Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Describing More Bands Obtusely

It's time once again to describe bands to people who hypothetically have no frame of reference for what music sounds like, which means you have to paint a vivid image in their minds for the type of sound and style that the band utilizes without any sort of musical reference. You can't use loose genre descriptions or compare them to similar artists, which is the main way people like to associate music. You have to create other points of reference like scenes, emotions, and apparently heavy narcotics.

I was never really happy with my first stab at describing Simple Minds, it seemed kind of lazy, so I reworked it into a fitting visual description. Ministry, I came up with when a song came up in rotation in my car and decimated my ears; it is literally what it felt like. The King Crimson description was actually first introduced to me by a guy on a prog forum once who mentioned that was how his wife described them, and it stuck with me for upwards of seven years now.

Without further ado:
Simple Minds: A boxful of crayons overdose on sugar and Prozac and paint pretty pictures of happy thoughts.

Beck: A space alien, a cowboy, an android, and a nihilist all walk into a bar, get drunk, and have a wild orgy across time and space.

Iron Maiden: A history book and an English lit book ride into battle on horseback, screaming.

Rob Zombie: Any number of Tales from the Crypt comics come to life in an active industrial park.

Collective Soul: Feeling like you want to dance down the hallway of a moving passenger train, not one bit concerned if anyone is looking.

Tourniquet: Your preacher reading straight from the Bible, having taken a large amount of PCP directly before the start of the sermon.

Dream Theater: You become more proficient at exploiting the idiosyncrasies of your friends and idols than they are. Eventually you have no peers left to outdo and you concentrate on outperforming yourself. Your passion decreases proportionally inversed to your speed and skill increasing until you supernova in a brilliant, magnificent explosion of really impressive crap, and all your friends want is for you to be like you were when they first got to know you.

ManOwar: A bunch of innocuous, heterosexual men who don't realize how gay everyone thinks they are when they wax and oil their bodies and dress like male strippers whenever they go out in public. They also don't realize how much more it pushes the homosexual image when they make the "O" in their names look like a giant distended anus. They further don't realize how bad it looks for them when they constantly make ambiguous statements about sex with men.

Pain Of Salvation: The most brilliant man in the world not only writes a series of doctoral theses describing precisely everything that's wrong with everything that's wrong in the world, but he presents them all as passionate and emotional stories.

Alanis Morissette: A happy young girl embarks into the world for the first time after being sheltered her whole life. After a series of disappointments and abuses, she experiences a complete mental breakdown, ranting and raging against everything she sees wrong in the world. With a little therapy and a lot of soul-searching, she finds her center, calms down and arrives at a peaceful and introspective maturity.


System of a Down: Your kid has ADHD, and one day you accidentally confuse his Ritalin for LSD and… kinda… hope no one notices the difference...

Ministry: You are escaping an exploding planet that follows the same distance behind you no matter how far or fast you travel.

King Crimson: If music were math, King Crimson would be advanced calculus.

It is your twenty-year high school reunion. You find:
Rhapsody: The smelly, gangly kid who always wore shirts with dragons on them and thought he was a wizard has grown into an older, pockmarked version of his awkward self, still wearing many of the same dragon shirts, and still believing he's a wizard. He lives in a beat-up shack with his heterosexual life-mate and spends all his time playing MMORPGs instead of bathing. Everyone thinks he and his friend are gay, but they really just long to lose their virginity to a nice woman.

Fates Warning: The more socially aware kid who always wore the dragon shirts and thought he was a wizard went to college to get a business degree. In college he started refining his art and it impressed the college girls and he got laid. Having retired the dragon shirts and the wizard fantasies, he eventually settled down with a good woman and enjoys a content, suburban life in New England. He now produces art only every once in a while for the sheer enjoyment of it as his passions are directed elsewhere.

Dio: The kid who always wore dragon shirts and thought he was a wizard who also worked out a lot joined the Marine Corps when he graduated. There, he replaced medieval fantasy with conventional discipline and responsibility, but he never stopped working out. He still likes to talk about wizards and dragons, but you just nod and humor him because you're slightly convinced he could crush your skull between his thumb and forefinger if you cross him.


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