I love music, and specifically, I love rock music. I love psych rock! I love swamp rock. I love kraut rock. I love lots of things within metal, pop, punk, electronica, prog, dance, techno, emo, shoegaze, math rock, indie, drone, adult alternative, even hip-hop and rap. Hell, I might even have too much to drink one day and blog about a country song. There's stuff I love and stuff I hate within every shade of the rock / pop rainbow. Except one.
Butt Rock. I just abhor it.
What is butt rock? From a historical perspective, it's the music that came after the grunge era, starting circa 1994. Grunge was still kickin', in its heyday still, when suddenly it all slid into butt rock. By 1997, it had completely taken over the ATL pop / rock airwaves. At one point it was referred to as "New Metal" for reasons I will never understand. I hold it directly responsible for the demise of Z93, 96 Rock and 99X, and, along with the myriad of uninteresting singer-songwriter types, the utter crapification of commercial radio today.
From a mechanical perspective, butt rock is any music in which the lead vocalist sounds as if he or she is sufferring from severe constipation.
Here is Bruce Springsteen, the man I consider the grandfather of butt rock:
For many years, I wondered, "When will poor Bruce Springsteen finally wrench one out? And how will he sound after he does?"
In the debate regarding who started the modern butt rock movement, my vote lies solidly with Scott Weiland, shown struggling and straining here:
He can often be seen smoking a cigarette, presumably to help relieve his chronic condition. Some say Eddie Vedder is the modern father of butt rock. I am by no means a big Pearl Jam fan, but I always considered Vedder's particular affectation centered in the lungs and vocal cords. Like Dolly Parton. And Elmer Fudd.
So, you shant see me reviewing anything butt rock hereafter. I can't imagine intentionally listening to or buying this crap. It used to be very difficult for me to imagine what type of person would, until...
I accidentally attended a butt rock concert recently. It was like no other horror you could imagine. A friend of mine asked me to chaperone her teenage daughter and friend to see a show at the Tabernacle. I love going to the Tabernacle, and my friend is good people, so I agreed despite the fact that I didn't know any of the bands. After we arrived, my husband texted me to alert me that he thought the headliner band, Seether, might be butt rock. So I texted my friend and she quickly referenced allbuttrock.com and told me they were on the list! Explicitly! So, I was stuck downtown with two teenage girls listening to butt rock for five hours. I have never worn earplugs to a show, ever, but as they say, there's a first time for everything. Also my smartphone was dead, so my only connection to the outside world was texting everyone who I could engage via my old timey flip phone. I won't go into the subtleties of the descent into madness that overtook me that fateful September evening, but suffice to say, the people who go to butt rock concerts are Gwinnetians.
My final texts from that night:
"OMFG the lead singer of Seether just crapped his pants on stage!"
"And now he sounds like Art Garfunkel!"