Which artists do you just not get?

I love folk. I love rock n roll. I love jazz, classical, C&W, blues and bluegrass.

At the risk of being labeled a troglodyte, a philestine, or worse, I've never been able to listen to Bob Dylan without getting a headache. Reminds me of a cat and a chalk board. Same goes for The Grateful Dead. Maybe I wasn't doing the right drugs or something.

Who else has the courage to admit to disliking music that vast portions of the population seems to go gag-ga over?

Rule number 1, Don't get personal or call other posters names because they just dissed your favorite artist.

Rule number 2, keep it civil.

Rule number 3 - HAVE FUN!
Most any kind of real jazz and rap.

I have Miles Davis Some kind of Blue along with a few others. Every time I take MD's Some Kind of Blue out for a spin I think maybe this time I'll hear what others claim to hear, but no. After about 3 minutes I'm shaking my head and after 10 minutes it's back in it's case and back on the shelf.

Only to try again about 8 months later. Every time, same feeling.

This kind of jazz (almost regardless of the artist) always, always sounds to me like a bunch of guys having individual impromptu sessions in someone's garage. Only they are impromptu'ing together.

Rap? About the same feeling only worse. Only I ain't got no rap cd's.

I've tried and tried, but I just can't get into most of Dave Mathews Band. I wanted to like it because so many people think it is the greatest. I don't get it!

I REALLY don't get the whole Metallica thing! The last few things I heard from Metallica had to be some of the most poorly constructed tunes in the history of music.

Of course, this is all IMHO!!!

Rock On!!

Almost all rap and hip-hop artists. Eminem has a few catchy performances (they aren't "songs," are they?) that I could get into about once a year, and I've heard a few other "catchy" ones too, but nothing that would even remotely entice me to go out and purchase (or even download) one of their albums. Most of the rest of the rap and hip-hop artists sound the same to me and I can't stand listening to them. For me they are worse than the current country music artists, which I can sometimes tolerate.
Kenny G for starters. Late career John Coltrane, Arthur Blythe, Regina Carter, Roland Shannon Jackson, Ornette Coleman, Kenny G (almost any of the instrumental pop called smooth jazz is awful!) and Holly Cole come to mind. Strangely I love Ornette's compositions when played by others! In the rock area...Kiss really rubs me wrong among many others. Did I mention Kenny G?
I agree with Stehno on both counts i.e. most rap and a lot of "jazz". While dissonance in rock music is one thing ( they usually at least maintain a steady beat of some type ), some jazz sounds like you've got various performers in different rooms of the studio all playing at the same time and they can't hear each other !!! For that matter, even "rap" or "hip-hop" will maintain some type of beat or rhythm, even if it is pre-recorded sound snippets from another band !!!

Having said that, my Brother and Father both LOVE John Mclaughlin / Mahavishnu Orchestra. Personally, i HATE this stuff. I can pretty much count on getting a headache if this stuff is playing when i visit either of them. Needless to say, if they won't put something else on, i'm out the door.... Sean
Spoken Word. Uh, isn't that just poetry? What's a "slam" anyway? Puh-leez! Grown up!
Stehno - your description of your reaction to jazz sounds just like my wife's. I think she even used some of the same phrases to describe it! She can't stand it if I put on Miles or Casandra, or anything remotely sounding like jazz. She equates it to a kind of musical masturbation. I love the stuff though, so it stays at work, or is played in her absence (just like masturbation...hey, maybe she has something there!!).

I don't get most rock'n'roll anymore. I did like it at one time I guess, but I've become an old fart in my 40's already. In highschool I never did get that "Stairway to Heaven" band that everyone else my age seemed to be crazy about. I'm utterly nauseated by heavy metal...makes me want to run screaming from the building! House Music.....Pulllleassseee! I'd rather have an ice-cold enema!

More specific artists outside those genre's: Never did get the Grateful Dead either. Who's that Canadian female vocalist that the world is nuts for that is supposed to have a "perfect voice"....you know, the blonde who does some numbers in Titanic? That's just right over my head.

Audiophile don't-get-it's: Diana Krall (she just doesn't get inside me like Eva Cassidy can - to apply an audiophile definition; too analytical sounding..no soul). Terry Evans (Tried and tried on him and still don't get hooked).

