NPR logo A Plea For Banishment

A Plea For Banishment

I was cleaning out a drawer the other day when I found a CD my friend made for me labeled 'The Doors-Live in Stockholm 1968.' I then proceeded to pull out the three or four Doors albums that I have and gave them a listen. It was bright and sunny and I had the windows open and I will admit to a small amount of embarrassment when "Light My Fire" just wouldn't seem to end. I imagined by mailman walking up my front steps and hearing the Ray Manzarek solo through the wall and the moment felt right out of The Big Chill to me. No, I wasn't wearing a cowl neck sweater, drinking Chablis, swaying to the music, or hanging out with Tom Berenger, yet the feeling of awkwardness lingered. (As a side note, that movie ruined at least a handful of decent songs. Merely hearing a song from The Big Chill makes one feel so self-conscious and contrived that even the act of listening becomes a parody. And, yes, I know that The Doors are not on that soundtrack, but the ubiquity of "Light My Fire" has the same effect.)

But I digress. My point is that many people I know hate The Doors. And by hate I mean that they seem to have a "Why Jim Morrison and The Doors Are The Worst Band Ever" essay memorized and ready to go at any given moment. (Possibly this essay is available on the Internet in order to help the cause). I'm sure you've heard the anti-Doors diatribe, it usually begins or ends with the words "pretentious" or "Lizard King". Fair enough.

There are some bands on whom people don't agree—turns out not everyone thinks The Beatles should be deities—but these bands tend to garner at least a begrudging amount of respect from the naysayers. Or, their importance in the grand scheme of music is hard to deny even if one doesn't particularly like it. I would put the entire Jazz genre into this category as well as Bob Dylan and James Brown (yet there are many others, for sure). But then there are a handful of bands that are so vehemently abhorred that the mere mention of them might ruin, say, a perfectly relaxing road trip or a dinner with friends. These are bands or artists for whom the haters can find no good reason for them to have ever existed. (Yet they have to have been big enough to be worth arguing over. No one is going to get literally or figuratively punched out over a band like Bush or Marcy Playground).

The Doors fall into this latter category. And if I were pressed to give a few more examples of artists in the same contentious vein, I would add: the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, the genre known as Riot Grrl, Phish, Metallica, Hole/Courtney Love, Moby, Sting, and to a lesser degree (because most everyone realizes their importance eventually) the Grateful Dead.

Are there any bands whose popularity you feel is a complete affront to music?

Lastly, for all of you Doors haters, all I have to say is "ride the snake, ride the snake".
No, wait, don't. My affection for the Doors doesn't extend to quoting lyrics.

OK, this is the end.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

This reminds me of questions that are posed by Carl Wilson (not the Beach Boy) in his recent book "Let's Talk About Love: a Journey To The End of Taste." It's part of the 33 & 1/3 series of books, and examines taste, specifically the author's taste in relation to Celine Dion's album "Let's Talk About Love." It's a really fast read, and really interesting. I've yet to make anyone read it who actually likes Celine Dion, but for the non-fan or those who despise her, I've only heard good things from fellow readers.

Sent by Adam | 12:14 PM | 2-27-2008

Two words: "Nu-metal"

Sent by Brian | 12:16 PM | 2-27-2008

I'm right there with you on the Doors. I've always had a Dante's-inner-circle-of-hell as far as it relates to music, and in that inner circle of hell permanently reside three bands:

The Grateful Dead
The Eagles

There are other bands that float in and out of that circle of hell, but those three are there for life.

Sent by Paul | 12:17 PM | 2-27-2008

I really want to say AC/DC. Though I cannot stand them, I kinda get why people love them.

Sent by Cora D | 12:20 PM | 2-27-2008

I will never understand Pink Floyd's popularity. Their albums are so ponderous and self-important I can't possibly take them seriously.

Sent by Pat Riot | 12:20 PM | 2-27-2008

I would suggest banishing Carlos Santana. It seems like any new collaboration Santana is involved with sounds like a crappy song with a Latin feel, yet because it is Santana the music industry heaps praise upon it.

Sent by Mark | 12:31 PM | 2-27-2008


Sent by Claire | 12:34 PM | 2-27-2008

The popularity of Nickelback makes me a bit embarrassed for us. Also Pudddle of Muddd. I agree with Carrie re: Jazz, but I always feel like I'm kind of inferior for not getting it, like I will eventually love it and look back on my former self and think, "You poor deluded idiot".

Sent by Ian | 12:34 PM | 2-27-2008

Dave. Matthews. Band.

Sent by mernlar | 12:49 PM | 2-27-2008

Small-ensemble and big-band jazz I get, but "smooth" jazz? A complete affront to good taste and decency.

Sent by Mike | 12:54 PM | 2-27-2008

coldplay is the new poco

Sent by yeti | 12:57 PM | 2-27-2008

I think part of the problem with the Doors is that everyone seems to have a shameful semester of high school (or college) in their past, during which they actually loved the Doors. Out of embarrassment for our former selves we have to save face by denouncing them as loudly as possible (even though we still have to privately admit that Peace Frog is a pretty bad-ass song). Or maybe that's just me.

I think you are onto something here. -CB

Sent by Mike | 12:58 PM | 2-27-2008

The Doors' damn brain-piercing organ kept me from ever giving them a chance.

Sent by JJ Hellgate | 1:00 PM | 2-27-2008

I s Moby more valid for this list than Good Charlotte? He only had one album. And bragging about his sexual escapades plants firmly in the class of 'lame' vegans.

Sent by Ryan Goldschlager | 1:06 PM | 2-27-2008


Sent by Steven | 1:07 PM | 2-27-2008

I'd add the entire hair metal movement of the 1980s to the "no good reason to ever have existed" category. Not simply because of all the mascara and spandex, but because there was in fact no good reason for hair metal to ever have existed.

Sent by Mike T | 1:08 PM | 2-27-2008

REO Speedwagon. I know they were not as large as the doors or the eagles, but I remember a time when one could not escape their videos on MTV. If I ever see that guy's ugly face staring out at me from his bad fro-mullet or have to hear about fighting that feeling, I just might lose it for good.

