I’m not one to write about celebrity crap, but I’ve been spending more time than usual on Tumblr and my dashboard is filled with photoshopped wrecking balls and a topless Miley Cyrus. I have seen endless text posts of women and girls bitching about Miley’s turbulent lifestyle, how she’s being exploited, how she’s become a slut or whatever else they find offensive about someone who has no direct impact on their lives.
All I have to say regarding that is BRAVO to whoever is marketing this girl because I struggle to name a single pop song of that last decade, but I know more about her than I do about our president.
My opinion (as if it really matters) on the controversy over Miley Cyrus is that this and this are totally different:
They may be in the same ballpark, but Spears fell into a dark, black hole from which she will never return, while Cyrus just turned in to white trash.
I think the most entertaining aspect of the entire pop star worship thing is that people feel so personally offended by her actions (and her haircut) that when they write or talk about her (or anyone of equal celebrity status), they are filled with (an awkward, questionable) passion.
Our culture has become so incredibly mesmerized by the lives of beautiful people and it’s no wonder, they’re absolutely EVERYWHERE!
They’re right in front of us every day in every form of publicity possible and social networking is like a church of fellow worshipers. Can you really blame young girls (and boys) for feeling personally attached to these people?
These people have become part of their everyday lives. It’s truly mind blowing if you thinking about it.
To be fair, in black and white, it’s really no different than getting angry at politicians or feeling your heart melt when you read about something Pope Francis has said or done (I really do like that man), however, these people have societal impacts whether you pay attention to them or not.
I won’t lie though, I’m a sucker for looking at the magazines they line the grocery store impulse shelves while I wait in line, however that fascination does not extend past my transaction and Amanda Bynes throwing a bong out the window does not make a single difference in my life.
I didn’t feel like a total loser for doing this until I realized I spent the past half-hour putting this together and duplicating it on Grooveshark (for no one) on a Saturday night. I see no reason in not following through with it at this point.
In light of my recent 80’s music binge, I’ve put together a short playlist of 80’s music and 80’s inspired music.
You can listen to it here.
Enjoy your Saturday night with or without this.
I think my favorite thing about breaking myself free of childish judgments are the benefits of the music. The moment I was able to differentiate talented artists and studio artists, I become a music snob and for a long time considered 95% of mainstream artists talentless hacks. Somewhere after twenty-four though, that novelty wore off I realized that seeking obscurity was the real crime. I was denying myself of so many great songs filled with emotional carnage and despair. It also made me a total asshole.
Somewhere after they hit twenty, all of the punk rockers from my generation started this bearded, skinny-jean-plaid-shirt-wearing revolution of hipster shitheads and flooded the music scene with concept albums and ironic acoustic sets of mainstream pop songs.
The last house show I went to (probably the last ever too), was to see a local band with the sort of following that requires a bicycle parking section. After their set, my friend talked to the guitarist of the band that had invited her. Throughout their conversation, I was informed that my job of printing labels for (organic) chemicals was bad because “Chemicals are bad”.
Just moments after that statement, this conversation took place with someone who walked up to say hello to him:
Stranger: Hey man! What’s going on?
Band-Dipshit: Hey man, I haven’t seen you in a while, how’s it been?
S: Good, I saw you at that party a couple of weeks ago!
BD: Which one?
S: The one at asdf’s!
BD: Oh man, I don’t remember… I was probably coked out of my mind.
End significant part of scene.
I counted at least three mentions of coke in the five minutes he stood talking to my friend and even more mentions of being too drunk to remember anything. But, of course, he couldn’t tend to his other guests until he was able to ask my friend if she wanted to help paint the planet costumes for the band’s upcoming show debuting their new (concept) album.
If you ever find yourself curious about what’s going on in the local indie scene in Phoenix, Arizona – there you go.
But, back to growing up and becoming less judgmental of music: that band (a 7 piece including a tambourine player) couldn’t have sounded any better under the influence of twelve shots of tequila. Sadly, just as little as three years ago, I probably would have been slightly jealous of them and wasted money on an album feeling like I was missing something fantastic that all other thirty people saw.
The point I’m trying to make here is that when you bypass music because a lot of shitty people who don’t know dick about music listen to it, you’re sometimes left listening to mediocre music that shitty people who don’t know anything about music make.
Just recently I started listening to The Smith’s. A band I’d always ignored because… exactly. There’s this whole anti-Morrissey thing going on, but I don’t know a damn thing about the guy. What I do know is that “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” and “I Want The One I Can’t Have” are incredible fucking songs.
But because a buck-toothed (very) ex-friend of mine worshiped them (and Tori Amos – who I still don’t like), I hated them because for me, they were associated with someone who didn’t know what “quality” music was, also the fact that their following exceeded 5,000. So I missed all those years of licking my wounds with great songs because I thought having “high standards” was part of loving music.Anyway, due to my previous arrogance, the past few years have been spent going back and listening to music I’d accused of being talentless and superficial or “too mainstream” (I was that dick for a while, yes), and it has been wonderful.
People will always be idiots, but growing up and gaining perspective has taught me that people that listen to music but don’t know much about it, are no different from me liking pieces of art even though I don’t know anything about art outside of mainstream artists like Salvador Dali and Vladimir Kush.
