The music I’m thankful for, and thankful has disappeared

by DGO Web Administrator

Music fans often lament a time period they missed: “I wish I had been 16 in 1969 to attend Woodstock.” “I wish I had been at The Sands in Las Vegas in 1964 to see The Rat Pack.” “I wish I could have been there to boo Fred Durst at every Limp Bizkit concert ever.”

There are so many good music things to be thankful for now. I’m glad I was alive during the era of Uncle Tupelo, and I’m glad I was alive while Frank Zappa and Doc Watson were alive and well, contributing important music to the pop-culture canon. I’m glad I was alive at the time the Only Ones released the 1978 single “Another Girl, Another Planet.” I’m thankful I was alive when Public Enemy was making music. I’m glad I’m alive at the time of The Black Lips, Old 97s, and all the releases put out by the “In the Red” record label. If you know nothing of the aforementioned references I suggest you get to your research.

It’s just as important to be thankful for some things that have gone by the wayside. There are some musical trends that have come into the world and captivated some ears while they dominated radio and television as their purveyors graced the pages of magazines (then) and websites (now) nationwide, shit that “artists” were lucky to be a part of and even luckier that a bunch of suckers with money both invested in and purchased the “product.” I hope these sorry bastards saved their money since people have come to their senses.

The trend I’m most thankful has disappeared is “rap-rock.” You know, that combination of crunchy guitars churning out metal riffs with someone rapping over said metal riffs. It’s a style of music that simply put, sucks.

It was sometime around 1985 when someone thought it a good idea to give a load of money to members of Aerosmith and Run DMC to re-record the 1975 Aerosmith hit “Walk This Way.” Blame that for the slew of hard-rock bands that were born in the 1990s; Korn, Limp Bizkit, Crazy-Town and Linkin Park are a problem, and they make your record collection a problem. Seriously, this is un-edgy, harmless, thoughtless music, void of depth and emotion. It may seem like it’s dangerous and scary at first listen, but if you dig in further, you’ll realize it’s just more music for people that don’t really like music. As a matter of fact, rapping does not need to mix with any type of music other than hip-hop. In 1999, at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, new-grass musician Sam Bush brought out some Front Range rapper. Somebody wrapping over banjos and mandolins equals awful. It was the worst moment I’ve ever witnessed, both audibly and visually in close to 35 years of going to concerts.

Throw out every record you have that mixes hip-hop with metal or hip-hop with country. And while you’re at it, throw out your Four Non Blondes, Spin Doctors, Gin Blossoms and any U2 record made after 1985.

Instead listen to this: Fugazi. The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Neko Case. Slayer. Jack Oblivian. Lydia Loveless. N.W.A. Clutch. The Ants. Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, Rare Essence, and Duke Ellington. Link Wray. Pavement.

You’ll thank me for this later.

Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. [email protected]

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