Sent by sparky | 1:11 PM | 2-27-2008


Really? You might have to back this one up. -CB

Sent by Luisa | 1:13 PM | 2-27-2008

I feel like I'm committing rock and roll blasphemy, but U2 and Bruce Springsteen. Sorry, but this has been my position for 30 years and I'm sticking to it. Something about the earnest straight masculinity that affects me like fingernails on a blackboard.

Sent by Norma | 1:21 PM | 2-27-2008


choke.... I hate even writing the word.

Sent by Finn | 1:34 PM | 2-27-2008

There are a lot of bands I don't like but music is personal so who am I to judge someones else's taste.

However It really bothers me when bands I know should be more popular are forgotten in favour of generic crap.

Hootie and the blowfish, Nickleback, Britney Spears. I guess it's all about the hook.

At least U2, Springsteen, Prince have talent and those Hair Metal guitar players were really good.

Sent by Shannon | 1:39 PM | 2-27-2008

I think some of the Santana references might be touching on a different phenomenon (deserving of its own list): the artist or band who slides into crappiness. Santana's "Supernatural" is a great example of this, but I'd argue that early Santana is much different. Santana's live album with Buddy Guy has always been on my list of albums deserving greater recognition. I often pair it with Hendrix's Band of Gypsys, which has garnered far greater recognition, and the Santana album really holds up well.

Sent by Roscoe | 1:42 PM | 2-27-2008

A complete affront to music? Wow, that is pretty harsh. Though I guess there are plenty of pathetic bands out there that have become strangely popular. For example, I do sort of resent that Chumbawumba ever became popular. But for me, it seems to be the bands like Marcy Playground, or Carrie's favorite, Collective Soul (generic radio friendly rock) that make me wonder what people find interesting about them. But, these bands just seem like fleeting moments to me and so perhaps not significant enough to offend Music-at least in my mind. Perhaps the popularity of certain bands raises more questions about what the general population values with regard to music. I guess this all just reaffirms the relative snobbery towards music that we all share on this blog.

Hi Ryan. I used the word "affront" because I find that with certain bands (in this case The Doors), people's opposition to them is so intense that they can't help but comment on it. I agree it is harsh, but I've heard people pipe up in such a vehement way that it seemed the correct term.

Sent by ryan | 1:45 PM | 2-27-2008

I'm SO with Norma on that one. I'd also like to sling Coldplay, Keane and Travis into the fiery pit of hell.
Insipid, earnest drivel.

Sent by Jo | 1:50 PM | 2-27-2008

Fleetwood Mac. Yet I happen love covers of Fleetwood Mac songs. I guess it's just something about Stevie Nicks' persona and voice just irritates me to no end.

Sent by Sean | 1:51 PM | 2-27-2008

Kidd Rock. He is certainly more contemporary and shouldn't be in any discussion with the Doors, but i loathe his music. Linkin Park also comes to mind. I'd love to punch out a few of those guys, especially the "singer".

Eric Clapton. I never understood why people are so into him when there are guys like Albert King, RL Burnsidse, Elmore James, Lightning Hopkins, etc...

the Offspring. I literally want to rip the singer's vocal chords from his body.

Depeche Mode. I will abandon any notion of self preservation to avoid having to listen to one second of Depeche Mode.

Sent by timmmay | 1:55 PM | 2-27-2008

U2, Eagles, Dave Matthews Band...especially U2.

Sent by Enid | 1:56 PM | 2-27-2008

With very few exceptions, everything "Alt-Country" needs to go. Suburban kids with fake southern accents who are looking for some shortcut to authenticity by singing about trains, whiskey, the Devil, and the highway really have no place in 2008.

Sent by Justin | 1:57 PM | 2-27-2008

Billy Joel - the fact that hundreds of Piano Bars were born out his crappy sing-a-long ode to himself makes me want to vomit

Sent by DC | 2:09 PM | 2-27-2008

Jimmy Buffet. An affront to even yacht rock.

Sent by Mac Coldwell | 2:14 PM | 2-27-2008

Awww, I've loved the Doors since high school, though I admit some of the lyrics and keyboards go beyond the bounds of cheese. And I cringe when I hear Ray Manzarek speak, because seriously, it's not 1967 anymore. But come on, Roadhouse Blues is still awesome. Doors haters should listen to Morrison Hotel.

I agree with putting the Eagles on that list. Or at least Glenn Frey. Some co-workers and I once determined that all the really bad Eagles songs are his fault.

Sent by Laura E. | 2:20 PM | 2-27-2008

I know he's talented and all, but Beck does nothing for me.

Sent by Rick | 2:25 PM | 2-27-2008

-Animal Collective
-Panic! At The Disco
-Tooth and Nail's whole catalog
-Most anything on Gecaydence
-Generic "screamo" and pop-punk that just dominates the lives of the average teenager these days. At least, the ones I know

Sent by Joe Gallll | 2:29 PM | 2-27-2008

Joni Mitchell? Really? I know people who don't love her music, but I've never heard anyone question her very existence.

Sent by sf | 3:09 PM | 2-27-2008

Pearl Jam

Sent by mc | 3:16 PM | 2-27-2008

I guess I'm one of those strange people who has enjoyed just about every genre of music throughout my life. In the right mood, I can listen to and love just about every album. It's kind of like you and your movie tastes, I guess.

My relationship with music has always been about the nostalgia. Easy listening from the 70s and 80s (and Broadway musicals) always remind me of my parents. Folk music reminds me of high school, riot grrl of college. 'New Country' reminds me of my first road trip from Minnesota to Portland, because the friend driving with me decided to bring all of her Dixie Chicks albums. Japanese pop reminds me of the roommate who was a professional DDR player. Jazz and classical are also college, but then I started listening to them because I actually liked them. '60s soul reminds me of the basement dance parties I went to when I first got to Portland. I love hip hop, but don't really know why. And all of the pop pricesses... I just love them because they were manufactured to entertain me.

