September Music Challenge

Week 36 – Tuesday 3rd September– Monday 9th September

Weezer – Pinkerton

I don’t think I can think of a better example of a band that, for me, is ‘those guys that did that one song’ than Weezer. But after having listened to this album I cannot think of a band that I would rather have kept in that category. This is the kind of rock music I was perfectly happy living without.


Week 37 – Tuesday 10th September– Monday 16th September

The Dead South – Illusion and Shadows

My opinion on this album roller-coaster around during the course of the week.

First I should admit that I had extreme skepticism about it to begin with from the title and band name alone.  I love the buddy who recommended this to me, but I do not share his taste in music. But I am committed to doing this project, so onto the phone it went reservations and all.

…and I kind of liked it. The lead singer has that sort of terrible voice that I tend to love (what I affectionately call ‘The Rino Gaetano’ effect ), and the music was a weird combination of sound I was unused to, and thus found appealing. This had some novelty factor, but the album had some clear winners and some clear duds. I soon found myself listening to just a handful of songs from it, but the list kept an evaporating at every listen to.

I am pretty sure I will store this whole album on a portable hard drive, and I will pull it out in a couple of years and affectionately remember it for an hour or to before putting it away again.

And as I was listening to the album one last time it dawned on me that one of the better songs is about a man using the bathroom. You cannot imagine who quickly the whole stock plummeted. There are just somethings I do not need in my music, and that is one of them.


Week 38 – Tuesday 17th September– Monday 23nd September

Metallica – Ride the Lightning

I am very grateful to have listened to this album, as I really learned a lot from it.

I hated it.

I am going through all this trouble because I consider myself pretty musically ignorant. Back when I was in college getting my useless liberal arts degree I encountered the notion that one could sort of feel a lot of secondary information from a piece of art. With enough education and experience you can consume (read, watch, see, hear, taste etc) a piece of art and guess within a very good margin or error where it is from and its influences (it took four years at a BA and two at an MA to learn that this phenomenon is a product of experience and education, not merely communication. Boy, was I ever stupid). I can do that very well with certain literature, art pieces, and even movies. However, I feel largely clueless about music.

If I ‘liked’ this album for any reason it was the fact that I really felt like I could ‘hear’ the zeitgeist through this album. It was a bit of a weird sensation – I kind of remember Metallica from my childhood in the 90’s. but as I was listening to this I could really hear the 80’s come through in it. I couldn’t articulate what I heard, but as I listened to this I said to myself ‘this is a mid 80’s album’.

I went home and I checked. 1984.

Well, as for the album itself I thought it sucked. No wonder my parents didn’t want us listening to this growing up. This felt like the opposite of Meatloaf (the musician, not the food) in the worst way. While that album promised you a horror movie and gave you a love ballad, this one gave you the promised horror movie but didn’t make it particularly good. It was just a bit much, so much so that I started wondering if this wasn’t listed in the dictionary as ‘unsubtle’.

Well, I did really like the last track. It’s an instrumental track, and I can really see myself listening to it to get some work done.

Maybe I just don’t like the lead singer’s voice. Nah, that’s not it.


Week 39 – Tuesday 24th September– Monday 30th September

O’Death – Head Home

The same guy who recommended The Dead South to me recommended this one, and I approached this one with the same feeling of dread. There is something about the aesthetic the band name suggest turns me off. But we aren’t meant to judge books by covers, right? And besides, The Dead South worked out for me, right?

Um, no such luck this time. I almost liked the first track, but the rest of it was just kind of horrible and did nothing for me.

Sometimes first judgments are right.




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