Monday, November 11, 2013

How I like 'em, 2014 edition

After trying to carefully measure the merits of the nominees in the previous entry, time for me to subjectively and recklessly inject my own likes and dislikes into the conversation.  This will hurt only slightly less than the first time I gave blood.  Once again, the fiancé is having her say, and averages of mine versus hers versus ours will all be taken into account to see how I might vote in the fan vote, how well her averages compare to how she actually voted, and how it might look if we submitted a joint, compromise ballot.  Like last year’s ballot, there aren’t really many acts nominated this year that I’m a big fan of.   Some I like, but nothing I’m personally giddy about as a fan.  So with that lack of enthusiasm…

1. The Replacements: And everyone who knows me and my music just fell on their asses.  Or maybe not: I did rank the Cure as fifth favorite two years ago.  Still, listening to the Replacements reminds me of when I first heard “I Wanna Be Sedated” by Ramones: it’s just straightforward, relatively basic, good rock ‘n’ roll.  I don’t think of it as alternative (or punk for the analogy) or anything.  Just good.  Fiance likes them ninth.
Average of merits: 14.5
Average of tastes: 5
My average: 7
Her average: 12.5
All scales average: 9.75

2. the Zombies: This is a bit more what everyone was probably expecting from me for taste.  Probably the group whose stuff I know best, too.  In a better world, “I Love You” would have been their fourth best-known song.  Fiance also ranks them second.
Average of merits: 10
Average of taste: 2
My average: 7
Her average: 5
All scales average: 6

3. Link Wray: As a fan of Duane Eddy and the Ventures, it should really be no surprise that I’d like Link Wray too.  Again, still wish the Ray Men were nominated along with him.  Seventh place from you-know-who.
Average of merits: 9.5
Average of taste: 5
My average: 6.5
Her average: 8
All scales average: 7.25

4. KISS: When I ranked Guns N’ Roses first two years ago, I proudly stated I was a child of the ‘80s and I love hair metal.  They can get a hair tedious, mainly because they’re not the most technically proficient or amazing, but it’s still fun to unwind to.  She puts them at numero ocho.

Average of merits: 4
Average of taste: 6
My average: 3
Her average: 7
All scales average: 5

5.  Nirvana: No surprise I’m not a grunge fan, but their music is surprisingly catchy nonetheless.  And you gotta respect the unplugged version of “All Apologies.”  She likes them best of all.
Average of merits: 1
Average of taste: 3
My average: 3
Her average: 1
All scales average: 2

6. Peter Gabriel: I’m actually kind of surprised that I ranked him this high too, but honestly, “Sledgehammer”, “Solsbury Hill”, “In Your Eyes”… all really good songs, and while I’m not big on “Big Time” or “Shock The Monkey”, they do have their moments that I enjoy.  The fiancé rounds out her top five with him.
Average of merits: 5.5
Average of taste: 5.5
My average: 7
Her average: 4
All scales average: 5.5

7. Deep Purple: Maybe this ballot’s a little better this year than last, since I had these guys ranked fourth in taste last year, which is where my special woman ranks them this time.  Or maybe my opinion has changed.  Whichever, still fun stuff.
Average of merits: 4
Average of taste: 5.5
My average: 5.5
Her average: 4
All scales average: 4.75

8. the Meters: Yeah, they were sixth in taste last year.  The good ol’ sound of New Orleans is good for these guys and me.  Not for the little lady though, as she puts them eleventh.
Average of merits: 13
Average of taste: 9.5
My average: 11
Her average: 11.5
All scales average: 11.25

9. Linda Ronstadt: This is a conflict for me.  Her stuff sounds good, but when I hear her, I can’t help but be distracted by thinking about how much I like the originals so much better: “Blue Bayou”, “Heat Wave”, “That’ll Be The Day”, “When Will I Be Loved”, etc.  The only version of hers I like about as much if not more than the original is “You’re No Good”, which has more of a fire inside from the dumper, whereas Betty Everett’s version is a brooding, icy feeling about breaking up.  My fiancé like’s Linda third best, by the way.
Average of merits: 10.5
Average of taste: 6
My average: 8
Her average: 8.5
All scales average: 8.25

10. Chic: Meanwhile, this group hasn’t budged a spot either way from where I said I liked them last year.  All right, but nothing worth celebrating, in my opinion, even less so in my fiance’s as she ranks them at 13.
Average of merits: 10
Average of taste: 11.5
My average: 9.5
Her average: 12
All scales average: 10.75

11. the Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Aside from the occasional way the harmonica sounds like it’s honking, there’s nothing I dislike about their overall sound.  It’s a solid blues-rock feel, but I prefer a blues-rock that’s a little less raw.  She puts them twelfth.
Average of merits: 15
Average of taste: 11.5
My average: 13
Her average: 13.5
All scales average: 13.25