What am I listening to today? The Grey Album by DJ Danger Mouse (the mashup of Jay Z's Black Album with the Beatles White Album)

Sent by Aimee G | 3:17 PM | 2-27-2008

for me its queen. i get their appeal, but i really don't like listening to them.

the doors have about an album's worth of BRILLIANT material. the rest is kinda hit or miss in my opinion, but i wouldn't even say their less than great stuff is downright bad.

Sent by Captain Underpants | 3:20 PM | 2-27-2008

Funny, I was recently totally caught by surprise that 4 out of 6 people in the room recently HATED Donovan! I have no idea how that happens. I will say that I am a Doors hater, mostly because other bands like Love did it better, but partly because Jim Morrison's frat boy looking for the meaning of life act strikes me as, well, an act!
The Grateful Dead should definitely be re-assigned to your "begrudging" list, though. I've been listening to them recently for the first time in like 15 years and it's great! You can definitely hear how they've influenced all these country-alt-rock bands and Mr. Jeff Tweedy himself acknowledged their influence on Blue Sky there! :) haha.
Does this only pertain to rock? I would also like to add Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears to the "abhorred" list, as well as any and all bands that are being marketed as "alternative rock" these that band Paramore! YUCK!

Sent by A.R. | 3:32 PM | 2-27-2008

The Sex Pistols! I love punkn rock but they are horrible.

Sent by Oli | 3:37 PM | 2-27-2008

I like monotony as much as the next queer, but I still don't understand why all of my friends worship the Velvet Underground.

Sent by dan | 3:47 PM | 2-27-2008

I love this blog. I don't have anything to contribute right now (need to study) other than that except to maybe say that I've never really listened to the Doors extensively. Although I remember hearing "Riders on the Storm" in The Basketball Diaries and really liking it.

Sent by Jaime | 4:10 PM | 2-27-2008

Has to be U2. The person who said Prince must totally be on drugs.

Sent by Rudy | 4:28 PM | 2-27-2008

As I've gotten older, a lot of these bands don
t continue to inspire the hate they used to in me. I was at a friend's house a few months back, and we had a great time playing Apples to Apples and listening to Billy Joel. My 21 year old self would have been out of that room before he even got to the chorus of Piano Man.

That being said, there are three words that strike the fear of god into my heart. The first two words are Steve and Miller.

Sent by Ro | 4:35 PM | 2-27-2008

I simply cannot believe that no-one has yet mentioned Dame Elton John. If his vile music isn't bad enough, his ingratiating friend and confidante to the fallen media whore schtick should surely do it for anyone.

Sent by Julia | 4:43 PM | 2-27-2008

I'll second the Sex Pistols. I know they inspired some bands to get together etc, but I believe anyone looking back at rock and roll history has to admit they are nothing but a pathetic fashion show.

Sent by Pete | 4:46 PM | 2-27-2008

I really hate The Eagles, but that seems to be well covered. Other than that, the whole 90's boy band thing.

Sent by Ben | 5:10 PM | 2-27-2008

Steely Dan.

Yes, I know, they're brilliant musicians, blah blah. But every one of their syrupy melodies grates on the chalkboard of my soul.

Sent by Jim S. | 5:13 PM | 2-27-2008

I feel like the only person in the galaxy who can't stand that damn Radiohead

Sent by Eric | 5:13 PM | 2-27-2008

For some reason, my mother sees my list of primarily indie rock favorite bands, and always criticizes me for not having Matchbox 20 on there, to which I vomit a bit in my mouth. This explains the gifting of a Matchbox 20 cd for my birthday any time they have a new release, ever since high school.

Also, a popular "anti-Doors" argument I hear credits Jim Morrison with the 'suckiness' and the rest of 'dem Doors with 'moderate talent.'

Sent by Angela | 6:03 PM | 2-27-2008

I never really understood the lasting ability of modern hip-hop or gangsta rap.

I can understand the popularity of its roots in the late 80s but how it has lasted to this day is something I don't quite understand.

Sent by Jason M. | 6:08 PM | 2-27-2008

I was a delirious Doors fan in high school so I got pretty good at defending them when the haters came out. But now that I'm more aged I can see that some of their stuff was completely ludicrous. Everything off The Soft Parade should disappear from the history of recorded music and that whole Celebration of the Lizard was a bit too much but Morrison Hotel and LA Woman are both pretty great albums that have held up pretty well.

As for my hatred, I can't stand Eric Clapton. I can't stand any of his incarnations from the sixties. I can't stand his insipid adult contemporary rock. Freaking Clapton can die. Grrrrrrrrrr!

Sent by DuMaurier | 6:09 PM | 2-27-2008

I can come up with a short list of bands/musicians where I just don't get the hype because they either bug the hell out of me, they have been around for so long and hardly seem relevant anymore or they're over-hyped "classics" that I don't buy into:

- Beck
- Bright Eyes
- U2
- Travis/Coldplay/Keane
- James Blunt/Norah Jones/Jack Johnson
- Editors/Interpol

I could go on and on. Also, as a gay dude, I cannot understand why so many of my brethren insist on the continued relevance of Madonna. I feel like she hasn't put out so much as a catchy tune since she stopped being all wannabe provocateur and decided to become all Enya-meets-electronica on Ray of Light. The fact that she is about to spit out another album guest starring Timbaland and Justin Timberlake bums me the hell out.

Sent by chriso | 6:17 PM | 2-27-2008

I want to just quick respond to your first comment about The Big Chill. It is SO true. That soundtrack (and the subsequent ubiquity of its songs) all but ruined Motown for the next couple decades. Take a look at the tracklist-- it's basically a perfect compilation of (with a couple exceptions) the most unimpeachably great pop songs of the modern era. I really would argue that "My Girl" is the most perfect pop song ever, but for a long time all I could think about when it came on was the Macaulay Culkin movie. And "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" has one of the coolest, tightest, most sinister grooves ever, but now it's been in a million commercials. Putting aside all the baggage and hearing some of those motown songs with fresh ears was incredibly rewarding when I was finally able to do it, but it took a long time.

Sent by Eric | 6:23 PM | 2-27-2008

James Taylor. I'm sorry, J.T.

He's seems like a decent enough fellow but whenever I incidentally hear his music fire shoots out of my eyes. Such gentle music should not elicit so much anger but for some reason it does.

