting to see the diversity of what people don't like or get and why. I'll comment on some of them.

 

Steely Dan- I was surprised to see them mentioned here. I like Steely Dan because it is a nice mix of rock and jazz elements but it is a different take from "fusion". It is refreshing to see a couple of fairly plain looking dudes make it big without all the rock star image.

 

Britney Spears and the rest of that crowd. I get it but I don't like it. Its lowest common denominator muzak. Find a pretty singer with stage presence and put on a danceable backing track. Most people who like that stuff just don't really think of music as anything other than a backdrop for having a good time. You could almost lump all dance music into that category. Its something to meet girls with.

 

The Beatles, The Doors, and Hendrix were as important for their place in the culture of their time as for the music. Same with Bob Dylan and many others from the sixties. It is kind of like the punk movement in that they were rebeling against the system in place. Whether it was about the war or about racism or just about freedom for young people to do what they want, it was a cultural revolution (for good or for bad). This in my opinion makes the other mini revolutions that came after (punk included) seem weak in comparison.

 

I saw Eric Johnson and SRV mentioned. These are some of my heroes so I will say why I like them. The first time I saw Eric Johnson the minute he walked onstage I just thought this is what an electric guitar is supposed to sound like. It wasn't like he was using any radical new equipment, it was a Strat through a Twin or Marshall for the most part. Obviously he can play technically very well and his songs are a springboard to showcase his playing. SRV was similar in that even though I had listened to quite a bit of blues over the years, he kind of put it all together in one package. Again I just said to myself, thats what the blues is supposed to sound like. It was full of emotion and the tone was just so together. SRV borrowed the right bits from the right people and made it his own.

 

Its harder to judge the Kurt Cobains and Radioheads. Ask me in ten years if they were valid or not. Its not that I find anything intrinsically wrong with newer music, I liked Nirvana's first album. But was it just pop songs and will I want to hear them when I am 55-60 years old. I am pretty sure I will still like the Beatles, Hendrix, Bach, Coltrane, Eric Johnson and SRV when I am older. Nirvana just didn't seem to have that big an influence on me however.

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I think I would have name the Ramones as the band I just don't get. I know they have _lots_ of loyal fans. But they just don't click for me.

 

And to whomever mentioned Jimi Hendrix playing out of tune, 1960s Fender Strats were notoriously hard to keep in tune. And stringing a righty as a lefty had to add to that.

 

If you're referring to his Woodstock material, remember he hadn't played with most of those guys for long. And he was playing in horrid weather (try playing outdoors under a shelter while it's raining and see what that does for your guitar).

 

I'm not saying you're wrong about all that, but it wasn't all Jimi.

Born on the Bayou

 

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Originally posted by KPB:

[QB] I don't get Bruce Springsteen.

 

KPB,

 

Not sure where your tastes lie, and I don't assume I can change them, but if you are interested in finding out why Springsteen has the repuatation he has there are some things you can check out. Bruce built his rep mainly on a few songs from his first album and then the masterpieces, "The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle" and "Born To Run". This year marks the 30th anniversary of BTR and it will be marked by a re-issue that include a DVD of a full seminal performance from London in 1975.

 

The E Street Band (IMHO) has consistently given the most amazing perfromance (up to 4 hours long) of hard driving Rock 'n Roll that draws from the pioneers of the 50's and adds some modern finesse. They are on par with the Rolling Stones.

 

If you care to see some video evidence and don't mind viewing some grainy black and white footage, checkout this site: http://www.brucevideos.com/nuke/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=13 and scroll down to "20th September 1978" to see an amazing show filmed at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ. These guys rock just as hard today as they did then.

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Originally posted by revorhythm:

Well i guess this is where to really put it out there. As you stated, i dont get the Beatles. Never have, never will. I dont understand the hype of there music, its way to happy and boring to me. I can see why some people like it, but to say they influenced all music today is to be ignorant of what influenced them. I dont see any inovations the Beatles can be credited for. I can appreciate all the Kings, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, basically roots. But what the Beatles ever did is beyond me.

Revo...this is a much better way of putting it, than saying "they suck".

 

And you may be unaware of their many innovations, such as the first recorded use of guitar feedback (I Feel Fine). They pioneered the use of backward recording, tape loops, direct recoridng of the bass, and the Moog syntesizer, they promoted the use of multi-track recording beyond 4 tracks. The Beatles often recorded two tracks of their lead vocals, which led to their engineer inventing a production effect known as Automatic Double Tracking. Theire are many others as well.

 

So, you still don't have to like them, but now you can understand that they were innovators.

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Originally posted by Virtual Jim:

I really, really, really do not understand the worship with a lot of "musicians' musicians."

 

First up: Steely Dan. I've tried time and again to get into them, but there is absolutely no soul in this band. The lyrics are trite, the tempos are boring, and melodies/harmonies are so pretentious, I wish people would recognize them as the music-school-dropout level they are.

I understand how many people don't get the Dan. Their lyrics are obtuse, purpsoefully obfuscating their meanings. You need to have a droll sense of humor at the very least to laugh along with them.

 

Soulless? I'm not so sure. Yes, there are many tracks that sound somwhwat sterile, but listen to Steve Gadd's drums and Wayne Shorter's sax on Aja. Elliot Randal;'s guitar on Reelin in the Years, Larry Carlton on Don't Take Me Alive.

 

At the very least, this band is a guitar player's paradise for the contributions of the above and Skunk Baxter, Denny Dias and Jeff Beck among many others.

 

Unfortunately, I think they have de-volved into being lecherous old men who keep re-writing "Hey Nineteen".

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Guitar55,

 

Thanks for the info but nothing you say will convince me otherwise about Springsteen. I also don't expect to change people's minds on what they think about Hendrix and Steely Dan.

 

I've been around awhile and I've given Springsteen all the benefit of doubts I possibly can. I just don't get him and never will. OK: I should never say never. I used to hate Janis Joplin... now I think she was quite talented... It only took me 30 years to see that. :D

 

You being from NJ, I can understand your point of view. I know many people there love this guy. It's the same with me being from Michigan. We all love Bob Seger.

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Originally posted by Guitar55:

So, you still don't have to like them, but now you can understand that they were innovators.

did they "discover" distortion too? i think i remember reading a story on the forum about how they had an amp on its side or knocked over and they accidently left it on over night and came back and when they played it they had more distortion than what you get from just the natural tube distortion..i could be completely wrong, but i read something on here similar to this...
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I think a lot of the hype about the Beatles is due to marketing guys selling nostalgia to a certain generation that were young adults or teenagers during the 1960s. I like the Beatles, it's their fans that give me the shits.

 

Present company excluded, of course. :D

 

Somebody once asked me if I was into the Beatles or the Stones. And I agree with the guy that asked. Deep deep down, you really do prefer one band over the other. I, of course, immediately answered the Stones.

 

The guy I don't get at all is Frank Zappa. One time I was listening to one of his albums in a car with a drummer. And the guy says to me "Hear that? That's 17/4 timing." To me that epitomises Frank Zappa. It's all very clever, no doubt, but it's just not emotionally satisfying to me.

 

I actually like Steve Vai's fan, and the smoke machine that goes off behind him. He'a a really funny guy :)

 

I don't get BeBop either. I have a very low threshold for it.

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