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AM Survivor: Week 8

Time for the first winnowing of the new year. This week, we lose:

77. Steely Dan (20)
76. Ramones (16)
75. Buddy Holly & the Crickets (16)
74. New Order (15)

Bubbling under: Paul Simon (15), Roxy Music (14), The White Stripes (13), The Cure (12), Pulp (11), John Coltrane (11) and Brian Eno (11).

Had to have another tiebreaker this week: New Order was on four ballots, Rhymin’ Simon was on three.

(Rough week for me: watch Henrik’s thread for a couple of valedictions for the newly departed.)

73 artists remain:

The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Beck, Chuck Berry, Björk, Blondie, Blur, David Bowie, James Brown, The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Ray Charles, The Clash, Leonard Cohen, John Coltrane, Elvis Costello, The Cure, Miles Davis, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, The Flaming Lips, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, PJ Harvey, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Joy Division, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Massive Attack, Curtis Mayfield, Van Morrison, Nirvana, OutKast, Parliament/Funkadelic, Pavement, Pink Floyd, Pixies, The Police, Elvis Presley, Prince, Public Enemy, Pulp, Radiohead, Otis Redding, Lou Reed, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music, Sex Pistols, Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Sly and the Family Stone, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Bruce Springsteen, The Stooges, Talking Heads, U2, The Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, The White Stripes, The Who, Wilco, Hank Williams, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young.

Week 8 is now underway.

Important reminder for any new voters coming on board: the first time you put an artist on your ballot, you have to explain why you’re doing it. OK? OK.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

No changes.

1) Beck
2) Nirvana
3) Public Enemy
4) Parliament/Funkadelic
5) The Flaming Lips

I'm not too saddened by the loss of those 5, and nobody but Paul Simon/Roxy Music will be really mourned of the runner-ups. Since I have no comments on the other 5, I'll just give some for them.

The White Stripes are actually right behidn The Flaming Lips, because they actually have more than 1 song I quite like. However, they also have quite a few songs I dislike, so it's only fair they have to go. The Cure aren't in my top 50, but I don't think they should go just yet, they have a couple of brilliant singles. Pulp, for me, is kind of a one-hit-wonder. I realize they've made many more good songs and some classic albums, but for me only "Common People" makes them worthwhile. I have that ranked very very high in my songslist, and there won't be another Pulp song in the top 1000 if I ever decide to make one. I also had Different Class in my top 100, but that's almost purely on "Common People"'s merits. So yeah, they can go. I'm not much of a jazz fan, although Coltrane is definitely among the best, so he can go too. And Brian Eno, who has the perfect background music for the boat trip home, doesn't really belong on an island like this. However, when taking his work with other artists into account he shouldn't go yet. He's done marvelous things as a producer and definitely belongs on the island so he can help turn the coconutbanging into a coherent masterpiece.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Loss of those 4*

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

I just realized that whole sentence is a mess, so here goes again:

I'm not too saddened by the loss of those 4 artists, and nobody but Paul Simon and Roxy Music will be really mourned of the runner-ups. Since I have no comments on my 5 nominees, I'll just give some for the runner-ups I wouldn't mind leaving.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

5 pts. Brian Eno
4 pts. Roxy Music
3 pts. Cure
2 pts. Police
1 pt. U2

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Still stayed too long on the island:
5 pts - Frank Sinatra
4 pts - Nick Cave
3 pts - John Coltrane
2 pts - Leonard Cohen

"I'm still standing" should no longer apply to:
1 pt - Elton John - Excellent singer and piano player, a cult person that deserved most of his fame. Nevertheless he's not my cup of tea. I can think of at least 10 other singer/songwriters that I like much more.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

1. (5p) Brian Eno - Enough is enough. Hands up whoever actually listen to Brian Eno's solo records. Thought so.

2. (4p) Chuck Berry - One million times (or so it seems) the same song.

3. (3p) Roxy Music - Buffoons in suits.

4. (2p) Marvin Gaye - I once made love listening to Satyricon's Fuel for Hatred, and that was great. Listening to Marvin Gaye while doing it would make me either fall asleep or develop a terrible headache.

5. (1p) The Police - Such a dull band. Is Sting really awake?

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

I came pretty close to dumping 4 this week, and it seems like Leonard Cohen isn't too far behind!

