Friday, July 30, 2010

Top 5 Bands You Secretly Love - by Willow Van Der Sweet

Hey there Turning Down The Suckers! You haven’t seen me around here before, so I figure I better introduce myself. I’m Willow Van Der Sweet, and this is my first-ever foray into blogging on the internets. You probably already figured out that I’m related to TDTS founder Van Der Sweet (his first name is a state secret, I’m afraid); actually he’s my cousin, and since there hasn’t been much traffic around here lately he got desperate and called me up to write a guest blog. Now, I’ve never done this before, so please be gentle!

I guess you could call me a hipster, if you really wanted to, even though I don’t think labeling people is a good idea, but it’s important for you to understand that my taste in music is extremely important in my social group. Hipsters, as you’re all aware, pride themselves on the fact that all their favourite bands are groups nobody else has ever heard of, and it can be pretty demanding to keep up with the trends – I came late to the party when the Arcade Fire got popular, for example, and I never lived it down.

The worst part about hanging out with music snobs is that they’re constantly judging everything about you – from the clothes you wear to the coffee joints you frequent (I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Starbucks) and especially the music you listen to, and that part is hardest for me, because I have a confession to make.

I love, love, LOVE pop music. I know, I know; time to turn in my membership card, right?

But here’s the really weird part. The bands I secretly enjoy are huge. Millions of albums sold all over the nation. And yet nobody I know will cop to buying those albums. I just don’t get why, you know? What’s wrong with liking popular music? I think we should all be able to fly our flags proudly no matter what other people think, so in the spirit of Turning Down The Suck I decided to write this little post about my top five favourite bands I can’t ever tell anybody I like. Maybe it’ll inspire other people to stand up for the music they like, and damn the consequences!

#5: Nickelback

Might as well start as I intend to go on. Nickelback is a favourite kicking post for music snobs, mostly because they write catchy 90s inspired rock music and make loads of money doing it. Everybody gives Chad Kroeger a hard time for his grunge-era hair and his gravelly singing voice, but frankly I think it’s sexy as hell. I own every single album they have ever released, from “Curb” right through to “Dark Horse” and while I would never put “Someday” or “Photograph” on my iPod for fear of somebody seeing it on the display screen, I still come home from work and blast that grungey goodness out of my speakers.

#4: Colbie Caillat

Aw, shucks. Isn’t this girl just too darn cute? I picked up “Coco” after hearing the single “Bubbly” on the radio for the first of what would be many, many times. I just can’t get over how sweet she is, and for some reason she just never gets old for me. When I’m feeling down and I just don’t feel like listening to the soupy emotion of Bright Eyes or Belle and Sebastian, I sneak on this record and I immediately perk up. And she did a duet with dreamboat pop boy Jason Mraz, so that’s another checkmark in my book. Say what you want; sometimes songs get overplayed for a reason.

#3: John Mayer

The King of Snark has to have a place on my list, if only for his hilarious Twitter updates that range from the offensive to the truly weird. I know he’s probably an asshole in real life, and he’s a womanizer that puts Captain Kirk to shame, but that’s part of his appeal to me. I know he’s trying to get into my pants when he sings “Your Body Is A Wonderland”, but honestly it’d probably work. Have you seen that man topless? Nom nom nom. I’m torn between kicking him in the nuts for breaking Rachel’s heart and jumping for joy that he’s single again.

#2: My Chemical Romance

The undisputed heavyweight champions of the pop emo genre! I think what got me about MCR was how theatrical they were, and unlike what most of my hipster friends listen to they weren’t doing it ironically. They really meant it, and for some reason that really appealed to me back in the day. I remember telling a friend, stupidly, that “The Black Parade” was like our generation’s “The Wall”, and she looked at me like I just got my tits out on the streetcar. It’s still one of my “desert island” records even all these years later. Can’t get enough of that eyeliner!

#1: Creed

I’ll admit it freely: when I heard Creed was going on tour again I immediately jumped on my laptop and bought tickets to go see them. Then I erased my browser history so my friends wouldn’t find any evidence. I don’t know what it is about Creed that I love so much, but the first time I heard them back in high school I was hooked. I must have listened to “My Sacrifice” on repeat a dozen times when I brought the album home, and to this day I still sing along, usually in the shower when nobody else is home. There’s something about Scott Stapp’s soaring vocals and beautiful smile and deep, soulful eyes and…sorry, I got distracted there for a second.

Actually, I think you’ll have to excuse me; there’s some…stuff I have to go take care of. Yeah…stuff.

Oh, before I go, thanks to Cousin Van Der Sweet and guest writer Alex James for helping me get into the world of blogging, and thank YOU for reading and letting me take over the blog for the day!

xo, Willow

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