Friday, August 29, 2008

The Road to Hell

Okay, if you’re keeping score at home, you should already know that this next series of Friday posts is about guilty pleasures, tunes that you would be embarrassed that anyone close to you would find out you like.

To tell you the truth, I could give an entire bowl of fuck about what anyone thinks about the music I like. See, my earliest memories were listening to music. Music, has therefore, always been a part of my life, whether it be good or bad. So I’m going to list music that I believe would be perceived as guilty pleasures by the majority of readers.

Crappy 70s pop including tons of one-hit wonders.

There was a lot of really great music coming out in the 70s. Most of what is considered “Great 70s Music” by the masses is still heard today in the form of the Classic Rock radio stations. What I consider really great, though, are the one hit wonders. I dig Albert Hammond’s (yes, Strokes fans, it’s Jr’s daddy) “It Never Rains in California”, “Driver’s Seat” by Sniff N’ The Tears, and a lot of disco. Yes, I said it; DISCO. I played it off by scribbling AC/DC and Blue Oyster Cult onto my Trapper/Keeper, but deep down inside, I still was into things like “I Love the Nightlife” by Alicia Bridges. My favorite disco tunes? “Boogie Nights” by Heatwave and “Boogie Oogie Oogie” by Taste of Honey.

The most amazing thing I found was this video of Taste of Honey. In the 70s, there was no MTV. I mostly learned of these artists listening to the radio daily. I could tell that there were women singing on this song, but I kind of figured that it was a Supremes type set up, where there were several female singers backed by a band. Yeah, I know it was pretty stereotypical of me. I apologize, but I was a product of the white honkey recording establishment. I would have never thought that the singer was also playing such a killer bassline. This is as amazing as watching Stevie Ray Vaughn play guitar. Seriously.

Crappy 80s pop including tons of New Wave bands

If I learned anything about 70s music is how much disco and pop was shunned. Shame on those people for not seeing the glory in such bad music. I truly believe that my peers in the 80s subconsciously decided that when it was our time, we would embrace the music of our generation.

For the most part, I was into metal in the 80s. I ran the gamut from hair metal to the heavy stuff. I had “Kill ‘Em All” by Metallica when it came out. I didn’t discover them later and then backtrack. I was there in the beginning, bitches! I fronted with the whole metal posture. But secretly, I was also really into Cyndi Lauper and Culture Club, thanks to an ultra-cool and fashion trend-setting younger sister.

So yeah, I walked around saying Boy George was a fag, and I’m sorry. That dude had some great tunes:

Not that the metal was really any better. Yes, Metallica was my favorite band for the longest time. But when that first Poison record came out, I was all over it. Later, I would find out that C.C. Deville had completely ripped off Rick Nielsen’s (Cheap Trick) guitar solo in “California Man”, but then, that was a song by Jeff Lynne’s earlier band, The Move, so I’m not sure who’s ripping off who anymore.

But the song, “Cry Tough” still remains a favorite. What an anthem!

Unfortunately, pop music got really shitty in the 90s. There were some great hits, to be sure, but once the Mouseketeers got recording contracts, that whole scene went into the shitter for me.

I liked punk rock as well, during my formative years. That, combined with my love of metal, evolved with the Seattle scene. I found a friend in college that was a key influence on me, and I began ordering everything with a Sub Pop label on it. Of course, Nirvana came off this label, and once again, I was into them way before a lot of people ever sniffed a flannel shirt after a hard night out at your local punk rock club. While Nirvana, Soundgarden and The Fluid all moved on to major labels, there were so many bands that didn’t. So yeah, I got the Cat Butt EP and the Blood Circus EP. I got every Supersuckers release from Sub Pop. While some people have long since disowned grunge, it will forever keep its place in my unbathed, drunken heart.

So there you have it, folks. My Little Secret (thank you, Afghan Whigs).

Enjoy your weekend, and don’t forget to pick up a bottle or two of Goose Island Harvest Ale.

1 comment:

TK said...

Liking Kill 'Em All is not shameful. Liking anything after And Justice For All... that's shameful. Sadly, I also thought Poison was tits at one point.