Sent by East Coast Terry | 6:51 PM | 2-27-2008

This feels something like an argument I got into recently a la lyrical/non lyrical prose and whether or not to bother with something that doesn't sound good. That said, these bands (all of them) were trying to do something and some people liked them and so good for them. I don't want to wipe any band off the face of the earth, though I may purge them from friends' and relatives' CD collections without their knowledge. The only thing in music that I've ever wanted to kill (rather than just not listen to) is Fine Young Cannibal's "She Drives Me Crazy" and that's so specific it's hardly worth mentioning in this context.

Sent by Elizabeth | 6:55 PM | 2-27-2008

I second Steely Dan, though in the vein of Mike's comment towards the top, my hatred of Steely Dan probably stems from my intense embarassment over a pathetic fling with some guy in college who worshipped them.

Of course, my husband thinks Steely Dan is brilliant. Maybe that would be an interesting topic--who hasn't had a partner who had questionable (to you) music taste?

Sent by KC | 7:00 PM | 2-27-2008

Barry Manilow. I work with three people who like him and I've had to sit through all kinds of accusations about how I must secretly like him and be embarrassed of it, or how he's an amazing songwriter and I should admit it even if I don't like the style, etc. No and no. (And no to all the etc's.)

Sent by Simone | 7:14 PM | 2-27-2008

Nine times out of ten people don't like a certain musician because their parents listened to them. My friends who hate the Eagles all have the same disgusted story about their father rocking out to Joe Walsh. I was the same way with Dylan because my father loved him. Then in high school I gave him a shot. Now I own about a dozen of his records, and I discovered the Band, too.

The rest of the time people don't like a musician is because of the voice. Smashing Pumpkins, Dylan, Joy Division, Guns and Roses - I've heard friends complain about more. Even I have a love/hate relationship with Stevie Nicks. She writes beautiful lyrics, but every now and then her voice makes me want to stab my ear drums with a Q-tip.

All that said, the following songs need to be liquidated - "Tainted Love," "She Blinded Me With Science," and "Always Something There To Remind Me." And "Two of Hearts." And "They Don't Know About Us." And the entire Michael McDonald repertoire.

Ahhh, Michael McDonald. I think we might all be able to agree on him. Though there might be some Doobie fans out there, though I cannot count myself among them.

Sent by Nick L. | 7:42 PM | 2-27-2008

Eric Clapton
Janice Joplin
Carlos Santana
Stevey Ray Vaughn
Eagles/Don Henley
CCR (Fogarty's voice can peal paint)
Dave Mathews
That Spector Chick
Genesis/Phil Collins
Tom Petty
John Cougar Mellencamp
Bonnie Raite (spelling may be wrong)
Bob Seager
Def Leppard

Sent by Jay Pack | 8:33 PM | 2-27-2008

I've had arguments with people over the greatness of the White Stripes.

Also...Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, and Hole.

Sent by Kir | 8:36 PM | 2-27-2008

I don't know if this is universal, but among people I know there seems to be a "I think The Beatles are deities"/"I'm not that into Zeppelin" connection. The inverse seems to also be true, as I like The Beatles but don't think they're deities and worship Zeppelin. A scientific study should definitely be commissioned.

So true about Big Chill!

Sent by Rachel | 8:40 PM | 2-27-2008

Neil Young. His voice and his guitar playing make me cringe. That being said, I do respect everyone's listening choice, even if I don't get it.

Sent by John F. | 9:14 PM | 2-27-2008

I think The Red Hot Chili Peppers are just awful. And Phish, good call. I also cannot listen to tango, although of course I understand its cultural importance.
When people are lamenting the existence of Elton John and Prince... are they just referring to their more recent, kind of weak work? Because in their heyday they were both pretty incredible. And Tom Petty, really? My heart is breaking.

Sent by carolyn | 9:36 PM | 2-27-2008

eminem and james blunt.

as far as the doors go, i like one song, "love street." only because its the perfect song to wake up to. just wish i didn't buy the whole cd, pre-itunes.

Sent by Lauren | 10:01 PM | 2-27-2008

The doors are complete dreck.

Sent by peter | 10:34 PM | 2-27-2008

The name that immediately comes to me is Journey. Wheel in the sky keeps on turning, and I hope it runs them over.

Sent by Glenn | 10:46 PM | 2-27-2008

Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Nirvana.

And I think that the Sex Pistols album is one of the top 5 rock albums ever made, although I hated it at first.

Sent by Brian | 10:55 PM | 2-27-2008

Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Talented, but annoying beyond belief. Maybe it's just because I like the Hollies, the Byrds, and Buffalo Springfield better.

Also Wilco post Summerteeth. I liked them better before their concerts were filled with hipsters.

Sent by Bryce | 12:21 AM | 2-28-2008

a friend of mine and I once joked about making a t-shirt that said "F*CK THE DOORS" because we just can't deal with them.
that conversation lead to us making a short list of other bands like U2, sex pistols, pink floyd & the grateful dead. thanks to that conversation, this post and all the comments we have a whole t-shirt line!

Sent by esme | 12:23 AM | 2-28-2008

I concur about the Doors, but I have to say there's something catchy about "Love Street". A two-minute song that's almost half piano solo? Genius? I think so.

And although I don't fall in the haters category where they're concerned, Nirvana seems to be pretty polarizing amongst my friends.

Sent by Georgia | 12:28 AM | 2-28-2008

I used to enjoy mocking boomer types who liked to pretend that they spent the '60s listening to Hendrix or the Velvets when, scientifically speaking, they were about 10,000 times more likely at the time to have been grooving to the Archies or the 1910 Fruitgum Company. But I'm even more annoyed by the lame nostalgia-fueled attempts to discover artistic merit in some of the most manufactured '60s pop. It's one thing to acknowledge the genius of the Beach Boys and the Zombies, but we have to draw the line somewhere. The Dave Clark Five making the R&R Hall of Fame? Come on. They were terrible.

