June 12, 2009

Music Cop-Outs.

For lack of any original idea this a.m., here's a list I put together a while back that I re-read and found amusing all over again.


Been here before?

1) When asked what type of music you are into, you reply with far too much glee, "The Beatles!"
-This is scary stuff here. It's scary because for each person I know who drops the Beatles like a warm stool, I find myself contemplating the validity of the very foundation that holds the whole of the music world together: are The Beatles the first boy band? This is like a closed-minded Christian reading Michael Baigent's "Holy Blood, Holy Grail"; terrifying.

2) When providing a top ten list of all-time favorite albums, you hardly escape the year 2000.
- Congratulations, your music collection is now a toddler. Here's an absolute fact: You CANNOT list Death Cab For Cutie's "Transatlanticism" along with "Demon Days" by Gorillaz. This is a cardinal sin, and will not be tolerated. Music existed before 2004 - in fact, looong before - and it would be in your and everyone else's best interest if you realized this ASAP.

3) When criticized for liking mainstream Country music, you become offended and "git yer rifle".
- Our country is much too fragile at this point in history for you to further perpetuate our stereotypically hillbilly homelives. Plus, listening to Country music is like drinking warm, stale beer, exclaiming "this beer tastes like piss!", realizing that it is in fact piss, and drinking the rest of it anyway.

4) "That's not music, it's just noise!"
- You do realize this line has been handed down from generation to generation since music was invented in some prehistoric cave system by the first homo sapiens? Johann Sebastian Bach was "noise" at one time or another. As far as I'm concerned, whether I find it aesthetically pleasing or not, as long as it's noise that's arranged onto a media source of some sort in some organized manner, it's music. (This argument is easily challenged by every single album ever made by Limp Bizkit.)

5) "I like music that gets me pumped up!"
- As do I, unless I am trying to sleep or am engaged in any other activity besides toning my beautifully-sculpted biceps. Remember, Charlie Manson got "pumped up" to "Helter Skelter", so much so that he left mementos of his love for the song in blood from his victims' entrails. Ahem...try to be more specific.

6) "They just don't make music like this anymore..." (sigh...)
- (-tear-) I am guilty of this one far too often. Usually, I am listening to some obviously superior masterpiece like "Pet Sounds" or "The Velvet Underground" while that evolutionary nugget of enlightened musical insight settles in atop my superiority complex. However enlightened it might seem, it's as false as Master P's grill - or more importantly, career. What about Low's "Things We Lost In The Fire"? Wasn't it recorded and mastered utilizing a completely analog process? Isn't Stereolab pretty "spacey" and "retro", while taking us to places where Faust and Neu! only served as bricks in the path along the way? It's naive to think that one generation held the key to musical perfection, and that they accidentally locked the key inside the recording studio while recording the long-lost final track of "Abbey Road".

7) "What poor quality audio..."
- A) It was recorded in 1967, you dope. Plus, let's not forget that you are listening to a digital approximation of what the original analog source sounded like (in all its glory). B) There is such a thing as purposeful sound experimentation...see Fly Pan Am's "Ceux Qui Inventent N’ont Jamais Vecu (?)" or William Basinski's magnificent loop experimentation in "The Disintegration Loops I-IV". C) Check the genre listing...ok, now read it aloud..."lo-fi"...right, meaning "lo-fidelity". It's a subgenre. Would you like me to dispose of that Rascal Flatts album you're listening to, or were you gonna' do that yourself?

8) "I hate Coldplay because they are too mainstream."
- I'm really treading dangerous waters here, but this is such a huge cop-out that this list would be a farce not to contain it. Hating an artist for their successes is like arguing against sexual promiscuity because you're a eunuch. Do you really hate the music, or do you hate the idea of success other than your own? Another reason this is such a huge cop-out is because so many "hipsters" these days (and I have yet to hear from someone a definition of just what that is...) commodify their indie-loving status by shunning any and all mainstream music - regardless it's positive or negative sonic qualities. Why, then, are you telling me how much you love The Beatles? What about those "traitors" Nirvana, who managed to change modern mainstream rock music by infiltrating the genre and injecting into it their own brand of fad and popular music-hating grunge? Your arguments fall as flat as your carefully flat-ironed emo comb-over. (By the way, I do hate Coldplay, save for a brief stint around the release of "A Rush Of Blood To The Head" [if you don't fess up now to jumping on the Coldplay coffee-cart at one point or another, I will hack into your computer and send a copy of "Clocks" from your iTunes to every single person in your address book], but mostly because I hate, and have ALWAYS hated, U2.)

9) When asked your musical tastes, you upturn your nose, look left and proclaim "My tastes are rather eclectic."
- Oooohhh boy, I am going to have fun with this one. This statement drives me absolutely bat-s**t crazy - almost as crazy as finding it necessary to censor myself. If your musical tastes are so diverse and nonconforming, you better well have a huge list of titles that I've never heard of. The problem is this: very seldom do I meet someone who tells me how "eclectic" their musical tastes are that don't actually mean "I'm just one more Deadhead". Am I missing something by having never listened to any Grateful Dead album in its entirety? In my opinion, definitely not - unless of course you count that I'm obviously not "eclectic" (in much the same way I am or am not a "hipster", depending on how self-righteous the looker). Here is an example of someone who might have the balls to announce their "eclecticity": any person who listens to and ENJOYS Kidz Bop (enter album number here), Joe Maneri's "Paniots Nine" and owns an unhealthy amount of Klezmer recordings (vinyl, of course). (So, for example, I am definitely NOT eclectic, as I only enjoy Maneri's "Paniots Nine", though genuinely so.)
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