Recombinant Records

I Like Music

I Like Music cartoon

46 Comments on "I Like Music"

  1. Xtal on Fri, 24th Jul 2009 11:06 am 

    A lot of what you write here could apply to my favorite rock band of all time, Guided by Voices, especially their album Bee Thousand. Particularly, it has less-than-perfect recording, an unconventional voice, amazing “moment of clarity” lyrics, and I think some of that ambition you mention.

    Just wondering if you’re a fan of GBV, as they seem to meet most of these criteria. And, I’m a fan of many of the bands you mention.

  2. Stuart McMillen on Sat, 25th Jul 2009 9:17 pm 

    Hey Crystal,

    I have listened to “Bee Thousand” probably around 10 times and it still hasn’t gelled with me. Still, there is something that draws me back to it for repeated experimental listens, which must be a good thing.

    I know Guided by Voices have a hardcore following, but I can’t count myself as part of it right now. I like their later song “She Goes Off at Night” quite a lot though.

  3. Paul&DebMcMillen on Mon, 27th Jul 2009 8:02 pm 

    Stuart we are proud of your music knowledge, appreciation and diverse thirst to listen to, experience and analyse subjectively the art of so many creative artists . We especially stand tall to have helped to establish your love and desire to discover more and more in the ever evolving pool of sound that will never dry up. Sharing this with you and everyone who shares our passion is most gratifying.

  4. MillyS on Tue, 4th Aug 2009 5:03 pm 

    I love The Chills… You make a lot of sense Stuart.

  5. K on Thu, 13th Aug 2009 12:06 am 

    You like a lot of white music!

  6. Kita on Fri, 21st Aug 2009 3:22 pm 

    This is simply amazing. I secretly think that Animal Collective’s Sung Tongs and Kid Koala’s Carpal Tunnel Syndrome belong to the i-like-music group.

    But more than that, you’ve so wonderfully described a passion for sound. I am now happy today. ^_^

  7. Dylan on Mon, 24th Aug 2009 8:21 pm 

    Go with the choices here, but dislike the comment about “the masses” overexposing music – it’s corporations and marketeers who do that. Nirvana featured many of the quirks and elements you mention but surely suffered from over exposure (Cobain suffering most of all)

  8. James on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 5:41 pm 

    Your idea here is so damned strong, but like so many other people when discussing music – you feel the need to show just how OBSCURE your tastes are so you can stand feel above people who listen to what the radio gives them.

    Just because you enjoy Huskur Du and get a rush out of The Chills does NOT mean that someone can’t find that vibe in a Green Day or a Gnarls Barkley.

    You even state in the comic (the weakest part of the entire thing, I think) that you want music to not be overexposed. That’s damned selfish of you to not want a band or musician you love to become exposed to a world of people and make their big red X on the world. I’m sure many of the bands you listed are doing JUST fine without heavy circulation, but I bet most of them would LOVE to be able to sell out Madison Square Garden.

    A love of music is great. A love of discovering new music is also great. A love of finding new music as a weapon against ‘the mainstream’ is just sad.

  9. actual musician on Sat, 23rd Jan 2010 1:13 am 

    You have absolutely o idea what you are talking about, but are instead completely involved in creating a “hip-indie” image for yourself. Take some music theory classes and learn to play an instrument if you love music so much. Fucking pretentious idiot.

  10. sackgrinder on Wed, 27th Jan 2010 10:35 am 

    No mention of Pavement?

  11. sackgrinder on Wed, 27th Jan 2010 10:40 am 

    James is right. I mean the Sex Pistols could barely play. Also, no need to mention Joe Strummer was of the Clash. If the reader didn’t know that then the rest of the cartoon would be miles above them…

  12. stuart on Thu, 28th Jan 2010 8:03 pm 

    I should point out that this is not a set of criteria that ALL music I listen to must fit.

    Sometimes I like songs that tick a few of these boxes, sometimes I like a song for just one particular reason. This cartoon was supposed to share the joy I was feeling in the winter of 2009 when reflecting on the various facets that make up my musical taste. A departure from my usual environmental/social commentary cartoons.

    I like a lot of bands for the reason that they are a ‘hidden secret’ shared by me and a few hundred other people. However I’m not a killjoy about this relative lack of commercial success. I’m not sure how it is even possible for a fan to somehow suppress the careers/popularity of artists as some are suggesting. On the contrary, I tend to spread my appreciation for the bands that I enjoy (such as listing them in cartoons!)

    On the other hand, my favourite bands/songs include some of the most popular artists in the history of popular music. In fact this cartoon was originally going to be 100% about the band Nirvana. I like different music for different reasons.

    Just thought I’d post this clarification after a few months of undercurrents in the discussion about this cartoon.

  13. B on Mon, 1st Feb 2010 7:41 am 

    Refreshingly true.

  14. tbone0204 on Tue, 2nd Feb 2010 11:34 pm 

    A better name for the comic would have been “What I’ve learned from Pitchfork.”

    I know this is your list and everything… and that’s cool and all, but Miles Davis doesn’t belong on it. He sticks out like a Hipster at a jazz club.

