15 April 2012

Modal Nodes: Artists With a Single Good Track

This is a fairly random thought. I'm unsure if others experience this phenomenon, but it seemed to crop up every once in a while in my pop culture tastes. There are a handful of musicians who I absolutely despise, yet I give them credit for a single decent track. These aren't one-hit wonders or anything, but established, popular musicians who I typically cannot stand. Somehow they let that gem slip by though:

#4: "Crash Into Me" by Dave Matthews Band

Many nights I stay up in bed thinking, nay, believing that mine will be the last face seen by Dave Matthews as my hands tighten around his throat and he lets out his last gasp of air and then expires. I can't stand him or his band or his wishy-washy nasally singing. His voice is especially atrocious, it sounds like Kittens Dying. It's terrible. Their music is pot-music for non-potheads. It's all the mellow of Jack Johnston without any of the humility, self-reflection, or sense of humour. Then again, when "Crash Into Me" comes on the radio my hand hesitates. Do I actually like this song? Fuck, fuck I do.

#3: "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks

I react irrational to all forms of Country Music. It just makes my brain dissolve and I become agitated and ornery. Chairs are thrown across the room and bottles are broken in a blurry haze until the track stops or the jukebox machine is destroyed. This song comes on and I begin my fury but then I hesitate. What is it about "Low Places" that DOESN'T make me want to punch babies until my knuckles are sore and bloodied? It may be Garth's strong blue collar crossover appeal, the ease of group drunken singability, or maybe it's simply the fact that fuck yeah I've got friends in low places.

#2: "Bangarang" by Skrillex

This is actually the track that inspired this post. When I first heard Skrillex I couldn't stand him. He seemed like a David Guetta wannabe with a harder edge, but techno is techno, man. If I'm not watching The Matrix (1999) or zoned out on mescaline I have little desire to go down the electronic route for my music. Skrillex seemed like another overrated "prodigy DJ," which is an oxymoron in and of itself. Then I heard "Bangarang" and instantly got an erection. It's a thrilling track, elegantly mixed and the video above is weird and cool as hell. That's the best word. It's a cool fucking track and I feel like awesome sauce jamming out to it.

#1: "Rockstar" by Nickelback

 Ahh Nickelback. It's nice that I don't have to explain any irrational hatred for these guys. No one likes these guys. They're an absolute garbage band for sure, but have you heard "Rockstar" lately? It's a perfectly guilty pleasure song, four minutes of the perfect Rock fantasy done without any real instrumental or vocal talent, of course. It's a song all about selling out, and Nickelback's accurate portrayal is ultimately a whining satire of Rock Life. It's a great song because anyone who's listened to a lot of Rock Music has listened to it because of every reason Nickelback mentions in this song. It's fucking sublime. Obviously, you take a glance outside this track, though, and you can induce auditory vomiting without the proper precaution (ear plugs).

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