I posted some of my musical guilty pleasures a little while ago and friend and author of the wonderful blog Dispatches From The Away Dad Nation, said: “I guess it shows a lack of musical sophistication on my part that I didn’t find much to feel guilty about in your list. But then, heck, my list might include The Monkees.” Other blog authors I read regularly have waxed poetic on the joys of so-called “guilty pleasures” and have made excellent points to the fact that there is really no such thing as bad taste. If you enjoy it, it’s good.
Music is so damn personal isn’t it? My iPod is full of music and it’s a sure bet that it’s not chock full of critical darlings. Sure I’ve got the Elvis Costello’s, Underworld, Flaming Lips, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. But I’ve also got Queen, ELO and yes, The Monkees to name but a mere few.
I don’t think it has to do with someone lacking “musical sophistication”. We like what we like and that’s it. No point in analyzing it, really. Tastes can vary dramatically from one person to the other, even if you think that you’re simpatico with another so-called music snob. Sometimes we like to think that our tastes are superior, that we have a better ear for the finer sounds, but it’s all bull shit. Really, who am I to say that the stuff you listen to and enjoy sucks dog ass? I enjoy a good debate but I don’t believe I’ve ever elevated it to the point of being obnoxious. Or maybe I have. Actually, yes, I certainly have, but not lately. Maybe I’m mellowing, or maybe it’s because there’s nobody to debate with. Any Soup Dragons fans out there wanna take me on?
Now the whole point of this here little blog is to spark debate and perhaps introduce you to some really good music that you’ve never heard before. It’s those “A-HA!” moments that we live for, right? Discovering an album that, after hearing it once you wonder how you’ve gone your life without owning a copy.
So, you like Lennon and I prefer McCartney. You like Tears For Fears and I prefer The THE. I think John Prine is one of the most underrated songwriters and you believe Jim Croce had more influence than Bob Dylan.
But, on this blog anyway, you’re gonna have to prove it. Tell me why, give me an educated reason, why you like or dislike something. All so-called music snobs are open to new experiences and all can take a little constructive critisism. There is so much good, undiscovered stuff out there that we’d be foolish not to keep an open mind. I’ve discovered more great bands in the last 5 years than I have in the prior 15, and that’s the truth.
In my opinion good music has everything to do with taste and nothing to do with the vintage. You can study it, dissect it, swish it around in your mouth and spout your so-called educated witticisms, but bottom line is if you don’t like it the first time you may spit it out. You may, however, aquire a taste for it over time.
Never be ashamed of liking the Monkees, Hal. Heck, that silly TV show introduced me to rock music. I heard them before I heard the Beatles! The closing song to the show, “For Pete’s Sake” is one of the great undiscovered tracks and “Mary Mary” is a wonderful little slice of garage rock.
Suck it all you Monkees haters!!