12. N.W.A.: Let me first state that I actually like them a lot more than I did last year.  Since last year, I’ve done more listening, and it’s not as tedious as I thought.  Nonetheless, they don’t move any higher.  Still twelve from me, and fifteen from her.
Average of merit: 3.5
Average of taste: 13.5
My average: 8,5
Her average: 8.5
All scales average: 8.5

13. LL Cool J: Kinda dig the early stuff, kinda bored with the later stuff.  Not hatin’ it, but not big on the love either.  Nor is she, putting him 14.
Average of merit: 4
Average of taste: 13.5
My average: 8
Her average: 10.5
All scales average: 9.25

14. Daryl Hall And John Oates: On the FRL Revisited/Projected project, I summed up why I never voted for these guys along these lines: “they didn’t just kill blue-eyed soul, they raped it and left it for dead in a ditch.”  Still feel the same way, although you-know-who is a little more forgiving, putting them tenth.
Average of merit: 12
Average of taste: 12
My average: 12.5
Her average: 11.5
All scales average: 12

15. Yes: I think I’ve made it clear that while I respect prog-rock and the artistic accomplishments it has brought forth to rock ‘n’ roll, it’s just not something I’m really a fan of listening to.  “Roundabout” just bores me, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” just irritates me, “Your Move (I’ve Seen All Good People)” leaves me kind of lukewarm.  I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point, though the later '80s stuff is more listenable.  My fiancé hates them more than I do, according to our ranks.
Average of merits: 8
Average of taste: 15.5
My average: 10.5
Her average: 13
All scales average: 11.75

16. Cat Stevens: Ugh, where do I begin?  “Wild World” is weird and a little creepy, “Peace Train” should be about a minute and a half shorter than it is and doesn’t have that good of production values, “Morning Has Broken” makes me want to hit the snooze button, his cover of “Another Saturday Night” is a worse injustice to the original than any of Linda Ronstadt’s covers…”If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” is actually okay.  But my favorite Cat Stevens song is “Here Comes My Baby”…the Tremeloes’ version, not his.  In the past, I’ve called him a third-tier singer/songwriter, and I still stand by it.  But the little woman seems to like him, putting him sixth (then again, she loves all cats).
Average of merits: 10.5
Average of taste: 11
My average: 16
Her average: 5.5
All scales average: 10.75

And with all the numbers crunched, time to spit out what potential votes might look like.  If I were running on just my averages, four of my five votes would be cast for Nirvana, KISS, Link Wray, and Deep Purple for certain; with an ensuing scrum for the fifth spot between the Zombies, the Replacements, and Peter Gabriel. 

If my fiancé voted according to her averages, her ballot would cleanly go Nirvana, the Zombies, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, and Cat Stevens. 

If we voted together on just our merits, it’d go Nirvana, KISS, Deep Purple, N.W.A., and LL Cool J, which are ironically the Top Five merited acts as I ranked them.

However, if we just voted jointly out of who we liked, the Zombies would be our first pick, followed by Nirvana, Link Wray, and the Replacements, while Deep Purple and Peter Gabriel fought over the last slot.

If we combined all scores to vote together, it’s once again be led by Nirvana, followed by Deep Purple, KISS, Peter Gabriel, and the Zombies.

So Nirvana lands firmly on all five iterations, Deep Purple is on four and a half (the half because he’d be in a tie for the fifth spot on the fifth iteration); Peter Gabriel landing twice firmly and messily twice; the Zombies show up three and a half times; KISS, cleanly thrice.  That’s about the top five overall, as Link Wray makes the cut only twice, the Replacements get one and a half rounds, while Cat Stevens, LL Cool J, and N.W.A. all finish in the Top Five only once.

So maybe when I vote in the fan poll, maybe I should go Nirvana, Deep Purple, KISS, the Zombies, Peter Gabriel, but I’d feel guilty about it too, probably, since that’d make me look like a flat-out rockist (despite the negative on Yes).  The same guilt struck my fiancé too, as she did vote her top five averages, except she cast a vote for N.W.A. instead of Cat Stevens.  Then again, she’s already voted, maybe I should go with just my averages and go for Nirvana, KISS, Deep Purple, and Link Wray, and throw in LL Cool J (the highest merit not already assured of vote) instead of one of the three tied for fifth to keep it from being flat-out rockist.  Then again, the fan vote is already heavily rockist, so what’s the difference?  Not much, because ultimately, my averages don’t contribute a whole lot to whom I think will actually be inducted.  Those predictions will be coming soon.