I would like to point out that considering the people on my friends list, I feel like I have big, fat, juicy ovaries (even as they no longer function) for posting this, as I am probably going to alienate all but four or five people, and the majority of those will not even know what I am talking about.
Lately I find myself listening to music I do not even like. Shoegazer. Indie pop. Power pop. Lo fi. All things twee.
Oh my god, I am just, like, so not cool.
I have been doing this thing that I really hate, which is trying to enjoy music because I think I should. Here is the middle school logic: my friends all like this sort of music, so I think there must be something wrong with me that I do not like it, too. What do they hear that I do not? Why do they get all excited when things go \”strummy strummy strum jingle jangle whooo I love boy/girl and I\’m making pretty music like the 60s because I have Brit nostalgia for an era I never lived in, from a country I have never been to, and I rarely ever evolve or show new ideas in my song craft?\” (Feel free to quote me on that.)
Am I bitter? Just because I do not get this music? Perhaps.
I have been listening and listening and listening, and it only continues to confirm what I have thought for the entirety of this past fifteen months or so (prior, I liked this sort of thing a great deal), that this music (to me) is stagnant, stale, and boring.
I want something I can sink my teeth into, something that will rip my insides open and make my head bleed with its intricacies, complications and innovations. This pretty little guitar thing all sounds the same to me now. The harmonies, the chord progressions, the snappy little drum beats. Didn\’t I hear this last year? Two years ago? Five? Thirty, had I been alive then. Yes, yes, I did. So why play it again? Why? Please do not tell me because \”it\’s good,\” and that \”you can\’t beat something that went right before.\”
The Go-Betweens. Velocity Girl (oh my god, this is DC and now I am going to be killed). Boyracer. The Lilys (playing Thursday night at the Black Cat, which sparked me to start listening to this in the first place to see if I could convince myself to go to the show, that and the occurrence of Taking the Piss at Marx Cafe, a monthly night that I recently realized I can barely stomach anymore). Heartworms. Belle and Sebastian (ooh, did I hit home with that one?). Neutral Milk Hotel. The Olivia Tremor Control.
Please make it stop. Please make people stop telling me how much I need to hear this music and how weird I am because I \”like everything\” but do not like this. Please make people stop putting this stuff on mix tapes for me (and now I know that having said that, this is all I am going to get from here on out). Please allow me to turn the other way in peace.
All this time spent wondering if I could not get into it because my heart has grown cold and I now intellectualize everything instead of emoting. I started to think, this is an emotional sort of music — this pretty stuff — this is the real progression of emo, not Jimmy Eat World. It has just slowed down and developed nostalgia (well, some of it at least, and the rest just still thinks it is being made in college dorm rooms, trying to keep the volume down so the RA will not come and pound on the door). I thought that there was something wrong with me that I could no longer like that sort of thing, no longer identify with it, no longer groove to it.
The majority of what I like now goes bleep beep click thump, gurgle splurt oomph clang, eeeii eeei eiiiii eeeii eie ieii, thud powchickapow thud powchickapow, zzzzziiiirrrrt yaaaaa chjaa boom scratch crang, or bum bum da dum ja mon. (These really are styles of music; I just refuse to pigeonhole music into subgenres when I like something.) The majority of the music I like, while incredibly interesting and exciting (to me), could vastly be interpreted as being emotionally cold, or if it has emotion, well thought out (or occasionally not) anger. The biggest exception to this of course is the bum bum da dum ja mon, which practically has more emotion than I can handle; I often break down crying when I hear it. These other forms of music, these jangle pop things, only illicit one emotional response from me — the emotion that coincides with I have had enough, please turn it off right now so I can go to bed in peace or at least listen to something better.
So I am being a little drastic when I say that I cannot stand any of this music. I like The Rondelles, Rocketship, The Delgados, The Softies. I am not entirely a fool; there is still viable music in these subgenres. Okay, I am even less of a fool — I see how these styles of music could appeal. They jingle, they jangle, they yearn and plead and softly sigh of things lovely and heartfelt. They are the bubblegum pop songs for the underground. Their fans know it and have no problems with this, and that is cool, actually, it really is. But you know what? If I am going to have to listen to bubblegum pop, please give me the Spice Girls. At least they looked you in the eye when they attempted to croon. Shoegazer, indeed.
Okay, who is still with me? Nobody throwing rocks at my window or slashing my tires, right? It is not that bad — it is only music. Yeah, right. I know for a fact that I just insulted some people\’s entire lifestyles. I read somewhere recently that to love music above all things is to always be unhappy. I guess that explains a lot for many of us. Some of us just cannot — or will not — turn down the volume long enough to face reality. Personally, I say crank it on up, because I am an avoidant son of a bitch just like most die hard music obsessives.
I am also really, really, really cranky tonight. I guarantee you, though, that when I shake this mood, I will still dislike modern day jangle pop fuzz. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
P.S. If I insulted anyone\’s personal band with these comments, I somewhat apologize. I probably have not heard your music and therefore have no opinion on it. It is not the subgenres I dislike so much as the music of some of the bands in them.