Thursday, June 12, 2014

On the Musical Stylings of Steve Horwitz

Okay, so I recognize that I am Prof. Horwitz's "Newman."  As in the Seinfeld character.  The way that Jerry said "Newman," Horwitz says "Munger."

Partly because I have long mocked his love of Rush.  Of course, I am hardly alone in this.  Consider this "review" from a "Most Over-rated" list:

These Canadian Prog-Rock mouthbreathers have earned a place in the history books for humble conceptual retardation and for having the most prolific legion of apocolyptically prententious fans under the sun. This band grew into maturity and developed a fan base after having produced a number of records. The inclination of their fanbase seems to to tally with the period within which they began producing some of the most disappointing concept albums of all time. And singing about dragons or whatever. This just goes to prove that pot wasn't as unpopular in the 70's as you were led to believe. This band also excercise the right to gargantuan respite periods, due to band break-ups and so forth; much to the chargrin of their fans. In my experience (as Anglo-Canadian Prog Metal Ambassador and Correspondant), Rush fans are the jacket-and-jeans wearing, male equivalent of bagladies that are willing to kill in the name of Lee, Lifeson and Peart. Genuinely, this band started life with a great of potential. They went from "Funny/Peculiar" to "OHMYFUCKINGGODTHESE-GUYSAREFUCKINGHILARIOUS!" within a few small steps. 

Still, it was sort of cute.  It's hard not to sing along with a Rush song in the car, if the radio is broken and you have no way of changing the channel to the "All Yani, All the Time!" station.  Now Prof. Horwitz has launched off into new territories of tastelessness.  He has expressed the view that (wow) Steely Dan is "da bomb."  The Prof. has been heard crunching old fish bones and chortling about his Dan concert tickets: "Mine, preeeeecious.  All miiiiiine, precious."  Problem?  Yes.  Even "The Daily Kos" is right about "The Dan."

Personally, I'd be hard pressed to think of another major act that even approaches the sheer awfullness of Steely Dan. 

Their music reminds me of cottage cheese, tasteless and lumpy. And I don't like tasteless lumps. They natter. They noodle. Their music goes on and on and on with no discernable point or plot. And their singing?? Ay! yi! yi! A bandsaw hitting a hard wood knot sounds better. 

Here's the thing:  that quote is from...2005.  That's a long time ago.  Steely Dan has NOT gotten better in the last ten years.  Basically they are a tribute band that plays songs that their now geriatric fans listened to while smoking their first doobie. It all seemed deep.  But:  It wasn't the music that was deep; it was the doobies.  I'd rather listen to Lt. Dan. Tapdancing.


Steven Horwitz said...

Munger.... lots of people hate Rush. Tossing out Rush hatred for me to consume is like calling me bald. It's...ineffective. But what makes me laugh is that you couldn't even find a piece of Rush hatred that gets its facts and grammar straight. ;)

So you and your silly friends who can't use the language correctly can have your fun. Meanwhile, you might consider how many Rush fans have important positions in the tech indusry. I mean... that's a nice internet connection you have there...we wouldn't want anything to happen to it now, would we?

Cowboy Prof said...

Why such hatred? Can't we all just get an Allman Brothers?

big al said...

come on, munger, you can't just pick bands that lots of other people like and say they suck. you need to list your ten or twenty favorites so *we* can *you* how much *they* suck! ok, it's your blog, so don't have to anything you damn well don't please. but *not* doing that smacks of a "cheesy", wussy spinelessness that one hopes not to see demonstrated by a libertarian economist, at Duke no less. what would coach k do? WWCKD???

Steven Horwitz said...

Over on Facebook, he's already copped to "trashy country" and admitted that his most frequently played is Taylor Swift. Game. Over.

big al said...

thank you, SH. so a man who likes TSwift thinks the Dan sucks. so it's basically an issue of **not knowing what music is**. now i understand.

Dave Tufte said...

Horwitz should be excused. Living so close to the Canadian border, it's hard to find any radio station that doesn't play Rush every hour or so.

Having fled Buffalo 25 years ago, I'll cop to hating Rush when I lived there, and being much more tolerant of it now (and even interested in the music sometimes) now that I'm not immersed in it.

Gene Callahan said...

'Above all, it can be felt in their compositions, which unite clever, unusual modulations and chord voicings with bright, memorable melodies. Steely Dan’s music represents an encounter of structure and invention that is almost unheard of in rock — and shines more in that restricted setting than in jazz’s wide-open spaces. Their jewel-like songs represent a more intriguing marriage of the two forms than most so-called fusion...'

'And then there were those enigmatic lyrics. Becker and Fagen remain among the most underrated writers in rock...

'And always, there was amazing musicianship. The classic Steely Dan albums were virtual guitar textbooks — think of Jay Graydon’s mind-boggling run on “Peg,” Denny Dias’ sinuous voyage through “Your Gold Teeth 2,” Skunk Baxter’s inexorably building solo on “The Boston Rag” and on and on.'

From someone who actually knows music.