Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Musings of the Musically Minded

Why is it, whenever I tell someone I like rock/metal music they automatically assume I’m a narrow minded idiot that won’t listen to anything that doesn’t involve screaming like they have their balls caught in a vice and contains at least three quotes from Hitler speeches in the lyrics? Yes I do listen to mostly rock and metal but my library contains anything from System of a Down to Eminem to Johnny Cash. Then you look at their library and it’s anything that happens to be in the chart, which in the last few years or so has been a bunch of RnB and Dance, and not much else; well apart from last Christmas’ number one. The point is these people listen to a maximum of maybe 3-4 genres and only listen to what Simon Cowell tells them is good and yet, to them, I’m the one with narrow taste.

Then, if I try to explain this to them, I’m suddenly an elitist that refuses to listen to popular stuff on the sole grounds it’s popular just to be non-conformist (ignoring the fact that by being non-conformist you are conforming to the non-conformity but that’s beside the point). I listen to what I deem good, and that happens to be stuff that’s not as popular as the likes of JLS.

Or it can be the other way round, “You like metal, ergo you like Slipknot”, no, that’s not how it works. I like Powerman 5000 ergo I like metal (or industrial metal if you want to be pedantic), not the other way around. With the likes of the ‘popular’ metal bands, I don’t necessarily like them, Metallica have a few good songs but I don’t go mad yet when people find this out they give me a look like I just squatted down and laid a cable on their new shoes.

One more thing, ‘metalheads’ often get stereotyped to be an aggressive and hostile bunch, this is not the case. I’ve been to my local metal club a countless number of times and never seen a proper fight break out (discounting mosh pits, obviously), then I’ve been to my local indie/alternative club no more than ten times and seen at least two fights, following this pattern at a Hannah Montana concert you would actually get murdered, horribly, in the face. It’s actually full on genuinely friendly people in my experience, not exactly the kind of people who will strangle you with a bite chain, drink your still warm blood and use your genitals in a bizarre satanic ritual like society would have you believe.

And going back to Britain’s second favourite narcissist, Mr. Cowell (the first can be seen one seat over from him on Britain’s Got Talent) we have the X-Factor. Ok, I admit, I like it, I watch it every year despite complaining about it but I do question what would happen if someone auditioned and instead of singing Chasing Cars or You Raise Me Up they sung Empty Walls or Scars, both are arguably just as emotional but they weren’t sung by ‘popular’ artists. They’d get turned away at the first hurdle, or at the very least told to sing something else, even if they nailed it (on a side note, I’d love to see someone sing I Almost Told You That I Loved You, just because it would be hilarious).

Then it goes to the finals when the closest thing we get is ‘Rock Week’ which just turns into about 6 renditions of murdering various Queen songs and a preview of the butchery the Glee cast did to Don’t Stop Believin’. Any other week they will sing really obscure songs (Gummo anyone?) yet as soon as Rock Week comes around there’s a not a single song that everyone and their dog hasn’t heard.

Not to sound too pretentious here but music is an important aspect in life and an art form we’d all miss if it was gone, it defines culture, it puts across emotion and it’s a way of expressing oneself without the need for a deep and hidden meaning like with usual ‘art’ as Jo was talking about in her last post. We should appreciate music for what it is, not what’s its not. As the saying goes, music is the language of the soul, though; going by this then Dizzee Rascal’s soul must be sat at the back of English class eating the glue.

Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings. ~Robert Benchle

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