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May 31, 2004 11:09 AM   Subscribe

Your favourite band's favourite band sucks. Slate article discussing iTunes' celebrity playlists. via gizmodo
posted by Capn (32 comments total)
And I can't think of a better summation of Avril Lavigne than her exegesis of Alanis Morissette's "Ironic": "I love how this song was written with all the different examples Alanis uses of things being ironic."
posted by kickingtheground at 11:22 AM on May 31, 2004

Or: Your Favorite Celebrity Doesn't Earn the Dan Kois Seal of Approval
posted by tomorama at 11:25 AM on May 31, 2004

You know what other music celebrities love? U2. Dylan. Clapton. Nirvana. Hendrix. It turns out musicians pretty much like the same music as everyone else.

I did hear this rumor that celebrities are real people. Celebrities enjoying the music of U2, Dylan, Clapton, Nirvana and Hendrix probably has something to do with all of them being great bands/artists
posted by tomorama at 11:33 AM on May 31, 2004

What was anyone expecting from this except a lot of whoring? Really. Any insight or new musical avenues to pursue anyone might find here are a longshot and a bonus. I bet that Beyonce literally hasn't heard any music in years that wasn't sung by her thin-voiced sister or the other members of her band, and I am shocked (shocked!) to hear that Missy Elliott has nothing coherent to say about anything.

On the other hand, I bet there are (or would be) solid playlists by many acts that are out of Billboard top 50. You know, from still-talented people who actually like music and aren't in it to get invited to Oscar parties or the boudoirs of movie stars.

I'd be curious about a mixtape from someone like, oh, Lucinda Williams, or A Tribe Called Quest, or maybe (heaven forbid) someone from another continent.
posted by chicobangs at 11:34 AM on May 31, 2004

Chicobangs is pretty much spot on. If you're a big star, you probably don't have much time, or desire to seek out amazing smaller acts, or to search for lost gems.

Instead this is left to the geeks and seekers.
posted by drezdn at 11:48 AM on May 31, 2004

Lucinda Williams's mixtape
posted by donth at 11:56 AM on May 31, 2004

Another possible interpretation is that people who make boring, middle-of-the-road music are boring and middle-of-the-road people.
posted by Capn at 12:15 PM on May 31, 2004

I read through a bunch of the iTunes playlists. I thought they were honest, much more honest than what I've seen in a lot of other places. I've read interviews with musicians that talk about the beauty of so-and-so's music, their cunning usage of alternate timing, tunings and other stuff. But it's never reflected in their music. I'm not talking about copying it, but most of these people who spout about it never do anything different. So I think they've got image consultants who tell them how to answer these questions.

It's like watching Dave Letterman or Jay Leno interview a celebrity. They've always got an interesting story to tell and they tell it well. I've always figured that often there's a kernel of truth to the story but a consultant has spruced it up a bit adding drama or humour and maybe telling them how to phrase it.
posted by substrate at 12:25 PM on May 31, 2004

There are some diamonds in the rough in the celebrity playlist. I like the lists where it looks like the artist actually took time and described why they put the song on the list.

Who would have thought I would share (some of) the musical tastes with the guy from Slipnot?

iMix mixes seem to be very cool too. And I like the radio charts section so I can see what is in rotation in NYC, LA, SF, etc.
posted by birdherder at 12:39 PM on May 31, 2004

Liz Phair and John Cusack did one together.
posted by nathan_teske at 2:09 PM on May 31, 2004

I wonder what people would say if they got any of these mixes during the MeFi Swap. Hmm.
posted by Dreama at 2:42 PM on May 31, 2004

I don't have ITunes so I can't look at any of these mixes. I feel ripped off, I tell's ya.
posted by ashbury at 3:25 PM on May 31, 2004

um, itunes is free? go get it and have a look.

personally, i think modest mouse's mix is pretty good. so is guster's.
posted by Hackworth at 3:36 PM on May 31, 2004

That's like, a meta-meme, man. (wow that's some pseudointellectual blog-talk overload ;) )
posted by abcde at 4:30 PM on May 31, 2004

Hackworth: Point me at iTunes for Linux, pls.
posted by kenko at 5:08 PM on May 31, 2004

I can't speak for others, but if I were a celebrity musician and I made one of these lists, I wouldn't put on music I actually listened to. I would put on artists I wanted to tour with or collaborate with or open for or sing a duet with or wanted to produce my album or whatever. Just like often happens in interviews. But maybe that's just me.
posted by ChasFile at 5:11 PM on May 31, 2004

Agreed, the Slipknot playlist is (bafflingly) great; so's Bebel Gilberto's, and I hadn't heard of anything on it (with the exception of the Koop track).
posted by Tlogmer at 5:34 PM on May 31, 2004

I wasn't aware that it was free. I'm stoopid. Unfortunately, I'm even stoopider because I'm using windows 98, and still can't use ITunes.
posted by ashbury at 5:55 PM on May 31, 2004

I learned a long time ago that my tastes and the tastes of musicians I respect often conflict -- the classic case is Elvis Costello who is constantly lauding music that (to my ears) ranges from barely listenable to throw-the-tape-out-the-window-into-traffic.

