2015-08-04

Some Ways My Thinking About Music Is (Possibly) Odd

Years ago, a friend of mine made his band's album available to a group of us for free. The music was great. It was pop/punk, but the lyrics were clever, playful, and self-deprecating. It had exactly the same kind of "we don't take ourselves too seriously, but still, this is good music" kind of vibe that the early Frank Zappa albums had.

Because it reminded me of Frank Zappa, I said so. The larger group - and even my friend himself - erupted into incredulous laughter, and it took me a while to "live the comment down." I guess to their mode of thinking, a pop/punk album has about as much to do with Frank Zappa as a goldfish has to do with the planet Neptune.

That was not my first clue that I think about music differently than other people do, but it was an iconic clue.

So, in the spirit of that old comment about my friend's pop/punk band, here is a list of statements about music that strike me as being obvious, even though I readily concede that others will consider them to be "controversial."

  • I consider The Cult to be a sort of middle-step between Billy Idol and Danzig.
  • Saigon Kick and Enuff Z'Nuff, as far as I'm concerned, are 90s alternative rock bands, not 80s metal bands.
  • Bon Jovi has more in common with John Mellancamp than with Guns & Roses.
  • Speaking of whom, Jackyll was the band that Guns & Roses wanted to be.
  • The Beatles weren't songwriting geniuses, they were a boy band.
  • My reaction to the band Nirvana is exactly the same as my reaction to the band Cinderella: The music is okay, but how does anyone take this guy's voice seriously?
  • Arnold Schoenberg had a better sense of melody than Mozart.
  • The Darkness is not an ironic 80s metal throwback group.
  • Ted Nugent plays guitar solos like a rockabilly player.
  • 3-chord songs are, in general, more harmonically complex than 4-chord songs.
  • Simple compositions are not automatically more musical or pleasant to hear than complex compositions.
  • Popularity is not well correlated with quality.
  • If someone doesn't have a well-developed sense of musical aesthetics, then whatever music they hear most often is whatever they will like the most, regardless of any other factors going into that music. 
I'll add more to the list as I think of things to add.