Sunday, 19 April 2009

Don't Apologise.

I've been listening to a proper mish-mash of stuff tonight, and it's got me thinking about music taste and what it's 'supposed' to say about you. (The inverted commas are my online winking device...go with it.)

Where did this rule book come from that liking one sub-genre of music makes you infinitely cooler than another sub-genre lover? I get the music snobbery part, hell, I'm as guilty as the next person but does liking such a wide range of things somehow dilute your character? Are you spread thinly over toast, rather than scooped out and slapped on? I wrote my dissertation on how your personality affects the music you buy and it was the highest grade I got for my entire degree. I think the fact I quoted Jeff Buckley, Van Morisson and Rob Gordon (well, Nick Hornby if we're getting pedantic) helped.

I have bands and artists that I love and they could not be further from one another in sound, tempo or philosophy. Otis Redding does not sound like Biffy Clyro. Sufjan Stevens does not sound like Hendrix.

I've got an image in my head now of one of those heavy-coated, street-vendors who have a tendency to fling open one side of their jacket to reveal pockets overflowing with watches, trinkets, treasures and old handkerchiefs. Gulp. Is that what my music collection looks like? Let me try to qualify what I mean.. you know the quizzes you can take in magazines where they ask you to tick various coloured boxes to decide your relationship/career/fashion/supposed pet choice? You end up ticking 5 red boxes, 4 yellow, 3 yellow and 3 blue. At the end of the day, this is someone else holding up a definition of you with the boxes they've created but I do think my music collection is made up of blocks of colour. Shades, tones and textures that all somehow fit together like a Rubik cube.

Sufjan sits down with Buckley, Bird and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
Otis can share space with Franklin, Cooke and Brown.
Biffy Clyro live with Pearl Jam, Pumpkins and Jimmy Eat World.
Hendrix bonds with Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King and Buddy Guy.
and... Paramore, Panic At The Disco and Kelly Clarkson can all hang out together in perfect harmony.

I'm not ashamed of a single piece of music I own, or like, or shouldn't like. From my perspective, at least, they all thread together because they're mine. I can see that I lean towards the more acoustic, earnest, lyric based stuff but there is always space for the balls-out guitar solos, the bar-jumping, throat-screeching vocals, the thumping back-beats, the undefined electronica, the twang of Americana and the all out pop-power of the universally accepted.

I like cool stuff, and I also like really uncool stuff too. I don't care, all I do care about is that I can complete a Rubik cube. Therefore, I am cool regardless of what you think of my musical taste.

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