You don't have to eat the roots to appreciate the fruit.
posted by victors at 6:01 PM on May 31, 2004

It depends on the muscian actually. Take Joe Elliott, the lead singer from Def Leppard, for example, if it wasn't for Joe constantly talking about Mott, Bowie, T Rex, Thin Lizzy, etc influencing him as he was growing up, I'd have never picked up albums by those artists on my own. It's like Jon Bon Jovi's mom told him, that he should also try listening to the artists who influenced the artists who influence him. Somtimes you come up with real gems that way.
posted by riffola at 6:26 PM on May 31, 2004

Liz Phair and John Cusack did one together.

I always credited Cusack with better taste. Liz Phair always struck me as a mildly talented sorority bimbo turned indie bimbo.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 PM on May 31, 2004

I don't know, I thought the article was pretty funny myself.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:26 PM on May 31, 2004

Andrew W.K.'s playlist is all P-Funk and Bootsy Collins. The man is brilliant.
posted by garethspor at 10:10 PM on May 31, 2004

I wasn't aware that it was free. I'm stoopid. Unfortunately, I'm even stoopider because I'm using windows 98, and still can't use ITunes.

Don't feel bad. I can't speak for iTunes on an Apple, but on a PC it's an egregious piece of crap.

In my humble. I uninstalled it within minutes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:15 AM on June 1, 2004

I'd like to see some audioscrobbler stats for these artists. True, the stats can still be skewed, but I think the pictures painted would come a little closer to true color.
posted by quasistoic at 2:58 AM on June 1, 2004

Liz Phair always struck me as a mildly talented sorority bimbo turned indie bimbo.

Sorority bimbo turned indie bimbo turned sellout pop bimbo who wants the ducats. Though such is her right and since I neither play nor lyricise as well as she, I don't think I can legitimately slag on her too hard.

Plus, she hangs with Cusack (did anyone else read that description and think "sex buddies!" or am I just a perv?) and therefore she's gained a tiny shred of her credibility back.
posted by Dreama at 5:27 AM on June 1, 2004

Dreama (you perv!), I thought so too, in that Laurie Anderson/Lou Reed/I'm-sure-they-discussed-it kind of way.

And while she's a world-class attention whore, there was something smart and musically inventive in Guyville and Whip-Smart. There are way worse (not to mention dumber) rock bimbos out there.
posted by chicobangs at 9:23 AM on June 1, 2004

I never got bimbo from Liz Phair, I just like her music.

I've got a few more artists to go exploring through. Tomorrow ought to be a good iPod day in the office!
posted by fenriq at 11:06 AM on June 1, 2004

And while she's a world-class attention whore, there was something smart and musically inventive in Guyville and Whip-Smart. There are way worse (not to mention dumber) rock bimbos out there.

It was serviceable pop-rock. My feelings on Ms. Phair are articulated here.
posted by jonmc at 11:12 AM on June 1, 2004

I know, I know, this is like shooting fish in a barrel, but here's more from Avril: Rape Me (Nirvana), Track 10: "This is a great song to rock out and get drunk and mosh to."

Has she ever even listened to the fucking song? There's no doubt it's a great song, but the last thing it does is make me want to rock out. More like go hide in a dark corner.

I can only assume, that (1) Avril Lavigne is a complete fucking moron with no sense whatsoever of the punk or non-punk context of any of these tuens, or (2) a wicked publicist write this stuff for her? Nothing says "I don't get it" more than the comments notes in Avril's playlist. And yeah, that Alanis "Ironic" comment was priceless... irony in itself... you know, like RAAAAAAin...

BTW, John Cusack is an always was an elitist, rich-boy Evanston asshole who gained indie cred by playing nerds on the big screen. I hope he and the opportunistic and shallow Ms. Phair are happy together; I could not think of a better matched couple whose public personae so much at odds with their private ones.
posted by psmealey at 11:15 AM on June 1, 2004

psmealey - So, how do you really feel about Cusack? No holding back, now...
posted by grateful at 12:58 PM on June 1, 2004

Old John went to Evanston High School with a couple of friends of mine, and he and his hangers-on used to beat the crap out of them for fun. Just doing a little axe grinding on their behalf.

I'll always be in love with his sister Joan, though... no matter how much goofier looking she gets the older she is. ;-)
posted by psmealey at 2:40 PM on June 1, 2004

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