I thought it was interesting, Carrie, that you brought up Joni Mitchell. I'm a huge fan of hers (up through Hejira, anyway) but at the same time it must be said that she, um, inspired a legion of awful "confessional songwriter" imitators who continue to torture music lovers to this day. Should that be held against her when evaluating her ultimate (net) contribution to popular music? Quite possibly. (These days, I'd also make the same point concerning Nick Drake.)

Sent by Dave | 5:33 AM | 2-28-2008

There's so much that's great about The Doors that it's hard to know where to start. I've loved them since I first heard John Densmore's bossa nova intro to "Break On Through". Sure, they have some regrettable moments ("Runnin' Blue" anyone?) but suffice it to say that the haters haven't heard deep cuts like "Indian Summer" or "Cars Hiss By My Window". Sometimes, only LA Woman will get my head back together...

As for Santana, before you dis him check out the first three albums, especially Abraxas. That's where he got the reputation that allowed him to do the crap he's been doing lately. No amount of duets with cheese-patrol singers can ruin the likes of "Incident at Neshabur" for me!

Speaking of sacred cows, I cannot stand the Beach Boys. To my ears, comparing them to the Beatles is laughable. "Don't Worry Baby" is a pretty good song and I like Bryan Ferry's version. "Good Vibrations" is alright but no better than a nostalgia trip by the Rascals or the Lovin' Spoonful. Brian Wilson is a fascinating character but he'll never get my hard-earned dollar at the record store.

I also can't stand Jay-Z. Who crowned him king?

I could go on...

Great blog, by the way!

Sent by Jeremy Shatan | 8:04 AM | 2-28-2008

Carolyn, no (hoo hoo nearly a pun!) I am indeed lamenting the entire existence of Sir Elton. A one-fingered version of Chopsticks on a broken piano would surpass anything he ever did (to my ears at least)

Sent by Julia | 8:24 AM | 2-28-2008

I really don't understand the hatred of U2, Bruce Springsteen, and Pearl Jam. Is there a rule with some people that if a band plays a venue over 20,000; they are immediately labeled as bombastic, stadium rock? At one point in the 80's U2 was probably the most political, progressive musical act in the business. Springsteen has accomplished more in his career, spanning several genres, musically, than most bands can even imagine. As for this hatred of Pearl Jam, I think it's as much a trendy fashion statement as an ironic t-shirt.

Sent by Michael | 8:52 AM | 2-28-2008

Nobody seems to have mentioned thta val kilmer is a very important factor when it comes to hating the doors. Also people find it hard to relate to jim morison who looks like he could go out with anyone he wanted to and knows it and he knows you know he knows it and that makes him even more happy. Nobody hates J Mascis.

Sent by Charles | 9:08 AM | 2-28-2008

For a long time I used to judge people based on a completely ad-hoc criteria: asking their favorite among the "big 3" groups of "hard"/AOR rock: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, & the Who. The first two were fine, but (hoping not to offend any excellent mimics of Pete Townshend's guitar antics among this site's bloggers), people who chose The Who as their favorites always went right into my "suspect" category.

I've grown past that, of course.

Sent by David G. | 9:14 AM | 2-28-2008

as annoying as jim morrison can be, i still stand by 'strange days.'

i think that there's some bands/artists that i have a negative association with based on really arrogant people that i've known (wilco, the sex pistols, and lou reed tend to fall into this category).

this post reminds me of a friend of mine who used to rile up hipsters by insisting that harvey danger was better than sonic youth.

Sent by beth | 9:16 AM | 2-28-2008

Solo Eric Clapton. His stuff outside of Cream is just so dull and derivative. His rock songs are too predictable and his blues work pales in comparison to real bluesmen. It never ceases to surprise me that he's so revered in certain circles.

Sent by lance | 9:53 AM | 2-28-2008

This whole discussion reminds me of one of the many great scenes in "The Big Lebowski"

"I just hate the f'n Eagles, Man!"

Sent by lance | 10:01 AM | 2-28-2008

of the musical canon, i must say that Billy Joel provokes the visceral reaction in me to which you refer. i absolutely have ruined dinners with friends when "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" comes up. his songs are written without the slightest shred of soul. the only reason i haven't bludgeoned the man is "Downeaster Alexa."

of the current bands that everyone is supposed to like, i absolutely hate Spoon. especially Ga Ga... since it sounds just like Billy Joel. it's music written entirely by the brain, without any human emotion or soul.

Sent by jane birkin | 10:06 AM | 2-28-2008

That makes me sad. Joni Mitchell definitely has touched me so much throughout the years and has helped me get through some tough times. I think her lyrics are as deep as Young's or early Ozzy's. But it wouldn't be as fun to live in this world if everyone liked her.

Plus I don't give a flying fuck what anyone says. I love Hole, Courtney Love and the like. Even if Nirvana is my favourite band. [Novaselic being my favourite member]

and on top of that. Riot Grrrl is my favourite genre of music. Again, couldn't give a shit to what the world thinks. [ninety five percent of people I know don't even know what it is.]

Sent by Kevin McCallister | 10:18 AM | 2-28-2008

Can you imagine Roxy Music without the Doors as an antecedent? (The GOOD Roxy-first 5 albums.)

Can you imagine Iggy Pop without the influence of Jim Morrison?

I swear there was some real Doors-y stuff going on in parts of ???One Beat???

The first Doors album was released in 1966, people. Listening to it today, it is pretty advanced for the time. They never again approached the quality of that album, but they were HUGE in creating weird art/punk rock. They were pompous and uneven, and burned out instead of fading away, but they were also outlandish and arty and???well, strange???and the Doors really helped change rock and roll. For the better.

As far as ???can???t stand???: Journey. Definitely Journey.

Sent by bud | 10:34 AM | 2-28-2008

I'm a fan of van morrison, billy bragg, the jackson 5, the beastie boys, peter mulvey and the carter family

but I just can't tolerate STING

there are some other bands like steely dan that suck, but sting is the worst.

Sent by Dave | 10:36 AM | 2-28-2008

I never liked the Dead. Never hated them, either, but I have never been able to figure out what it is about their music that would make perma-stoned people follow them all across the country. Pink Floyd? Radiohead? Sure, I'd get that. But the Dead aren't even terribly psychedelic. They're just an above-average folk-rock band.

