Sunday, September 20, 2009

Let's Get Lowbrow

At some point I'm going to be accused of rock snobbery. There will inevitably be a point when I wax poetic about the authenticity of one kind of music or musician over another, when I proceed to tell you how much greater my tastes are than yours. There will probably be a point when I verbally chew to pieces some band-of-the-moment, and tell you that if you want to hear something real all you have to do is put on a vinyl recording of the reclusive Jeff Mangum singing his firery heart out at some coffee shop in Athens, Georgia called Jittery Joe's while coffee cups clink and babies cry in the background. If it ever gets to the point that you are ready to write me off as some Williamsburg-worshipping, holier-than-thou, ironic-shirt-wearing rock aesthetic, I will always have this. It will have always started here.

At a recent party I attended, an argument broke out. A man and a woman were yelling at each other in a corner about which band was better - Bush or Sevendust. My first reaction was to scan the room for a calendar to reaffirm that it was indeed September of 2009 and not 1996. As there were no flux capacitors or flannel shirts in the room, the only thing left for me to do was admire the fact that two strangers still felt passionately enough about these mostly forgotten alt-rock bands to scream at each other in public. My next thought was to wonder which band really was better... Bush? Or Sevendust?

Without further ado, let's do this.


Number of Albums
Points: 2 points to Bush. Less is more from these bands.

Billboard Peak
Bush=Sixteen Stone peaked at #4
Sevendust=Home peaked at #19
Points: 1 apiece. Though Bush placed much higher I would've never guessed Sevendust made the Top 20. Kudos.

Hit Single
Sevendust="Angel's Son"
Points: 2 for Bush, 1 for Sevendust. Being less scary earns you an extra point.

Bush=Nirvana, Pixies, "Glycerine"
Sevendust=In Living Color, Korn, anger management problems
Points: 1 for Bush. Liking Nirvana doesn't mean you should imitate them, but is still better than sounding even remotely like Korn.

Hahahahahahahaha-A band can always dream.

And the winner is?
Sorry, Sevendust. When I think of you, I think of mosh pits. When I think of mosh pits I think of sweaty guys with shaved heads and sleeveless shirts trying to kill on another. Bush on the other hand is pretty much the soundtrack to my high school party days which I can't help but look back at somewhat fondly. Plus, making babies with Gwen Stefani gets you like a thousand extra points.


  1. The kids called it "crowd-surfing".

    As all 100 lbs. of my pre-growth spurt body shuffled effortlessly atop the millions of hands and fingers, I felt like a sea anemone pulsing along a coral reef. "Take him to the stage!" I heard someone yell as I released my trust to the collective strength of these post- Seattle strangers' arms, closed my eyes, and stretched my torso against the lights and shapes spinning loudly by.
    "I don't wanna come back down from this cloud..."

    Was it the three busch lites (pun intended) that I just slammed in the parking lot or was Gavin singing DIRECTLY TO ME?????

    Bush w/ No Doubt. Kansas Coliseum, Nov. 1994

  2. oh man, trav jumped in the fray. the fight has reached the interweb. brave brave. i'm quite frankly still afraid to weigh in on this particular debate.

    i could get my face wiped across the floor. or thrash danced to death.

    seriously though, isn't the beauty of music - and any form of expression for that matter (literature, visual art) - that it's subjective?

  3. Melanie,

    Agreed. I would argue that there are definitely degrees of musical talent and that it is possible to say that one musician is better than another based on skill. That said, I am often a sucker for musicians who are able to express themselves despite their musical limits - or sometimes because of those very limits. In terms of value, I do happen to think that a musician like Tom Waits is culturally more important then say a Britney Spears, for choosing to express himself in a way that is unique, interesting and personal beyond the goal of achieving mainstream, financial success as the end-all be-all.

    But really, Bush vs. Sevendust? I don't have a dog in the fight, and my subjectivity IS in fact the reason I chose Bush - given the fact that they have, sad as it is, emotional connections to my teenage years. Had the gravel roads of my high school parties been soundtracked by Sevendust, the results would have been different. Still though, Gwen Steffani...

  4. At the risk of getting my face wiped across the floor, or having my brother-in-law deny me access to my nephew, I'm going to have to weigh in on this discussion:

    It really is a tough call between Bush and Sevendust, but I just to come out and say that I think the new Miley Cirus song, "Party in the USA" is musical perfection.

  5. not going to lie, i definitely have a girl crush on gwen. and my brother taught me "glycerine" on an electric guitar that was his 14th birthday present. so i also have some nice bush associations. (oh, that band name leaves so many riffs wide open)

    rachel. if blogger allowed me to "like" you comment, i would be all over it.

  6. I tried so hard not to comment. I don't know where to start, which inevitably would lead to incongruous & incoherent ranting eventually, but in the interests of presenting a cogent and succinct rebuttal to what is so strikingly a one sided and superficial love-fest towards Bush, I will say this:

    To compare Sevendust to Korn is every bit as inaccurate & misleading as comparing Bush to Nirvana. The depths to which the differences between both camps reach go so far as to render the rest of this entire comparison drivel.

    Travis, I love you, but if you want to evaluate this particular juxtaposition properly, we'll need to sit down with about 10 albums, 20 beers, and an internet connection.

    *And for the record, I know what a fucking SUS-2 chord is.
    Suspended second.

  7. I think the new Miley Cirus song, "Party in the USA" is musical perfection.

  8. I think the new Miley Cirus song, "Party in the USA" is musical perfection.PREMIUM BUSINESS CARDS