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The music blog that doesn’t want to hear itself

Archive for July 2009

Rap Songs it’s Okay to Like if You’re a Rock Guy

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outkastI know, that headline sounds kind of pretentious. You should be able to like whatever you want, and no one else should have anything to say about it. But the problem is, it’s not usually like that. At least, not until you figure out how to avoid all the judgmental assholes you know. Until then, it seems like someone else always has something to say about the things you like, and the things they think you shouldn’t like.

For example, rock guys aren’t supposed to like rap. It’s not “rock ‘n roll” to like rap, so all the judgmental asshole rock guys (there are a lot of those) will get on your case about it.

Screw that. Here is a list of rap songs you can safely own up to liking, with some points to defend your opinion with, in case your taste in music is descended upon by the over-opinionated quotient in rock fandom. As long as you can shove logic in their face, you win and the assholes lose.

Outkast, Rosa Parks. This song is as accessible to the rock-listening population as any Red Hot Chili Peppers number. Believe it or not, there’s a guitar in there, and it’s playing a pretty sweet melody. There’s also a wood block, which is as rustic and down-home as any cowbell. Plus, the flute sound and lyrics make it seem almost zen, which is more or less the opposite of your stereotypical hip-hop ditty, and hence something rockers can get behind. It’s also named after a pioneer in civil liberties, so that’s worth some history cred. What history cred does Fall Out Boy have to brag about?

Busta Rhymes, Gimme Some More. Not only does it have an actual violin track (borrowed from “Psycho,” no less), the background is filled up with … bass and drums. How much simpler can you get without involving empty coffee cans and three-gallon buckets? Besides the basic appeal of the music, Busta Rhymes is just funny (his name is BUSTA RHYMES). Again, not like some rappers. And the video? On par with Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” as far as hallucinogenics go. Hallucinogenics are way rock ‘n’ roll, man.
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My Confused Stance on the Cold War Kids

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cold war kidsThe human brain is weird, and sometimes things just don’t add up. Why, for example, can somebody like peanut butter but hate peanuts? Or try to squeeze through the last quarter-second of a yellow light, but get annoyed when other people do it? It baffles.

And, as you may have gleamed from the title, this baffledom extends to none other than the Cold War Kids. I’ve had several run-ins with this OC band (like, as in their music) since they began their steady ascent to popularity a few years ago, and despite a damning heap of evidence suggesting I should like them (a lot), it just seems to be another one of those things, and I have no idea why.

To demonstrate the depth of this conundrum (which I’m sure is shattering your world as you read this), here is a list of everything the Cold War Kids have going for them, in my modest opinion:

1. Nathan Willett’s voice is unique, loud and completely amazing.

2. Their sense of melody is pretty much genius.

3. Their choices in instrumentation aren’t obvious, and provide just what each song needs.
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Written by Peter Kimmich

July 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm