The Music Blog: The Anomaly

I really wanted to write a blog entry on The Cure.

I really didn’t want to write a blog entry on The Cure.

That’s an interesting start, I tossed and turned all night thinking up that one. Oooooooh I got you hooked now.

In an earlier blog I wrote that for me all music can be defined as one of four different categories:

  1. Music I love
  2. Music I like
  3. Music I don’t like
  4. Music I despise, even hate {aka Zappa}

You will need to remember that list but I will come back to it.

There is a scene in the movie The Matrix where Keanu Reeves is up and talking to Joe Pantoliano and he is on watch looking at these streaming lines of green numbers streaming by. It’s the matrix. Music for me runs along similar lines. No I didn’t say that music was part of the matrix silly people but it looks that way because at any given time there are dozens of time lines streaming by each time line representing a different time in the history of music. Some of these lines cross and some are connected in multiple places because an artist like Ray Charles will come along who influences multiple time lines all at once.

In 1981 I graduated high school and watched as all my friends took different paths, some to the military, some to a local junior college, some to large universities across the state and beyond. It was just life right. Thats what is supposed to happen. Me I was scared to death, lost and attending a large university locally that I commuted to daily. I had none of my friends to lean on, to go through the experience with me. It was scary and thrilling and hopeful the way it should be. On my commute I started listening to an R&B station mostly because of the morning disc jockey. I just liked his show and thus I was introduced to a whole new musical genre. Sometimes I make it out like I just ended listening to anything rock and roll and started listening to R&B exclusively but it was a process. I continued to listen to rock and roll throughout college but eventually almost all of the music I bought was R&B and then I slowly started to listen to rock and roll again. Because of this and some other reasons there was created a giant hole in my musical knowledge and experience. There were bands that I heard the first album maybe even bought it and then never heard anything more from them for years. There were bands that I missed entirely. With each passing month that hole got deeper. Now it also gave me a rich background in a music I love to this day R&B and because of that likely influenced me into listening to the blues and to jazz certainly. It all balanced out. To some extent when I started listening to rock and roll again much of my energy was spent filling that hole as much as I could.

There he goes again, hello this is about the Cure, remember. Of course I do.

Sometime in the early 80’s I saw the Cure on a late night television program likely Saturday Night Live. I don’t remember the song I just remember Robert Smith. Crazy, make up, funkadelic hair great singing voice; he should have attracted me like a moth to a flame. I saw him and passed him on by, likely because the song they were playing sucked.

Remember how this blog began I want to write about them and I don’t want to write about them. Well that right there explains the complicated relationship I have with the Cure.

For as long as I remember music has been a central important part of my life. I have listened to it for almost 50 years on a daily basis. I know thousands of bands or artists and thousands of albums in multiple genres. I love the connections of who influenced who. In the late 70’s there was one of those defining moments musically in England with the Sex Pistols and with that came a hundred bands who wanted to be just like them. That is pretty impressive coming from a band that never played for more than 500 people with shoddy equipment and an English establishment that hated them. The post punk period in England brought a rich diversity of bands and a few of those bands I love dearly. The Cure are one of those bands.

Now listening and knowing that many bands you can probably guess that there are a fair chunk of bands in my bands I love category. There are even more in my bands I like category, less in the bands I dislike. The bands I despise are mostly new country bands, fake fake fake, Frank Zappa, Mothers of Invention which is also Frank Zappa, more Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart which is Zappa influenced. Zappa and well anything by Frank Zappa.

For every band that I love there is a reason why, a moment in time. If you ask me who my favorite band is there is a 95% chance I will respond quickly with Depeche Mode. I don’t care if you don’t like them, I don’t care if you put an imaginary gun to your head and pull the imaginary trigger to be cute. They are my favorite not yours. You get to love whoever you want so I should at least get the respect to do the same. I can tell you I love them because of the album Violator. I can tell you I love the band New Order because of the song Regret off the album Republic. I was dating the coolest most laid back chick ever. I would break up with her quite honestly because she was so with the flow that I really couldn’t tell how she felt about me, and also because I suck at relationships. We were driving from somewhere, in Fort Worth and the song came on the radio and I started shouting that’s it that’s it. Do you know that song? She didn’t. She suggested we go to sound warehouse. She was just cool that way so we did and got there about 10 minutes before they closed and of course they wanted me to sing the song which I did and they identified and I bought it that night.

Remember there was a hole in my musical knowledge. Partly this hole was my own fault for not caring about new bands and new music so I wasn’t listening when early New Order or early Depeche Mode began playing although of course I knew the song People are People. Now part of the reason is that I live in Fort Worth, Texas or the DFW metroplex. Now it’s not exactly a hotbed for musical enlightenment. If a song was really big like People are People it would make it to the radio. In fact back then and even today most of the radio stations were country and then there were a couple of heavier rock and roll stations and a few top 40 stations or parent music. Now none of those stations are exactly friendly to new bands, which is why what Nirvana did actually opened so many doors. Suddenly there were alternative stations and those stations played those bands New Order, Depeche Mode and The Cure too as well as a lot of other bands. So it’s a blog about The Cure I wanted to write and I didn’t want to write it, remember. So unlike every other band that would be in the music I love category I could not tell you why I love the Cure. It is an oddity. I can tell you that the first album of theirs I bought was Wish but I have no idea why I bought it, maybe for the song Friday, I’m in Love but honestly I don’t really know and I know on every band I love. I acquired two albums, Show and Disintegration but I am not exactly sure how. I do not remember buying them and one of them I got because my oldest step son joined the Marines and said that he had a box of cassettes in the attic and I could have them if any were any good and one of those albums was in that box. Only now I have it on cd and I don’t know which one.

The closest band that the Cure reminds me of is U2. Yes I know they don’t sound anything like U2. I know many of you love adore cherish U2. I don’t. They are firmly in the category of music I like but not music I love. They are probably right next to the Foo Fighters. Hah I love those little digs and yes readership is firmly holding at 5.2. What I mean is that U2 has never had an album where I just love every single song. On every band that I love except one, the Cure they have albums where I love every song. It doesn’t mean that every album is that way but there are usually more than one unless of course they only have one. U2 makes albums where there are anywhere from 2-4 songs that I just love and then 5 to 6 that I could do without. I have actually given away U2 cd’s because they were that bad. Now maybe the difference between U2 and the Cure is that there are always great songs, wonderful songs that I love and then there are songs I like and finally there are maybe a couple of songs I could completely do without. Other than the greatest hits album I have there isn’t a Cure album that I love every song.

I don’t know why I love them, but I do. If you went down a list of bands rapid fire and said them to me I could tell you immediately without hesitation what category they belong in. The Cure, absolutely love them, U2 like them, Zappa gag I despise him. I suppose when you have as much music as I have and as varied a taste that there are bound to be a few anomalies in there and I guess I count the Cure as an anomaly. I love them I just don’t know why.

Mike out

2 thoughts on “The Music Blog: The Anomaly

  1. PROUD TO BE ONE OF THE 5.2. I’m not a huge fan of any of these bands, but what a fun post. You took me down memory lane, making me realize how much I miss great music on The Zoo (esp. Labella and Rody).
    Til next time…


    • Those were fun days when radio was king. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to live in a city where there were more choices for radio to have exposed me to a slot of those bands. Of course the r&b station I listened to was k104 because of Tom Joyner’s show.


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