How to Appreciate Things You Don't Like

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Reader Comments (51)

Everyone loves Barenaked Ladies!

May 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I have had the same discussion with my wife, ending with:
"But you aren't a guy."

Well put, Scott!

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCBear

Panel 2: Country _and_ Western.

(Note from Scott: Thanks! You make a perfectly valid point, it is officially called "Country and Western music. I'm keeping the dialog the way it is though, because I've NEVER heard anyone use the "and" in conversation. If it had been in the narration, I'd be making the correction.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercsrster

I see your point: Miley Cyrus is it Pop/Country/Western?
Can someone explain to a Brit, what's the difference between Country and Western, or are they just one genre?

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFletch

Thank you, a lot of country music nowadays sounds like a bad Journey record (was there really any other kind?), except for that band Lady Antebellum, they sound like a record executive's wet dream of The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac in a blender mixed by Mutt Lange.

Re 'country western' / 'country and western'
Funny I've never heard it said in conversation without the 'and' would sound strange to hear it said without the and. It would be like talking about rock roll music But then I'm not american nor a fan of country and western music so haven't really listened to that many people talking about it.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpasserby

"What kind of music do you usually have here?"

"Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western."

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

"Western" is an old country sub-genre ("singing cowboys" like Roy Rogers & Gene Autry) that got very popular in the 30s-50s. You may still see a cowhand singing to his horse now and then for old time's sake-- but Texas-to-California country genres have generally moved on to themes involving sex, motorcycles, and jail. See, e.g., Lucinda Williams.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMattF

So can this be applied to everything I don't like?

I mean, I have In-Laws... Hard to find any way to appreciate them...

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Aw someone beat me to the blues brothers reference. Also @lastangelman Journey's first album is great, everything after pretty much sucks.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDuncman

Coming here after quite a while, didn't enjoy some of the recent ones. The last one I liked was: How to Suffer for Your Beliefs - and everything before that.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRiki

Bingo! Pop music is pop music, no matter what station it's on.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

@Fletch: There may have used to be a difference between country and western music. I'm not sure. Today, they've just become synonymous terms. Essentially "country" music these days is, as Scott indicates, pop music sung with a southern accent and, if you're lucky, accompanied by a steel guitar somewhere. To be fair, it often deals with very "country" themes, but it's so cliche and stereotypical these days that it feels like a Yankee listened to a Jeff Foxworthy record and wrote a song about it.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterS Kyle Davis

I'm a huge fan of the Rascal lady. Can't wait to see more from her!

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

During a discussion with some of my family members once I was told to "Grow up!" when I said I didn't like country music. And, coincidentally the Barenaked Ladies version of Lovers in a Dangerous Time came on as I was reading this comic. Awesome!

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlaine

Fletch, good question. The difference between Country music and Western music: Country is an older genre, and includes a lot more folk and southern U.S. influence. It's been around since about the late 1800s in some form or another. It's the "music of the people" from rural areas; again, more from the south. Western music is a much more recent genre- it started in about the mid-1930s. It sprang from Country and folk music but also included influences from early jazz and popular American music of the 30s and 40s.

Don't quote me- I'm remembering all this from a class I took in American music a couple of years ago. As someone whose parents loved C&W, I can hear the difference better than I can explain it.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBonzoGal

For those who do not know or understand the difference between Country Music and Western Music, here's the story. Originally, "Country" music was what is now considered Bluegrass or Folk Music. "Western" music was cowboy songs and a sort of jazz/swing/big band fusion called "Western Swing". As there was never a huge market for either, radio stations and promoters started lumping them together under the banner of Country and Western Music. After the birth of a bastard child fathered by Blues (which they called Rock N Roll) C&W was used to describe all future incarnations. Along the way, the name got shortened and is back to Country Music which covers the whole gamut of redneck pop, rock and mainstream Country Music.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfrogmouth

that's some insight, Scott. this IS the Apple/Windows/Linux/other debate, exactly.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

I prefer Urban Western music myself. Who could forget such all-time greats as Tammy Wynette's 'Stand By Your Internet Service Provider' or 'I Drink the Espresso' by Johny Cash?

But Country Eastern is also pretty good. The haunting melodies of Glenn Campbell's 1968 hit, 'Tokyo Lineman', will always remains a classic...

