Ugh, Your Music Sucks…My Music Rocks – Editorial

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.

(end scene)

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.

  • Anonymous

    I think there are some people who just love to hate… I agree with what you’ve said… don’t be a hater! Explore and be open! I’ve often fallen in love with a band after hearing a song in a store or restaurant. I’m always asking… who is that?! I LOVE IT!! 

  • Ygritte

    Totally agree!  I’m very respectful of everybody’s music taste because I know how much ‘my’ favorite artists mean to me.  Keep an open mind and try something new!

  • anonymous

    I can recall last week when my boyfriend  left his ”Strapping
    Young Lad” cd in the car, with the volume button to the max (he says
    halfway, bullshit.) and when I turned the ignition key I was nearly
    deafened by the sound of shitty-ass wailing that left me PISSED. (This situation occurs often…just with a different cd)

    Okay, have I actually even ”listened” to this cd? No. Have I EVER really listened to any cd’s he listens to? Not willingly. I’d like to think that I do try  but it’s true… I usually bitch 30 seconds into the cd and say ”put something else on, something I know”. I’m not proud to say it.

     My boyfriend read this piece and told me that it’s normal to
    hate music you’re not familiar with because it doesn’t strike a chord
    inside of you. You don’t know the words, the beat…it has no memory
    attached to it. (Which is usually why I like my own type of shitty-ass
    music because it reminds me of something…of somewhere…of someone)

    I guess it’s just EASY to
    hate something you don’t understand. It’s even easier to hate something
    that the person YOU love loves so much when you can’t even wrap your
    head around it. And my boyfriend LOVES his music. Sometimes, I look at him and
    think ”I have no idea who you are” because he LOVES it so much. It’s like he’s a whole different person. A person I don’t ”get”.

    So maybe I like to stick to the ”safe stuff” because it’s so much easier. And maybe I think I know who I am and that’s why I have trouble giving other stuff a chance. And OK, maybe after reading this piece I’m thinking,  if I do listen to other stuff I might realize I like it and I’ll feel like a whole other person.  Because I honestly don’t mean to hate…I’m just skeptical of loving something I never thought I could.

    • Daniel Robichaud (@DRobishow)

       Wow. You bring up an interesting point – the whole “WHY does THAT person love THIS music” thing? Dipping into some human psychology perhaps. I’m just pumped about seeing you mention SYL here; I’m a devout Townsend fan, and a little (angry, vicious, blood-thirsty) part of me died when they… *sniff*… broke up. Alas. Food for thought.

      Off to listen to “Relentless”. Thanks for the reminder.   >:D

  • MaximusPrimus

    Good Article. It really made me look back at my life and realize that the 15 year-old me would’ve absolutely fucking HATED the music that the 22 year old me listened to. And that the 22 year old me, would go apeshit if he knew what the 30 year old me listens to. i consider myself lucky, and I hope i’m not that only one who has lived this musical pattern. Because looking back, I still LOVE every music i’ve loved, be it now at 30 or 22, or even 15. That makes for a lot of good music and i’m excited for what the 35, 45 and 55 me will obsess over musically, even if I think it’s the worst fucking music ever now. Except Rod Stewart, i’ll always hate that motherfuckers shit music.

  • Alison

    Good stuff Dan, I feel the same way about Jamiroquai!  

    • @DRobishow

       I know, right? Nobody better get in my way when “Feels Just Like It Should” comes on. That’s my jam………. iroquai! WOO!!!

  • Louise Knowles

    I could not agree more with your article. I have recently become extremely obsessed with music, of all different genres. My mind has been exploding with different sounds and it could not be more resfreshing. If you can open your mind to new music you will meet so many interesting people. I feel like music is a huge part of forming bonds with people, and what better way than by broadening your music selection. And who knows, maybe you will find love for music you never thought you would. For me, it is mostly the feeling you get when you listen to music that makes me enjoy it or not. I often link my music with the memories that were made while listening to it. All in all, I find it very important not to judge anyone for the music they enjoy, or that they play for that matter. People play music to express themselves and I think it is important not to criticize them even if you don’t like it. Open your mind and open your heart to new musical adventures.