Bob Loblaw's Law Blog
Love of Music: A Rant of Magical Wonders!!!
by, 11-17-10 at 09:04 AM (1588 Views)
I love music. I can appreciate music. Even horrible music is better than no music. Some musicians push the boundaries of what music is and isn't. Some music is created specifically to sell a product. Either way, music stirs the emotions. There is no doubt about that.
Let me start by saying that a lot of people say they "love good music." What does that mean? And what does it mean to be open-minded about music? "Hi, I like good music." "Do you listen to Tito Puente?" "Fuck that shit. I only listen to punk." "O rly?"
It seems to me that a lot of people who claim to be open-minded about music are actually considerably closed-minded. Just listening to alternative music doesn't make one a boundary pusher. Furthermore, being a boundary pusher doesn't make one any more or less closed-minded than the casual Breaking Benjamin fan. Where is the variety? Where is the passion? What's wrong with loving all music? There is so much good stuff out there. Beyond death metal there is calypso. Beyond gangsta rap there are narcocorridos. Beyond indie rock there is straight up bubblegum pop. What makes one genre typically superior to another? I don't think anyone can really answer that.
There are so many uses for music: entertainment, music as a vehicle for recruitment (including advertising), tribal gatherings, catharsis, learning, story telling. It irks me when people throw things out there like "Music is meant to evoke emotions. Fuck non-emotional music like dance music or pop music!" Whaaaaat? I hear that shit a lot on here. I hear that shit a lot from friends too. Most all music contains emotion. I mean, with all the types of music out there, it pretty much runs the entire emotional cache. Happiness, sadness, angst, fear, mistrust, lust, skepticism, sympathy, empathy, rage--all of those emotions are conveyed in music.
Even "soulless pop music" conveys emotion. It may be hard to get that watching MTV or listening to a song on the radio exclusively, but the same people who rock out to "Butterfly" by Crazy Town get the same enjoyment as someone listening to Wire's Pink Flag album. The difference may be the type of emotion. I have never seen someone at a bar and dancing to Ludacris with a frown on their face. They usually look happy and are having fun dancing. Likewise, when I see someone playing air guitar on their pool cue while singing along to Skynnard or some "Smokin' in the Boys Room," they may not be reflecting inwards, but they are still conveying emotion that would not have been there had the music not been blasting. When I hear rants by guys like Hunter S. Thompson say stuff about disco and how we're raising dancers, not humans, that kinda pisses me off because it just seems so smug. You know, having a good time to a backbeat is way worse than being a drugged up journalist. I'm not saying that Thompson isn't an awesome dude, but that shit is ridiculous. Any time someone says something similar I just laugh and think about a large group of my friends dancing to Cascada and having the time of our life. It's not the same type of emotion as listening to Elliott Smith with the lights off while it's raining outside, but it's still an incredibly emotional experience for me.
Having said that last part, I can understand not "getting" it the same way that some people don't get why guys like Elliott Smith can be so sad about life when there's so much dancing to do. I just think that it's apples and oranges with the common thread being that music is the fruit of life. An apple is and apple. An orange is an orange. Keep the ripe pickings and throw out the rotten stuff.