    And we all know Tortoise is the most underrated band of ALL time within this Hipster subculture. Their entire catalog “blurs the boundaries of genre and defies simple classification”. There’s music.

  15. I Like Music: A Cartoon : House of Cat on Tue, 23rd Feb 2010 1:43 am 

    […] amazes me is how quickly the comments about his cartoon turn hostile. The longer you’re around music, the more you get exposed to and you start to […]

  16. dzent1 on Mon, 8th Mar 2010 8:39 am 

    Nicely, nicely done. Talk about clarity in communication! This page is a great song in itself. Thanks.

  17. dzent1 on Mon, 8th Mar 2010 8:43 am 

    Wow – just read some of the moronic comments by the Know-It-Alls. You know, all those guys who couldn’t get a deal no matter how they tried, and so they have to slam what you like to make up for their shortcomings.
    Again, a very well-done page and I wish you success and lifelong enjoyment of the music you appreciate.

  18. confession on Tue, 9th Mar 2010 5:40 am 

    I feel ashamed for thinking, “This is a great setup for ridiculing terrible, popular music. I can’t wait till the end!”

  19. Wendy Cabler on Thu, 11th Mar 2010 10:50 am 

    I loved your cartoons, and musical interests (esp. YLT). If you liked all of those things, I do think you would like Western Civ. At any rate, won’t you give them a try and let me know?

  20. rstnrstthhtssh on Mon, 15th Mar 2010 6:22 pm 

    So unbelievably fucking pretentious. Guh.

  21. mads brenøe on Fri, 26th Mar 2010 6:56 am 

    I like musik that disintregrates like Big Star: Kangaroo.

  22. stuart on Sat, 27th Mar 2010 11:27 am 

    I like music that is both ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ at the exact same time. e.g. The Microphones – “The Moon” and Mice Parade – “Passing & Galloping”.

  23. PJ on Sat, 10th Apr 2010 6:46 am 

    …and now I have to listen to O’Death’s “Home” again.

  24. The Sanity Inspector on Tue, 13th Apr 2010 1:24 pm 

    I like music from bands that hipper-than-thou types deride as sellouts. What is a sellout? A band which attracts fans who are richer and/or more popular than you.

  25. Mel O'Phee on Fri, 30th Apr 2010 3:20 pm 

    This brought a smile to my face. I generally prefer my music to have quite a polished sound to it, yet I relate to what you’re saying within this cartoon. I don’t see it as pretentious at all, you’ve always been someone who simply wants to share the music you love with other people. Everyone likes different things and I see this cartoon as less of something designed to derail mainstream music and more of a celebration of quirky creativity :)

  26. Stuart McMillen » Blog Archive » Part of Nature on Wed, 2nd Jun 2010 11:51 am 

    […] heavily, and after the artistic style of ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’ and ‘I Like Music‘, it seemed like a step towards the past, not the […]

  27. Anthony on Sat, 12th Jun 2010 10:29 pm 

    Your cartoon read like this: “Yeah, I mean, like, why would I like a band if it becomes overexposed? How much I like something is inversely proportional to how much everyone else likes it.”


  28. [email protected] on Fri, 16th Jul 2010 5:22 am 

    “a self destruct button” to prevent over exposure.
    im pretty sure that exposure does not alter the actual content of a song.
    this is just a a big tribute to indie rock and being a hipster…
    i also like music. i like variety in my music.

  29. dudebro on Fri, 30th Jul 2010 7:46 am 

    Stuart… thanks for this comic. Help me discover Bark Psychosis “Abscent Friend”. Amazing song.

    To the “actual musician” above accusing you of being pretentious… Musician does not equate to deep appreciation of music. When you take up an interest in music and delve deeply into it, your tastes change.

    Some people are quick to be offended by statements like that, since music means so much to all of us. But, let’s turn it around and imagine a car enthusiast who was only interested in Family sedans… or a Wine lover who only drank boxed wine. Come on.

  30. Ariel on Thu, 12th Aug 2010 12:55 pm 

    Hey! Looks like you posted this a while ago, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU!! I’m a opera studies major at a conservatory (ugh, right??), and this semester in 20th century theory everyone is hating on every piece of music! This was such a cool graphic representation of why it’s just awesome to embrace the music, man!

  31. meuninfluenced on Fri, 12th Nov 2010 12:32 pm 

    Your choices are awfully pigeon holing your taste in music, author. I’m sure you listen to all kinds of music, or will be quick to say that you do, but in either case why would the only off genre artist in this be Miles Davis or the “white guy get out of jail free card”? I’ve listened to all of these artists’ albums at least once or twice and a lot of them are more or less just like one another all over again. But alas, you have every right to lean your appreciation towards whatever you prefer. Either way you make several good points despite all the above gripes.

    P.S. I swear the only reason hipsters like Tom Waits is so they can troll people by getting them to listen to that crap to see what everyone is talking about. Soon liking tom waits will be as played out as his voice was the second time i heard it and I will be marginally more content.

