Friday, December 03, 2004

Dumb vs. Smart

As I sit here being rocked by "Don't Look Back" by Boston, I wonder why I tend to laugh at myself when I'm listening to classic-rock songs but not when I'm listening to "modern" rock. It seems like people have a tendency to think of bands like Boston and Journey as great, but essentially dumb, whereas bands like Franz Ferdinand or Stereolab are smart. I wonder if that is because the classic-rock groups tend to deal with universal topics in a straightforward manner while the "modern" rock bands keep a distance from the subjects, whatever they may be. Is it a question of sophistication? You don't get much more sophisticated musically than Journey, but are the lyrics to "Faithfully" silly? I know that song moves me more than anything by the White Stripes, yet I tend to think of those bands in entirely separate categories. The White Stripes somehow have more legitimacy in my mind, even though when I'm honest with myself, I'd rather hear Journey in general. So I guess it's kind of dumb of me to think that the smart bands are better than the dumb ones. The best bands, I guess, are the ones who pull off dumb rock but still appear smart.

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