Sunday, October 23, 2011

You Don't 'Actually' Like Alternative Rock

Remember in the 90’s when we had to pretend that Pearl Jam was good, and “Jeremy” was a cool video, and song? Later on we had to pretend that Green Day’s music was legitimate, and the album DOOKIE, which was nonsense from start to finish, was worthy of selling ten million copies? I mean, come on. Then it was the same thing with the Chilli Peppers and “Under the Bridge,” and Limp Bizkit, and Sound Garden. All horrible, and anyone who says they 'actually' liked any of that music is kidding themselves.

The truth: Pearl Jam’s albums TEN and VERSUS were screechy messes, Eddie Vedder couldn’t sing, and should’ve been working at a Blockbuster Video, not being treated like a flannel-shirt wearing John Lennon. And even though teenage girls said Fred Durst was hot, he was bald with the body of a fifty year old, and acted like he was Mr. Hard Rock, while getting dissed by female pop singers who hooked up with guys from NSYNC. Let me tell you, that whole dissed for boy banders, that didn’t happen to Mick Jagger or Axl Rose. And Nirvana . . . Nirvana is the most overrated band in the history of modern music. NEVERMIND was an OK album at best, not a master piece, and I cringed every time “Smells Like Teen Spirit” came on MTV or the radio, while everyone else called it the song that defined a generation, and MTV crowned it the most important video of the 1990’s. Check out the lyrics if you get a minute. You might change your mind. But I bet you already hate it, just pretending all these years that you like it.

Have you ever been around something or been a part of something that you knew was fake and phony on every level? If you asked me in high school if Green Day was cool, I would’ve said yes, and everybody would’ve said yes, of course. But, honestly, I don’t think anybody actually liked Grunge/Alternative Rock, and only said they did because that’s what everyone else said. It was herd behavior at its finest, this fake love for Alternative Rock. Nobody actually likes Alternative Rock, and if you were/are someone that listens to 103.1 or 103.9 the Edge, I saw you (and still do) as kind of artificial, not the coldest soda in the fridge, so to speak.

I have no idea how in the 90’s the Chilli Peppers and Pearl Jam sold albums like Zepplin and the Stones did in the 70’s. How? Alternative Rock is the most soulless form of music ever made. Every Alt. Rock fan is the same kind of guy, in my experience. You know Alt. Rock guy: tribal band tattoo on his bicep, quotes Fred Durst in social situations, “First one that complains leaves with a blood stain." He calls “Break Things” a great rock song. Alt. Rock guy was cool when we were 22. Now . . .

I’m not saying I’m a music expert, so don’t list me great Alt. Rock bands and albums, call me out on minute statistics of music history that have nothing to do with what I’m saying. The point is simple: Alt./Grunge music has never produced a single GREAT group or individual artist. Is Alt. Rock and Grunge the same, music historians? I don't know. Seems pretty much the same. Alt. Rock has contributed nothing of substance to the grand landscape of music history. ‘But, Brian, what about Beck? He was a genius, and amazing artist.’ Beck was a bore. I’d take Jason Mraz over Beck.

Can't deny it though: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Chili Peppers, Weezer, Sound Garden, etc have sold hundreds of millions of albums, and I don’t get it. Oh wait, I do get it. This country is good at pretending to like things that we don’t actually like. Don’t believe me? Check out your local bars during World Cup time. Filled with people who are pretending they care about soccer. Care about soccer? Come on.

Have you ever tried to sit through a live Green Day performance on TV or in person? Oh my God, it was awful! Chilli Peppers' music was gibberish, and Nirvana . . . I can’t even wrap my mind around people who call Kurt Cobain one of the most important musicians who ever lived. 90’s Grunge and Alt. Rock was ridiculous. Alt. Rock is still ridiculous, and whatever the new 103.1 and 103.9 Edges are on the FM dial, I’m sure those stations are also ridiculous, packed full of commercials for Planet Fitness and spray tan places. Do they still put on that awful Alt. Rock summer concert every year, Lollapalooza? Good God.

‘But, Brian, what about Jane Says by Jane’s Addiction? That was great, right?’ Nope, it wasn’t. But, just like I’m sure you did, every time we went to Sadie’s, I put it on the jukebox to sound track our dart game. I’m not saying I am innocent of this phony revolution known as Alternative Rock, no way, but I was there for the rebirth of it in the 90’s as Seattle Grunge, and I can say nobody/everybody liked it. Remember when nobody/everybody thought Seattle was the new music Mecca? The best thing to come out of all that was a movie: REALITY BITES. Gen X is my my Gen, and I'll defend it to the end, but I can no longer quietly pretend on this music thing.

Alt. Rock is the worst kind of music, geared toward the lowest denominator in society. It has contributed nothing more than naked guys named Flea wearing socks while they played on stage, and songs that made no sense lyrically but everybody treated as generational anthems. Alt. Rock’s success is the greatest demonstration of the power of herd behavior, how people can brainlessly follow something, since McCarthyism and the Salem Witch Trials.

I think the only thing left to do is combine a World Cup Soccer game with an Alt. Rock music fest. Wow would that be a huge number of fake soccer/fake music fans congregated in one place. Of course I wouldn’t go, even if the tickets were on the arm, but I’d probably tell everybody how cool it sounded.

Brian Huba

1 comment:

  1. This is just so... wrong. I thought this was a joke at first. I think YOU don't like alternative rock, and consequently see it and those who like it as overrated. I happen to really like music from every genre with the exception of rap and country, and as it so happens Alternative Rock happens to be one of my favorites. My like of music is not decided by some mindless collective, but by whatever the hell I think sounds good. May sound like garbage to you, but that only goes to prove that music is subjective to the listener.

    Look around a little. Get in touch with reality man.