Friday, November 20, 2009

2 X 2 Table of Rock

Today's WSJ has a moderately interesting article that asks the question: where do we place Tom Petty in the rock canon? What was particularly interesting about the article, however, was the graphic which attempts to provide the conventional wisdom about a number of classic rock artists and places them relative to each other on a X axis of relative lack of coolness to coolness, and a Y axis of how hard do they rock (or not rock). What placements do we find to be mistaken? Either in terms of our own view or in terms of what we believe the conventional wisdom to be?  For me, I would start with James Taylor.  Seriously?  Does anyone find him to be cool?  I don't know where in the blue area he goes, but does anyone really rate James Taylor as "cooler" than Tom Waits?  Seriously?  I mean, that makes me laugh out loud.  Other questions spring to mind:  Do Bob Seger and ZZ Top rock that hard?  Shouldn't the Eagles be deeper in the blue zone?  Could we have it such that Jimmy Buffet and Waits aren't so close together as that makes me very uncomfortable?  Is Neil Young really slightly cooler than Dylan, and both really are behind Nick Cave? Is Neil Diamond in Billy Joel territory? Ahhh, Carlos, you used to be up and to the right by quite a bit until about, what, 10 years ago when you sold your soul and never looked back?

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