Dave has a list of college tunes
that makes me realize he's not that much older than me. Go read his list, and then come back here for my assessment.
Okay. Before I assess, let me just say that I like rock and/or roll, among other things. The problem is that objectively speaking, I must admit that a whole lot of rock really, really sucks. Case in point: the other day (it may have been yesterday - they all kind of blur together for me) as I was driving home, the DJs at the local rock station thought, for some reason I will never comprehend, to play a new-ish song by Three Days Grace. They are an aural abomination in general, but when I heard the first line of the song, "I am coming home/just to be alone" I knew I had just reached a new low. Part of me died that day. I'm just glad I had the strength to immediately change the station. But I still wake up screaming at night. I've been wanting to gripe about that stupid, stupid song ever since, and Dave has given me an opportunity to do so while transitioning into something less emotionally disturbing.
Let me make two other points about Three Days Grace. The band's name sounds more like public library book return policy than a name for a band. And second, Dr. David Thorpe did a "nostalgia" music review
a few weeks ago, in which he observed that thanks to Three Days Grace, early 90s flash-in-the-pan Ugly Kid Joe now has the second worst song about hating everything about someone.
Now back to Dave's list:
Nirvana, Nevermind - Great album.
Pearl Jam, Ten - Also a great album.
Boyz to Men, Cooleyhighharmonymyspacebarisbroken - I admit I like Motown Philly and It's So Hard to Say Goodbye at the time, but now I can't say I particularly care. And I don't know anything else from the album.
Garth Brooks, Ropin' the Wind - Being married to a country music fan has gotten me to the point of tolerating country music if absolutely necessary, but that's as far as I'll go. Back in college I would have shivved Dave for even mentioning Garth. It looks like I've mellowed out a bit.
Enya, Shepard Moons - Enya is good stuff. I don't care for her newest single, Only Time, but Shepard Moons was good from start to finish.
The Ocean Blue, Cerulean - Huh?
Soundgarden, Badmotorfingerthere'sthatstupidspacebaragain - Of the four major Seattle bands, the one I listened to the least. But Chris Cornell can scream like a banshee, huh?
Temple of the Dog, Temple of the Dog - I never thought this was worth listening to.
Toad the Wet Sprocket, Fear - There are a lot of bands out there that can write an album with one or two good songs, and all the rest are crap. The difference between Toad the Wet Sprocket and those bands is that Toad wrote really, really great songs, and all the rest were crap. Their Dulcinea album is the same thing. Listen to "Fall Down," but ignore the rest.
Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend - The only Matthew Sweet album I know is 100% Fun, which is a great album from start to finish. I'll take Dave's word for it on this one.
Spin Doctors, Pocket Full of Kryptonite - Hated them now, hate them still.
House of Pain, House of Pain - You can't seriously suggest that an album is good just because everyone on the planet knows one song from it.
Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes - I don't know enough Tori Amos to discuss, but I love Dave's take on it. If you haven't read Dave's review yet, at least read what he has to say about the song "Crucify."
Alice in Chains, Dirt - My absolute favorite Seattle band, and Dirt is the reason why. These guys freakin rocked.
Stone Temple Pilots, Core - Skip the stuff the radio killed, but the rest is really good. Good, solid rock.
Eddie From Ohio, Various - Don't know.
Singles, Soundtrack - Like all soundtracks, some good and some bad. My favorite (unsurprisingly) is "Would?" by Alice in Chains, but that's on Dirt anyway, so you don't need to buy Singles just to hear the song. Incidentally, how much does it suck when a cool band releases a really cool song on an otherwise intolerable soundtrack, and that's the only place you can get it? It's crap like that that makes MP3 players worth their weight in gold.
Juice, Soundtrack - Like Dave, I never saw the movie. But unlike Dave, I never listened to the soundtrack.
Gin Blossoms, New Miserable Experience - These guys put out some great songs, even if they all sounded more or less the same. I never listened to the whole album, but the radio stuff never got old for me.
Screaming Trees, Sweet Oblivion - I absolutely love "Nearly Lost You," but I've never heard of them doing anything else.
Blind Melon, Blind Melon - Their first and only real hit, "No Rain," bugged the crap out of me when I first heard it, but now I listen to it when it comes on. For Dave's information, it was Michael Hutchence who was into the kinky sex. Shannon Hoon was into heroin, and that's why he's dead now.
Soul Asylum, Grave Dancer's Union - I liked "Runaway Train," as required by state law at the time, but it got real old, real quick. The rest of the album can be safely skipped, as well.
Lemonheads, It's a Shame About Ray - Don't know. I know the album cover, but I never bothered listening to the CD.
Dada, Puzzle - My brother bought a Dada album. He bought a bunch of albums because he liked the single played on the radio, and then I'd listen to the rest of the album and hate everything else on it. But with Dada, I hated the radio song as well. The only album he ever picked based on a single that turned out to be great was Catherine Wheel's Chrome.