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul G

Huh. I do believe I've had this exact conversation with my own mother, though I was a lot less funny. Also, I've never even heard that it's properly called Country and Western. I would simply say "Country." In the end, it's Scott speaking in the comic, so however he would say it is appropriate and correct.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChrispy

The haiku was very good :-)

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLen

"Country-n-western." Just a little "n" sound between them, but definitely no "d" sound.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatBallou

@michelle Blues Bros. Well played. Well played, indeed.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergreymase

Awesome comic! Mark Knopfler and Barenaked Ladies in the same panel. This just confirms my opinion of your extremely high level of intellect (especially since I listen to them both as well)!

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIslander

I always thought "Country" was "My wife left, my dog died, my pickup truck broke," while
"Western" is more "I'll kill you!!! I'll kill you all!!!!"

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternyssssa

@Jason: Barenaked Ladies? Eww, speak for yourself. I loathe country music, but I'd rather listen to Merle Haggard than BNL. 30 seconds of One Week works better than ipecac if I need my stomach emptied.

@Fletch: Country music is from the Deep South, and Western music is from, well, the west. I would guess the main difference is the degree of Bluegrass influence.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris

reply to the Brit question

Nashville - Country (ick)
Road House / Bar / Dance Hall - Country and Western (fun)

my biased opinion

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRmaninTX


I've heard both abbreviated -- to just "country" and "rock", but never to "western" and "roll". I wonder if you could have "country rock" or "western roll"? Don't they serve the latter item in budget steak buffet places?

On a related note, you often hear "hard rock" or "soft rock", but never "hard country" or "soft country". I think probably all country is hard country, because it's almost always about bad things happening to people.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Today is Johnny Paycheck's birthday!

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Who's the non-male? Have we seen her before?

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllen K.

Barenaked Ladies is my favorite band. I think it's that they sing in the vocal range and style I would if I had any talent at music at all.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKirby-oh

I am the same way with "Bill and Ted's excellent adventure" I never liked those "teenagers acting like idiots" movies but that one is pretty good.

May 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterisiah

I grew up in Colorado and my parents listened to the likes of Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, and Kenny Rogers in my youth. I remember them always referring to it as "country western" but, if memory serves, the radio stations that played the music at the time referred to it as "Country/Western" in their print ads. I suspect this may be where the removal of "and" from verbal lexicon originated. (Not in Colorado, per se, but in print ads using "/" instead of "and" or "&".)

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZebTheTroll

For me, a good example of something I appreciate but don't like is Coldplay. They're exceptionally talented, I just despise their music. Radiohead also fall into this category a lot of the time, only occasionally producing tracks I like (like Paranoid Android) and occasionally producing tracks I actively loathe (the title line from "No Surprises". It's only a single section, but it ruins and otherwise perfectly palatable song/tune. I just hate that voice.)

I certainly appreciate both bands. I just don't like what they do.

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBobisOnlyBob

In the words of a friend to whom I sent the haiku as a birthday gift (I'm cheap),
" A+
i wish there were higher than A+
high five"
Then she instructed me to write this post. So, yeah.

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThatCanuck

And a lot of what gets called `adult contemporary jazz' these days (say Nora Jones, Diana Crawl etc) sounds more like country and western than jazz to me. R'n'B doesn't sound like rhythm & blues anymore either, come to think of it. Hmm. I blame iTunes.

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEarlfothercs

Mark Knopfler is the shit.

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSeth

so which kind of music do you not like, country or western? The only real deal is Texas country-rock.

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjames yeamans

In my neck of the woods people who don't avidly listen to country or western music tend to lump them with the "Country Western" tag in conversation. I myself am guilty of this, and won't be changing due to a healthy amount of apathy for the genre(s) as a whole.

This doesn't mean the terminology "Country Western" is right, it's just that we don't care enough about the genre(s) to be pedantic about the separation. Since Scott is coming from the camp of "don't care, don't like it anyway" the lumped term "Country Western" is an appropriate for the conversation in this situation.

However, in a real world situation, the country fan would have corrected his misuse of "Country Western" and gone on a 15-20 minute tirade about the difference.

June 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTacoMagic

Wow! you thought of something that I did before! you must be a genius because I am and we think the same!!

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnon
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