On an interesting tangent, there have also been some artists that I couldn't understand for the longest time, yet I held onto their music just out of some kind of instinct. I'd give it a try every now and then, and in some cases would come around to really liking it. Patricia Barber's music was like that for me. I tried listening to Cafe Blue over the years and never really connected with it till only last year. Now I listen to her stuff frequently and enjoy it very much. I'm just coming around to Pink Floyd as well, though repeated listenings to Dark Side of the Moon never flipped my switch over the years and left me wondering what everyone was talking about. I do enjoy it today though and am glad I hung onto the vinyl pressing I had.

First of all I like the rules Thanks

Grateful Dead

Kind of blue is really great an easy one to listen to. I like Jazz; I listened to Bitches brew many years ago and I did not get it. I have been meaning to give it another try.

Most Classical, its nice mind you I even recently bought this LP because a fellow at work said it was a masterwork and played it once. Good, but did not move my soul or start my engine. I like going to the symphony and some operas but to listen to at home noway!!



80's hair bands

Bob Seager

Country & western


modern pop music and a lot of the older stuff too.
Miles Davis
"Kind of blue is really great an easy one to listen to.
I like Jazz; I listened to Bitches brew many years
ago and I did not get it." my feelings exactly.
Opera. Or, maybe I just need to learn Italian. Actually, I don't like opera no matter what language it is in.
Jewel, Waylon Jennings, Miles Davis, The Grateful Dead, Most of Bruce Springsteen- especialy his boxed live set(s), Carmen, Justin Timberlake, The new Fleetwood Mac album, Aerosmith-Nine Lives & "Just push stop". Special mention: Pretty Woman the movie.
I get it all now!

I can't figure out a lot of hip-hop these days. Good lyrics, but as music to turn on, its beyond me. My musical evolution in that direction stopped a long time ago with the incomparable Grandmaster Flash.

In Jazz, Miles leaves me cold (maybe that's his point!, curiously. Not so Mingus, Monk and a host of other 'cerebral' jazz musicians. I dislike soft jazz.

People I wish were on the Titanic? Kenny G, Michael Bolton, and the Titanic woman herself, thankfully out of sight in Vegas. Actually, you can get any of half a dozen pop divas tickets with her, as far as I am concerned. Mariah Carey is saved from that fate by reason of her honorable early career.

I love most older rock 'n roll, all manner of pop music and one hit wonders, western classical until around 1930, most world music that does not attempt to be 'fusion' (John McLaughlin, please note). That's personal musical evolution, I guess. 35 years ago, Cream was the standard I measured everyone else's music by...used to think the Doors were on the 'soft' side of rock :-).

Happy days, when 'Who's Next', Led Zep or 'Exile on Main St.' were still surprises the future still held. Would that we could live in such times again.
Sean, what the hell is wrong with you, man? I already love your brother and father.Miles Davis and John McLaughlin are the most important musicians in modern,let's say,jazz.Next thing I know you'll say that Paco De Lucia can't get flamenco right and that Dead Can Dance is nothing to write home about.I hate Kind Of Blue and some of McLaughlin's albums, by the way.Parker,Monk and Armstrong have no place in my collection.
Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart. I've heard isolated cuts that were incredibly musical, but never was able to connect with the contexts these artists created.
Patricia Barber - I can't get enough. I'm listening to her "Split" on vinyl right now. I think I own everything of hers.

Anyway, one jazz artist I just don't get is Jiimmy Giuffre. His album Free Fall is suppose to be much sought after, but I can't find the music approchable. It's like looking at a Jackson Pollock painting. I just don't get it!

As a vocalist Diane Shure makes me wince! Most male rappers are so angry about everything, but it seems the female rappers approach their art more musically. I agree with Kinsekd about Dylan, though he's a better poet than musician and composer.

But as Barber is singing on side two of Split - "Too Late Now." All our ears are different, which is why there's such a diverse library of music out there.

Oh yes, one last thing. I occassionally go to Amazon.com to read the reviews on CDs of artists or musical styles that I am unfamiliar with. I'm finding that 75% of the time when I purchase music going this route I end up disappointed - wasted my money. Except for Diane Shure's CD with Maynard Ferguson I didn't list any of these duds, but it sometimes makes me wonder who is writing all these customer reviews. Is it the ten members of the ensemble and their parents, aunts, and uncles?
Alot of the stuff mentioned above is generic pedestrian and musically pretty dang predictable. Kinda boring or lame maybe, but not hard to "get" at all. The Mahavishnu Orch. at it's peak STOMPS!!! the vast majority of music (especially rock) in terms of skill, energy and imagination. An inability to appreciate their work would make it impossible to do a decent job of absorbing most stuff that's more challenging than Lawrence Welk or Bob Seeger.
Alot of the most rewarding experiences you can get as a listener don't hit you right away. Recordings that once seemed random and disjointed can often later be recognized as beautifully organised compositions. Listening to them gets to be as easy as eating good food or taking a walk.
That hasn't happened yet for me w/ alot of Derek Bailey records.
Country music, pretty much in it's entirety. It has to be WAY into the rock side of country-rock before I care for it at all.

