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Music that just doesn’t do it for me

I’m not a music person. There have been very few bands that have affected me on a deeply personal level (Nine Inch Nails, U2 and Sinead O’Connor being a few of them), and the bizarre musical tastes of my parents (Neville Brothers and Manheim Steamroller, to name two) combined with very little radio being played in my house when I was a child meant that I just wasn’t exposed to a lot of music. As a result, a lot of bands that seem to evoke memories in people just don’t do it for me. Some of them are older and some are newer, and maybe they have one song that I like, but for the most part, they just don’t affect me in a positive way at all:

Marvin Gaye – Whether it’s “Let’s Get It On”, “Sexual Healing”, or another popular song, I just don’t get it. His songs are slow, repetitive, boring, and just make me yawn.

Foo Fighters – Talk about forgettable. All of their songs blend together into one cacophonous mess of guitar and annoyance.

The Beatles – Just don’t get the appeal. Along with Elvis, two of the most overrated musical “talents” from the 1960s, in my opinion.

Elvis – see above, but compounded by my annoyance with whatever you want to call the twangy shit that is Elvis’s “style”.

Jimi Hendrix – I just don’t give a shit. There might be one song of his that I like, but I think it’s only because I associate it with a movie scene that I really like.

Tupac – I’ve tried to listen to him. I have. I just can’t get more than a few seconds into it before I get bored.

Santana – I don’t even know what Santana is – is that one person or is that a band? All I know is that whenever he/it is attached to a song, I hate that song.

The Fugees – Everyone talked about how amazing they were, especially with “Killing Me Softly”. I just wanted them to kill me quickly.

Dave Matthews Band – This one I know why I hate. Dave Matthews was discovered in Virginia, playing for colleges like mine, and he used to play there before he became popular. As a result, every idiot frat brother out there loved Dave Matthews, and I have always had a visceral reaction to it as a result.

Michael Jackson – When he died, I remember looking through Jackson’s discography and realizing that I really didn’t know much of his music. I tried to listen to more than just the most popular of his songs and found that they just aren’t to my liking. It has nothing to do with his reputation as a child molester or his freakiness as a person – I just find the music to be pedestrian and a little jarring to listen to.

What music does “do it” for me? Nine Inch Nails, U2, and Sinead O’Connor, as I mentioned earlier. Also, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Billy Joel, Eminem and Taylor Swift. Not exactly a lot of commonality there, but every band has some memory associated with it that is very evocative for me.

If there’s any popular music out there that everyone should enjoy that I neglected to mention, leave it in a comment, and I’ll let you know what my weirdly eclectic self thinks about it. (Thanks to Sybil for the musical help!)

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77 Replies to “Music that just doesn’t do it for me”

  1. Amanda

    I kind of agree with you except for the Foo Fighters. And The Beatles. Weirdo. And I’m pretty sure you just made Robin’s head explode by saying you don’t like the foo fighters.

  2. Grumble Girl

    Oh dear. I don’t think we can be friends anymore…

    Kidding. But tis true that music is often a visceral thing – it’s like a love thing: you can’t help who you love, oftentimes.

    I love you. Mostly.

  3. B.E. Earl

    Most of them I can either take or leave. Yeah, including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis.

    But my God, man! Foo Fighters fucking rule!

    Then I read a little further and see that this is a guy who is into Taylor Swift, and I can breathe again.

    PS – Carlos Santana is the guitarist for Santana, a band featuring a rotating and eclectic group of musicians and vocalists. He’s a fantastic guitarists. And while there have been some big misses here and there, he’s certainly not a guy unwilling to take a chance on something new.

  4. Rachael

    Ugh. Dave Matthews. I feel like all their songs sound the same, and it bugs me when musicians don’t progress or improve/change in any way over years.

    Toad the Wet Sprocket is my best friend’s favorite band of all time, and one of my most fun concerts was going to see them with her. We have also seen Glen Phillips a couple of times, do you have any of his solo stuff? I think it’s pretty good.

  5. ADW

    Never, ever, ever got the Dave Matthews Band thing. Ever. Strange man, annoying music.

    That said, I am a music lover. I thoroughly enjoy ALL types of music as you know, and please don’t ever let my daughter know that you hate the Beatles. I am pretty sure she will murder you in your sleep.

    Also? Santana? Makes cute shoes….. sometimes. And YES, it is Carlos Santana (or his brand at least) who makes the shoes. They retail at mid-level department stores like Macy’s for upwards of $100 a pair.

  6. SciFi Dad

    Totally with you on the NiN and U2 front, but Sinead is one of those “I don’t get it” acts for me.

    The thing about the Beatles is (and I’m totally not trying to sell you on them), at least for me, is how clean their music sounds. For the most part, the stuff is crisp even chords and harmonies with natural progressions. From a musicality standpoint, I can appreciate how they bring four people together to sound like one. (That being said, this is coming from a guy who LOVES the song Unsung by Helmet because of the “dead air” the band achieves throughout the song.)

    If you’re looking for something new (and of substance), I recommend Better Than Ezra. You might know their hits, but check out the rest of their discography.

    • avatgardener

      @avatgardener, I think you nailed it when you said memories are what we most remember about the music we hear. I can hear the beginning of a particular song by Bread and tears run down my face, 40 years later!!
      My old man is all wrapped up in the Beatles, Eric Clapton’s various combos, and Joni Mitchell. I tend more to Led Zepplin, Def leppard, Moby, Mark Antoine (not to be confused with mark anthony-douche) and of course the old masters Brahams, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. But now and then I like a bit of Dwight Yokum, George Strait and some Madonna. Weird mix on my ipod, to be sure.
      Don’t worry about the haters, be yourself and enjoy what you like.
      Gosh, if we all liked the same music we wouldn’t have both Glee and American Idol!!

