Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guilty as Charged

The other day, a friend of mine asked me what my musical guilty pleasure is. With very little thought, I immediately replied NSYNC. Although, I don't necessarily believe in "guilty pleasures." I don't think you should be embarrassed of anything you choose to enjoy (except Jersey Shore). Obviously, like many teens I had several selections of music I did not want my friends to know I listened to. I was forced to hide my Billy Joel, NKOTB, Boys II Men, and Air Supply tapes in Black Flag or Misfits cases. Nowadays, I proudly proclaim my love for Bay City Rollers, Lionel Richie, Take That, Dashboard Confessional, and most of all The Outfield. I'm comfortable with my taste in music.

It's interesting how music usually comes full circle. Lots of long forgotten bands reform because there's still an audience for that genre and there's always someone discovering it for the first time. Honestly, I was listening to Journey and Hall & Oats long before it got cool to like them again, no thanks to The Sopranos and that Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie.

Lately, I've been reading a lot of books related to music. It made me realize that I don't really listen to much music after 1996 which is a little disheartening. There's just a few bands I've gotten into in the last decade; many are spin-offs of previous bands. I don't feel the need to be up to date with current trends on Pitchfork, but I am always open to new suggestions. Here's a few of my own "guilty pleasures."

Michael McDonald
Man, I sure do love soft rock! The songs are so catchy and light; you can't help but sing-along. Songs like this remind me of being a kid and driving around in my mom's burnt orange Maverick without a care in the world.

Take That
I will always have a little place in my cold black heart for boy bands. It's such a great formula that has worked through and through. It probably started with NKOTB (Joey was my fave). We couldn't really afford to go to big concerts like that back then and I was always jealous of the girls who came back with giant buttons and over sized t-shirts. When I got older, I had the opportunity to see NYSNC on the Pop Odyssey tour and it was such a blast; I felt like 10yr old Priscilla finally had redemption. Take That stands out among the boy banders because they have been probably the most successful and credible. They never got quit that big in the US, but in the UK they were huge even after Robbie left.

Gin Blossoms
This is a band I made fun of in the 90s. There was nothing goth or punk about them so they were definitely on my shit list. As I've gotten older, some of my tastes have changed (or at least become less judgemental). After listening to New Miserable Experience a couple times, I realize Gin Blossoms had some gems. I also have a soft spot for them as a result of watching EMPIRE RECORDS too many times. I've also rediscovered Soul Asylum; the 90s were an interesting time for music and Winona Ryder.

Rick Springfield
Rick holds a special place in the hearts of many women over the age of 40. So how you ask, did I come to be completely enamored by Rick. My mom used to watch this cheesy prime time drama in which Rick played a detective by night and a surfer by day. The show didn't last very long, but Rick's charisma left a lasting impression on me. I further investigated his catalog and discovered some rocking tunes. I also love how he used his dog for most of his album covers.

Dashboard Confessional
Also, a band I made fun of in 2001. I once saw Chris open for some random hardcore band. He had a guitar and a stool. At the time, it seemed like the lamest thing but in hindsight I realize that actually took a lot of guts. To go from being in a pseudo-hardcore band to playing cheesy love songs on an acoustic guitar is something to commend. So the cheesy love songs grew on me and I became a fan. And if you talk during the set, I will punch you in the face. Just ask Yogi & Nicole.

Who are your not so guilty pleasures?

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