Friday, January 29, 2010

Challenges of the Musically Challenged

Bizarro is brought to you today by Educational Literature.

I have a good friend back in Texas who has run a recording studio for decades. Every now and then he'll share some of the more "noteworthy" music that he has recorded for clients there and I often wonder how he survives. As we know from the popular TV show, "American Idol," (which I am proud to say I've never watched a moment of, the commercials are plenty) not everyone who thinks they can be a rock star has a single iota of talent.

For reasons unclear to me, I'm particularly sensitive to music. I literally cannot tolerate listening to music that I don't like. I become instantly irritable, my heart rate rises, my teeth turn into fangs and I am not satisfied until someone is dead. I don't mean to say that I'm a public *sshole about it, but I will quietly leave a store or restaurant if the music is offensive to me, whether I've finished my business there or not. This is perhaps the biggest reason I dislike the Xmas season so much, the offensive music is ubiquitous.

It wouldn't be such a curse if I liked most popular music, but I don't. I'm very picky. Any single song from any recording of such popular bands as Eagles, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band, Abba, Billy Joel, Metallica, Rush, all hip hop (yes, I know that is a very general statement, but I can't stand 'rhyme talking' of any kind,) drives me over a cliff. And that's just a fraction of the bands I can't stand. I wish I wasn't this way, but there's nothing I can do about it.

That being said, I've been learning to play the guitar and have been writing songs and recording them on my computer. One day I'm going to record them in a "real" studio and sell a CD through my website and this blog. So I may be the guy behind the glass in the cartoon above soon enough (though it's a cinch my music will ever be popular enough to drive shoppers from stores.)

Until tomorrow, be well, earth travelers.

19 comments:

shane said...

Your "popular bands" list is thirty years old - you old fart!
lol
They say the best way to stay awake when driving late is listening to music you hate. Better than dying I guess...
You should find the DVDs of a HBO series called "Mr. Show". Start with the last season (the funniest) then work from the start forward. I promise you will love it.

doug nicodemus said...

are those older cartoons...for the contest that is...i have never seen that one before and it is pretty funny like maybe a hahaha

the singing cartoonest could join the singing cowboy as an american icon...love to hear it..what kind of music is it art/folk or art/rock

Wendy said...

so what music do you like?

Piraro said...

@shane...I chose those bands because they are the ones I hear in stores quite often. I also hear a lot of that American Idol style stuff, which I equally detest. But I don't know any of their names. And all hip hop, as I said.

@doug...yes, the contest cartoons are always old ones. I'm familiar with Mr. Show and love it, as you predicted!

@Wendy...I like lots of music from all eras but usually listen to alternative rock these days. I like to listen to new music all the time, so there is no artist I listen to for decades on end. Early Elvis Costello is still a favorite, I like U2 and Coldplay, early Dylan is still great, my most recent favorites are Airborne Toxic Event, The Blakes, Editors, Elbow, Phoenix, Bedouin Soundclash, State Radio, The Temper Trap, Bloc Party, Rhett Miller, Arcade Fire and lots lots more. :)

Piraro said...

@ doug...I'd say my songs are most similar to alternative/indie rock: melody-driven, serious lyrics (as opposed to "oh baby, let's do it all night"), with a bit of quirkiness thrown in. I don't know what you'd call it, really.

studio said...

Hey Danno
I take offense at the photo you linked to at "good friend in Texas".
I've lost a lot of weight since then. You could have used something more current...
K-bob

Inga Huff said...

I worked in a record store where the manager only let us listen to Irish music. It is now like nails on a chalk board for me. I have to leave right away, too. I begin spitting if it is Christmas Irish music. Glad to know I am not alone....

Allan Koay said...

Mr Piraro,

you hate Steely Dan and like Coldplay?!?!? OK, i'm thinking something interesting must be happening musically in your mind then. so i'd definitely buy your CD!

btw, i have a problem with Coldplay's lack of originality. and the fact that they got sued for plagiarism by Joe Satriani, one of the coolest and nicest and most charitable guys on the planet, it just says it all. plus the fact that i think Chris Martin can't sing (well, some people might say his voice has character, but i just think it's weak).

Katherine said...