I see something, I like it or I don’t. Art isn’t emotional for me just as music isn’t emotional for some people. It’s like this in every aspect of life. I’m sure there is an account somewhere that truly loves accounting, or a landscaper that really enjoys cutting grass.
There is a point when passion crosses a boundary and you just become a total piece of shit. It took a very long time, but I have finally crossed the threshold of acceptance to a very sensitive part of my life.
I don’t know that I’ll ever have an appreciation for Lady Gaga or Katy Perry or any pop artists of that nature, but I certainly won’t be bitching about them anymore and it certainly doesn’t bother me that other people like them anymore either.
Whoever said growing up was boring must not have had a passion, because this is like falling in love with music all over again.
Today is one of those days where I play “There’s a murderer in the warehouse!”.
This is where I run through the storage racks where we store our overstock and pretend I’m hiding from “a murderer in the warehouse”.
Although, I have to say, it’s not quite as fun as “There’s a murderer on the staircase!” which speaks for itself. I’d like to thank my dad for my strange fascination with running from a killer for allowing me to watch horror movies during crucial years of development. I’d also like to thank my anti-social tendencies for allowing me to play imaginary games by myself at twenty-seven.
It’s moments like this that make me hate my position in life.
You may be dazzled by the Comic Sans font, but I assure you, this is no party – this is a group march straight to hell. Not only does this happen at least twice a month, but after the standard “Happy Birthday to You”, there is a sliver of awkward silence followed by some god-awful G-rated joke that everyone pretends is comedy gold.
Then, the CEO, in all of his PG edge-pushing glory makes a joke about something on the birthday card (each one a special photoshop of someone’s face in a picture that represents an inside joke maybe three people get but everyone acts as if they’re in on), and everyone’s face turns brown as they laugh at something cataclysmic even to the pulse of something as beige as office-humor.
I’d be lying if I said my happiness couldn’t be bought with cake. But trust me, there is none to be had. Plus, with Bob throwing his insulin needles in the garbage, it’s probably best not to take any chances in a place with such fine minds.
I have always held a grudge against Paul McCartney for being such an asshole. Suing Lennon over whose name was first on lyrics credits and being one of the main causes of the Beatles breakup – he was just such an asshole during the White Album recordings and throughout the entire breakup.
Yet, I’ve always been sure to praise his songwriting and musical capabilities because it would be stupid to deny that he’s gifted when, clearly, he is. However, I still never gave his solo career any attention.
The thing is, as I’m getting older and maturing, I’m realizing all people do stupid things when they’re younger and all people do stupid things when they’re stressed and I’ve lightened up on many of my grudges. Paul being one of them. Despite the fact that I still don’t really care for him as a person, his music is wonderful. George has and always will be my favorite Beatle, regardless that I don’t really care for the majority of his solo career, it’s not the music that I love him for. Lennon has always been my favorite when it comes to music and his ability to weave music and politics was incredible. But, I have to say that so many of the things I’ve always loved musically about the Beatles are embedded in the solo career and other projects of McCartney, and listening to his music feels like a velvet cocoon.
His music is kind and incredibly pleasing to the ears. I should feel guilty for never listening to much of his solo work, but it had to be at the right time and the way I’m feeling right now… how perfect.
It’s so wonderful to grow up with music as my teacher. Because I can see past Paul’s flaws and embrace the talent that I’ve always ignored for “personal” reasons, I can use that knowledge to battle my own flaws.
“Forgiving” Paul McCartney means opening my eyes to a new way of thinking and understanding that we all fuck up and we’re all going to continue to fuck up. If only everyone’s balance for their mistakes were as beautiful as Paul’s.
I have completed my top 5 list for the end of 2012. In no specific order (because a top 5 is hard enough):
1. David Bazan/Perdo The Lion
2. Cotton Jones
3. Otis Redding
4. The Velvet Underground
5. Cat Stevens
An honorable mention goes to Nick Drake because he has certainly hugged the top 5 for the past couple of months.
I will be working on a list for those who have played major roles in my life this past year, but for December, this are the ones who have prevented scars.
Music is my glue to this world, without it, I would have given up ages ago. I have decorated my life with the pain of songwriters, musicians and composers and have kept my sanity because of them. Today, these 5 albums have made my mental suffering a much more tolerable happening:
All of these albums have been given plenty of love, and each one was greeted with a different form of excitement the first time the needle dropped on them. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that understands music to the depth that I do and I’m often surprised with hand-me-downs around spring cleaning time.
When my grandmother passed last year, she willed me her record collection, which will be coming home with me to Arizona when I fly back from Christmas. I have a very strong feeling that they will sit “neglected” due to the amount of pain listening to them will bring, but nonetheless, her collection is full of memories from my childhood and the excitement upon seeing them again is something I can’t describe.
That being said, this is my music station where the colors of my life happen.
About a year and a half ago, I became obsessed with this thing:
I watched all of her videos about 800 times and quoted them constantly and even went as far as to research who the hell this girl was. Anyone who talked to me at the time knew about me and these videos. It’s time, Brooke, for you to see this. Please know that when I visit, we will be watching these together because if we can’t drive around, then we’re going to people-watch on the internet.
Here are all of her videos:
“My man, my baby, my love”
“Thems my squirts”
If anyone could appreciate these as much as I do, it’s you Brooke.