Call me Russ L

Stock rant #1: What sort of music do you like?

Posted in Music, Stock Rants by Russ L on 6 February, 2006

The good sort. I dislike the bad sort. This is a qualitative rather than stylistic distinction. You can’t make the split between the two on a genre-by-genre basis (well, you can, but it’s stupid). It was expressed rather beautifuly by Steve Albini: “Greatness is greatness, irrespective of idiom.”

I don’t ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ any named genres. All of them contain both good and bad music. Similarly, I don’t consider myself a fan of anything in particular – as far as I can see, being a fan of a specific style means you’re obliged to listen to the mediocre bands as well as the good ‘uns. It doesn’t sound like fun to me.

I do think the reason that half of the more boring bands in the world actually exist is a direct result of this sort of nonsense thinking – if people insist on liking things of a specific style purely because they’re of that style, it’s hardly surprising that some will believe that merely adopting certain sets of characteristics will mean they’re doing something worthwhile.

Some genres, admittedly, have better good-to-crap record ratios than others. I don’t like doing this (it doesn’t equate to logic. The last few bands having been iffy gives no grounds to indicate that the next will be too), but I suppose you could use that as a basis for choosing which is ‘best.’ Force my hand on that one and suppose I’ll ask you if I can have ‘late 60s and early 70s American soul, both northern and southern branches’ as my pick, but that doesn’t mean I see that type of music as some sort of gestalt entity, superior to the rest.

If you insist on having it in these terms, just tell yourself that I like a bit of everything.

~ Russ L


2 Responses

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  1. James said, on 6 February, 2006 at 2:44 pm

    What brought this on?

  2. Russ L said, on 7 February, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Nothing specific, it’s just something I get asked a lot and I never cease to find it a stupid question.

    As the title suggests, this will be the first in a series of stock rants.


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