Señor Grumblecakes (jervo) wrote,
Señor Grumblecakes

I think I'm at the point in my life where there is no such thing as a "guilty pleasure" - I like what I like, dammit, and I care about what I like.  I've spent a lot of time and money cultivating my cultural appetites.  And I'm 33 - I ceased to be "cool" about 10 years ago. 

That said, there are things that I like that bother me; not because it could make me look "uncool" or whatever, but because I can look at it objectively and know that it totally sucks and I still like it anyway.  

I've been listening to The Samples all morning.  The Samples have tortured me for years.  I first saw them on the H.O.R.D.E. tour in the summer of 93, as one of many opening bands for Phish, the band I was ultimately there to see.  There were a bunch of bands at that show that I subsequently became fans of, now that I think about it - that show singlehandedly thrust me into the jamband scene.  I was pretty obsessed with Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit during my first few years at college, and of course Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd, um, the Spin Doctors before they totally sucked, etc.   The Samples were basically The Police, if the Police were neo-hippies who had terribly generic lyrics.

That's really the thing about the Samples that bothers me so much; they very possibly could have the worst lyrics of any band, ever.  They make me feel better about myself as a lyricist, which is saying quite a lot, because I hate my lyrics so much I've basically stopped writing altogether.  And the other thing is that 99 times out of 100, I never listen to the lyrics - I'm almost always focused on the music, the arrangements, the playing, even the vocal melody.  I only focus on lyrics if they're really good (Dylan, Malkmus, Beck) or really bad.  The problem with the Samples is that the vocals are front and center, and the singer has a somewhat distinctive voice, and he sings these endlessly banal cliches with such sincerity and honesty that you really can't ignore them; and so what drives me crazy is that even though their lyrics sound a lot like lyrics I wrote in high school and subsequently discarded as being too cliched, they do sometimes transcend the white-boy pop-reggae thing; some of their songs are absurdly catchy, and they're recorded really well, and it takes me back to that amazing summer, between high school and college, when I felt like I was on top of the world.

Christ, their lyrics suck. 


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