Somebody told me that American Beauty is the album to listen to if you don't like the Dead, and while it's got some solid songs on it, it didn't make me want to leave my job and paint a VW bus.

I think today's Achewood strip puts it best:

Sent by Sam | 11:46 AM | 2-28-2008

Jam bands. Jam bands! JAM BANDS!!! ... the horrid legacy of the Grateful Dead.

Sent by td | 11:54 AM | 2-28-2008

It's tough, so many bands that I have hated in the past have grown tolerable with age. Hated Prince,but I get it now; I have no real love for Stevie Nicks or the Mac but Tusk is such a messed up album it makes me smile. A lot of the times i find myself revisiting these bands because an artist I Do love lists them as an influence. (S/k made me take a closer look at Pearl jam, who i dismissed years ago) Sometimes if you try it sit with the hated, it might reveal itself in unexpected ways; Or it might not - looking at you, Dave Matthews!

Sent by g. cameron norbert | 12:52 PM | 2-28-2008

Rod Stewart forever and for always the worst idea ever. The frosted tips and ceaseless rasping at the mouth...can't take it.

Sent by sarah marine | 3:16 PM | 2-28-2008

Elizabeth wrote:

The only thing in music that I've ever wanted to kill (rather than just not listen to) is Fine Young Cannibal's "She Drives Me Crazy" and that's so specific it's hardly worth mentioning in this context.

I don't think I've said this since I was 8, but Elizabeth, will you be my best friend? I frigging HATE that song, and I'm so glad I'm not alone.

Sent by Laura E. | 4:03 PM | 2-28-2008

Definitely Radiohead, ugh, gag me.

And what's that other annoying band, Maroon 5? I mean like seriously?

Sent by Patti | 4:22 PM | 2-28-2008

There is some music that I truly despise. Billy Joel is at the top of it. I even read Chuck Klosterman's essay about him, no good, I still think his music is cloying and detestable.

Other bands include The Eagles, Kansas, CCR, Phish (and any other "jam" bands...see SouthPark episode about hippie bands taking over the town --hah!), Ani DiFranco and ColdPlay.

I could never hate The Doors. I don't listen to them, but they have earned my respect in the music world. Besides, I had a BF back in the day who looked just like Jim....

Sent by setya | 4:26 PM | 2-28-2008

Joni Mitchell? That's a hard sell because her classic albums are so varied that I believe any person with an affinity for music can find at least one album or song to enjoy. You're a Traditionalist? Blue. You're an Experimentalist? Hissing of Summer Lawns. You like pop music? Ladies of the Canyon. You like jazz? Hejira. It's not as simple as "pretentious."

Sent by edward | 6:03 PM | 2-28-2008

My main scene growing up was punk rock, which I got into around '76 or '77. Back then, if you were into punk rock, it went without saying that you hated the Grateful Dead. Honestly, I can understand hating the Grateful Dead. Lord knows, they could sure do without Bob Weir! Still, it was easy to see that they were exploring new territory in the 60s and early 70s with their juxtaposition of noise and country music. They sure weren't punk, but...being from the South, I always noticed that there was a similar straightforwardness in punk that was the same as the rootsiest country. And it had this noisy side. So, actually, a lot of what appealed to me about punk, also appealed to me about that country-noise aspect of the Dead...that is, the Dead before Weir's voice totally cracked, and they gave up the noise for mostly spaced-out, interminable guitar diddling.

I guess the band I despise the most is U2. Their music is pompous and boring. They even made Eno sound like sappy crap when he produced them--and I love Eno. They come across as great humanitarians, but moved their offices from Ireland to keep from paying socially beneficial taxes; Bono's Africa charity concerts had to be "reminded" to include African acts, and most the money raised never even made it to Africa; Bono is part owner of a video game company that has contracted with the defense department; and Bono's never met a neoliberal, right wing warmonger he wouldn't stop for a photo-op with (like with his friends Blair, Bush, and Wolfowitz!). So, yeah...their music sucks and so do they!

Sent by James | 6:16 PM | 2-28-2008

Boston. Everything about them: album art, hair and especially the music. Eck!

Sent by Greg | 6:50 PM | 2-28-2008

So much the classic rock canon, including many of the bands already mentioned, give me that queasy feeling. I'm bored with it. Perhaps this topic has struck such a chord because the lack of variety in most people's listening habits is disheartening. Every public place I go, it's the same old top 40 radio stations playing the same handful of selections from the past 40 years, with a few new twits. I always marvel at how much shitty music people seem happy to listen to. People seem unwilling to go beyond what clear channel is offering. I count many of these people among my good friends. I don't think my listening taste is obscure, but I only have a handful of friends, aside from my husband, who care passionately, and enjoy talking seriously about music. If I were to mention SK to most of my friends, their response would be, "I've never heard of them."

Thanks to Carrie, and everyone else here, for giving me a place to chat about music.

That said, I will throw my hat into the ring by adding Jackson Browne, and any of his fuck me I'm sensitive ilk, to the list. (I think I am paraphrasing Elvis Costello here.)

Sent by Pamela Goldsteen | 9:37 PM | 2-28-2008

Patti Frickin Smith.

Right there with the Velvet Underground for boring and super self serious. And anyone who uses the word "poetess" to describe her can go, too.

Sent by Another David G | 9:54 PM | 2-28-2008

I'll add to the chorus and say U2. To call them milquetoast would be generous. I cannot for the life of me figure out how people can get excited about them.

The same can be said for Spoon. Milquetoast!

Sent by Ryan | 11:24 PM | 2-28-2008

let's see. i understand the hatred of the doors, even more so now that i just got done dating a superfan of theirs. i agree with you about jazz, but like a few other people i do kind of feel like there are questions to be answered--do i hate jazz because it sucks, or because i just don't get it? maybe i'm not cultured enough? on the other hand, i just really fucking hate nickelback for every possible reason.

plus the moody blues. what the fuck? poetry? really?

Sent by stephanie | 11:32 PM | 2-28-2008

And I don't know how I managed to forget this, but Bob Seger. What on earth ever possessed him to think making music was an okay thing for him to do?

