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TBTS Discusses: Regret, Embarrassment, and Defiance

November 10, 2010

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.

Motley CrueThe 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.

  1. PMcD permalink
    November 10, 2010 2:11 pm

    My vote would be for Metallica. Up to (and possibly including) the “Black” album, I worshiped everything they did. Then they just fell completely off my radar. I still will occasionally spin Kill ‘Em All, Master of Puppets or Ride The Lightning, but maybe only a couple times a year.

    Perhaps as I’ve gotten older and my metabolism has slowed down, I just can’t get as pumped for them as I used to?

  2. Porter permalink
    November 10, 2010 2:31 pm

    I got a couple…

    1) Screeching Weasel. I will still go to the mat for “My Brain Hurts” — that remains some of the most (lyrically) intelligent punk rock I’ve ever heard. But the other albums (both early and late) are another story. Part of this is the quality of the music, but part of it is growing up and developing a more nuanced understanding of the world.

    2) Tori Amos. My junior/senior year of high school, this was the artist dejour among a certain set of women and those dudes who might be called a “sensitivo.” Now, if I even hear the first couple of bars of anything off of Under the Pink, I want to puke.

    3) Ani DiFranco. The first AD album I heard is still the best — Dilate. And I don’t know why I can’t stand her other stuff now — maybe it’s having to deal with her die-hard fans, fans who are as obnoxious as any Phish or Dead fans, or maybe it’s her grating self-righteousness. But I just don’t, can’t, won’t give a deuce about anything she’s put out in the last 10-15 years…

  3. everfred permalink
    November 10, 2010 3:17 pm

    A few thoughts, which I’ll leave you to categorize as you will…

    I’m pretty traditional when it comes to bands that I gave up on; they usually fall into that bucket with AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Metallica: love the old stuff, hate the new stuff. Usual complaints: overproduced, just quit trying, sacrificed creativity by becoming a road band.

    There’s a flipside of this discussion: music which I probably always knew deep in my heart really sucked, but I still listen to it because I associate such good times with it. Rick Springfield’s “Tao” album will always be the soundtrack of my teenage self partying and getting laid, not some soap-actor pumping out cookie-cutter top-40. Likewise Loverboy, Autograph, and every other collection of mullets who could afford a Prophet V.

  4. Kristin permalink
    November 10, 2010 3:29 pm

    My very first real tape that I bought for myself was INXS Kick… I think I wore the tape out. For sentimental reasons, I bought it on CD but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to it… I’m pretty plain-Jane when it comes to my music (my standbys are Barenaked Ladies and Jimmy Buffett and have been for years, adding They Might Be Giants back into the mix after falling in love with them all over again with their kids’ CDs).

    However, there are a few songs that instantly transport me back to certain places where I KNOW I remember listening to them – Don’t Worry, Be Happy chiefly among them.

    • Paul permalink*
      November 11, 2010 3:29 pm

      I still love INXS’ Kick. Every song on there is a gem.

  5. November 10, 2010 3:44 pm

    I sure did think I was cool when I got Men at Work’s record “Business as Usual.” And also when I bought the follow-up “Cargo.”

    Today, not so much.

    • Porter permalink
      November 10, 2010 5:06 pm

      Count my Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet, Cinderella’s Night Songs, and Lita Ford/Ozzy Osborne cassingle of “When I Close My Eyes” in that same category.

  6. Lloyd permalink
    November 10, 2010 5:04 pm

    Gomez used to be one of my favorite bands and I still remember their live set as one of the best I’ve ever seen. But in terms of remaining a fan, it’s been years since I was able to make it through more than a song or two, even from their first two albums, which I used to adore. Weird part is, I don’t quite know why–their stuff just stopped doing anything for me. The last time “Las Vegas Dealer” came up on an iTunes shuffle, I hit Skip after a minute or so and said something along the lines of “STFU, you fussy bastards!”

    @Porter: Good call on Ani DiFranco. I used to be a fan too, but I lost interest over the years. Unrelated note–I once heard a guy in a gas station describe Ani DiFranco’s guitar playing as sounding like a “flatulent rubber band.”

  7. price permalink
    November 10, 2010 5:41 pm

    I have some reservations about owning up to some teenage music taste. I’d feel more comfortable admitting my schmorgasboard of venereal diseases; but, among my early music interests were Black Flag, The Beatles, Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor, and Fine Young Cannibals.

  8. Paul permalink*
    November 10, 2010 6:21 pm


  9. Marsha permalink
    November 10, 2010 7:31 pm

    Bangles, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Madonna.

    I think these musicians were linked to a place/time in my life and I just moved on from that and thus them. I have started to add them to my tween daughter’s iPod though. It makes it easier to listen to her stuff when every once in a while shuffle plays one of my old favorites.

  10. November 10, 2010 8:56 pm

    Toad the Wet Sprocket? Barenaked Ladies pre-Adult Contemporary?

    • Paul permalink*
      November 10, 2010 10:30 pm

      Ah, see. I loves me some Toad. To this day.


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