The Herd – “Never Liked”
On a weekly to bi-weekly basis (depending on our motivation) Dead Horse March will be giving its contributors a music related prompt to answer. They will cover a variety of topics and will hopefully act as a window into our minds, hearts, and souls, showing what we like and the path that led us there.
This week we’ll be talking about bands that despite everyone else liking, we could never get into. These bands aren’t necessarily styles of music that we dislike but instead are similar to what we may enjoy or feel like we should like but because of personal tastes, simply cannot.
(A big portion of our contributors have been very busy these past weeks so this will be a few entries shorter than usual, but please feel free to comment below and let us know who you would include!)
I’ve never liked The Beatles. In fact, when I hear their music or even the whisper of their name, hollowness takes over my soul. Intellectually, I understand The Beatles are good. I know they are important. I appreciate their impact on perhaps every single artist that has come after them. Much of my favorite music bears obvious audible similarities to the group; I can hear this & it doesn’t bother me. But for some reason, no matter the iteration, I can’t enjoy The Beatles.
Several individuals have tossed out processes & ideas in attempts to sway me: “First, forget they are The Beatles. Then listen to side two of Abbey Road over & over again, don’t stop until you understand . . . you WILL understand.” “Try this fantastic Al Green cover of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand,’ or, what about the Bill Withers version of ‘Let It Be?’” “You love apples. They started a label called Apple Records, thus, you must feel a connection to them.” “Consider all of the theoretical/philosophical reasons you should love The Beatles, such as, they used microphones to break rules, or, they had a beard phase.”
Just because I like beards doesn’t mean I am going to get into bed next to Charles Manson.
It’s not that I don’t want to like The Beatles. Or that everyone likes them & I need to feel like an individual. We’re not talking about Oprah here. They just make me feel sad & not good sad like Elliott Smith on a rainy day. It might have something to do with that wretchedly depressing Sean Penn movie, but I don’t think that’s it — those were all covers anyway. So, the only somewhat reasonable explanation I’ve been able to muster is that in a past life I was in love with one of the bastards & he broke my heart.
The only thing that gives me hope is the first suggestion: forget they are The Beatles. I am going to try harder & I hope it works. Side two, here I come. Hopefully you won’t be warped when I’m finished with you.
The Indigo Girls are great. That being said, the apathy with which I regard them could also be described as “great”. Not to be unfair, their harmonies and word-smytheries are masterful, and their political activism is totally swoon worthy. Its just…boring. Listening to them is like to being brutalized with a completely flaccid instrument: annoying and completely ineffective. Being a lady loving lady myself, this might seem a bit ungrateful. But even more than the Indigo Girls, I really really fucking hate Ani Defranco. So shoot me Lilith Fair.
I could put any number of the Top 40, flavor of the week artists that everyone seems to play and shout where ever I go like some sort of sick twisted version of John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt as the artists I never liked. I’m not going to do that though because for most of them it’s not out of the ordinary for someone to hate them and no one would assume that I should like them anyway. The band I’m going to go with is one that I respect and wish I could like but could never bring myself to enjoy, Radiohead. Radiohead has done everything a person my age should like from guest starring on possibly the most ridiculous episode in South Park’s run to offering their album for whatever price customers wanted to pay online to even speaking out on the benefits of online music sharing. Radiohead also has amazing music videos and some of the craziest band “easter eggs” I’ve ever seen. I also realize that a lot of the music I like now probably wouldn’t exist if not for Radiohead’s influence.
That’s why it’s too bad that I can’t get by Thom Yorke’s dumb voice and their boring music. If I don’t like someone’s voice it’s almost impossible for me to like their music. I wish this wasn’t how it was because I know there are several artists out there I would enjoy much more if they had a different voice. Even if I somehow could get past my voice hatred of Thom Yorke, that means I would still have to enjoy the music accompanying it which, try as i might, I simply can’t do. Listening to a Radiohead song to me is like taking a handful of sleeping pills in a dimly lit room and trying to stay awake while someone shakes big bags of scrap metal outside of each one of my ears. To say that in a different and less mean way, Radiohead songs make me tired while also disturbing my sense of hearing with music that I don’t care for.
I get why people like Radiohead and understand that they are good in their own right but I just can’t get past their music and Thom Yorke’s vocals. Somehow I like Animal Collective though…
Near misses (although not as much respect for some) Kings of Leon, The National, Of Montreal, Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene, Wilco and many, many more.
I do understand that Michael Jackson is the king of pop. And I understand that he revolutionized pop music, and dance, and costume, and makeup design and I’m sure lots of other things. And he sold a whopping 750 MILLION albums worldwide and produced the best selling album of all time- “Thriller.” (In second place is Dark Side of the Moon which didn’t even sell half that.) But despite all this Michael Jackson knowledge I’ve got stored in my head, I just… I just can’t get into it. I listen to him, and… and I feel nothing. So, what can you do? Acknowledge that he was brilliant and talented enough to be the biggest pop star of all time, that there are 750 million copies of his albums lying around in millions of people’s houses in probably every country in the world… and then switch to another song.
What artists have you never liked? Let us know in the comments section below!