9 Guilty Pleasure Admissions of a Record Store Geek
Look, it's not like you think.
If you've read any of my prior ramblings, then you know that I explore the topic of musical credibility a lot. It's in my nature. Should you and I like what we like, regardless of critical stature, or should we concentrate on artists with a certain level of critical credibility?
Here's the general answer from your average record store geek: Of course you need to have standards. Popular music is shit, and it always has been.
I'd be lying if I told you I have been immune to that sort of musical peer pressure, but I'm okay with it -- because ultimately that pressure has resulted in a better music collection and a better understanding of the art.
However, I'd also be lying if I told you there weren't a few things that go against that theory. A few guilty pleasures. Read on and I'll surely embarrass myself with nine of them.
Would an Elitist Admit to This?
Usually, this is the point in the blog where I explain the method to my madness. But in this case, I'm going to keep it short and say simply this:
I'm not afraid to embarrass myself for your entertainment, but I still need to maintain some credibility with my elitist colleagues and savvy readers, so I've allowed myself a "credibility saver" within each admission.
1. I listen to my Jefferson Starship Greatest Hits album more than I listen to all of my Jefferson Airplane CDs. I've grown to like Airplane a lot over the years, but I grew up with those Jefferson Starship songs, so I gravitate toward them more often. People in my profession do not say this.
Credibility saver: To be crystal clear, I do not mean Starship, the third iteration (from hell). "We Built This City" may be the worst song ever written.
2. I once owned a Michael Bolton album. Yes, in high school I had a taped copy of Michael's self-titled major label debut album. I liked the song "Fool's Game" (MTV, as usual, was responsible) and admittedly, about 60 percent of the album (which was more guitar-driven than any subsequent efforts.)
Credibility saver: Twelve seconds after I heard the sacrilegious cover of "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" off his second album, I realized the error in my ways and bailed. I have never heard any of his other albums. Really. Sorry, Mike.
(Note: I literally cannot say or hear the name Michael Bolton without thinking of the hilarious Office Space and the term "assclown.")
3. Sometimes when my wife and daughter are watching The Voice, I acknowledge talent. Maybe I'll say something like, "That kid's pretty good," in spite of whatever over-played, totally obvious cover song he or she is singing. I realize I'm not giving up a lot here, nor will I say more, but just mentioning that stinkin' show in this blog opens me up for peer harassment.
Credibility saver: The other things I say more than offset the rare compliment. Overall, the show epitomizes one of the main reasons todays artists have a tough time matching those of the '60s and '70s (fake artist development versus organic artist development).