Most people know there are three major bands whose music I am not a fan of at all: Led Zeppelin, Rush, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I won't get into specifics about what I don't like about each band's music, although in the case of RHCP it should be obvious, but after all these years I am secure in my feelings towards them.
There are however a couple bands and artists I am not secure in my feelings about. There are some bands and artists that for reasons such being so influenical or supportive to bands I do like, or bands that have overcome hardships to make good music, or even bands that just have an overall reputation of being nice guys. I just feel really bad about not liking their music.
Here are Ten of Them
Guided by Voices - the quintessential music geek band. I recently went through all their albums, eps, singles etc on Spotify, oldest to newest making a playlist of songs I liked.There ended up being 39 of them. 13 of the, from the Under the Bushes Under the Stars album.This is also the only album by them I have owned a physical copy of but even that was because I found a copy among a bunch of promos that were supposed to go to a much larger local chain store with initials K.M..39 might seem like a decent number of songs but too put it into little perspective Guided By Voices has hundreds of albums, eps, etc. So that's 39 out of about 400 songs.
The Fall - Probably my biggest disappointment in not liking a band since they are so seminal and influenced so many bands I do enjoy. I tried the Guided By Voices Spotify trick and ended up with one song on the playlist: Their cover of The Kinks "Victoria",which I knew I liked years ago when it was on 120 Minutes making me rush out to buy all those Fall albums I would later be selling back to the used record store.
The Jesus and Mary Chain - I loved their feedback drenched debut album Psychocandy since the first day I heard it after hearing the band on theSome Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. Unfortunately I think the next two albums Darklands and Automatic were just the band trying to make more accessible versions of their debut. I honestly lost interest in them after that so I can't really comment of the next couple of records. But Psychocandy (and the b-sides comp Barbed Wired Kisses) will always be in my regular rotation
Pavement - Their debut album Slanted and Enchanted is awesome (Surprisingly very influenced by The Fall too) I think I wore out multiple copies of the album. I was also lucky enough to see them on that tour and will always be happy I got to see them before they blew up. Except for that album and about half the songs off of the follow up Crooked Rain,Crooked Rain, I just can't get into them. They sound so...lazy and disinterested in what they are playing. I know that's kind of their thing but it's not mine
Johnny Cash - The cat is really out of the bag for this one. I really like his
history and I made sure to visit Sun Studios when I was in Memphis. I think I even wore black for a year because I thought it was so cool he dressed that way. But when it comes down to it, the songs I like by him would take up half of a 90 minute cassette, with most of the songs recorded before 1960. I know his sound is supposed to be like the rhythm of a train or something but it's just a little to slow for me. When I listen, I just want to give him a little push.Those songs just make me want to give him a push to speed it up. Also I really can't stand his version of "Hurt"
New York Dolls - I may be the only person who’s prefers David Johanson in his Buster Poindexter persona over his work as vocalist for the New York City proto-punk/glam band. There is something about their sound that I just find too basic and kind of boring. David Sounds like a second rate Mick Jagger (Although I have seen some early live footage where his voice sounds pretty powerful) and Johnny Thunders sounds so held back on guitar compared to what he would go to do in the Heartbreakers and (where I think he sounded the best) the short lived Gang War. I think the New York Dolls fall under one of those bands if I had heard them when their first album came out (which was 6 months after I was born) I would appreciate them a lot more. Now I have heard too many bands influenced but also that expanded on their sound. But there is always a chance my opinion may change. Johnny Thunders, with the Heartbreakers and solo, never really clicked with me until a few years ago. Now I listen to L.AM.F. and Gang War non-stop
Shudder to Think - Maybe as not near as a household name as the others on this list but growing up in the D.C.. area I always wanted to like the band more than I did. Their first couple releases I like a lot. They still sounded punk but with a lot of melody. Kind of like a more melodic, less intense Rites of Spring. But by the time Get Your Goat came out the "groove" was gone and the herky jerky "art-rock" had crept in. Over their next few albums they were probably one of the best bands out there but still to arty and choppy for me. I saw them circa 1993 at Maxwells in Hoboken and all though they did play "Red House" off of Funeral at the Movies, what I remember most of the show was singer Craig Wedron reciting poetry between each song, which held the whole audience in awe and me looking at my watch to see how much time we had left on the meter
Gang of Four - My favorite Gang of Four album is 1990's Mall. If you ask most Gang of Four fans they will pan
this album. Too be totally honest it really is not too special but I like it for nostalgic reasons, having been one of the first albums I purchased on compact disc
Public Image Ltd - We recently saw a documentary on John Lyndon and his post Sex Pistols band Public Image Ltd, or P.I.L. for short, at the TriBeCa Filmfest. Not only was the film pretty bad (it was a TrBeCa filmfest movie after all) but it made me realize how uneventful the band's career has been. So many people rave and rave about how awesome their second album, 1979's Second Edition (also known as Metal Box). I've tried many many times over the years and although guitar player Keith Levine's and bassist Jah Wobble turn in awesome performances, I just can't get past John Lydon's voice. Although it was perfect for The Sex Pistols, it just doesn't fit this music.
The Residents - The way this band got their name is one of my favorite “how the band got their name” stories. Years ago the band sent out a demo tape to a record label. The return label didn’t have a name on it so when the label sent back the rejected tape they addressed it to “The Residents”. Unfortunately that is all I like about the band. I mean I like the idea and history of the band. They’ve been around for 40+ years and no one knows their true identities because they wear those big eyeballs over their heads, which by the way seriously creep me out. But out of their zillion releases I can't bear one song. Someone told me once that that is the point. It's "Anti-Music). It;s supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. Why would you want to listen to something like that?