As most music lists discuss “most influential” or “best” this or that, we decided to take a different look at music history.
In this first co-blogging effort in the history of Twisted Sense of Funny (which pre-dates some civilizations), el Jeffe and I, Mr. Twisted, will be discussing which artists in the history of music have done the most to discredit their own genre.
Mr. Twisted: el Jeffe, I would have to say that the first artists who come to mind in this category would be Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Country music was happily trucking along with the likes of Shania Twain, Alan Jackson, and Garth “are you going to eat that last bear-claw” Brooks eating up the charts, when Tim and Faith began making googly eyes at each other and effectively forcing the vast majority of country music fans to throw up in their mouths, just a little. Your thoughts?
El Jeffe: Well put, Twisted. For myself, choosing the first victim was a daunting task. Until I remembered Limp Bizkit. Through the first three studio albums (which is as far as I paid attention) the band used one, and only one, songwriting formula (45 times!!!). Not to mention front-man Fred "King of the Invertebrates" Durst. His whining/singing style is reminiscent of a 3 year old who scraped his knee. Granted, the band doomed themselves from the start by choosing the rap-metal genre. Not much to discredit there. But for rock music, as a whole, the irritating rash left behind by the Limp Bizkit disease will never fully heal.
Mr. Twisted: Indeed, that is quite a lump on the head of rock music they left behind. Even more remarkable is that they managed to ruin not one, but two genres with the epidemic like spreading of the red baseball cap and wife-beater shirts. The fashion world may have actually taken more of a beating due to that wonderful trend.
el Jeffe: Many wardrobes received serious overhauls, inspired by the fear of "Bizkit association". Unfortunately so, as wife beaters and red hats used to be perfectly acceptable items of clothing. The distinction here is that if you put a Tim or Faith video on mute, they become acceptable musicians. No such luck with Durst & co. But is the blame to fall at the feet of these miscreants, or should we turn our indignation towards the saps who gladly pay money for said slop?
Mr. Twisted: I fault the artists. No question about it. We need look no further than the ever disappointing turn of events occurring within the downward spiral of Metallica to prove this point: By taking what was once an aggression and energy-filled musical juggernaut and turning it into the equivalent of a Friday evening at Furrs Cafeteria, they proved that a band can completely change it’s direction without the fans really even knowing what happened. I think it actually took about 6 or 7 years for most of them to catch on.
el Jeffe: I had to compose myself after the Metallica bashing. While I can't argue the validity of those statements, that doesn't make them hurt any less. I think their downfall arose from a compulsion to stay together when time apart and experimental side projects would have provided healthy outlets. Which brings to mind the aforementioned Garth "Hungry Hungry Hippo" Brooks. He chose to dress as a metro-sexual, assume the alias of Chris Gaines, and, if memory serves, still play country music (albeit songs Kris Kristofferson wouldn't use for toilet tissue). Now THAT is definitely an instance where I would blame the artist, and at the same time, provides a terrible example for backing up my Metallica theory. However, in the case of Barbara Streisand, I feel that if she was ignored, she would go away and leave us alone. Record labels won't pay for albums that they know won't sell. So now the fans are responsible.
Mr. Twisted: Touché. But bringing up Barbara Streisand while talking about Metallica is kind of like thinking about your grandparents having sex. While it may happen, the majority of the world just doesn’t want to know about it.
el Jeffe: Gross. Please accept my profusest (I just invented that word) apologies. I just wanted to show off my well-rounded knowledge for all the ladies out there in Blogland.
Mr. Twisted: Apology accepted. And kudos to you on the word invention. But trust me, you will be beating the women off with a rolled up copy of Cosmo when they hear about your masters degree in knowledgeismology. No need to try and impress, the work says it all, man.
I think that we have sufficiently beaten this subject to death (there was a subject???), and scarred the minds of many with images of Fred Durst, Barbara Streisand, and old people making with the naked. As such, we shall adjourn to our “wisdom chamber” to hatch a new scheme for our next co-blogging effort.
El Jeffe & Mr. Twisted.