I also can't stand the doctored-voice, synth-background of most of today's pop divas. I realize that it's not aimed at me, but it's the complete antithesis of what I listen to music for. I can listen to a widely diverse set of styles depending on the situation, and would choose to have music playing 12 hours a day around me if possible, but when this stuff comes on, say at a restaurant at lunch, it just grates on me.
Yeah, country music is really one very long song:"my wife is gone, my truck is broke, all cows died and that's about all".But there is certain consistency and calm in that.You just have to put your mind in the right gear, than it is managable.
I freely admit that it's my fault I don't understand his music and yes,I know he had to put up with his music not being performed during some periods because he was Jewish.
I find his music self-rightous and long winded.
I can take or leave Ornette Coleman.
To answer your question, I never "got" Blur or Oasis. I don't really understand the whole electroclash thing i.e. Massive Attack. Most singer-songwriters drive me up a wall, with the exception of Elliot Smith and Jeff Tweedy.

I hope this is impersonal and civil, but I really challenge some "music lovers" to explore Hip-Hop beyond what is seen on MTV or mainstream radio. Most real hip-hop fans do not consider Nelly, Eminem, Master P or whatever to be hip-hop. By and large, hip-hop is a positive and creative genre with artists that are far more articulate than the average rock star. For starters, I would look into the Roots, Quasimoto, Blackalicious, Mos Def or Talib Kweli. I know the beats and rap vocal style aren't for everyone and thats fine, i'm just saying give it a chance.

Same thing with country and bluegrass! I'm not a fan of most contemporary cookie-cutter country but man, I can't imagine life without old Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe...even Porter and Dolly! Just my opinion. Happy Listening!
I've always struggled with much of Coltrane's later recordings, not his musicianship which is what DOES draw me to him but the endless stream of improvisation which at times seems so disjointed and uninvolving. I keep on trying though in the hopes of someday finally getting it.

There are many "audiophile approved" recordings which I find dreadfully boring, too many to name and life is too short to focus on such things . As with one of the posters above, I have really come to appreciate the artistry of Patricia Barber not to mention her musianship.

I think there is a tendency at times to separate the music from the musianship and creativity of an artist. As noted above, I feel Coltrane to be among the greatest musicians I've ever heard as a result, am still trying to get more into his music, which is much harder. Louis Armstrong is the single greatest jazz musician to me. For those who might not "get" him I suggest listening to his early hot five recordings, not audiophile to be sure but to get a sense of his inate ability at phrasing not to mention his unique tone. His voice may not appeal but ya gotta love his phrasing both vocally and with his horn. If you don't like the music that is another thing altogether. Listen to "West End Blues" for a great example.
Limiting myself to those that seem to have gotten some degree of acceptance among critics and audiophiles, I'll nominate:


and certainly second the nomination of Eminem.
God I have to agree with most of you. Most of the music coming out today is not worth the download time anyway. Hardly any recording worth more than a song or two if that.

Reubent - Dave Mathews Band YES, YES, YES I cannot stand this guy, who the hell is buying this garbage. I had heard that even the band members could not understand why!

Key_metric Yawnni... oops, I mean Yanni. God I have been calling him that for years.

Stne418 Kenny G He has to be rated up there two. Drop some acid or something Kenny! Maybe you'll get a new idea!

Mscommerce Michael Bolton 100% with you here too. And yes the Titanic woman herself, eat something for Gods sake. She must weigh in at 80 lbs!

Add to my list the Counting Crows. Blah, Blah, Blah garage band music if that.

I like Jazz but not all even from the same artist or band, same with rock, etc. More into Gino Vanelli! SOme of the earlier and later stuff he did. George Benson, Bad Benson is happenin' too. Plus most of the standards but it takes some time to find what you like and too much crap to hear before you get there.

Oh yeah Elron John too, like a few songs but after that put a fork in him, he's done!

Anyone like ABBA??? Yeah right! I was joking, really!