Good for you, Dan. I also leave stores where the music is annoying. They just shouldn't play music at all, it's always going to be annoying to somebody. And think how awful it is for the people who work there.

Anonymous said...

Auto-tune is what gets me the most. I want to drop to the ground and curse its name whenever I hear it, but it's all over the place and my knees can only take so much damage. If you don't know what it is, it's basically this.

As for American Idol, they all sing the kind of music that drives me nuts--with emphasis on random syllables and random oooh yeeeahs. I think a bunch of chickens or cats would sound better.

shipping troll said...

I highly recommend The Bottle Rockets, and Cross Canadian Ragweed, and just for you, the Cr. Can. Rgwd. track "The boys from Oklahoma ( roll their joints all wrong)" Even if you don't love it, it should at least get ya a laugh.

Piraro said...

@Studio...Sorry, K-Bob. Send me an updated photo and I'll use it next time.

@ Inga...love Ireland, love Irish beer, love Irish pubs, am a little Irish on my mom's side, but CANNOT TOLERATE Irish music. I feel for you.

@Allan...I like Chris Martin's voice and could never stand Fagin's. That's part of my problem with Steely Dan. Plus, it just isn't a style that interests me. But one of the most interesting things about music is the intensely personal take each person has. Like food, I love apples, you can't stand them, who knows why?

Regarding Coldplay and Satriani, I'm not convinced it was intentional. People come up with the same progressions all the time, it's just part of our nature. I can't believe that a huge successful band like Coldplay would be stupid enough to believe they could get away with stealing from another successful star. This happens in cartooning all the time. Two cartoonists come across identical joke ideas and even draw them similarly but are not aware of each other's work. We deal with it routinely with an apology email instead of a law suit.

@Anonymous...Thanks for the link to the video about AutoTune. I've heard the effect but didn't know the history. It really is awful, I agree.

doug nicodemus said...

turn on a mike, whip up a track and post it we are dying to hear...well not exactly dying but you...anxiously waiting...well not exactly...but you know..

Allan Koay said...

well, Mr Piraro, this is probably something we could argue till the cows come home. but on the flipside of it, there have been successful lawsuits, eg. George Harrison, Ray Parker Jr, Les Paul, who were all sued for plagiarism. i do agree, that there are naturally instances when two people, unconnected, could, by pure chance, come up with similar ideas. whether it was intentional stealing, that's a very fine line there.

zdub said...

Steely Dan you no like??? Interesting, unconventional changes by world class musicians, combined with clever (but often obscure) poetry - what more could one ask for?

Give them another chance, but listen with a real devotee and your ears will be born again. Hallelujah!

Mindy said...

I'm picky about my music as well, but I've had to learn to deal with songs I don't like during long family car trips. Since so much popular music I hear anymore is either some American Idol celeb or some Disney channel kid-turned-star I honestly just listen to my MP3 most anywhere I go. Ah, technology! How I love thee.

@Anonymous: I loved that auto-tune link. I don't mind the sound so much as that it's overused, and I think it's a cheap way out of having to have talent. If you can't sing well without it, you cannot sing well. Simple as that.

@Anyone who will listen: I'm cheating a little with the URL link in my name. I'm the kind of person who tends to walk away when I hear the words "local band" because garage bands have been among the worst music I've been stuck listening to, but I've found my exception. You can hear many of their songs in the link for free, so there's nothing to lose if you don't agree. I link to them becuase I want little more than for them to make it far enough to drown out a little of the airtime currently taken by the American Idol grouping of songs.

Anonymous said...

Christmas is over and yet you still can't stop complaining about it!! Someone needs a Christmas miracle to turn their frown upside down...

Leigh said...

I have the same reaction to music I don't like. In general I'm just very sensitive to sound so little things like LOUD chewing and whatnot tend to cause me a lot of discomfort. I do my best to be responsible for my quirks but I make people aware when they enter my domain that it's better to leave the main stream music and popcorn outside.

Shawn said...

listen to The Moody Blues' "House of Four Doors". It's one of the all time greatest worst songs. I'm not dating myself as I wasn't even alive when it came out. And I also think groovey saxaphone music is hysterical. They play it in the bathroom at my work and I find myself chuckling as I'm on the pot.