You’re never too old to make another big mistake.


Some comments my friend Olaf and wife Andrea said a couple weeks back has had me thinking a lot lately.   Olaf has long thought that my motto when it came to music was “your band sucks”.  Many of the comments had to do with me being a music snob and having no respect for other people musical tastes.   I guess it is partially true since I do dog on music I find less than steller, but I am bothered that they think that I am so close minded.

I know both think that I will automatically begin hating a band if they become popular.  This is so far from the truth.  Yes once upon a time I had a problem with bands becoming mainstream.  But years ago I fell in love with Coldplay’s first album Parachutes, one day I was clicking through the channels and came across the video for Yellow playing on VH1.  I was excited to have stumbled upon and watched eagerly.  Then the end of the video came and that is when I realized that this was a countdown show of the most popular music at that time.  What amazed me was one that I loved this song/album so much, and that it was the number one single on VH1 at the time.  I think it was a good thing I was sitting down.

So this one moment made me rethink everything I had thought before.  From that day forward I set out to try to broaden my horizons when it came to popular music.  That was back in about 2000-2001 sometime.  Since then I have fallen in love with so many bands that are or have become very mainstream.  (Radiohead, Cake, Black Keys, White Stripe, Dropkick Murphys, Foo Fighters, The Killers to name a few)

That brings me to my next thought.  This kind of came to me yesterday while watching a video of Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan doing a press conference down at South By Southwest happening down in Austin, Texas.  It’s long but watch.

I agree with some of what Billy says, but I don’t take that much of a hardline.  One of his major things is the separation of main stream music by both the record industry and by Indie Hipsters.  Do hipsters really stand against there favorite bands making it big?  That seems so stupid to me.  I want my band to become popular and be successful.  I want to whole world to share the love I have for their art.  I do think that if a band completely changes there style just to make it big is sad.  It is the only reason I would turn on one of my bands.  Don’t get me wrong its ok to change, just a shame when is drastic.  When your view of a band is solely determined by where you think you stand culturally, you are no longer a music fan and you only can be considered an elitist.  If hipster really do think this way, indie rock is doomed.

I do think the record industry is broken at the moment.  I think that the major record labels have to much control over what people hear.  I think that not enough people think outside the box when it come to discovering music.  I think a majority of people listen what is fed to them and accept it as their choice.  That being said, I do think there are lot of people both making and discovering music in so many forms.  I think for those who do dig under the surface there is an amazing amount of music for what ever taste one has.  I also think that I still need to stop telling people what they like sucks.

In closing, I want this to be notice that this blog is a form of self expression as well as a way of sharing the music I love.  It hopefully is a place of discovery for me. I hope you all continue to share your thought and music interests with me.  With that, I leave you with the video for Yellow by Coldplay that I mentioned above.

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6 thoughts on “You’re never too old to make another big mistake.

  1. Umm…well, your music still sucks, dude. Just kidding.

    Agree, taste in art and music is subjective. Don’t listen to what other people say. Make up your own mind. What’s more, who gives a hoot what other people think if they don’t like the same music as you. But it is a fact that some artists give up their artistic license in exchange for bigger sales (Sting). Others have a reputation for fighting it tooth and nail and are willing to live with smaller paydays and fame as a result (Lucinda Williams)

    First thought came to mind when I read your blog was REM — the indie band vs. the corporate band. I was a huge REM fan for most of the 1980s. They were very avant-garde, artsy and cool with some mainstream sensibilities. I wanted nothing more than for them to become international pop-stars. That started to happen when they signed with Warner Brothers after about 10 years on the Athens-based IRS (Independent Record Services) label. I was slightly disappointed with the more polished sound of “Green” but still a big fan at that time. Then came “Out of Time”. I tried very hard to like it, but finally admitted that I just can’t stand it. This turned me off on all future REM, Some of which received universal critical and fan acclaim such as “Automatic for the People” and “Monster”. I haven’t totally given up on these. I am still trying hard to like these but I just can’t. None of what they did after the “Document” LP/CD (1987) does much for me.

    U2 is another one. The “Boy” album from 1980 was one of the hippest albums that year. Very unique sound in 1980. They were way outside the mainstream. Part of the new wave of super cool bands at the time like Joy Division (which later became New Order). These are the only guileless lyrics Bono ever wrote. By far my favorite U2 album and one that doesn’t get near enough attention in the “classic rock” world.. I was thrilled when the “Joshua Tree” (1987) put them over the top. I rode the U2 wave through the early 90s with “Achtung, Baby” (1993). Many people consider this the last great rock and roll album and the end of rock and roll. I’d agree. What became of U2 after this album really turned me off.

    • Can you think of any examples of bands that kept your interest after they got big? It does seem there are a lot band that just slowly get worse like you mentioned above with both U2 and REM. The Red Hot Chili Peppers comes to mind really. They were once really awesome doing the funk/punk/rock whatever you call it. But know it seems that everything they so is so polished and nothing really sounds all that different than the other. It seems like they are trying to be hip instead of just being hip. Aerosmith is another band that comes to mind. This is one I have only partially witness directly (so correct me if I’m wrong) but they seemed like a pretty cool Rock band in the 70’s, then they “got sober” (not a knock) and made it big with the Walk This Way single with Run DMC. after that it seems like it is one song after another that is just made to be a hit. All pretty generic and again all sounding pretty much the same. (Disclaimer I was a huge fan of Aerosmith for a long time and Pump is still guilty pleasure)

  2. He’s right on with a lot of his points. Very sad. Plus, I don’t think people invest in quality stereo systems anymore, so why should the industry invest money in bands that produce music as art. Most people listen on their cheap i-Pod head phones and are not really giving their tunes the full attention it takes to really appreciate it. I find it sad that people don’t invest in real stereo systems anymore. Good speakers, amplifiers and receivers. .

    • A guy I work with just bought a $10 portable speaker so he could listen to music in the warehouse. There are three things wrong with this. One it sounds like crap, two he plays MP3’s (which to and audiophile is garbage) and third he plays it turned so loud that everything over modulates. I asked him how he could listen to it like that, his reply, “like what?” I just shook my head and laughed…

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