Funny how smooth jazz plays Clapton, when did that happen?
jcbach, I also chk the reviews on amazon but I find them more useful after listening to a few samples on mp3. I've filtered many nasty purchases at the music store by going this route.
Madonna. Horrible voice. Prince. Musical genuis? Bruce Springsteen. The boss of what?
Inna & Duane: I'm more than willing to give Mahavishnu a "real" try. To be quite honest, i've never really sat down and listened to them and have only heard bits and pieces at various times. Those "bits & pieces" were so repulsive to me that they are forever etched in my mind.

As such, what would you suggest that i start off with as an intro to this band ? That is, knowing what you do about me and my previous comments ? Take it easy on me in terms of trying to "blow me away" with "Fusion*", etc... While i'm obviously a "rocker" at heart, you might also want to take that into consideration. I've got about a half dozen of their LP's here that i bought for my Brother as a gift, so i may already have what you suggest. I've just never been able to bring myself to listen to them. Sean

* When they named it "Fusion", didn't they mean "Confusion" ??? : )
Rush...Getty Lees voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me

Dave Matthews band...saw him live once and thought he played some songs twice they all sound so similar.
"Big Hat" country

Ethnically confused clowns like Eminem

Artificial boy and girl bands ('Nstink and Density's Child - spelling errors intentional)

Single name chick singers

Nirvana. Kurt Cobain especially. I don't get the mythic, cultish following he attained. His entire career was what - about 5 minutes?)
Madonna - can someone please explain the 20 year star run of this modestly gifted superstar? Can hardly carry a tune, can't act at all, maybe ok-looking in a real hard edged sort of way... I'll give to her that she can write passable pop tunes about currently fashionable notions that emerge originally from other sources that she jumps on. I'm always floored when I hear the women, and even some of the straight men I work with: educated, professional, mature smart people - get all excited talking about her new CD & whether it's as "good" as such & such cd.... Hey, there are other contemporaneous women artists that I may like or not like or get: Bjork, Sinead, Enya, Janet Jackson, Celine, Sheryl Crow that at least I could understand their appeal on some level. But Madonna's appeal, especially on her superstar scale completely mystifies me. Come on, there HAVE to be some of her fans here that can argue for her just based on the numbers.
And I just plain hate Courtney Love and everything she represents.
Sean,The Inner Mounting Flame and Visions Of The Emerald Beyond are,I think,the two best Mahavishnu albums.Quality of recording is not exactly good,especially of the former.As usual,UK or Dutch pressings are much better;never heard Japanese.Birds Of Fire and The Lost Trident Sessions( CD only) also contain some great cuts.Frankly, I don't know anyone who could play electric guitar like John McLaughlin; he is unbelievable with acoustic as well-just listen to Friday Night In San-Francisco and Passion,Grace&Fire.Of his later work I like Que Alegria album the most.A Handful Of Beauty with Indian musicians is another masterpiece.
I don't know about artists but I never really got threads like this-what's the point?
I worship Dylan but the fact that some people either hate his voice,his hair or his songs really doesn't come as a big surprise.
There's not much I don't get but some stuff I loathe for a variety of reasons-anybody really care?
Nope didn't think so.
This is the worst thread I've seen on Audiogon for a while-just an opinion.
Hi Sean,
Hope the earlier post didn't come off as a rule 1 or 2 violator. Not really sure what vein of rock you've been hanging out in. Personally, I've never felt comfortable with labels like fusion, jazz or even rock. There's no denying that they have a certain utility about them though. Anyway, Inner Mounting Flame clobbered me first. The fidelity sucks, but the content makes it one of their best (might want to listen to this one in your car a couple of times through first), the same is true w/ Birds of Fire. The Devotion record w/ (caveman drummer) Buddy Miles delivers a fine narcotic rock fix. Also you might dig the McLaughlin/Santana Welcome disc. Another possibility could be to access this stuff via the Praxis/Buckethead route (Metatron or Mutatis Mutandis are both highly deluxe flame throwers).
Here's the purpose Ben_Campbell: To help each other find something of value within what they don't like. Example: Viggen should listen to Orff's Carmen Burina or the opera Carman.

Me? I can't understand the Mapleshade label (although the sound is great), and Diana Krall (where's the emotion)?
Imin2u- Viggen may have a hard time finding an opera carman, but he may enjoy carmen ;) Don't want him to get too confused if he is to try and find it :o)
Imin2u-that's not what the thread asks for at all.
It doesn't say list stuff you don't like then fans should post why these artists/musical forms are valid-that might have been slightly more interesting, though I doubt even detailed validation of some of the artists listed above would help those "who don't get it" especially when you've seen what some folks have written...........scarey but not surprising.
If I may. This post was all about having a little FUN in a "the emperor has no clothes" sort of way. A friendly, healthy way to blow off a little steam on a late spring/summer Friday & Saturday night. It was never meant as any sort of philosophical debate.