1. Roxy Music
2. Pulp
3. Brian Eno
4. Leonard Cohen

5. The Smiths - The only reason I've resisted thus far is because I knew there wasn't a chance of them leaving till the second act, but now I'm dedicating as many points as it'll take to get that duck-voiced scatter-brained hypocondriac out of here.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

...and please promise me that Pulp will go before the White Stripes. I don't think I could take it if they didn't.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

1. The White Stripes
2. John Coltrane
3. Bjork
4. Blondie
5. Elton John

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Moving up the corporate ladder...


Office newbie...


Why is it that every Cure fan you meet is always a weirdo? In my days in residence at university, there was a guy who lived down the hall who would play Cure records over and over, and over... Nobody talked to him, nobody wanted to. Then there was the drummer in my old band – another nutbar. I’m not sure what it is about Smith’s music that inspires legions of strange followers; or maybe it’s just Smith himself. Either way, it’s not my tasse de thé.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

1. Michael Jackson - I used to love this guy as a kid. Posters and everything. But that was short lived. I now have no interest.
2. Pulp
3. Outkast
4. Public Enemy - I don't own any of their records and don't plan on owning any. Just not my thing. So I don't see any reason to keep them on the island.
5. Elton John - Some of his songs are pretty good but overall I'm really not a fan of his stuff.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

schleuse, if you vote out my favorites, I vote out yours! Um, no harm feelings, right?

Here I go again:

1. John Coltrane (I feel kinda ashamed about this now when he has come to the top)
2. Wilco
3. The Byrds

4. Parliament/Funkadelic - I know that this is serious stuff that shouldn't be taken too seriously. I do dig them, but they haven't made any albums that I love from start to end. But "Maggot Brain" is the best air guitar song ever!
5. Elliott Smith - Elliott's sound is not one that typically interests me, but his songs do grow on me with repeated listening. But someone has to go.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Henrik - Elliott Smith has already departed. Uhhh, I mean exited. I mean, he's already been voted out of this game.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

No changes for me this week:

1. The Cure
2. Roxy Music
3. Joy Division
4. Van Morrison
5. The Flaming Lips

Two additional thoughts:

1) As you might be able to tell from my Rhythm of the Saints comments from AM Forum 100... you will make me a little sad if you vote off Paul Simon next week.

2) I was too kind last week about the Flaming Lips. The Lips placing 2 albums in the top-100, while Super Furry Animals are not even close is simply wrong. (Somehow, I'm less upset about Van Morrison getting two in, even though he is higher on my vote-out list.)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Ramones and New Order huh? That's too bad. I can't believe all of the love there is for The National here and then New Order gets voted off... Oh well. Steely Dan goes time for another band to swim.

1. White Stripes- Moving them up for one week to get some people to put freakin' Tom Waits on their lists one of these weeks.
2. Tom Waits- Your not getting so lucky next week, buddy.
3. Blur
4. Nick Cave
5. Paul Simon- I'll bite. I love Simon and Garfunkel (for the most part) but his solo stuff (wait, wasn't it all solo stuff? Just kidding Art.) is pretty mediocre. That sensitive guy bit didn't translate very well to the 70's and 80's. Maybe it was because everybody else was doing it too but it just sounds cheesy where S+G rarely sounded cheesy as much as it should have considering the lyrics.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Henrik: no hard feelings, of course.
jonmarck: I, too, am watching Meg & Jack inch up the list with great dread.

Are you still here?
1. PAUL SIMON. Sorry, Schwah. I actually like the Rhythm of the Saints. Graceland, too. But I prefer artists (David Byrne leaps to mind) who actually adapt world musical traditions into their own idiom. Paul merely apes them. He does so very well, but that, plus his unremarkable 1970s stuff, doesn’t add up to a top 70 artist for me.
4. FRANK SINATRA. Fun fact of the week: the lyrics of “And Your Bird Can Sing” are about Sinatra*.

New! New!
5. THE BYRDS. I had warm feelings for the Byrds in the 1980s, since all the music critics I read told me that Peter Buck got his arpeggiated guitar playing from Roger McGuinn. Well, it turns out that’s a load of crap. More to the point, the more I listen to the Byrds, the more boring I find them. Last summer, when I was reviewing songs for bracketology, I sat down with great excitement to listen to “Eight Miles High” for the first time in several years…at the end, I was still waiting for the good part.

