Sunday, December 13, 2009
Just typing that title made me feel sick inside. Sort of like I needed to shower immediately, except in my mind with good music. For edification, let me type that again...
Nickelback...band of the decade.
Billboard Magazine wrote that on December 11th, and it hasn't gotten any less ridiculous in the two days since then. Sure, I know Billboard is strictly speaking from a sales point of view as technically speaking (and I want to emphasize how much I mean technically speaking) they are the biggest band of the decade. They did sell more albums than any other band in the past ten years. They managed to deceive people into purchasing their albums 30 million times over, which earns them the esteem of their label and Billboard Magazine along with the astonishment and admonishment of the musical illuminati.
And, you know...me.
From the very first time I heard Nickelback I knew what I was listening to was some of the worst music I'd ever heard. That they ended up being the most popular band of this decade is not surprising and very indicative of the way popular music has turned over the last while. I mean come on, you have a band fronted by a man who looks eerily like a horse singing essentially the same song over four consecutive albums in the past decade. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and so casual fans of music encouraged them to neither improve nor even remotely alter their sound since their inception.
Much to my chagrin.
As Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said about their album Dark Horse, "Nickelback are a gnarled, vulgar band reveling in their ignorance of the very notion of taste, lacking either the smarts or savvy to wallow in bad taste so they just get ugly, knocking out knuckle-dragging riffs that seem rarefied in comparison to their thick, boneheaded words."
Yeah, he writes better than I do, but that's pretty much how I feel about it. I love music. I love it to a disgusting degree. I just find it pretty special that this band can be so dominant in their popularity, earning Grammy nominations and Platinum records faster than I earn compliments for my blog (which is actually not that often). How America? How?!
Alas, I fail at mainstream music. Nothing could be more perplexing than the continued massive success of Canada's favorite sons.
Join me in washing the thought out of your mind with some sweet, sweet grooves from Yo La Tengo. Their song "Periodically Double or Triple" is one of my favorite songs of the year and a funky blast of pure goodness.