hibiscustea: (Default)
Why is it so impossible for people to just enjoy music?

I know, I know; I'm just screaming into the abyss. But really, does everything have to be divided so sharply? I know that not everyone who likes one type of music will like another, but does that call for such deep moats to be drawn between them?

I like music. In fact, I love it. And I like a fairly wide range of it. I like Trice, but I don't have any piercings. I like Chopin, but I don't play the piano. I like the Rolling Stones, but I don't play a guitar. But I listen to it all.

I think that everyone should.

Music is so influential, so powerful and beautiful that trying to cordon it off into little sections stunts it's growth. You have to at least appreciate the other genres out there, if not like or listen to them. For anyone to have the guts, the ambition and--dare I say--vision, to put themselves out there, they deserve at least a little grudging respect.

See, I think that music is meant ot be enjoyed, whether the tune is mindless or deep. I have music in my head, you see. Not bands and singers, like I listen to: I have choral guitars dueling with rockers singing Ava Maria's. I have pounding drums keep time for violin concertinas. I have full blown symphonies of sound sliding around the inside of my skull. There's a cacophony of strings and drums and pianos and melody lines that I sometimes think that my head will explode.

But this is a good thing. It really is.
hibiscustea: (Default)
Question: if music is meant to be enjoyed, then why should one type of music be more approved of than others? If music is a thing that's meant to be shared and to create discussion and commentary and revolutions, then why should we be deliberately cruel or condescending to those who don't listen to what we like?

While at work today, Matt and I were talking about music. He'd started the conversation by grabbing my walkman and asking me what was in it.

"My Morning Jacket," I replied, delighted to share this sweetly wonderful band that sounds like the lost love-child of Neil Young and the Rolling Stones.

"My what?" He asked incredulously.

"My Morning Jacket," I repeated matter-of-fact. I was used to that kind of reaction to my musical tastes. When you live is a backwater town, there's not a whole lot of variety to widen the gene-pool, so to speak. Kids like the offspring of what their parents like, or whatever was it on MuchMusic: whether sweet, sexy or satanic. He got a strange look on his face and put my CD player back, and I didn't think about it any further.

Later, during lunch, he asked me what kind of music I listened to. And--of course--music being one of my greatest passions, I started to talk about the band on the front of my mind for the moment: the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It's only natural, looking back at it, especially because I'm going to be seeing them live in about 48 hours.

"The who?" He squawked again, getting that strange look back on his face. It looked like he'd just smelt something funny.

"The Yeah Yeah Yeahs," I repeated again patiently. I knew he listened to punk (he had brought a CD booklet full of great punky bands), and I'd assumed that he'd at least heard of the YYYs. The look on his face intensified.

"Oh God," He muttered, voice trapped somewhere between a groan and a muffled scream. "You're a scenester."

"A what?" I asked blankly. I'd never heard the term before.

He gave me a derisive look. "A scenester." He didn't elaborate further. And he didn't continue the conversation. It was as if by saying those few words and turned myself into a leper.

It took me a while to figure it out. I guess a scenester is someone who likes the newest and most "cutting edge" bands and singers in the music world. Someone who hops band-wagon (pun entirely intended) every time a newer "it" group comes along.

I was furious.

I'd seen treatment like this before, but it had always been directed towards people who said they liked Brittany Spears in a crowd of punk/hard rock enthusiasts (for example). I'd seen treatment like this, but had never been treated like this. I was so beyond furious that I thought I'd choke on my own rage, and I'm a fairly easy-going person to begin with.

It sickened me that someone would categorize me by what I listened too, especially considering that he had no idea who they were, these "scenester" bands that I was listening to. He'd never heard of them, and he'd never heard them. Period. End of sentence.

Truthfully, I've only been listening to My Morning Jacket for about six months, or more. But the YYYs . . . I've been a fan of their for at the very least a year, it not more. But that wasn't what really got to me, having had some time to look back on it.

To judge someone on what music they listen to, especially when you've never even heard of the band, or've only heard of them by reputation--whatever it may be--is horible. It's like judging someone by looks, or by second-hand information. It's the kind of egotistical bullshit that I thought we'd evolved past.

Certainly, I'll be the first to admit that I've laughed at a Brittany or Justin joke, and I'd never ever buy a CD by an American (or Canadian) Idol, but I do admire them because they have the balls to actually go out and do what they want to do. This is regardless of any other facts. Regardless of money or talent. If you had the guts to stand up in front of a crowd of millions, even if it was only to make an ass of yourself lipsyscning a song that you didn't even write, I would be the first to stand and applaud because, by God, I'd never be able to.

I do not believe it's okay to be a music snob.

I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and tastes, and while I may not agreed, I won't shun you because you listen to music that I don't. I'll try like hell to convert you, but I won't treat you like some mentally debilitated handicap.

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hibiscustea

April 2015

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