* - This is according to Jonathan Gould’s new book, Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, and America. It’s a mix of biography, music analysis, and cultural context which you MUST go out and read if you like the Beatles. Or if you hate them.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

With all this talk about the White Stripes, I'm finding myself reevaluating my entire opinion of them, which is a bit disconcerting to say the least. I need to talk this one out.

On one hand, they've got two really great albums in 2001's White Blood Cells and 2003's Elephant (both of which made my top 100 albums list), Jack White is an arguable virtuoso on his Montgomery Airline (as evidenced by a Stripes show I attended last June), their sound is fresh, White has brought a bit of roots (blues, country) back to pop music, and they seem to balance the right amount of fun and seriousness in their music.

Now, on the other hand (and as Greg pointed out a few weeks back), their entire presence has gimmick written all over it. Let's run down the list: two members (one of which is a voluptuous woman), the black-red-white color scheme, the "ambiguous relationship". Then there's the Lego video for "Fell In Love With A Girl" that we talked about a few days ago. When you add it all up, it makes a person wonder whether we'd even be talking about them if it wasn't for a bunch of well-timed and well-executed gimmicks. And if there was no White Stripes, do you really think there'd be a Raconteurs?

I guess the question becomes, does one allow this type of thing to influence or affect their personal music preferences? We can't know for certain whether the Stripes are part of the current pop music scene as the result of gimmicks, or if they're around because they deserve to be (and because they've received a bit of luck along the way.) If a person chooses to dislike (or not listen to) the Stripes because they think it's all a marketing ploy, they might be depriving themselves of something good - which could be based on a false assumption. It's one thing for an artist to become successful based on hard work, talent (and a bit of luck), but it's an entirely different thing to pull strings, fabricate lies, or institute a dresscode to increase their chances of getting noticed, and thereby, becoming successful.

In short, I'm not sure where I stand at this point. Just like how it's unfair to judge artists on their personality (or public antics), I'm not sure that it's fair to judge them on how they entered the public consciousness. What should matter is that they're here, and their music is there to be enjoyed. (If it sounds like I'm trying to convince myself, I am. I don't know how to feel about this.)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Thanks Anthony for the correction.

1. John Coltrane (I feel kinda ashamed about this now when he has come to the top)
2. Wilco
3. The Byrds

4. Parliament/Funkadelic - I know that this is serious stuff that shouldn't be taken too seriously. I do dig them, but they haven't made any albums that I love from start to end. But "Maggot Brain" is the best air guitar song ever!
5. Elton John - It can't be denied that Elton wrote and sang some really good songs in the early '70s. Also, the Lion King etc. schmaltz can't be denied either.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Are you sure about that Schleuse (in regards to And Your Bird)? Paul McCartney has often said that most books that "decrypt" Beatles lyrics are dead wrong. So, I'm always skeptical when I hear something like that.

From Pitchfork's interview in May:

Pitchfork: You've mentioned that you expect people to read things into your lyrics, or pick an individual they think a song is addressed to. And you seemed a little annoyed about it.

McCartney: I'm not very annoyed about it, but I suppose it's not annoying so much as irritating when somebody gets it wrong. But what I've had to do over the years is just sort of think, "You know what, that's their interpretation, and it's their life, so they can interpret it however they want. " But I've seen some of the books, particularly about the Beatles, where they'll say, "This was McCartney's answer to Lennon's barb"-- and so on and so on. Like hell it was!

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Change of strategy I think this week, It seems that despite the fact I think Springsteen and Sonic Youth are god awful boring rubbish no-one here seems to agree with me so those two can go to 4 and five for a week while I try and save some of my favourite bands of all time (Pulp and Joy Division, It's too late for Roxy and Brian Eno: Who listens to Brian Eno albums? Me, I like them a lot more than Paul Simon records, that's for sure.)


1 point Sonic Youth
2 points Bruce Springsteen
3 points Frank Sinatra (No real problems with Frank but he is holding on too long now and should be out of here and while I don't dislike him as much as 4 and 5, he suffers from complete indifference from me.)
4 points Elton John (What people have said before I agree with, we don't want him near the top 50)
5 points Paul Simon (Are you still here? Noway you should still be here twice and once your gone I'm coming for you again.)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

John: Sure about it? No. That's why I cited my source.

I should look at that McCartney interview. It sounds like his beef is with critics who try to read scandals and vendettas and secret agendas into Beatles lyrics. That's legitimate--critics who do that are the lineal descendants of the people who saw drug references--and hints that Paul was dead--everywhere (I can understand why he's irritated).

