Monday, June 18, 2007

Music is the thing

I'm listening to R.E.M.'s "Don't Go Back to Rockville" right now, as I type (literally). This is a GREAT FUCKING SONG. Given that they once made music this melodic and unusual, Around the Sun is practically inexcusable. I know that more than 20 years elapsed between recordings and that with age all our tastes and ideas change, but come on!!

The last line of Rockville is "Don't Go Back to Rockville and waste another year." In this case, I'm not imploring them to try to re-create Reckoning, b/c that's impossible. But substituting "Around the Sun" for "Rockville" in that lyric would work to.

I'm listening to "Little America" now. Soooo good. Peter Buck actually plugged in his guitar and Bill Berry is driving the band on skins.

One more music thing ... my fave blogger is Molly Knight, a writer for ESPN the magazine; she blogs mostly about her travels, dog and music (not in that order necessarily). We have much in common musically (I discovered her while searching for Rilo Kiley stuff), but we've also diverged (as noted in an entry last year). She LOVED "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, along with basicallly everyone I know but me, and criticized people who didn't. This bothered me. Not in a personal way because we don't know each other, obviously, but yet yes in a very personal way, because like many people I tend to allow my tastes in music to define me in some sense.

When we first meet someone, I think that it's music taste more than TV or movie taste or cuisine preferences that let us know whether this is someone we're going to invest time in. Of course, there are exceptions to this (some of my best friends not only don't love the same music as me, but haven't even heard of most of it and aren't that into music at all), but I'm just saying for the sake of argument here based on a lot of observation.

Well, to get back to the point of this post ... Molly now proclaims her love of Amy Winehouse and her song "Rehab," which is inescapable on L.A. radio. This is another ubiquitous hit (which will live on year-end best ofs) that just doesn't work for me. I'm not sure why exactly but her husky voice isn't working for me. But it's not categorically anything against a woman with some burn in her voice. I LOVE Rachael Yamagata. But also, Winehouse's song didn't do anything in particular for me lyrically and I got annoyed at the very repetitive chorus not hypnotized as many others have been. But that's me. And for those who love that song, good on ya, mates. I wish so much time wasn't spent tearing others down for their tastes in music or just ripping someone to be edgy and too-cool-for-schooly, because indirectly what we're doing is invalidating the emotions of the person who likes said artist, and that's never a healthy thing.

So I'm going to try very hard when I write about music to share my love of bands that wish other people would listen to, like Rilo Kiley, Stars, Arcade Fire, Gemma Hayes, Tift Merritt or The Pipettes, but not crush other bands or songs. I will of course criticize, but hopefully always abotu something specific, not just blanket "that sucks and all people who like it should choke on their own shit."

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