Seeing how I’ve started up a music review blog you may be thinking that I’m something of a music snob. You know, something like a blues/rap/emo/industrial purist. The type of person that says things like “’Filth Pig’ was the last good Ministry album” or “The only good Nine Inch Nails album was ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ because it was the only one he did himself.” I’m sure people say stuff like that about other genres also, but I’m not like that. Sure, I’m here to share my views but that doesn’t mean that I don’t care about the views of others. Each and every person has an opinion and a voice; it just so happens that my voice is really loud.
I find that music is a lot like religion and politics. We may share some similar tastes but in the end everyone has their own unique philosophy. I have friends that agree with me on 98% of my musical tastes then make fun of me for liking Maroon 5 and Prince. I’ll operate on the assumption that most people love The Eagles’ Greatest Hits, Pearl Jam’s Ten and Soulfly’s Primitive; and that most people hate St. Anger. I’m sure we’ll find some common ground here, but eventually our roads will diverge. Here are a few examples of where my personal tastes/views have diverged from that of the general public and prove that I would make a very poor talent scout.
It was September 14, 2003. My girlfriend at the time and I were heading to Dayton, OH for X-Fest, an all day concert put on by a local radio station. Mudvayne was headlining. Cold and Seether were second billed. Smile Empty Soul and Three Days Grace were just starting out. Eve 6 and Powerman 5000 were on their way down and there were several other unknown national acts. The first band to play was Sloth. They were a high energy rock band with odd Greek rhythms and a bold, unconventional sound that I was sure were poised to take over rock radio. Later on we saw another band that I liked just as much but didn’t think had much of a chance for popularity because of a more grungy sound. They told me Johnny Cash had died and did a great cover of “Ring of Fire” but I didn’t expect to hear any more from them. They were called Shinedown and have since sold over 6 million records. I have no idea what happened to Sloth.
A few months later I was with the same girl and a friend. We headed to Youngstown to see Clutch in a small bar. It was my first time seeing them and they put on a great show. This was right before ‘Blast Tyrant’ came out and they were just about to become a little bit of a bigger underground act. The second opening act was called Nebula and they played a pretty cool groove/blues rock that I loved but the first band was horrible. They were probably the worst live band I have ever seen to this day. I usually respect any group of guys with enough balls to get on a stage but I actually wanted to throw things at these guys to shut them up. I couldn’t believe how horrible they were. They were called Mastadon and were on Headbanger’s Ball the next weekend. They have since been nominated for two Grammy awards had an album debut at #10 on the Billboard Top 200.
Perhaps the biggest indicator of my poor judgment in picking winners lies in my desire to start a band called 800 pounds of shit. I’d like to focus on songs rooted in fecopoetics like “Angel of Excrement,” “95 feces” and “Beyond the Plunger.” We’d also perform in brown face with creamed corn dumped over our heads to help with the back story of us being turds that were exposed to mutagenetic slime and became sentient beings. Like GWAR but with poop.
So while I’m comfortable sharing my views with others I don’t believe my opinions to be the only, best or even acurate opinions of the subjects I am covering. I just have fun writing about them and hope you enjoy reading them. I love music; from Beethoven to Bob Dylan to the Bad Brains, Robert Johnson to Katy Perry, Foo Fighters to Frampton, it’s still rock ‘n’ roll to me. So I’ll do the dirty work of sifting through the mess and tell you what gems I find, but you may enjoy the turds a bit more.