For the most part, Gould avoids that trap. He's a responsible critic who knows that songwriters don't often encode secret messages into their lyrics. Songs are usually, well, lyrical meditations of some kind. But they do require interpretation if we're gonna talk about them critically.

In the case of "And Your Bird Can Sing," Gould sees it as a study of pretension along the lines of "She Said She Said" from the same album. His claim is that "Bird" was inspired by Sinatra just as "She Said" was inspired by Peter Fonda. But I don't want to spend a whole lot of time summarizing someone else's argument (for those who care, the relevant passage is on pp. 359-360 of Gould's book).

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

For the first time, no artists are off the island! So I get the week off.

1. Paul Simon
2. The Byrds
3. Hank Williams
4. Al Green
5. Van Morrison

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Anthony, I applaud your willingness to re-evaluate deeply held opinions. Your post on the White Stripes got me thinking about how we evaluate pop music, which after all is a commodity as well as an art.

Yes, this is gonna be a long one.

Salesmen have an old saying: you don’t sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. To belabor the obvious, this means that you’re not really selling the content or quality of your product, you’re selling the sensory stimulation and the desire that product creates (perhaps jonmarck will jump in here with a McDonald’s reference).

You can see where I’m going with this: music industry publicists, when selling to a mass audience, are not selling songwriting and performing ability—the “steak.” They’re selling slick production, appeals to both rebellion and conformity, and what you call “gimmicks”—clever design and pretty people. Sex, basically. That’s the “sizzle.”

(Sidebar: Jack White is hardly an Adonis, and I’ve never understood people who dismiss Meg White as a sex symbol just because she has big tits. So does Oprah Winfrey.)

The job of critics and discerning music fans is to look past the sizzle and evaluate the steak only. As you elaborate it, Anthony, that can be very hard to do, because, as the metaphor suggests, the sizzle is normally an integral part of the experience of the steak. But let’s brush past that difficulty and see what possibilities this li’l scheme suggests.

ARTIFICIAL FLAVORING (loud sizzle, no steak): The vast majority of pop for teens and tweens. Slipknot. Black Eyed Peas/Fergie. Renditions of classical music valued solely because the artist has a physical or mental disability, or is a child. We could all continue this list indefinitely. Examples on the island: none. Britney or Justin will occasionally emit a good song by accident, but artists who are empty vessels don’t produce enough acclaimed work to be ranked this high.

MINIMALIST COOKING (no sizzle, tasty steak): If we’ve heard of these artists, is because they’re good enough that critics have brought them to our attention despite their lack of flash. And, generally, we’ve heard of them late. Examples on the island: Sonic Youth, Pixies, Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen.

HAUTE CUISINE (loud sizzle, tasty steak): To be talented AND have a long career, an artist needs to have some popular appeal. I always think of David Bowie here: a good-looking guy with a sense of style and publicity, who also happens to be an outstanding singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and producer. Examples on the island: Almost everybody. Including, emphatically, the White Stripes.

There’s no category for “no sizzle, no steak,” because we never hear of artists who completely lack both charisma AND talent. (Boy, that’s low-hanging fruit if there ever was any.)

My point, of course, is that one shouldn’t fall into the trap of “if it’s popular, it can’t be very good.” Or, to be more specific in the case of Jack & Meg, “if it’s a calculated attempt to get publicity, the music can’t be very good.” Bowie was very conscious of his public image. So were the Stones and Dylan and Prince and Bono and Bob Marley and Elvis Costello and Public Enemy and so on. That’s what it means to be both successful AND talented (which is normally how you get highly acclaimed).

As it happens, I don’t eat red meat. And I’m sticking with the Stripes.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Very well said, schleuse. Seems like you're at your peak today.

no sizzle, no steak = me singing in the shower

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

schleuse, after that compliment, I hope it's okay for me to start another discussion.

Until yesterday, I thought a niche artist is someone whose record output has a limited variation. But, today it struck me that the most niche band of all would then be Ramones (if you can call one song a niche). A note to be safe: I'm not saying that being a one-song band is a bad thing.

schleuse, since you voted out Steely Dan because they're a niche band and you're defending Ramones, do you have another definition?

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Thanks, schleuse.

