Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Playlist of the Week: A Dozen Songs I Love By A Dozen Artists I Hate*

*"Hate" is a strong word according to my mother.  We don't "hate" anything in this family.  We strongly dislike.

Taste is not an absolute science.  Take me for instance.  No one has better taste in music than me.  That part IS science.  But part of maintaining a high degree of "music taste" inevitably involves having some "music principles".  I reject those whose answer to the question "What kind of music do you like?" is "Well, I really do like everything."  That's like saying you "believe everything".  What that ultimately means is that you really believe nothing because everything then is true and nothing is false.  It just doesn't work that way.  Have some balls.  Be okay with saying something sucks--a truly guiding principle of this here blog.

But as I stated from the outset, taste is not an absolute science.  While I principally hate* certain artists/bands, it doesn't mean that I am immune from being seduced by them on occasion.  For me (and I suspect for many of you), there are probably about four hate* categories when it comes to music.

Category 1: Artists/bands who you and most others truly believe have a big bag of nothing in terms of talent, depth, execution, etc.  Though this does not necessarily preclude them from finding a bone once or every so often (as this playlist will attest)

Category 2: Artists/bands who you freely acknowledge have talent, but you just can't stand them personally whether it be for their smug sense of self-importance or their dickish personas.  I sometimes refer to this as the "Tom Cruise Principle".  There's no denying the guy has been great in some great movies, but I just can't separate my disdain for who he appears to be in real life (i.e. Scientology, weird rants about anti-depressants, public kidnapping of Katie Holmes, etc.) from his work any longer.  Many of the artists/bands in this playlist fall in to this category.

Category 3: Artists/bands who have succeeded in convincing people they're great, but for some reason you just can't see it and it makes you crazy.  This is my aforementioned "ENC" or "Emperor's New Clothes" principle (courtesy of Mr. Chris White). Like Category 1, this doesn't preclude them from occasionally stumbling upon gold accidentally.

Category 4: Weezer.  Or the band you once loved but who you feel at some point betrayed all of their principles and practices musically and now just suck.  And you can never forgive them for it.

So it goes without saying (since I said it in the title of the playlist), that I truly do love these songs.  And I can admit that despite my hatred of these bands for the aforementioned reason because I know that to try and maintain a purity of principle regarding music hatred would keep you from enjoying some songs that just plain do it for you--even if those reasons aren't always clear.  Look, I believe wholeheartedly that Jersey Shore represents everything that the world and people with intelligence ought to condemn about America.  But damn, if it's not a cornerstone of my DVR schedule.  So while I'm happy to distribute the Haterade regarding these bands ad nauseum (it's almost a sport for me), I'll gladly make an exception every once in a while to drink their Kool-Aid when it's merited.  I'll let you guys decide for yourselves which categories each of these bands fits in to.  It's a fun, fun game.


  1. You really hate U2? Maybe this an over-hyped thing. Perhaps Bono's endless proselytizing exhausts you (of course, because he picks such dubious causes—poverty shmoverty, right?). I'm guessing this animosity stems from deeply envious feelings toward his mullet circa 1986.

    Anywho, thanks for the playlist, hata.

  2. One of my favorite topics, guilty pleasure music. M.I.A. is starting to fall into category 2 for me. Love her work, but the attitude man. Showed up late to headline her own damn show! Kings of Leon are working that way too. As for The Killers, I would put them in the "your first album was brilliant but everything since sucks" category.