Sent by stephanie | 11:38 PM | 2-28-2008

I was having a discussion like this the other day about Sleater-Kinney. I was about to put on The Woods when a friend of mine expressed her dislike, passing the band off as "boring girl rock". Of course, by the end of the album she was actually into it!

I felt like before she gave them a good listen she might have put Sleater-Kinney into that category. Maybe a few of these bands just need a bit more of a listen to get them out of that category.

Of course, I do mean only a few. I would definitely not put Prince in that category where some place the Doors, but I can't disagree with the Eagles. Can anybody?

Sent by McCormack | 9:40 AM | 2-29-2008

Foo Fighters. So bad.

Sent by Lo | 10:17 AM | 2-29-2008

I knew a guy in high school who used to drink too much and do Jim Morrison's "You're all a bunch of f***ing slaves!" routine while walking on parked cars, roofs, etc. It's been hard not to mock The Doors ever since (and after that awful movie!). To that end, check this out:

Sent by Scott | 10:56 AM | 2-29-2008

OMG, "Patti Frickin Smith"

TOTALLY! I thought I was the only one. And at least you don't have to share first names!

Sent by Patti | 11:01 AM | 2-29-2008

I definitly have an anti-Doors screed always at the ready. It probably sounds a lot like my Pink Floyd (except for Piper, natch) rant. But I've also seen some real hurt in people's eyes when I've torn into those bands (probably what I feel when someone goess off about my beloved Smashing Pumpkins, which seems to happen a lot), so I'm trying to just let people like what they like and not be a missionary of good taste.

unless they like the Eagles. the Eagles SUCK.

Sent by Sam | 11:46 AM | 2-29-2008

Anytime Pink Floyd comes on I can feel my Serotonin levels drop and the depression setting in. Horrible, horrible, droning pretention... I run for the dial the second I hear a note.

Coldplay is the ultimate in record-label/media driven drivel. Inane lyrics over self-important swells of crappy instrumentation. All designed for sorority girls to fill the romantic void created by dating men who aren't in touch with their own emotions or don't know how to communicate them... I guess Dave Mathews fits that mold too, but something, not sure what, keeps him off my "abhored" list.

I can see the Eagles making the list, but fond SoCal early childhood memories of singing along to "Take it easy" stop me short.

I don't think the current crop (Nickelback and such) merits hatred. They'll dissapear like Bush & Candlebox did 10 years ago and I'm sure some others did in the early 80s.

More insipid to me are bands like Coldplay and Limp Bizkit who have led to a bunch of crappy copycat bands that torture by proxy every day on the radio... Maybe that's what elevates them to abhorent rather than just being bad bands...

Sent by ML | 1:35 PM | 2-29-2008

Everyone wanting to add Journey to this list is forgetting about the incredible amount of fun involved in listening to Journey. Seriously...have you ever been in a bar/pool hall/ anywhere people congregate and there's a jukebox on hand when "Don't Stop Believing" is playing? At least half the room will shout to their friends how much they love that song, and then proceed to sing along. It brings a room together, really. It's quite the cultural phenomenon.

Sent by Kim | 2:40 PM | 2-29-2008

I think Bob Christgau said it best: "Another thing that interests me about the Eagles is that I hate them."

Sent by Gina V. | 7:50 PM | 2-29-2008

I worked in a record store for five years. The fact that selling these bands paid me made me sad:
Limp Bizkit, Korn, Lil' Jon and the Eastside Boyz, Creed, Ja Rule, Metallica post-black album, Avenged Sevenfold, almost all the Tooth and Nail catalog, anything even vaguely related to Fall-Out Boy, Puddle of Mudd, U2, goddamn Steely Dan, Merzbow (yes, I sold Merzbow), Coldplay/Keane/etc, James Blunt, Corinne Bailey Rae, Toby Keith, Josh Groban, Kenny G, screamo, Say Anything etc, Insane Clown Posse (strangely enough, I love the Juggalos), and Jack Johnson (frat jazz). Oh, and Yes. When I listen to Yes, I think time flows backwards, I hate Yes so much.

At one time I could have put Zeppelin and the Doors on there, but I understand why they're important even if I don't like them.

There are a lot of artists, however, that I generally dislike, but am not opposed to an enthusiastic car singalong to, so I can't put them on the list.

Sent by Jessica | 2:43 PM | 3-1-2008


Sent by leeann | 5:47 PM | 3-1-2008

The Doors were actually Elektra's junior varsity rock band; the label threw their resources behind them when their thoroughbred, the truly dangerous and unpredictable band Love, melted down on them. I loved the Doors once, and I don't hate them now, but I think that they start to show their age as their cultural moment gets farther away. The organ solos; the druggy lyrics; their inflated sense of their own importance that didn't sit well on the shoulders of what was, at the end of the day, a better-than-average bar band; they just seem *old.*

Big Brother and the Holding Company are another example of a *classic* band that sounds downright toothless now. Not Janis Joplin, mind you, but her band. Listen to those records and tell me if it doesn't set your teeth on edge every time they cut away from a brilliant Janis vocal to... a crap fuzz-guitar solo.

These days? The band that really makes me open up my fire hydrant of Hater-ade is Three Doors Down. Pandering, uninspired, redneck sell-outs who couldn't write a decent rock song if they were possessed by the ghost of Bon Scott.

I don't really get KISS, either, but they're fun to watch, at least.

Sent by Liam | 12:35 AM | 3-2-2008

I can't believe someone said Prince.

Sent by Christa Timbers | 11:14 AM | 3-2-2008

This is a no-brainer for me: Phil Collins.

Sent by dorky-d | 5:35 PM | 3-2-2008

Come on, Ray Manzarek begat X.

The Grateful Dead have importance? It depends on the definition of "importance", I suppose.

I may not hate J Mascis, but I do hate "Martin and Me".

Mojo "Don Henley Must Die" Nixon ringtones are available.

Sent by Chicken Curry PDX | 10:31 PM | 3-2-2008

Although their popularity is not "affront to music," I have never understood the popularity of The Cure, The Smiths, or, sorry, Elliot Smith.

