Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Top Five Tuesday:
Music Pet Peeves

I have broadened my palette quite a bit in recent years, though there are still some trends and aesthetics I just don't get. Strangely, some bands are repeat offenders on this list, and yet I still love/enjoy/tolerate them.

I'll let you be the judge. Is it just me, or are these the most annoying music trends ever?

5. Covers -- I really really hate covers. In concert: I came to see this band, not some rehashed send-up of some long-forgotten band/song/one-hit wonder. On albums: This is even worse, as in my opinion cover songs tend to violate the cohesion of the album. All this, and yet I love Yo La Tengo. (Yet another exception: Hearing Iron & Wine perform "No Surprises" at the 2007 P4K Music Fest. Need I explain?)

4. Hidden Tracks -- Does it fit on the album or not? If it doesn't, cut it or save it for later. Don't bury it at the end of a ten-minute silence that will forever ruin my listening experience. Lalala, I was just jamming out to some Islands, but now I have to stop what I am doing and go switch the song or else listen to five minutes of silence before I hear a forgettable track followed by yet another seven minutes of silence.

Perhaps even more more annoying is when the track is actually really amazing, and then you have to hunt for it. Seriously, Beck, WTF? You have a little song called "Static" that is easily one of my favorites off Mutations. Oh how many times I've yearned to put ye on a playlist/mixtape, yet I'd be forced to put the Sounds of Silence on there, too. Sigh.

3. Ending Tracks That Give Me a Migraine -- Or let's just leave this as "Any Track That Gives Me a Migraine." As far as ending tracks, I'm looking at you, Neutral Milk Hotel, for "Pree Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye." And also you, Wilco, for "Less Than You Think" (followed by a horrendous hidden track to boot.)

After listening to Zaireeka this weekend I have to add "How Will We Know?" It's as if the Flaming Lips knew fans would blare this album and hang on every solitary sound, so they threw in this high-pitched frequency to screw with the lot of us.

2. Calypso Music -- Here we see both Beck and Islands returning to my list. See: Beck's "Tropicalia." Also: Island's "Jogging Gorgeous Summer." Let me just say, just because you named yourselves the Islands doesn't mean you have to make island music. Maybe I'm still just bitter about the Unicorns breaking up?

(Once again Iron & Wine defies me here. As far as calypso-infused melodies go, "House By the Sea" manages to steal my heart. And I do have to thank the Islands because, despite the musical crimes they've perpetrated here, they did allow me to appreciate rap with the song "Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone.")

1. Spoken Word -- Are people just trying to be artsy? I guess some artists can pull this off better than others (Pavement, The Velvet Underground), but I don't think I'll ever say, wow, that spoken word song is PHENOMENAL. Right now I'd settle for not feeling the overwhelming urge to skip it. You're a singer: sing!

Seriously, does anyone out there love or even like spoken word tracks?

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Remixes - although I am growing to appreciate these more and more, I don't understand why there have to be so many of them for one song. Re-recording old songs for new albums - I know this is going to get some of you up in arms. As much as I enjoy the Neon Bible version of "No Cars Go," I would have preferred a new song in its place. Also, a part of me still prefers the rough and raw EP version. (I do have to hand it to Arcade Fire for finally knocking Spanish-influenced music off this list with "Ocean of Noise." Them, and Calexico, who incidentally covered that very song. We're not back to that again, are we?)


The Moon said...

I'm definitely down with both 4 & 5 but after that I'm not so sure?

...I think all your honorable mentions might have made it into mine though...?

G said...

Remixes would be #1 on my list. It is just another attempt to get fans to buy something. If it wasn't right the first time, why did you release it?

The hidden track is very 90's. We get it... you have to listen to ten minutes of silence to get to a song that didn't inspire you to give it a front 5 spot on the disc.

Covers depend on the band and well... the cover. If it is something from a well known band acknowledging another well known band (Radiohead doing Neil Young or perchance it is Billy Corgan doing a totally different version of The Bee Gees).

G said...

then it is ok. But if you are covering something to get attention... well then why am I seeing you in the first place?

Anonymous said...

I call this piece: A Non-Artists Guide to Making Irrelavent Generalizations.