Sacred Cow Bands where you just don't get the appeal: A rant

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Postby Kristy » Thu Feb 20, 2003 3:21 pm

Troof: Huh? Derek: I'm glad Chan Marshall is a "gal" who meets with your approval. "Gal" is very condescending though, as you must know. Like the next thing you'll say is how purty she is or something. These are real ARTISTS. Liz Phair may not be quite as original as Marshall, but she's been daring and playful and tries out a lot of stuff with that voice, which could have remained a deadpan shtick.

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Postby D. Phillips » Thu Feb 20, 2003 4:12 pm

I see nothing wrong with pointing out how purty a girl is and I don't see how calling a woman a "gal" can be offensive. To ignore the physical attributes of Liz Phair is silly just as it would be silly to ignore the good looks of Clem Snide's Eef Barzalay:

Yes, they're artists but they're also what?

The Troof

Postby The Troof » Thu Feb 20, 2003 5:00 pm

"Your Favorite Band Sucks" --- T-shirt the used to sell through the Onion. I am always reminded of that when I see/hear these sorts of debates.

Kristy wrote:Troof: Huh? .

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Way off-topic argument

Postby Kristy » Thu Feb 20, 2003 5:18 pm

Derek, I agree that there's nothing wrong with commenting on a performer's attractiveness. It's all part of show biz. But don't forget you made your comments on the heels of your "key of girl" statement. Perhaps an aura of condescension floated over your remarks after that? Anyway, I did say 'gal' was condescending, not offensive -- slight difference I think.

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Postby D. Phillips » Thu Feb 20, 2003 5:28 pm

Nope, not condescending either. Guy and gal are just informal words. Nothing condescending about 'em.

I see the key of girl term is a real sticker for you. Again, it's not my term, but I think it applies to a lot of women who first learn guitar and look to role models (often Phair, Ani DiFranco, et al) and try to imitate. That imitation, without innovation and/or talent, can become a parody. You then end up with songs that lack melody and chase after chords ad nauseum. Hey, it's just my opinion and that's not to say I don't appreciate unconventional song structures (Ugly Casanova was my top pick of 2002), but in immature hands you can end up with nonsense.

That said, there are plenty of guys who unsuccessfully try to imitate their heroes (I type this with full knowledge I am one of those hacks). They too end up a distorted mirror of the original. It just so happened that this thread was discussing Sacred Cows you just don't get and Liz Phair happens to be one I mentioned.

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Postby Kristy » Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:07 pm

"Your Favorite Band Sucks" is a great slogan for a t-shirt, as is most of the stuff the Onion dreams up. Thanks for clearing that up, Troof.

Derek, just to wrap up: The idea that women play more chords than men while developing as songwriters is actually extremely interesting and worthy of post-graduate study -- okay, maybe not that, but it is very interesting, maybe worthy of a separate rant board. I feel a bit self-defensive since I write songs and sometimes feel I use too many chords. So I hate you, is the real issue. No. The funny thing is, I'm not that big a Liz Phair fan, either. I just didn't like some of your comments about her.

Back to Sacred Cows, for God's sake. Can you tell I'm not working this week?

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Postby razor's_edge » Thu Feb 20, 2003 11:15 pm

Led Zeppelin, all the way.

if i want to listen to discordant howling, i'll put my two cats in the dryer and turn it on.

and the Grateful Dead, while i'm at it.

The Laughing Man

Postby The Laughing Man » Fri Feb 21, 2003 2:57 am

Actually, I thought the "Your Favorite Band Sucks" tee-shirts were a creation of "Rock and Roll Confidential" (, but The Onion might have done it first.

To whomever said Godspeed You Black Emperor was just a watered down Pink Floyd, that just doesn't make any sense to me. The two bands’ styles are completely different. While both are heavy on the atmosphere and use, to one extent or another, sound clips and audio cut-ups, one does thirty minute long, lumbering orchestral pieces of uninterrupted aural doom while the other does really good, really elaborate pop and rock songs (played with the standard rock instrumentation and complete with other qualities like solos, choruses, verses…lyrics) embellished with effects. Not trying to be picky my first post here, but the two sound nothing alike.

Oh, and if you want to slaughter some sacred cows, I have a real Kobe steak right here: the Beatles. (It had to come up sooner or later.) Now, before everyone flips and sets his or her crosshairs on me, this is just my opinion here; I’m not claiming that what I say is perfect, irrefutable truth and should be adhered to by everyone.

Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, in every one of their incarnations, solo or as a band, and in every musical “mode” they embraced, the Beatles were nothing more than a silly pop band that aspired to levels their talents couldn’t take them. Even in the context of the time they were playing, there was very little original or inspired about what they were doing. They simply truncated whatever musical formula they were enamored with this week, and people lapped it up. In my opinion, they weren’t popular because they were good; they were popular because they appealed to the lowest common musical denominator. And let me go out on a limb here and say that there’s nothing in the Beatles’s catalogue that wasn’t done better by Elvis (singing and raw performing ability), the Beach Boys (harmony and general songwriting), the Who (songwriting, performances), the Velvet Underground (the lyrics and the maturity of the subject matter), and, God bless ‘em, the Rolling Stones (absolutely everything).

I’ve held this opinion practically since I’ve been listening to music, and, as one poor little outnumbered guy in a world of Beatles fans, I’ve had to argue this a million times, so I’ve heard all the outraged indignation before. But in the end it always comes back to this one thing: I’ve given them a fair shake, but to my ears they’ve always come off as simply ponderous and dull.

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Postby The Laughing Man » Fri Feb 21, 2003 3:11 am

Actually, I just checked Rock and Roll Confidential, and their shirts just read "Your Band Sucks." Opps, sorry.

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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:05 am


There, I said it. I feel better now.

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