  32. David on Sat, 12th Mar 2011 4:39 pm 

    You’ve got a great attitude. Disliking something only requires one point of fault to expose (very easy). Liking something requires you to defend against others’ criticisms (very ballsy)… or in your case brushing it off as irrelevant. Awesome.

    Spread the love

  33. Adam on Tue, 5th Apr 2011 12:21 am 

    I used to be like you, listening to obscure music to show how deep my love of music was, and how cool I was. But now I’ve grown up and I listen back to the same bands I loved for their rough and un-produced sound. I realise I was being a massive tool.

    Seriously, start enjoying music for the music, rather than ‘self-destruct buttons’, ‘ragged edges’ or listening to a band to hear ‘ambition’ rather than nice meoldies or interesting chordal changes. I swear none of those things even exist, stop labelling and start loving music for what it is.

  34. jackiemearound on Fri, 20th May 2011 6:48 am 

    Take the plunge. Check out Ralph
    records circa 1978-1980: Tuxedo Moon, MX 80 Sound, Snakefinger, and the Residents
    Then bop over the pond and visit the YMG’s pals The Raincoats, Kleenex, and the Slits.

    Brace yourself to be really ridiculed by a bunch of mainstream morons.

  35. Brian on Thu, 23rd Jun 2011 4:35 pm 

    When bands make albums, they have all the time and resources in the world to produce the songs and clearly express their vision. With all the studio technicians/musicians, producers, etc. and all the time in the world for multiple takes and overdubs they can perfect their songs to an extent that does not represent their(the musicians) true talent. I believe that true musical talent comes from an extensive understanding of music theory and ability to exercise that knowledge through improvisation or through precise, complex composition. So when I stumble upon your little comic explaining the reasons you like music due to a bunch of songs by a bunch of shitty, hipster/indie, and punk bands, with no mention of the jazz or blues greats(with the exception of miles) or the great classical composers, I immediately dismiss this as a desperate attempt to show everyone how hip you are. I realize that this comic explains why YOU like music, but read a music book, learn some theory basics, then listen to the same songs in your comic and decide then whether you are still as passionate about your, “music”. If you are, then nevermind all of that.

  36. rastronomicals on Wed, 15th Aug 2012 10:55 am 

    To anactualmusician, thank you for pointing out that you have to be a musician to be enthusiastic about music, to create taxonomies of bands, to hear real or imagined structures in music.

    Oh wait, you *don’t* have to. Suggesting such a thing, no matter how aggressively, is akin to suggesting that that you can’t watch a soccer match unless you can boot the ball 70 meters, and kind of turns you into the “fucking pretentious idiot” you decry.

    With that out of the way, I kind of wish Mr. McMillen explained things a bit more. What moment of clarity, you know?

    Also: in my experience, the quality of a music is absolutely unrelated to its popularity. The underground, in addition to producing diamonds, produces an enormous amount of shit, I’ve found. The only difference is that with obscure crap, you’re much more likely to find somebody in your face, barking at you that, crappiness notwithstanding, you’ll be cool if you just like this stuff.

  37. Jeff G on Fri, 16th Nov 2012 8:46 am 

    neat-o Stuart! Not that your work needs anything further, just this for consideration:

    daniel Johnston “True Love Will Find You in the End”

    Raw, real, penetrating.

  38. yeahright on Fri, 23rd Nov 2012 1:34 pm 

    get off your hipster horse.. what you meant to say was that you like mediocre music most people haven’t heard of. many of your points can be applied to a wide range of music and yet you arranged this list in a way of saying that this niche type of music you have here is the only credible artistry in music. get off it. “overexposed”?? this music is so good and true and yet if a lot of people hear it, and possible like it as well, now those songs are no longer acceptable?? rediculous

  39. Flavio on Fri, 4th Jan 2013 5:29 am 

    You would love Hermeto Paschoal. He’s a brazillian musician that experiments with noise and sound and music. Google him

  40. Glen on Tue, 15th Jan 2013 1:54 pm 

    Thank you for pointing out the fact that true music does exist and is loved by someone.

  41. naldo on Sat, 19th Jan 2013 7:29 am 

    I liked the vitality of the drawing, the picture of The Who was my favourite, and I went to YouTube to check out sparklehorse because of this thing. I notice that people bothered leaving negative comments here… Way to totally miss the point! So rather than just tut and move on, i’m typing these words of appreciation

  42. joe on Wed, 13th Feb 2013 1:58 pm 

    “I like white people music, plus obligatory sun ra and miles davis mentions to show diversity but keep my hipster cred! Open minded yay!”

  43. Bruce on Sun, 14th Jul 2013 6:27 pm 

    Do you like one-word reviews?

  44. Chris on Mon, 12th May 2014 8:50 am 

    You only went back to the 70’s, lol! Man are you missing some great music. Hillard Ensemble, music of the roaring 20’s, big band, blues, crooning. C’mon!

  45. Brian on Thu, 28th Aug 2014 8:43 am 

    Thanks for the positives.
    Very nicely done, I have only listened to maybe a half dozen of these recordings, but your comments on the various artists / styles make me want to hear more.

  46. Vicente on Wed, 3rd Dec 2014 1:39 pm 

    DUde IS AWESOME!!!