Yes, I made up that word. Here’s the Grasping for Objectivity Abridged Dictionary entry for it:

Uniquities – “you-KNEE-quit-ease” – kind of like the word “antiquities”, but instead of antique, think unique.

There’s nothing like a car trip to get off on a random subject. When we’re on car trips alone (a la no Ali), we always like to XM radio surf to see what’s new out there (probably how I originally heard that “Apple Bottom Jeans” song last year). Sometimes, we’ll run into a song or artist from our teenage or early married years that bring back a flood of fun memories.

On yesterday’s trip home from Atlanta, it was The Cranberries.

The Cranberries are one of those groups that you know who they are the second the song comes on. They are unique. They have never been emulated, and they are timeless. And that is what I would like to propose be called a Musical Uniquity.

The thing about M.U.’s is that because they are so unique in their sound and style, they can’t be “pinned down” to a time period, because they don’t necessarily fit into the box of any time period. They don’t follow the trends, nor do they start a trend. Therefore, they are unique, and they are timeless. Or at least, their music ages much more gracefully than the rest of the industry.

Also,for official definitional purposes, they lose their title of a M.U. if they start at trend. For instance, I would assume that Elvis was a M.U. when he first came out. However, he became the King of Rock and Roll – he birthed a whole new type of music. In my example of The Cranberries, they did no such thing. It’s just The Cranberries that sound like The Cranberries, which qualifies them to be in the M.U. category.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I would definitely say that Chris and I are drawn to M.U.’s. I can’t put my finger on why this is true, but it seems like a lot of our favorite bands would definitely fall into the category.

So after we defined this genre of no genres, here are our inductions as Musical Uniquities:

  • The Cranberries
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • R.E.M.
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Burlap to Cashmere
  • Jars of Clay
  • Evanescence
  • Plumb
  • Rich Mullins
  • PFR

Oddly enough, as few concerts as Chris and I have been to, most of the ones we HAVE attended are right up there in that list – Burlap to Cashmere (twice), Simon and Garfunkel (THAT was a historic occasion), R.E.M., Rich Mullins, and I’m pretty sure that Chris saw Dave Matthews Band in High School or College.

And a couple more that we don’t necessarily like, but we admit that they would definitely fit the category of M.U.’s:

  • Eminem
  • John Mayer

So. Who are some artists that you would say fit into the Musical Uniquities genre?

And, are you also drawn more to M.U.’s than to artists who very obviously fit their time period’s ideas of music?

Remember the guidelines for an M.U.:
– don’t fit into a genre
– didn’t create a new genre
– timeless

I am especially curious of the M.U.’s of the past and the M.U.’s of today, as most of my examples are from the late nineties and the early 00’s.


6 thoughts on “Musical Uniquities

  1. Well I like both MU’s and the one’s the non MU’s but I am typically drawn to the MU’s.

    Here are a few of my favorites that I think fit the definition.

    -Matchbox twenty (seen twice)
    -goo goo dolls
    -No Doubt
    -The Stray Cats
    -Johnny Cash
    -Buddy Holly
    -Peter,Paul, and Mary

    I tried to think of more 80’s groups since that is my era but I can’t think of many that fall into the MU category.

  2. Oooh – definitely goo goo dolls – I would have listed them too if I had thought of them. And No Doubt. Good list!!

  3. I would disagree with Jars of Clay as an MU just b/c they’re so ridiculously sold out now. I think Sixpence None the Richer fits the MU criteria, though.

  4. 80s calling:
    I’m so not a music person, so this is not easy for me to be analytical about. (I mean I like music, but I don’t think about it much.)

    But here are some that come to mind:

    The Eurythmics (and then Annie Lennox solo)
    U2 (duh)
    No Doubt (early 90s)
    Madonna when she started out
    The Cars
    ZZ Top
    Mariah Carey (although she drove me crazy)

    That’s all I can think of. I’m sure there are tons I’ll remember later. :)

  5. oh man! we still lOOOVE the Cranberries!!!
    And love DMB…saw them once in concert in college..lets just say I was soaking wet cause it rained athe entire time and a little high from all the second hand smoke…and I’m not talking cigarettes…ended up with pnemonia, but it WAS a good concert!

    My induction is Coldplay!

  6. Jodi – I haven’t heard JoC lately, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you were right. I’ll grant that one.

    Steph – I was thinking about Eurythmics myself, as “Sweet Dreams” is a favorite in my house (I sing, Chris beat boxes, and Ali says “again!! again!! again sweet dreams!!”), but that is the only song that I am really familiar with, so I was afraid to nominate it. And U2 – good thought. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that one. But. . .Mariah? I mean, yes, her range was (is) amazing, but stylistically, I don’t know if she was anything out of the norm of Pop at the time. . .

    Ann Marie – you really should watch who you go to concerts with if you’re getting high off of second hand smoke. ;)

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