OA: Samantha Stiles Column December 26, 2009

Wow, I can’t believe Ted Nugent said that

In my second life, I want to be as perceptive as Ted Nugent.

There’s nothing quite like reality TV to open one’s eyes to what musicians, both rock stars and their humble counterparts, are actually like.

The rather random TV channel VH1 Classics sucked me in last weekend with its show
“Supergroup.” Rock legends, such as Ted Nugent, were forced to live in a house together and prepare for a live show in 12 days.

While watching three back-to-back episodes of “Supergroup,” I decided that the Nugent really has a knack for off-the-wall sayings, something he’s probably been famous for quite a while.

I like this quote from him, because maybe it makes sense, maybe it doesn’t.

“I revisit every waking moment of my life because it has the spirit and the attitude and the fire and the middle finger. I am Rosa Parks with a Gibson guitar.”

I actually like picturing Rosa Parks with a guitar. It seems kind of magical to me.

Don’t we all want to know what the musicians we admire are actually like? That’s part of the reason why I like my job so much. That and the free Post-It notes. I would have never known just how nice or rude some musicians are if I weren’t the one asking questions.

Under the Radar is a music magazine I discovered, recently.

This month’s cover loudly proclaims its “Best of 2008!” feature. Usually, such features make me gag. I’m not a huge fan of music journalists writing lists for other music journalists to comment on.

I have no profound thoughts on the top 10 albums of 2008. I like what I like.

Hopefully, you like what you like, and maybe a list will introduce you to something new, but it won’t change your mind if you think Britney Spears’ “Circus” is No. 1.

However (insert screeching brakes sound here), Under the Radar did a twist on a list. They asked musicians to give them their top albums of 2008.

Now, that I’m interested in.

I like to know things such as how many pairs of Nikes Lil Mama owns and what so and so’s summer job was when they were in high school.

To know what some of the great and emerging bands in 2008 were listening to this year is an awesome insight into what might have influenced them or what we can expect in 2009.

For example, according to the article, a majority of the musicians polled picked Portishead’s “Third.” Yes, it got a lot of media attention, but not because a lot of people really liked it, but because of the space between Portishead’s last release and this one. Ladytron gave it a No. 6 rating. Grizzly Bear gave it No. 3. Black Mountain gave it No. 4.

Vampire Weekend has appeared relatively high on top 50 lists across the music magazine/blog board. Not many musicians polled in Under the Radar picked Vampire Weekend for their own list. Maybe it’s jealousy, or maybe it’s that they see nothing new or spectacular about it.

I have to admit, I don’t see the hype surrounding Vampire Weekend. I also haven’t listened to the band’s debut, self-titled release in its entirety.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Beck’s 2008 release “Modern Guilt,” made it onto several of the musicians lists. Both I haven’t heard or read much about, lately. I do like Beck’s hair long, but that’s the extent of what I’ve learned about him this year.

At this point, I’m going to awkwardly weave an end to this column. For all things must come to end — take the year 2008 for example.

Please dear readers, party hard, but safe. And try to make some resolutions you can keep or actually remember at the end of the year.

As Ted Nugent once said, “... there is no bag limit on happiness.”


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