I agreed with some posts, disagreed with others. Some of the most entertaining posts for me were the ones that dissed some of MY favorite artists and genres. Thanks to all who posted. :o)
Ben_Campbell you have a right to voice your opinion about the thread and in fact you have a right to not participate in the thread at all if you think it's a waste, but I think one of the values of the thread is to make us think a little more about what we like, what we don't like and why. I for one have learned a great deal about music from my music students because they've introduced me to the likes of Tool, Linkin Park, Ashanti, etc. and I'm over 50.

It's actually fun reading this thread because it just re-confirms to me our wonderful differences in music. My passion as a kid in the 60's was classical instrumental, then rock. As I grew musically I learned to love jazz and then some of the country music. Lately I've been gravitating to some of the world music groups particularly from Ireland and Africa, and in the last six years I have been voracious in my appetite for vocal music thanks to a graduate professor in choral conducting who opened the ears of a woodwind player and band director.

Anyway, this threads been fun. I think I'll start a new one asking for your finest choral, classical vocal recordings.

As for Diana Krall Imin2u, I agreed with you until I heard her Live in Paris CD. Listen to the whole thing for passionate emotion, but her remake of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" is so packed with emotion that I can't believe it could'nt move almost anyone. As for her earlier stuff, maybe it's too over produced in the studio I don't know, but I do know if she comes to the New England area I'm going.
Jcbach-my problem is that it's mostly a negative-fun or not- and well if you really just really don't like something well,I couldn't find anything anything less interesting-sure put together an interesting theory why you don't like something/some artist or find something overrated but to just state a list of artists like this is pointless imho.
And that is EXACTLY what this thread mostly is, a list of what people don't like-so what?
Where's the insight,the humour or indeed the fun?
It doesn't indicate wonderful differences to me just the fact that some people don't like some things..like wow.
Sorry for being crabby but it really is a dumb thread-kick me around some I think I deserve it....................
Kinsekd - well said. Ben - I respect your right to your opinion, but definitely don't share your opinion in this case. First of all most of the posts go beyond being 'negative' in their content. Some add humor. Some swing into the positive. Some add information. While others add other personal touches. I think Kinsekd took care to phrase his/her query carefully to suggest the thread NOT go into negativity for the sake of negativity. The question posed is "Which artists do you just NOT GET?"....even the title softens what could be more like you may be suggesting (I think). Even if it were strictly about what folks don't like, does that make all the threads about what folks DO LIKE also "dumb" in your opinion?! How's it so different? If you start to get a sense for some folks having remained on this forum for a while, or even simply looking back at some older posts they've made when you strongly connect with what they are saying (or the opposite), you may get some great reccomendations/insight. That applies to both 'negative' opinions as well as 'positive'. I've gotten some great reccommendations for music from reading this forum.

Ben, one more question: You started a thread a while back titled "The Five most Overrated Movies Ever", the start of which you declare: "Ah such fun is being had on that other thread it's now time to take the axe to movies......." How is that thread so different from this one?!

On that note, as I said, I've never really clicked with Diana Krall, but the one CD I still own of hers is Live in Paris. It still doesn't really grab me for many of the reasons stated here (No Ben, I still don't get the emotion...and I do love Joni Mitchell's songwriting). But I'm not going to give up on her just yet. I'll hang onto the CD and perhaps come around to her as I have before to others. Then again, maybe I'll never get her. My buddy back east (a hard-core audiophile with whom I share some tastes and not others) tells me the DVD of that same live performance is just wonderful.

Dave Matthews. Great band backing him up but I wouldn't miss him if he left. Reminds me of a chicken clucking.

FREE JOHN COLTRANE! to those in need, only, please.

really. if you dont get coltrane (or some part of his career) and you're interested email me privately and let me know what you don't like or understand and i'll pick out a song or two that i think might be enlightening w/ your specific issue in mind, burn it to a cd and send it out for free. my pleasure. (but do give me some insight about why you dont like him so i can make a good choice for you)

for those who have an issue with copyright infringement...i'm not copying an entire recording and those who receive the cd can toss it out after listening - if they've changed their mind about coltrane they can, and will, no doubt go buy some on their own. if they still don't like him, no harm done in the copying and it will wind up in the trash anyway.