TBTS Discusses: Regret, Embarrassment, and Defiance
Today we try a little experiment in crowd-sourcing and interactivity here at the Tweed. You are invited and encouraged to add your opinion to the discussion below.
The other day I was picking up a few Blu-rays at the local big-box store (Predators & Kick-Ass FTW, though I also picked up both seasons of the hilarious and criminally underrated Party Down on DVD) when I spied with my little eye a relatively new release by the band 311. Naturally, my first reaction was, “those guys are still around?!” (Closer inspection revealed that it was simply a best-of collection released early in 2010.) This chance retail encounter was followed shortly by a kind of sheepish nostalgia.
You see, I used to be a huge 311 fan. From their 1993 major-label debut Music to 1999’s Soundsystem I sang their praises to anyone who would listen. (Few people did.) I even drove 3 hours once to see them play in Columbus, OH. I knew many people who found them annoying or cheesy, and I like to think I understood why. But I didn’t care. Their energy and clever melodies and general booty-shakin’ grooviness helped me overlook the peccadilloes. Despite all of this, though I still own all of the 311 albums I bought, I rarely listen to them now. Eventually, the flaws that I forgave for most of the 90’s began to overshadow the things that I liked about the band. After finding Soundsystem underwhelming, I pretty much gave up on them. And yet I can’t bring myself to get rid of the CDs.
All of this got me thinking about other music that, at one time, I thought was the pinnacle of human artistic achievement, but that has now become a mere footnote in the evolution of my musical taste. To this day, whenever I hear Huey Lewis’ “I Want a New Drug” or the Kinks’ “Lola” or The Knack’s “My Sharona,” I sing the Weird Al lyrics instead (“I Want a New Duck,” “Yoda,” and “My Bologna,” in case you were wondering). I’ve seen Phish and Dave Matthews Band live 5 times each. I still know all the words to every song on Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood. I could probably hum all 74 minutes of Dream Theater’s Images & Words (complete with air-guitar!) And I maintain that Winger’s Reb Beach, White Lion’s Vito Bratta, and Ratt’s Warren DeMartini are great guitarists who had the misfortune of being in bands that are easy to make fun of.
For the most part, these are artists who continue to make music, release albums, and even tour. But they have all pretty much fallen off my radar. Regardless of the title of this post, I don’t necessarily regret liking them nor am I terribly embarrassed to have been a fan. I still own the CDs, and do occasionally play them on the ol’ iPod, but for the most part I’ve moved on.
And so we come to the audience participation part of our show. We’d like to know, via the comments section at the bottom of the page, what kind of stuff you, dear reader, used to listen to religiously but don’t anymore and why. Be as detailed as you like. Reply to others’ comments. Talk amongst yourselves. We’ll do a follow-up post to summarize the discussion.