I guess while I was thinking about the White Stripes, I was also thinking about Radiohead (not to keep bringing them up, but I needed a comparison.) Radiohead first entered the public consciousness by way of a catchy, grunge anthem; there were no gimmicks attached to the band (well, none as obvious as those maintained by Jack and Meg) – they were just five blokes from England who wrote a song that radio picked up. Over the course of the last decade, they’ve built a career from a solid foundation of strong, experimental songwriting (among other things), and have let the other chips fall where they may.

With the Stripes, it’s a little harder to distinguish whether the music came first, or the gimmick. And that’s kind of where I have the problem. Although, I suppose, what’s the difference between a gimmick employed to kick-start a career and a gimmick used to perpetuate one? Probably nothing. The Stripes used color, sex, lack of bass, and Lego; Radiohead have used non-promotion and a pay-what-you-want campaign. Regardless, both get the public’s attention.

I feel a bit better.

P.S. Henrik’s right – you’re on a roll. Keep it going.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

I don't mind gimmicks so long as they direct me to something worth my while. Heck, sometimes they're a lot of fun too. What I hate are groups that get hyped because of the gimmicks but in the end are terrible songwriters/musicians, such as The Darkness or The Hives. I find Jack White to be a talented songwriter and I love that they have their own theme.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

C'mon people, I'm sure we can think of somebody famous in the “no sizzle, no steak" category! (I'm working on it...)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

William Hung?

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Hmmm. Without going back to check, I'm pretty sure that I acknowledged that the Ramones were a niche band (I think I called them a one-trick pony). It just happens that I vastly prefer the Ramones' niche (let's adapt Anthony's term and call it bubblepunk) to Steely Dan's niche (jazz-rock).

Apart from my personal preference, I also think that the Ramones' niche is much closer to the center of the rock and roll tradition than Steely Dan's. For my money, that's more important than musicianship.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Good one, Anthony; everybody agreed to like him because we value "sincerity" too damn much.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Thanks schleuse for the reply.

Hmmm. Without going back to check, I'm pretty sure that I acknowledged that the Ramones were a niche band (I think I called them a one-trick pony). It just happens that I vastly prefer the Ramones' niche (let's adapt Anthony's term and call it bubblepunk) to Steely Dan's niche (jazz-rock).

It looks like we agree that, for many artists, staying within a niche is a good thing.

Apart from my personal preference, I also think that the Ramones' niche is much closer to the center of the rock and roll tradition than Steely Dan's. For my money, that's more important than musicianship.

First, I don't listen to Steely Dan because of their musicianship. I love their songs, but I don't play any instruments myself so how they play their songs is not very important to me.

Second, it's clear for me now that rock'n'roll is what matter most to you. Maybe I'm instead more eager to discover new areas of music, since artists who create side tracks from the frequently walked classic rock or indie paths are what interests me most. Especially those who have created their own unique sound, like Kraftwerk, Steely Dan, Björk and Beastie Boys.

I also wish I had more time to explore world music (an easy-to-use but horrible term). I strongly agree with Nicolas that a lot more "non-rock" music deserves to be on AM. But clearly rock critics are more into making best-of lists, it's something I accepted a long time ago.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Schleuse, thanks for the response on Paul Simon, if not the vote. I'm surprised by your rationale. I would have thought Paul Simon's was a perfect example of someone who "adapts world musical traditions into his own idiom" (although I agree Byrne is an excellent alternate example, although I do not believe him to be a peer of Simon's in terms of songwriting). Listen to, say, "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes."

Perhaps I am too forgiving of his occasionally enjoyable, but frequently slight 70's output. But any artist who gets more than one album in my top-100 gets more leeway.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

1 The Police
2 Elton John
3 The Clash
4 Michael Jackson
5 Paul Simon:I always found his solo stuff a bit art-less.

Incidentally, I once met William Hung and during the exchange of pleasentries, he asked if I was OK-to which I replied "I'm pretty well, Hung, thanks for asking."
Thank you very much, I'm here all week...

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

*taps on the microphone* "Is this thing on??"

Tough crowd, tough crowd.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Who's William Hung ?

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

An American Idol contestant whose performance was quite laughable.


Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Hey, Henrik.

“It looks like we agree that, for many artists, staying within a niche is a good thing.”

Well, it depends. The Ramones (and some other favorites like the Specials and LCD Soundsystem) notwithstanding, most of my favorite acts are those who seem like they could do anything. That’s most of the big names (the AM top 20 artists), of course, but my idiosyncratic picks (Blur and X, to name the most obvious) are like that, too. My favorite Neil Young album is Freedom, which I think is his most diverse.