Nirvana, In Utero - Better than Nevermind.
Pearl Jam, Vs - You take the good with the bad.
Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Sister Sweetly - I have a confession. You're not allowed to tell anyone about this, because I could get in serious trouble. I grew up in Colorado, and Big Head Todd is a Denver band. They are, to my knowledge, the only Denver band, and that's not saying much because I don't think more than 20 people ever heard of them outside of Denver. But in Colorado, you had to be able to quote from their song lyrics to pass the written portion of the driver's license test, because Colorado was just so proud to finally have a band. My confession: I don't think I ever heard even "Bittersweet" all the way through. Remember, don't tell anyone.
Belly, Star - The best thing Belly ever did was let Tanya Donelly do a duet with Catherine Wheel called "Judy Staring at the Sun." That's a great song. I don't know Star, though.
Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream - I have to disagree with Dave on this one. Billy Corgan's anal retentive approach to his music pays off. "Today" was a good single, not necessarily because of its staying power, but because it sounded new enough to get people to go buy the album and realize it had so much really cool stuff on it. There was a time when I could easily quote every Smashing Pumpkins song on every album from start to finish. I have since devoted my limited brain capacity to more noble pursuits, much to my parents' satisfaction. But I still love the music.
Cypress Hill, Black Sunday - There are few bands that I hate quite as thoroughly as Cypress Hill.
Judgment Night, Soundtrack - Never heard it, although Dave's description sounds interesting. Rap and metal, if blended properly, can work very well. Best case in point I know of is the lamentable Public Enemy track "Bring tha Noize." When they remade it with Anthrax, it turned into one of the greatest songs in the history of mankind.
Velocity Girl, Velocity Girl - Never heard of 'em.
James, Laid - These guys did some great songs, but not so great that I ever listened to the whole thing.
Cracker, Kerosene Hat - Like Blind Melon, they did a single that I hated at the time, but that I think is kinda cool now. But other than "Low," I don't know anything by them.
Tool, Undertow - I still kinda like "Sober," but other than that I pretty much ignore these guys.
P.J. Harvey, Rid of Me - Don't know.
Crash Test Dummies, God Shuffled His Feet - I like this album, but there's a problem. The lyrics make no sense at first, but after the thousandth listen, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that they're all a bunch of High School teachers who formed a band and wrote songs to trick their students into learning, for example, about T.S. Eliot.
Juliana Hatfield, Become What You Are - Never cared.
The Breeders, Last Splash - They did "Cannonball," right? I liked that one. That's all I can say about them.
Lenny Kravitz, Are you Gonna Go My Way - The drummer had this crazy cool afro at a time when you didn't see many crazy cool afros. But she looked like she couldn't move her back.
Counting Crows, August and Everything After - Something of a paradox, here. As I mentioned before, I really like the Smashing Pumpkins. I can't stand the whiny vocals on Counting Crows albums, and yet I don't mind the whiny vocals on Smashing Pumpkins albums. Figure that one out.
New Order, Republic - Like Dave, I enjoyed Republic. Unlike Dave, I don't eat Cool Whip straight from the tub.
Liz Phair, Exit to Guyville - Don't know, don't care.
Dinosaur, Jr., Where You Been - True story. When I was in college, some friends of mine heard that Dinosaur, Jr. would be on television (Dave Letterman or something), and they were excited because they liked the band, but were unhappy that they didn't have the original drummer anymore. But then the band came on, and the drummer was hideously ugly, and my friends said, "Hey, he's not [whatever the old guy's name was], but he's ugly, so it's okay]." Whatever that means.
Pearl Jam, Vitalogy - They lost me at Vs. Dave goes into a commentary about Mortal Kombat, so I will take this moment to mention that I once beat my friend Chris at Street Fighter [I don't know what version] something like 50 times in a row, before he finally beat me once.
Nirvana, MTV Unplugged in New York - I don't like unplugged albums.
Stone Temple Pilots, Purple - Better and worse than Core, and the last STP I listened to. After this one I stopped caring.
Soundgarden, Superunknown - About the time this one came out, I faithfully bought every issue of Guitar for the Practicing Musician I could find so I could learn whatever was on the radio at the time, and I remember one issue was all excited about Kim Thayil getting back together with Soundgarden. Given that the band soon disappeared into the mists of history, I'd say that was an ironic article. I never listened to the album, BTW.
Dave Matthews Band, Under the Table and Dreaming - Never liked them, other than "Crush." Hey, I recognize that they're techincally proficient. But Dave Matthews is a cautionary tale - even if you're the best guitar player in the world, if your songs suck, it doesn't matter that you play them really, really well.
