Monday, August 3, 2015
Cool, Or Just Cranky?
U2 just finished a stretch of 8 shows in NYC. It's rare for me to regret missing a concert. I've seen plenty and with the rising cost of tickets and the inability to get good seats the traditional way, it all seems like more trouble than it's worth. Most of the time.
Some friends caught U2 on this Madison Square Garden run. Here are some quotes about the shows:
"The band has two types of songs-epic and more epic."
"You forget just how good they are, especially after seeing them come out, no frills, and just open up with four straight rockers."
"Fuck these people! What? You don't like U2 because they gave you a free record? You're a dick!"
"I went twice already and I still need to go again."
These actual quotes are all from people I love and respect, and they are probably still gushing about these live shows. And then of course, Bruce shows up for the last hurrah. I'm sorry I missed it.
But this made me think of a favorite recurring topic of mine- the practice of disliking something based on something personal and usually irrational.
"The last good Stones record was Exile!"
"The last good Bruce record was "Darkness."
Possibly irrational. Definitely untrue.
A personal peeve, as you no doubt have read hundreds of times here, is the dismissal of Paul McCartney's solo career after "Band On The Run" because he wrote a silly love song called "Silly Love Songs," a great pop tune with a greater horn arrangement. (That last part is of course, up for debate, but that's how I feel about the song.)
Many things get my tights all twisted, but nothing rattles me more than the blanket statement. Whether political or simply "The Velvet Underground suck," I need more than that. If you're going on record, I want to know why and you better back it up with at the very least, one rational example. "They suck, that's why" is not an answer.
I'm guilty of this, occasionally.
I was a fan of Ryan Adams. I love "Heartbreaker" and "Gold" and "Jacksonville City Nights." But then for a stretch, it felt like Adams released 45 albums over the course of 5 years (not accurate, but that's my point) and I suddenly hated the guy. A new record would appear and I'd just roll my eyes and say "Ugh" to myself. I haven't listened to Ryan Adams in years. (Who is this helping?)
So two of the world's most beloved and most hated rock stars shared a stage on July 31st and while this should be monumental and a rock and roll dream to witness, I'd venture to say that 50% of the people who read about this the next day, gave a proverbial eyeroll with audible groan and quickly put on their low-fi punk Malaysian punk CD. (In related news, Paul McCartney joined the Alabama Shakes for a version of "Get Back" this weekend at Lollapalooza. See?)
It should come as no surprise, really, to see Bruce and Bono together. It's not the first time these two have shared a stage. Plus, Bruce has been popping up lately, which to me, means he is warming up in the bullpen, if you catch my drift. Fingers crossed.
Deep Purple appeared on "The Today Show" last week and played a solid version of "Smoke On The Water." Yes, it was strange, but the band sounded great and Ian Paice did not take part in the cooking segment. One friend quipped, "No Blackmore, no Lord, zzzzzzz." Irrational. Original-ish singer, bassist and drummer? That's not bad, and certainly more respectful than Stu Cook and Doug Clifford touring as CCR. The Who is not The Who you say? Singer and songwriter with the son of rock royalty on drums who was taught to play by Keith Moon? That's the fucking Who and they still kick ass in concert.
I've trashed the Stones a lot over the last ten years, mostly because of their touring. Expensive in a truly offensive way and they simply aren't sounding that good. But sooner than later, all of these people will just stop. No more. And that will stink to high heaven. It will hit you and hit you hard and then, because it's what we do, we'll revisit all the shit we said we didn't like and suddenly like it. 20 years in music retail, I've seen it happen time and time again.
(Record dealers with Lynn Anderson records, your window closes in two days.)
A friend and I were having a discussion about a number or things, including career missteps. He brought up Francis Ford Coppola's "One From The Heart" and "Rumble Fish." I told him, while I recognize that neither are very good films, I do love them both, without an ounce of irony. He said, "You are irony free. It’s one of your charms."
I really don't think I have a high tolerance for music, film or theatre. (Leon Bridges, anyone?) But I do try to back myself up if I make bold statements, one way or the other. It makes me feel better about liking or disliking something. Plus, it makes me believe people believe me when I say something.
But I digress.
Do you have an irrational feeling, positive or negative, towards an artist?