Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

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sloopjohnc
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Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby sloopjohnc » 17 Apr 2018, 17:20

In the new Mojo, there's a really good article on and interview with Ry Cooder. I have several Cooder albums because he's an artist I really wanna like because he hits all the right buttons, but never really gets over the hump with me.

A lot of my likes for artists are in the singer's tone and whether I enjoy it. For me, Cooder's just sits there. He's a great musician and plays with great people, but it just doesn't fully register for some reason.

I wanna like him, but I can't.

He's playing San Francisco in three weeks with Roseanne Cash playing her father's music. If it's her singing and him playing, I will definitely think about it, but he's playing SF again in July and I won't lift a finger.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby zoomboogity » 17 Apr 2018, 18:54

Jefferson Airplane has so many things in their favor - great singing, writing and playing - but so far the end result has never grabbed me. I've given After Bathing At Baxter's a few listens here and there, and I like it, but I feel like I should love it. I have a feeling one day it will click for me, there's definitely something there. I just don't like when they're all caterwauling at once, I prefer one lead singer at a time with these guys.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby sloopjohnc » 17 Apr 2018, 19:26

Another band that checks all the right boxes but have never gotten in line with are X-Ray Spex. Like I wrote, a lot of it has to do with the singer's tone. I'm not a big believer in good singing or bad singing in pop music, but whether I like a singer's tone.

I can only take one X-Ray Spex song before Poly Styrene's caterwauling hurts my ears. And it's not like I don't like female fronted punk bands. I love the Avengers and Penelope Houston.

It usually comes down to either the singer and/or guitar tone. If the electric guitar sounds too generic or does nothing for me, I'm done.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 17 Apr 2018, 19:27

The Cramps
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby joels344 » 17 Apr 2018, 19:33

Death Grips for me. I want to like them (and should like due to my love for experimental hip-hop), but I cannot fully embrace them just yet. I’ll keep trying because I know something is there.

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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Minnie Cheddars » 17 Apr 2018, 19:36

sloopjohnc wrote:Another band that checks all the right boxes but have never gotten in line with are X-Ray Spex. Like I wrote, a lot of it has to do with the singer's tone. I'm not a big believer in good singing or bad singing in pop music, but whether I like a singer's tone.

I can only take one X-Ray Spex song before Poly Styrene's caterwauling hurts my ears. And it's not like I don't like female fronted punk bands. I love the Avengers and Penelope Houston.

It usually comes down to either the singer and/or guitar tone. If the electric guitar sounds too generic or does nothing for me, I'm done.


We were in a bar on the Lower East Side last night that was advertised as having a great jukebox. I put on a load of stuff including some X Ray Spex and was having fun tapping my toes and singing. When we left, Mike told me that when I went for a piss afterwards a load of twenty something blokes were all laughing at the bar at how bad they had thought the X Ray Spex song was and how bad her singing was. It was a wise move to tell me after we had left. I didn’t want to have to defend Poly’s honour.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Goat Boy » 17 Apr 2018, 19:57

Pink Floyd post Syd

Great sleeves, strong vibe, melancholy Englishness

Largely boring and overrated. Also Roger bleedin Waters
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Darkness_Fish » 17 Apr 2018, 20:18

sloopjohnc wrote:I can only take one X-Ray Spex song before Poly Styrene's caterwauling hurts my ears.

I would say that was a job successfully done then. To my eternal shame, I don't own any X Ray Spex, but this is pretty much the definitive punk performance:


None of this listener friendly nonsense, punk should be an assault.
Last edited by Darkness_Fish on 17 Apr 2018, 20:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Matt Wilson » 17 Apr 2018, 20:23

Coan wrote:'Vertigo' is one of the best things U2 have ever done, one of a handful of occasions where they get it just right. That bit near the end where the song lifts off? You don't get that with The Allman Brothers.

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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Hugh » 17 Apr 2018, 20:25

Zappa (mostly)

Rufus Wainwright

Led Zeppelin

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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Dayodead » 17 Apr 2018, 20:53

*FRESH 'N' SEXY* wrote:The Cramps


Blasphemy ! :D

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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Darkness_Fish » 17 Apr 2018, 21:00

I guess there's a few things I'd mention here. I mean I quite like some Autechre, but I've never been wildly excited by anything they've released. I wish I could find something of theirs that would set off the frenzied, unquestioning fan-boy devotion that otherwise sensible adults show. Not even a dig at driftin there, btw, I'm thinking of the Frozen Reeds twitter account, the people who dissect the 30-hour soundcloud/bandcamp/whatever dumps.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 17 Apr 2018, 21:18

Dayodead wrote:
*FRESH 'N' SEXY* wrote:The Cramps


Blasphemy ! :D


I don't think I've heard one Cramps song I love. Maybe two or three that are OK.

And yet their influences are impeccable, their fans are always cool, they look and sound great...
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 17 Apr 2018, 21:20

Townes Van Zandt
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Darkness_Fish » 17 Apr 2018, 21:22

Some of the earlier jazz gods, pre-Coltrane. I guess Charlie Parker would be the main one, and even back to Louis Armstrong. I can appreciate what they were doing, their importance, etc, but it just doesn't grab me by the soul.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby Toby » 17 Apr 2018, 21:45

The Faces.

I want to like their plodding good-time reverie/pub rock but just can't.

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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby sloopjohnc » 17 Apr 2018, 22:01

*FRESH 'N' SEXY* wrote:The Cramps


See, that's what I mean. They seem right up your alley.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby sloopjohnc » 17 Apr 2018, 22:09

Hugh wrote:Zappa (mostly)

Rufus Wainwright


Those are two I can't get into either. I like bands like the Residents, Captain Beefheart and Pere Ubu, but again it's Zappa's smart alecky voice. I don't like it.

I think Rufus Wainwright is talented, but I don't think his voice has the gravitas or power to carry what his songs are trying to do. Not for me anyway. If he had more of a Ben Folds perspective on his songs, I might like him better. I like Ben Folds.

I think of Wainwright as a less quirky Fiona Apple. Apple has a powerful, resonant voice that carries her songs. But that's just me. It could totally be me, because the guy is talented.
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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby The Modernist » 17 Apr 2018, 22:25

Hugh wrote:Zappa (mostly)



Yes -interesting guy, clearly hugely talented, but I struggle to like anything.

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Re: Artists You Wanna Like, But Can't

Postby bobzilla77 » 17 Apr 2018, 22:27

The Grateful Dead

I like a lot of the stuff "about" them. They're non-commercial, highy unique and idiosyncratic, never chased trends, tried to look out for their fans, really good musicians, a long history with a lot of different music, much of it improvised, they're bootleg-friendly, clearly love what they do and inspire holy devotion in their fans...

I just can't get into it. God knows I've tried. I went to see them live twice, once they were terrible, once they were OK but not very memorable. Maybe the one period of their history I would call myself a "fan" of, is their first couple of years, like 1965-66. But even that, I wouldn't choose to listen to most nights.
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