Into the Foul Depths of Nickelback

I was watching a comedian recently, and he said something very funny and very true.  He said that we have used up all our good words to describe life.  We use words like “awesome” to describe Oreos and t-shirts.  We overuse the word “hilarious” when describing farts and people hurting themselves (well that one might be an appropriate use of the word).  And we use the word “hate” to describe our feelings for things that . . . well things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme.  However, when I think of the band Nickelback, I get that feeling in my stomach that some people get when a tactless relative talks about a particularly loose bowel movement at the dinner table.  I get that feeling that people get when they hear of injustices in the world that they cannot do anything to rectify.  It’s out of their hands.  It’s poisoning the very world they live in while they stand by helpless to stop it.  When I think of Nickelback, I actually do feel hate inside me.

I try not to use such harsh terms when describing music.  I have always been of the mind that I can at least appreciate something if I don’t like it.  Atonal music is one of those things.  For the life of me, I do not understand it, but I can see that someone put effort into making the music, and I appreciate what they were trying to do.  I mean, you have to take a different approach to playing atonal music.  That doesn’t mean I want to hear it.  But when it comes to Nickelback, I would rather listen to . . . to . . .

OK, I have discovered something about myself.  I’m not sure which is worse for me to have to listen to for a long period of time.  Nicelback or Charles Ives.  I guess I could at least tune out the atonal stuff and I wouldn’t feel like I was losing brain mass after prolonged exposure.

What sets Nickelback apart from everyone else?  There has to be a reason.  I dislike all the post-grunge, modern rock bands like 3 Doors Down and Three Days Grace and Trapt and Saliva.  They just don’t do it for me.  But Nickelback seems to be the most popular of the this group, so they get the most of my dislike.  And I’m not the only one.  There are plenty of people that hate Nickelback just as much as I do.  But, I suppose I must (begrudgingly) give them credit.  There are no in-betweeners when it comes to how people feel about this band.  People love them or hate them.  You have to be good at something (whatever that may be) to elicit that kind of response from people.

For some reason, I associate Nickelback with people that do not understand what good music is.  These are people that listen to nothing but modern rock stations.  I like to think of radio as the fast food of the music industry.  Sometimes it tastes good, but you can’t get all your body needs from just fast food.  If you listen to nothing but the radio, just like eating fast food all the time, you become unhealthy.  But Nickelback knows their audience.  Their songs are just throw-away songs that can be consumed in large quantities.  Can you tell the difference between a quarter pounder and a double quarter pounder?  How bout a Whopper and a Triple Whopper?  Sure you can tell there is a difference by looking at it, but if you take a bite . . . same thing.

This consistency of sound made me think that that was the reason for my hate.  But then I thought, “Why do I hate Nickelback and not AC/DC?”  I mean, if there was a band that was notorious for sounding the same over the years, it would have to be AC/DC.  Right?  So I considered this for a long time, cranking up some “Rock ‘N Roll Train” in the process, and I discovered the root of the problem.  AC/DC, although consistent in their sound, had a certain style that appealed to me.  Just like many of their fellow classic rockers, they have an influence of blues in their music.  In contrast, when I (am forced to) listen to “post-grunge”, I don’t hear any of that.  The blues had a baby, and they named it rock-n-roll.  But the “post-whatever” crap . . . it’s something else.  I don’t even know what to call it, but it’s not related.

I think there are too many reasons for me to explore them all.  Some of you might go for the obvious joke:  They’re Canadian.  I guess we like to make fun of Canada, because she is basically our half-sister.  We both have the same mom, but Canada wasn’t born until after the divorce.  This is not the reason, though, because there are plenty of musicians from Canada that I happen to like.  BTO and Bryan Adams are two examples.  Also, Lights is Canadian, and to her I say “Oh, Canada!”  (Get it?  Cuz she’s hot and that’s the national anthem.  No, really.  That’s their song.)


p.s.  I have a youtube channel where I talk to you in person!  Have a question that has been bothering you for some time?  Ask your parents.  What if they don’t know?  Well . . . then Ask the Funk Masta!