Hootie and the Blowfish, Cracked Rear View - I like "Let Her Cry," but you have to admit every one of their songs sounds exactly the same.
House of Pain, Same as it Ever Was - They did another album? Huh.
Garth Brooks, In Pieces - Ug.
Pulp Fiction, Sountrack - Good stuff. Everyone knows that. Introduced me to that perennial favorite "Flowers on the Wall."
Frente, Marvin the Album - While it's true that their "Bizarre Love Triangle" is "peaceful," I've never understood why you would cover a second-rate song from an album with great stuff like "Regret."
Hole, Live Through This - Some good rockers on here, but Courtney Love has always (even before she started to look like she'd been partially digested by something) scared the crap out of me. Crazy demon woman.
The Cranberries, No Need to Argue - Is that the first or the second one? The first one was boring, the second one had some really great stuff on it, with "Ridiculous Thoughts" at the top of my personal list. I never bothered with their third.
Blues Traveller, Four - When these guys got popular, I think it was for the sole and exclusive reason that John Popper used a (gasp!) harmonica, and that was a bit of a novelty. But actually, harmonicas usually sound like crap, so the novelty wore off for me in a huge hurry [Note: Alice in Chains' "Don't Follow" is an exception to the rule of harmonicas sounding like crap].
Rusted Root, When I Wake - This is a great album, start to finish. But it's so hippy granola Earth-mother Birkenstocky that I always want to beat myself up after listening.
Sarah McLachlan, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy - Sorry Dave, I don't know if she's a lesbian or not. She probably keeps it secret so she can appeal to a broader crowd.
Radiohead, Pablo Honey - Another "hated it when I first heard it, like it now" single. Don't know anything on the album other than "Creep."
Bush, Sixteen Stone - Remember a while back when I mentioned how thoroughly I hate Cypress Hill? Bush is the one band that easily beats out Cypress Hill for top spot on my "I hope you get in a crippling, but not quite fatal car accident" list.
Weezer, Weezer - Great album. What went wrong?
Green Day, Dookie - Dave, if you need a reason to hate Green Day, their politics (and ignorance thereof) should be enough for you. But they can write some hooks, I'll give them that.
Tori Amos, Under the Pink - Hey readers, remember how the last time Tori Amos came up I told you to make sure you read Dave's comments? That is officially no longer a good idea. Do yourself a favor.
Beck, Mellow Gold - I know "Loser," of course, but nothing else, and I don't particularly care.
Veruca Salt, American Thighs - Yet another album with one good song and a bunch of songs I've never heard, and don't care.
Clerks, Soundtrack - Let me echo Dave's sentiments:
My love for you is ticking clock BERSERKER!!!
Foo Fighters, Foo Fighters - I love their song "All My Life," but other than that I've never paid them enough attention to know if their non-radio songs are any good. Dave seems to think they're worth a listen. And I'm going to have to agree with him that Michael Bolton blows them out of the water any day of the week.
Garbage, Garbage - Along with Alice in Chains and Smashing Pumpkins, one of my favorites on the list. Their first album was nowhere near as strong as Version 2.0, but still solid.
Mad Season, Above - As an Alice in Chains fan, I was morally obligated to buy this, but it's nowhere as good as anything AIC did. It's okay. That's the best I'll give it.
Everclear, Sparkle & Fade - Obviously Dave likes "Santa Monica." Were it not for that song, I would have passed this album with a "don't know, don't care," but that song was good.
Radiohead, The Bends - Hated "Fake Plastic Trees," and the picture on the cover of the album is really distrurbing. Don't know anything else about the album, and I'm not the least bit inclined to find out.
Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill - No Dave, she's not.
Natalie Merchant, Tigerlily - Pass. Her voice. Ug.
Better than Ezra, Deluxe - After "Good," I never heard of them until I moved to New Orleans, and now I hear them on the radio, hear about their concerts, see posters, etc. I figured out it's because they're from New Orleans, and once again I find myself thinking, "Is this the best my town can do?"
Collective Soul, Collective Soul - These guys have a talent for writing songs that don't make me instantly want to change the station, but that's the best I'll give them.
Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness - Double album means twice the Pumpkiny goodness, no matter what Dave thinks. But this album illustrates, perhaps more clearly than any other, that Billy has no idea how to put songs on an album in an order that doesn't completely defy reason.
DJ Kool, It Takes Two - Don't know it, and I'm automatically wary of anyone with a name as shamelessly self-promotional and yet utterly lacking in imagination as "DJ Kool."
Squirrel Nut Zippers, Hot - No idea. Weren't they big band? I thought big band didn't come back until later in the 90s. But what do I know?
Beck, Odelay - Where it's at. I like what I've heard from this one a lot more than anything I've heard from his others, including his new single.
Cranberries, To The Faithful Departed - I guess this is the second album. It seems I like this one better than Dave does.