Music is a tricky thing. Being a fan, I mean; a devoted, loving, quite possibly obsessive fan. If you’ve never thought about it, then you’re blessed – stop reading right now and march forth, heady musical soldier.
For all the others, well, some of us just love some artists and we’re ready to defend them to the death if the occasion arises. It may not arise, in the end, but we’re fuckin’ ready if it does:
( “Cosmic Girl” by Jamiroquai comes on somewhere, be it at via the Cambie jukebox, at Vinyl, you name it…)
Me: Right on! I love Jamiroquai! “I’m just a cooosmic girl…” Wicked video. These hot cars in a chase. Cool.
Other dude: Ah yeah? I hate this shit. Blech. Bullshit dance music. Suuucks.
Me: Really? No way, man! Dance, yeah, but definitely not bullshit. Travelling Without Moving, Return of the Space Cowboy, a lot of the stuff on Synkronized… solid stuff… Dude! “Little L”! How can you not dig that!
Other dude: Because it’s shit. Garbage. Never liked it, never will. I’m gonna go request another song.
This is where it can get ugly… with me, anyways. I’ll go off, usually lubricated with a few delicious party libations, on how awesome Jamiroquai was, is, and will be. Forever. Later on, I’ll wise up some and realize that, okay, I don’t adore some of their later stuff as much I adore their middle stuff. (Oddly, I’m not a huge fan of Emergency on Planet Earth, though some of my Ottawa University friends swear by it, and do not listen to any other Jamiroquai.) Funny how we are. Case in point.
You’re the same, I assume. You have your favourite artists. You love them. No no, like… love them. You’d take a bullet. And then, there’s the other stuff. The other… shit. Sure, there’s a lot of music that just “isn’t your thing” or that you “don’t care for”, and you can deal with it, but… there are those artists that you, well… hate. I don’t use that term lightly. You may not necessarily hate the actual person(s), but there’s just something about their music (or their producers, or their creative team, or whatever…) that drives you batty. Up the walls. Maybe you know why, maybe you don’t – all you know, is that you fucking hate them, their music and everything they have ever touched, are touching, or ever will touch. The bastards.
It gets nasty, right? If you’ve never felt this, don’t worry about it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love your favourite band enough; you don’t need to “hate” something in the same proportion that you love your favourite band. Chances are, if you (and I) met the actual human beings that create that awful, revolting noise we love to hate, we’d see that, hey – they’re kind of normal, decent, everyday people. With any luck, they’ll be the intolerable, arrogant, despi/desposable pricks we hope they are. But chances are…
Personally, I do my best to not “hate” artists, or anyone, really, for that matter. I think that’s a good philosophy. Because in the end – and I truly believe this – you’re going to stress yourself out, piss yourself off, and bum yourself out – all by yourself – waaay more than that person you “hate” could ever hope to. Hate is sort of… cannibalistic. It’s all-consuming. So if “youze a hatah”, then good luck, man – you’ll only end up feasting on your own bitter, poisonous self.
I know. It sucks. “But… I… I WANT to hate this band! I really do… FUCKING… HATE… them!” Well, go ahead! Don’t lose sleep over it. Hate ‘em – don’t buy their shit; say “This sucks” when it pops up on the radio or at a party; get pissed when they win the next award. Just be careful.
By “be careful”, I mean two things:
1) Don’t trap yourself in your sturdy, self-made box that stops you from potentially enjoying different music. Not only different music in the same genre you like, but different music. You like hip hop? Try some experimental post-rock. Big classic rock fan? Try some trip hop. Only listen to death-grind? Give some bluegrass a spin. I’m not joking. You’ll surprise yourself at how many other types of music you like… maybe even love.
2) Don’t piss on everybody else’s parade. Listen – I don’t put myself above anybody. There are artists whose music I can confidently say that, yes – I hate. I hate it. I FUCKING HATE IIIIIITTTTT!!! *ahem* Sorry. But that happens. I used to bash freely, thinking that the only consequence of my elitist bashing would be to enlighten (HA!) some misguided “shitty-music-fan” to what I liked – what was really good. All that did was alienate me from really cool people that had a more open mind than I did at the time. Be a hater, that’s fine. Just don’t drive yourself or anybody crazy about it. By the way – if you feel guilty about hating the band, guess what – you might not hate them. GASP!
I’m not trying to preach. Really. I’m in no position to do so – I don’t think anybody should really be in such a position… What I’m aiming for is… don’t close your ears to all the beautiful sounds happening out there. There are tons. Innumerable. Really. Have a look. If you don’t know where to look, ask a friend. Ask your parents. Stroll into some random open mic night. Hell, ask someone that’s waiting at the corner for the light to change – “Excuse me… Can you recommend some good music to listen to?” What’s the worst that could happen? Sometimes the greatest things come from the most unexpected places.
Cheers, Vancouver. See you around.