Apr 132020

What I do like much better regarding Cher is her ability as an actor. Dating back to Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean through Silkwood, Moonstruck, and Mermaids, I felt Cher could do no wrong as an actor. I wish she could have retired from singing altogether, so that we could only think of her as a former member of a comedy duo and an accomplished actor.

?uestlove, or Questlove, drummer for The Roots and an accomplished producer is nothing to sneeze at musically – I bet even he has a more appealing singing voice than Cher’s – is another musician I like more for his extracurricular activities than his musical ones. Again, unlike Cher, I’ve got no beef with his music, but given the choice of reading any of his books (his memoir, his interviews with chefs, and his thoughts on the creative process are all highly inspiring reads I’ve enjoyed over the past 5 years) or listening to any record he’s played on and/or produced, I’ll choose reading his books. I will always reserve some some time, however, to listen to his work on D’Angelo‘s “Devil’s Pie.”

Others on this list, for me, include Tom Waits and John Lurie. Again, unlike Cher, I’ve got no beef with their music, but I like them better when they’re acting.

How about you?


  20 Responses to “Musical Artists You Like Better for Things They Do Beside Their Music”

  1. Easy target, but I like everything about Dave Grohl but The Foo Fighters. Nirvana Drummer, Them Crooked Vultures Drummer, cool dad, filmmaker (Sonic Highways, Sound City docs.), music video star, and all around righteous dude. I would love to hang out with him, but The Foo Fighters leave me cold after their 1st LP.

  2. Happiness Stan

    I had high hopes for Madonna when she was in Desperately Seeking Susan, she was just the kind of spiky rock chick I was getting nowhere with at the time. Haven’t seen any of her other movies but would rather she was acting as her films are easier to avoid than her records when I’m out shopping.

    I don’t watch many modern movies so don’t have a lot of reference points, but would rather watch Frank Sinatra acting than listen to half a side of an album.

    Don’t think I’ve ever seen a Cher film. Our eldest once said he was about fourteen before he realised films had ever been made in colour, which I thought was harsh but Mrs H insisted was fair. I’ve never really thought about Cher’s voice, I can kind of see where you’re coming from, I suppose she can be a bit like Marlene Dietrich shouting the weather forecast.

    The closest I get is probably Rick Wakeman, I could listen to him telling stories all night, but the idea of listening to a Yes album or any of his concept albums is making me shudder even now.

  3. mockcarr

    Pretty sure I don’t need to hear any Marky Mark, but Wahlburg has made some decent flicks, even if he’s no Brando or anything, he’s ok.

  4. I’ve been trying to maintain a respectful distance but you’ve pushed me too far! How can you like Tom Waits acting more than his music? He’s essentially acting when he delivers his vocals. His acting is very good but his music, especially the Island records trinity is next level.

    While watching the Rush documentary, I found them to be really charming dorks. I like everything about them except for their music, singing and lyrics.

  5. Happiness Stan

    CDM, I was trying to think who it was I’d seen recently who seemed like really amiable people but whose music I found a bit challenging and it was that Rush documentary.

    I’m in the liking the idea of Tom Waits more than the execution camp as well, I’m afraid.

  6. High Five for Marky Mark, Mockcarr! Love Boogie Nights and Invincible, the Vince Papale story. Good stuff!

  7. And especially The Fighter, the movie about the boxer set in Boston. Man that one is killer!

  8. cdm, first of all, GREAT to have you back! I’m glad my Tom Waits reference rubbed a nerve. I was thinking about it afterward, because I know it’s not a cool stance to hold. Here’s the deal for me: he ACTS so much in his musical performances that it sometimes distracts me from the music, from the songs. Without music to hold him back, he can just be that character or thin range of characters that he’s mastered. I like that trilogy of albums, in particular, and liking those albums even helped me go back and appreciate the earlier albums, but Waits in a small acting part delivers 100% of the goods.

    By the way, earlier today I was listening to Waits’ “Walking Spanish.” To me, that may be the best marriage of his music and his character. I totally dig the song without imagining how much effort he’s putting into delivering it.


  9. BigSteve

    I’m with cdm about Rush. Such nice guys, such awful music.

  10. I wish Bono spent more time saving the world.

  11. Good to be back. But Mod, is there a “recent comments” button that I’m not seeing? It seems like the format changed slightly and it’s kind of a pain in the butt to revisit all of the individual posts to see if there are new comments.

  12. By the way, I have a few college age nephews who are rock nerd adjacent if not full blown rock nerds at this point. I told them about RTH and I’m hoping to lure them on here because at least one of them will go to the mat for Rush.

  13. cdm, the Recent Comments link got lost in the quick tune-up sammymaudlin had to do to get the site minimally functional again to help society. That would be good to have available again. I’ll raise a ticket with the Back Office. If this comeback turns out to have a life beyond the pandemic, we’ll be giving the Hall a makeover. Thanks.

  14. diskojoe

    I give props to Phill Collins for getting the 60s Mod band The Action back together for some reunion gigs before several of its members passed away.

    Also, I find it interesting that non-rhyming Art Garfunkel likes to walk long distances, something I used to do before I needed new hips.

  15. Thanks Mod. I don’t know how much more this site would need, and am I missing a work around way of just seeing all the latest comments without having to go into each individual thread?

  16. Let me stipulate that John Mayer is one hell of a guitarist, and he’s written at least one hella catchy melody in his life (and maybe many, many more). But I absolutely hate his music and watching him actually play is the only thing that can turn my incredibly sweet and loving wife instantly homicidal.

    But I’ve seen a few of his skits with Dave Chappelle and such and…yeah, he’s kinda funny, I have to admit. (PLEASE don’t tell my wife I had anything even slightly complimentary to say about him.)

  17. Mayer is funny on Chappelle! That’s a good one.

    I haven’t listened to enough if his music to compare his skill sets, but Donald Glover’s TV show Atlanta is off-the-charts great. What little I’ve heard of his music, under his Childish Gambino alter-ego is good, but hip-hop is a genre that rarely penetrates deeply with me. Based on his writing/acting, I’m going to dig deeper into his music.

  18. BigSteve

    I have always really liked Sleater-Kinney, but I’m sure there are many people who prefer Carrie Brownstein’s work on Portlandia to her work as a musician.

  19. Since Portlandia, I’m afraid I can’t watch live Sleater-Kinney vids—great as they are, and they ARE—without feeling like she’s playing a rock star, as opposed to being a rock star. Kind of a bummer, really.

    If you haven’t seen Donald Glover on Community, and you like sitcoms at all, you could do worse than check out the first few episodes; it just went back up on…Netflix, I think? One of the streaming services. He’s pretty awesome in it.

  20. Jon Bon Jovi – I hate his music but he has done a lot of great charitable ventures.

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