  7. furiousball

    It’s hard to argue about a list of favorite musicians, because it’s your ear and no matter how big of a music snob me or anyone else might be no one can truly convince you otherwise. But c’mon man, Marvin Gaye had one of the most amazing tones ever, I don’t think you’ve delved deep enough into his collection based on the examples you gave, but like I said – it’s your ear.

  8. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    Music is all subjective and one person’s Mozart is another’s horrible noise. I will like a song because of a chord or the bridge, the instrumentation or something like that. I could listen to the piano bridge from “Mandolin Rain” all day long while the rest of that song annoys the shit out of me.

    I’m not a big hip hop/rap fan. Also? Hootie & the Blowfish make me want to stab my eardrums with a steak knife. Other than that, I can listen to just about anything. Even death metal.

  9. Finn

    I am a music person, but more specifically a song person. Most of these artists just don’t do it for me either for the most part, but: I do own one Foo Fighters song, I do mostly love The Beatles, there are a couple of Hendrix things I like (something damn sexy about that man), I :pph: that Fugees song (but I loved the original Roberta Flack version so I’m partial and Lauryn Hill’s voice makes me swoon). And Michael Jackson? I’m not a huge fan, but there is much respect and there are a few of his songs that I really like.

    I actually think it’s kind of sad that you don’t connect with music. I love when I hear a song from the 80’s and it takes me back.

  10. Little Miss Sunshine State

    My husband and I thought we were the only Toad The Wet Sprocket fans.

    We really like the Eagles. We’ve seen them live multiple times and the quality of their shows never changes. We hate bands that sound great in recordings but crappy live, because their recordings have had all the shit engineered out. The Eagles sound the same live as they do on record.

  11. bo

    You can say you don’t like The Beatles, but saying that they weren’t talented is quite a bit shortsighted. Don’t hate, Adam.

    And what you said about Foo Fighters is how I feel about NIN. Not that I like the Foos a whole bunch, mind you, but they’re more tolerable to me than NIN.

  12. Elizabeth Kaylene

    I love NIN. He’s amazing on stage.

    Mike is a huge Beatles fan, so I can’t really badmouth them. I can listen to them, but I don’t love them. He’s always trying to make me love them, though, so I figure by the time we get married, I will be fully brainwashed. Sigh.

    Right now I’m heavily into Mastodon and Lady Gaga. Two completely different genres, but man, I can’t get enough. I’ve been switching back and forth between Mastodon’s Remission and Crack the Skye albums, and Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster double deluxe. I’m hooked.

    Before that, it was the Silversun Pickups. I tend to go on music binges, where I’ll spend a ridiculously long period of time listening to one band or one type of genre. I’m definitely a music person.

    • Elizabeth Kaylene

      Oh. Right. I also meant to say that I can’t understand whatsoever what is so fucking great about Michael Jackson. When he died, everyone jumped on the “I love MJ!” bandwagon and now claims to love the shit out of him. They all ran out and bought all of his albums when they never owned one before. I’m so tired of post-MJ sycophants. Did everyone forget that he was a child molester??

  13. leel

    remind me to NEVER discuss music with you. we will fight. for real.
    also, remind me to never show you my dave matthews tattoo. and I am not even joking.

    sigh. agreeing to disagree, i can do. wait! we can talk about Sinead O’Connor, thank god.

    a sad leel

  14. Socrates

    Chamone mother fucker.

    I agree with most of your list, but I must say I also loathe U2 and Sinead O’Connor. I think basically I loathe most music, did see the Foo Fighters at a festival and thought they were better than I’d anticipated, still don’t own any of their music though.

  15. Jay

    Music, like books, movies, tv shows, art and whatever else is subjective. We all have our likes and dislikes. What amazes me is how defensive and down right angry some people get when I don’t like what they like. It’s very strange.

    Anyway, I’m not big into music. I enjoy it, but it doesn’t speak to me the way it does to many other people.

  16. martymankins

    Ok, NIN and U2 are great. You have me there.

    And I loathe anything by The Fugees and Dave Matthews Band. Don’t get them at all.

    But The Beatles… if you would have said the early years, I maybe could agree, since that was not my favorite era of theirs. But anything from Revolver and Rubber Soul to the very end with Abbey Road and Let It Be, are some great songs.

    And Foo Fighters.. Where’s Sybil Law to back me up on them. Fucking rules!

    As for a band that you may like and one that I know a lot of others like, Depeche Mode is one that I’m curious how you feel about. I know Dave2 loves them almost as much as I do (maybe even more, just to give him the benefit of doubt).

  17. Crystal

    I never understood the fact that Dave Matthews and Smashing Pumpkins were soooooo huge. I never liked them much at all.

    At the moment, the current constant rotation on my running mp3 player is almost entirely Kleptones and Girl Talk, with a bunch of Lady Gaga thrown in for the beats. The computer’s mp3 directory could go for a day or so and play nothing but The Decemberists, The Tragically Hip, and Great Big Sea, and I’d be in heaven.

  18. Hockeymandad

    I could totally educate you and play really good music for you. I might even be able to help you better appreciate the Beatles. Not the early bubble gum stuff, but the latter more political acid tripping meditating stuff. I totally understand your opinions on the bands you mentioned, good and bad, and respect each opinion. I agree with most of them actually but not all. We should have a music gathering sometime.

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