Would you like some cheese with your whine?

So I was out for dinner with some friends and some friends of friends as well.  The group wasn’t small, but it also wasn’t large enough for me not to hear the conversation happening down on the other end of the table.

“There hasn’t been a new band to come out that I’ve liked in the last 10 years,” says one friend of a friend.

“I’m sick of people saying the Kings of Leon are amazing and that their first two albums are so good.  They try too hard to be ‘indie’.” This is where I commented that actually, their first THREE albums are amazing.  I’d be surprised to find out that this individual had even heard more than one song off of any of the first three KOL albums.  Too hard to be ‘indie’? Don’t think there’s anything indie about Only By the Night, as proven by Sex On Fire and Use Somebody‘s fame...

Someone asks what kind of music another friend of a friend likes, and he says, “Oh, pretty random stuff.  I don’t like anything popular, all stuff you probably wouldn’t know.” Funny enough, he went on a few minutes later to talk about loving everything from the ’90s pop scene: Backstreet Boys, Christina, Venga Boys and so on…

“How can you not like Radiohead, they have done every type of music, so there’s something that appeals to everybody!” (Didn’t know they did metal, country and jazz..?)

“I hate all this Nickelback cookie-cutter bullshit.” (Can’t help but agree with that one, I guess)

Funny, I had heard of all those bands he was talking about… didn’t sound very “random” as he claimed.

I blog about this because I guess it reminds me of myself from several years back.  I’d say about 5-6 years ago, I was very focused on rock music that had good guitar in it.  And that was all.  I was, as my wife referred to me, a music snob, as were the gentlemen making the above comments.

Now, you must understand that 5-6 years ago, I had began playing guitar and thought that music wasn’t interesting, or respectable without a good guitar solo or at least a good riff.  I only listened to bands/artists like Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, Guns N Roses, Metallica, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Led Zeppelin, etc.  You know, anything with some great guitar in it!  Don’t get me wrong, I still love all those bands and they are on rotation on my iPod, but I’d like to believe that I have opened up my eyes (and ears) to a wider variety of music.

For example, I am going to see MGMT tonight.  Even a year and a half ago, I was told to listen to them because the person recommending them to me thought they were great and she thought I’d like them, too.  I maybe listened to half a song and decided it was not my cup of tea.  As of about six or eight months ago, I began diggin’ MGMT.  I don’t know what changed, but I heard the music for what it was and didn’t try to pick it apart and discredit it because there were no great solos or riffs.

I had a similar experience with TV on the Radio.  Another group of talented musicians who I was introduced to at one time and discredited after one song, claiming it just wasn’t my bag.  Within the last little year I have grown to enjoy some of their stuff as well.

So how and why did this change happen? Perhaps, as we grow and mature and our taste buds die off, so do our ear buds…?  Ok that was lame, but it must be something along these lines.  I mean, there’s got to be some logical reason I bought the single The Deep End by Hannah Georgas.

And enjoy listening to it.

A lot.

All I know is after listening to these friends of friends bitch about music, I hope to never sound quite that uptight about music ever again.  In being snobby about the music I listened to, I now realize that I was missing out on a lot of quality music that I may have been afraid to actually enjoy, or at least admit enjoying.

On a bit of a side note: I can’t quite enjoy Top 40 music …yet.

~ by DR on July 24, 2010.

2 Responses to “Would you like some cheese with your whine?”

  1. Yeah I get sick of hearing people complain about music too, and bragging about how they only listen to indie artists etc etc… and them when the artists get big they “sold out.” If you’re making money it’s because people like your music, so it’s (probably) pretty good.

    • Hehe, it’s almost like some people will only listen to a band if nobody else has heard of them. As soon as even one of their songs are on the radio, these people will then disown a band. My sister-in-law can’t stand My Morning Jacket because an acquaintance of hers asked her if she had heard of them several years back and before my sister-in-law could reply, she was like “there’s no way you could have heard of them, they are sooo good but nobody knows about them, but they’re sooooo good!”, so now she won’t even listen to them 😛
      The only time I would claim someone has “sold out” would be if they purposely changed their style of music to become commercially successful, and even then, if they were happy to do it and actually enjoyed their new “style” of music, did they really sell out, or just change styles? Hard to say….

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