Sent by Clay | 8:54 AM | 3-3-2008

I want to say Chicago. But I heard them in a cool restaurant yesterday and decided that they were pretty good for their time. The grits were great, BTW.

I agree with the comments about the Sex Pistols - no talent all hype.

All hail Prince!

Sent by George McGowan | 11:08 AM | 3-3-2008

I still can't believe CCR and Neil Young were named, holy crap.

Sent by Molly Pipers | 5:14 PM | 3-3-2008

Post-80s Rod Stewart, anything by Bette Midler, and Peter Gabriel's & Paul Simon's "African-inspired" music hurt my insides. I suppose I'm just averse to false sounding music, especially when in comes in the form of cheap sentimentality or unchecked white folks going "native."

Sent by Mia Joon | 5:24 PM | 3-4-2008

Am I really the first person to mention SUBLIME ? It has to have been at least 10 years now, but still not a month goes by in which I am not subjected to that grating ear torture.

- Creed and every other rock band where the male singer has an exaggerated twang
- Santana (needs no explanation)
- U2 (their annoying faces totally ruined the Leonard Cohen movie, on top of everything else)
- and yes, Joni Mitchell, along with all other singer-songwriters who do that half singing/half talking thing. (I'm talking to you, Ani diFranco!) That is so annoying please stop.

Sent by claire | 4:56 AM | 3-5-2008

I work at a bookstore called Mary Jane Books, okay - now take this one in: my coworker just put the Doors on. There is nothing like trying to help a customer while Jim Morrison screams, "HELLOO! HELLO! HELLOOOH HELLO!!" in the background. I just literally put ear plugs in. Working here and being able to choose what music you want to put on creates a dilemma: If I get the urge to put Grateful Dead on, is that just too close for comfort? Is it just so obvious that it is embarrassing?

Oh, I forgot to mention this in the beginning... Mary Jane Books is a college textbook store.

Sent by Molly Pipers | 3:24 PM | 3-5-2008

Michael Bolton -

Hearing him scream out his lyrics nearly drives me to put an icepick in both ears to stop the evil sound pattern.

An angel loses it's wings each time one of his songs are broadcast.

Sent by Chad Bly | 4:00 PM | 3-5-2008

Creed! I can't believe nobody's mentioned Creed! Maybe I missed it.

I try to be respectful of other people's musical tastes and not get all snobby and hostile, unless they have ever liked Creed, in which case all civility goes out the window.

Sent by jason | 7:19 PM | 3-5-2008

Radiohead. Cannot stand them.

Sent by Nools | 2:08 AM | 3-7-2008

The Eagles! You can't even make a decent joke out of them, they're awful. Rod Stewart, but I was in a fake Rod Stewart cover band for awhile and it was really fun... Morrissey, but I fully admit I'm alone in that one. My memorized essay on Morrissey definitely begins AND ends with the word "pretentious."

Sent by Jenn P | 12:07 PM | 3-7-2008

I can understand why people like them, but Sonic Youth is a band I just can't listen to. I can better appreciate the songs with the guy singing, but the lady's voice just makes me cringe.

Sent by jess | 3:36 PM | 3-10-2008

sublime the "album" legend (bob marley)

Sent by don | 5:47 PM | 3-10-2008

um, sleater-kinney.

Sent by kara | 10:03 AM | 3-11-2008

While i cannot deny their influence, I do think The Pixies are overrated; plus telling people I hate The Pixies guarantees an entertaining argument.

Sent by kristofer | 5:02 PM | 3-11-2008

Prog-rock. Prog-rock. Prog-rock. Any band from Yes and Genesis to Rush and the band I most love to loathe these days, Mars Volta. Except King Crimson and Van der Graaf Generator. Oh, and Muse. I hate self-agrandizing, masturbatory pomp with a vengeance, and can't understand why would anyone fall for that crap

Sent by Thierry | 12:46 PM | 3-13-2008


One good tune (possibly). Callow, sixth-form claptrap. Really. Haven't you got lessons to go to, boys?

Sent by Moo | 7:13 PM | 3-13-2008

Steve Miller Band.

Sent by Doc. | 6:47 PM | 4-1-2008

How did no one mention boston every time they come on i feel like my heads gona explode. Other creaters of musical doom for me are bruce springsteen, U2, mostly anything from the 80s , and pretty much everything Pop today.

Sent by raggers | 7:08 PM | 4-7-2008

I worked at Music Millennium for 4 years, so I've heard every genre of music that you can imagine. Here is a list of music that is like nails on a chalkboard to me:

Christopher Cross
Billy Joel
Leo Sayer
Kenny G or any smooth jazz
Michael Bolton
Arcade Fire- I just don't get what all the fuss is about this band
Matchbox 20
The Shins (sorry Carrie, their last album put me to sleep)
Steely Dan- boring and pretentious drivel
U2 (self important and hypocritical mainstream rock)
Celine Dion Christina Aguilera (The screamers)
Bonnie Raitt- She single handedly smoothed the rough edges of blues and made it into a beer commercial

Hair metal- Poison, Ratt, Warrant
Nu Metal- Creed, Nickelback, Staind, Three Days Down
Faux grunge- Bush, Silverchair

Sent by Kevin | 4:39 PM | 5-5-2008

I can come up with a few. Nowadays music is all about fame, getting there and earning the money for drugs and big cars. Rock is what it was about, having a blast. Personally I don't see why bands like Nirvana is so legendary. I admit they made some good music, at least a few number i can agree to being "good music". But I really can't see the big fuss about them. Might be the Cobain thing.
Now we're at it, Oasis, Gary Jules, Kansas, Gorillas, papa roach and alot of Rap musicians.
Rap for me is hard to even qualify as music. It's mostly about their big egos, cars and gangs.
The other names i wrote do have a few hits i enjoy listening to, though.
Still. I don't even want to go to "new artists". avril lavigne's latest "flop" called Girlfriend is really what youth is about today. Personally i like rock bands, old school like Guns n roses (ect Violet Revolver). I play the guitar, and music for me is really to feel it. These new bands, disgust me.

But music anyway, Is all good. If You feel it.

Sent by Peter Ottosen | 5:57 PM | 5-29-2008