Also, while it’s fair to say that rock and roll is my favorite kind of music, I do like a lot of stuff that couldn’t be reasonably classified as rock—the Carter Family, Laurie Anderson, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Miles Davis…

One of the things I really like about rock is that it’s such a magpie tradition. Not only does it have incredibly convoluted roots in blues, country, gospel, jazz and Tin Pan Alley, but in the last 52 years or so, just about every musical tradition you’d care to name has been incorporated into it at some point…and yes, Steely Dan is part of that.

That’s why I don’t mind that rock lists predominate in your construction of this site, Henrik. Rock and roll is the big tent of popular music—it makes a very natural “core” for Acclaimed Music.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Yes, it depends. That's why I wrote "for many artists". And of course I agree that those who can do anything are the most admirable.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Yup. And if I can veer off topic for a second, that's why I really, truly, do not understand those who say "I don't like the Beatles' sound." What on earth does that mean? They had several dozen of them.

I realize I may be opening up another can of worms here, but don't worry, it'll be my turn to play defense when we get around to Zeppelin (which might not be long now).

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Anthony, thanks for the rousing reception for that gag. I think it's fair to say it got what it deserved. All I can say in mitigation is that it seemed pretty funny after the amount of beer I'd put away last night.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Actually, EdAmes, I found that joke pretty damn funny. Then again, I’m amused by almost everything that you post. Sandpaper loofahs and lonely furrows come to mind here.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

I laughed too, I just didn't feel like posting "lol" much. Good joke though.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

I turned 35 on Monday, and theorise that this has sub-conciously triggered the strain of adolescent innuendo that has filtered into my recent posts. You can't fight the ageing process on a physical level, but as long as you still enjoy a good nob joke I figure there's hope for you yet...
Anyway, thanks for the props guys. Believe me, there's plenty more where that came from.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

And wouldn't you know it, I come back to this thread and that joke is still making me laugh.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Same ol' five.

1) The Cure - Robert Smith is like Michael Myers. Creepy lookin' and hard to kill (at least in this game).
2) Nick Drake - Nick Drake is like the U.S. economy. Full of potential but very depressed. Or at least he was.
3) Nick Cave - Nick Cave is like a dessert fork. He doesn't cut the mustard.
4) Ray Charles - Ray Charles is like a bat without a pulse. Think about it.
5) Leonard Cohen - Leonard Cohen is like ... I'm accepting submissions for this one. He's tied with about 10 other acts, but comes first alphabetically.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

no change in my five.

1. Bob Dylan.
2. Van Morrison.
3. Bruce Springsteen.
4. The Smiths.
5. Pixies.

I am looking forward to having to change at least one of these next time. Please.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

well, if you took Dylan, Springsteen and the Pixies off we might have a deal.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

this week, 2 of my old list waved goodbye
These are my new 5 (without any concession to history)

1. The Smiths, 5 pts. I really don't like their sound, even if I can understand why they are aclaimed
2. The Sex Pistols (NEW), 4 pts. Since I'm a familiar of this site, I'm wondering why I don't like punk and post-punk (except The Clash). Schleuse gave me the answer
Depending on how you count, between one-third and one-half of my top 15 is punk or post-punk. What all these albums share is, yes, aggression, but aggression built on a solid foundation of pop craftsmanship… Well, that's fascinating. That's exactly what I don't like : aggression. As simple as that. i don't like being aggressed, even by music, and I don't like to aggress. If you look at my list , I bet you won't find a lot of aggressive music. So lists are revelator. give me your top 100 and I'll tell you who you are ?
This "right in your face" attitude doesn't please me, and I still think only 2 good songs are few for an acclaimed band. I mean you still can have a "right in yr face" attitude as long as you have good songs (i.e. Public Enemy)...
Another common point in my list : I'm a singer myself and I love artists with beautiful voices. Nothing of this kind can be said about Mr Lydon.
And I'm not gonna show respect to the Sex Pistols (what a paradox it would be)
3. Elton John 3 pts : I had put him aside a moment because of his '70s repertoire. But then I went to my sister's home for christmas and hear a greatest hits..
4. Blondie 2 pts
5. Talking Heads 1 pt . Another common point in the music I love : it's got to be warm. I really appreciate what these guys do, I even like some of their songs, but that leaves me cold.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

and by the way EdAmes, I laughed too at yr joke, although with a little delay (due to language I guess)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood Dept.:

Yes, nicolas, I do like aggressiveness--but only in art. In every other aspect of life, I imagine I find it as distasteful as you do.

