The Clarks; “Producing ire” or “to admire”?

Nothing can polarize a random group of yinzers like discussing the Clarks.  A lot of people love them, a lot of people hate them.  There’s probably even more people that could really care less about the whole issue.  The reason I’m blogging about this is, well, it blew up when I mentioned my distaste for them on Facebook.  Everybody & their mother (literally in my case) has an opinion about the Clarks:

That Clarks commercial makes my butthole pucker...

That Clarks commercial makes my butthole pucker...

English: Gary Busey in Almaty, Kazakhstan in O...


Have you seen the Clarks’ Toyota commercial, or any of the Gary Busey Kia commercials?  Gary Busey is bat-shit-nuts, and I’d rather buy an inferior car endorsed by him.  OK, I’d really rather buy neither… but the Gary Busey commercials don’t make me want to change the channel, and they don’t make my butthole pucker.

I present to you some video evidence for your review:

Then, I posted a status linking to the first status, asking for help building my list.  It turned into chaos.  Don’t believe Joel below.  He’s a bit mischievous.  Tiffany certainly seems adamant about her love for the Clarks.

Help make a list...

Help make a list...

So, what’s the big deal?  Personally, I find their songs trite, corny, tonally bland, and their vocalist quite annoying.  My general line is that his vocals are the aural equivalent to taking a cheese-grater to my eardrum.  When I hear them on the radio I involuntarily sigh or roll my eyes.  Yet, I know some of their songs because (thanks to local radio) I have heard them ad nauseam.

The Clarks (album)

There's a penny on the floor from our last album sale residuals...

I understand that music preferences are an opinion, and that others are entitled to theirs.  I’m just stating mine.  There’s no need to get your panties in a bunch just because I don’t like the Clarks and you do.  I’ll try hard not to consider you hopelessly tonally-challenged if you happen to like the Clarks.

I get a feeling that a lot of people like the Clarks simply because they’re from the area and mention Fayette County in their songs.  Yinzers seem to like them because they’re on the radio, or because they’ve been in a bar when they played.  They appear to appeal to the lowest common denominator,  I don’t know how many people like the Clarks because they actually like the Clarks’ music.  When I ask someone why they like the Clarks, I get answers like “I saw them at so & so’s bar” or “They’re from here” or something about allegiance to IUP.  It’s never “I really like [name of song here]” or “I really like their song writing/guitar playing/etc.”. Again, this is my opinion.

Also my opinion…  This car has more musical ability than the Clarks:

It’s been told to me repeatedly that people in bands around Pittsburgh simply don’t like the Clarks out of jealousy of their success.  I don’t believe I’m jealous of the Clarks for myself, but I guess I am a hater on certain levels.  I hate that they’re representative of Pittsburgh music.  I hate that people with no grasp of the local music scene ask me if I know/like them when they find out I’m in a band.  I hate that so many other bands around here that deserve wider recognition go unnoticed and go without radio play.  At the same time, a lot of musicians that I know just don’t like the Clarks because they write & perform bad songs.  This undoubtedly fuels the ire.  Perhaps it’s “bandwagon” to hate on the Clarks?  Maybe it’s the “cool” thing to do?  Maybe we’re all just not tone deaf.

A box grater with multiple grating surfaces.

Scott Blasey

So, please, I’d like a discussion on the comments below, not on the Facebook post about this blog.  You can comment using your name/e-mail address/url, your Facebook login, your Twitter login, or your WordPress login.

If you like the Clarks, please tell me why.  If you don’t like the Clarks, please tell me why.  If you don’t care about the Clarks, you can let us know that too.  Let’s not resort to name-calling or devaluing anyone’s opinions.  We’re (mostly) all adults here.

Perhaps I’ll make another blog post soon trying to make a list of Pittsburgh local bands that deserve more attention & a wider audience.


  • If you like the Clarks, please tell me why.
  • If you don’t like the Clarks, please tell me why.
  • If you don’t care about the Clarks, you can let us know that too.
  • Let’s not resort to name-calling or devaluing anyone’s opinions.

33 thoughts on “The Clarks; “Producing ire” or “to admire”?

  1. I am neutral on the Clarks. I don’t suffer the butthole pucker effect that you speak of, nor would I pay to see them, or even go for free for that matter. I do own one of their CD’s from my college partying days, it seemed to be good background music for that period of my life.


  2. I’m neutral on the Clarks. Scott Blasey is a really nice guy. Cigarette of course is a Fayette-Nam staple… It’s a good hit local song, which I find doubly hilarious because it’s apparent he’s kind of making fun of Fayette-Nam, or at least how depressed the area is, but the Fayette trash can’t get the message– they’re just like “woooohoo! He said Fayette county fair!!!”

    They’ve put in some serious play time in local gigs, even got a shot on letterman, so you have to give them props. All that said… All I can say is that I liked that one song from that one album my wife had once and I can’t remember the names of any of it…. Which speaks volumes.


    • Yeah, I’ve heard they’re nice guys, and I’m sure they are. It’s funny that the Fayettenamese don’t realize that they’re the butt of a joke. I guess I never paid that much attention to the lyrics either.

      It is cool that they have made a living doing what they do. It’s sad that you can’t remember the one song you kind of liked… Ha ha.


  3. So I will totally out myself and admit that I used to like the Clarks when I was in HS…12 freaking years ago. I stopped liking them because most of their songs were similarly boring, their ticket prices were getting insanely expensive, and they seemed to just sort of stagnate as a band after that better off without you cd came out.
    I think the fact that they still do appearances and have to play songs that become popular 12 years ago speaks volumes about them. This is why I was surprised to hear them in a commercial and see that people still think about them either way, let alone feel strongly about them. That commercial could have anybody playing in it and it would still be super goddamn annoying after hearing it the 5000x they play it during a hockey game!
    I also laugh at people who say other local bands are just jealous, because who the heck is jealous of a band that is really popular in the same city for 15 years but can’t ever manage to make a break to the bigger times. I always viewed them as a local joke that the hardcore yinzers just don’t ever seem to get.


    • Yeah, they do seem to have grown stale. Agreed on the repetition. I guess any song would grow annoying after the 3000th time. Good point on the local band jealousy thing, it does make it a non-issue.


  4. eric my man the best way to avoid this problem is how I avoid it… I avoid radio. the “DJs” piss me off, they are ass holes for one reason or another. I hate the babble and “funny” storie they have, then the play music i could do with out. mp3 player are where its at.

    if you have to listen to the radio…go public radio..


  5. Pingback: Valley of Steel | Out Today: Fist Fight in the Parking Lot – Self-Titled | World (and Lunar) Domination

  6. Pingback: Onlywatchthebandwithaguy(orgirl)thatIknowinit-itis | World (and Lunar) Domination

  7. Pingback: Super old music scene rant… Unprofessionalism [2005] | World (and Lunar) Domination

  8. Pingback: Leaving Early | World (and Lunar) Domination

  9. Pingback: Goofy Search Terms | World (and Lunar) Domination

  10. Pingback: Guest Post: How to book your band. | World (and Lunar) Domination

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s