Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What Makes a Band Your Favorite?

Nearly every music fan I know has a definitive answer when asked about their favorite bands.
But what makes a band stand out above all others to become a favorite?
What aspect of the band and its music reaches out and grabs you, claiming its place in your world as the top?
For me, it's a few things. My favorite bands have these qualities in common: Passionate performance, interesting vocals and thought provoking lyrics. A band that's not afraid to explore interesting time signatures and good driving riffs doesn't hurt, either.
My favorite bands are Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band, and TOOL. For as different as they appear to be on the surface, they have a lot of things in common. All three bands have songs that thematically explore death and rebirth, question of faith and balance in the world, and the struggle to find a place as an individual in a sea of sameness.
All three bands have front men that are either multi-instrumentalists, or have explored other creative mediums outside of music.
Each band had captured my attention, and I remain a devoted fan to each.

What are some of your favorite bands, and why?


  1. They Might Be Giants- more than just the novelty band they are so often given the label of... any genre of music I want to hear, I can find with them. Beyond intelligent lyrics, passionate performance, and even the dreadfully sad songs make me smile.

    Queens of the Stone Age- Kyuss was my favorite band in high school. Four attempts to see them live all failed miserably, and when they split ways, I took the Josh Homme road. I love that man's voice, and I love what he does with a guitar. I loved it better when it was accompanied by Nick Oliveri's bass, as the last couple albums just didn't do it for me, BUT again, incredible live shows, always a well matched opening band... Songs For The Deaf, one of the best produced and most listenable albums ever.

    Jeff Buckley- voice. Need I say more?

    I am a sucker for a voice. A band can be incredible, but if they're fronted by a voice I can't stand, we are done- (see: Limp Bizkit). What concerns me most when listening really is the passion put into the duty of being in a band- Yo La Tengo certainly doesn't do it for the money! I like knowing that I'm listening to something that the person who made it enjoyed doing. The Pixies and Mudhoney come to mind there. I also just like to hear something stand out. I like that I can always tell if J Mascis is on a track, he is just such a distinct guitarist.

    OK, I am now rambling... :)

  2. Jeff Buckley had a voice like I have heard in few other people throughout my entire lifetime. Are you familiar with Ours? Jimmy Gnecco is another one of those. He is maybe an inch taller than me, probably 130-140 lbs soaking wet...but the power behind his vocals is MASSIVE.
    I like QOTSA, too. Have you heard Them Crooked Vultures?
    Frank Black's voice conveys a mood without needing lyrics to show it. He often sounds like he's on the verge of sarcastic laughter. I LOVE IT. Ever heard his cover of Sugardaddy on Wig in a Box?

  3. I like Ours. I find their name so clumsy though. "What are you listening to?" "Ours." "Our what?" :) But yeah, amazing voice, I know he hates being compared to Buckley though. But how can you help it?

    I got Them Crooked Vultures but have yet to give it a good sit down listen.

  4. It is quite clumsy. TCV is excellent.