(Actually, "exuberance" might be more accurate than "aggressiveness.")

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

5 points)The Flaming Lips
2) The Smiths
1 point )Elton John : will not be standing long !

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

No misunderstanding.
I didn't pictured you as a serial killer or even a wrestler (with the G-string of course) (well, THIS is aggression !!)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8


Well, maybe running shorts. Which is about as aggressive as a Volvo.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

nicolas, I'm with on most of what you've written. But I think John Lydon has one of the most exciting voices ever.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

I agree with you both. Lydon's voice is exciting but not beautiful.

Another interesting question is whether acclaim should be tied to singular greatness (i.e., one defining moment) or a long career resulting in a deep catalog. (Is it better to be Mark Fidrcyh or Don Sutton?)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

That's Mark "Fidrych" (1976 rookie sensation for the Detroit Tigers who only had one great year).

In the world of baseball, a long consistent career is rewarded because stats build up over time.

When I'm rating music, I focus more on the great moments than the depth of the catalog. So I don't have any problem with artists like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Buddy Holly, etc.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Loophole, you read the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, didn't you?

(Besides the peak/career thing, there's a great article in there on Fidrych.)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Henrik, Loophole,

What you said intrigues me so much that I'm gonna stop my Pascal Comelade album I'm listening to currently (he's a very strange French/Spanish artist who makes instrumental records with toy instruments, well, thank God, not only toy instruments), and then listen to "Anarchy". Ok, let's do it.
You're right. The old bastard can sing, after all. At least on "anarchy", he's in tune, and really sings with conviction. That song is a killer, I admit it, but it has only one sister (with a crown) and that's all for me.
You know what ? I'm listening to "Holidays in the sun" and it's not so bad. I'm zapping from song to song and I like the energy tonight. (a few minutes later : a little noisy though..)
I'll have to re-listen to Bollocks another time. NOw, too late, they got their 4 points.
listening to records, especially records you're not very used to, is a question of opportunity I guess.
They've got their chance, i mean much more than the Smiths. At least the Pistols are rocking.

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

Never thought Bill James would be brought up on this forum. Love his stuff. This year he's putting out The Bill James Goldmine which seems to be more on line with the annual Abstracts he put out rather than the handbook that comes out every year.

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shit, they're damn good ! Don't believe my ears. I'm in the right mood. Call that a revelation, live on AM tonight.
they're really rocking

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Yeah, but you know Theo's going to make him overrate Jacoby Ellsbury.

(OK, enough inside baseball. I'm sure I just lost 95% of you.)

Re: AM Survivor: Week 8

It's Moonbeam, bitch!

It appears all of my previous 5 targets are still defiling the list of survivors, so hopefully my return will expedite their departure!

1. Elton John- My father-in-law calls him "vomit with a head". I can't put it much better than that!

2. Bob Marley- No Marley, no cry.

3. The Who- Who's next?

4. Paul Simon- I appreciate that he has an impact- he just bores me to tears, for the most part.

5. Frank Sinatra- Like Paul Simon, I appreciate his impact, but can't bring myself to listen to his music.

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5 points: Chuck Berry - "Johnny B Goode" done over and over and over to a lesser effect. I have a feeling Chuck is gonna have the top spot here for a long, long time.

4 points: Leonard Cohen - A great songwriter whose actual music just doesn't do much for me.

3 points: Parliament/Funkadelic - A little too "jammy" for me, but fun in doses.

2 points: Paul Simon - Graceland's pretty cool and so is his self-titled...and yet I never find myself wanting to listen to them. I still don't skip "Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard" when it comes on the iPod. This is the point where I have to start voting off people who have more than one song long I really like.

1 point: Michael Jackson - I personally don't think Thriller or Off the Wall were as good as a lot of people, but they did have some primo cuts on them. I don't listen to a lot of his stuff anymore besides "Billie Jean" and "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough."

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schleuse - Love baseball and Bill James' Abstract. One of the things I like about this site here, besides the music, are the statistics. But nothing has better statistics than baseball.

nicolas - Glad to hear about your Pistols conversion!