I go back and forth on this one a lot, because I really, really have a problem with entitled people (at least 50% of the students/parents I work with..."Um ,do you know how much money I am about to pay to go to your school? I believe you owe me one hundred free lunches." or "Uhhh I did pretty well on my homework for a couple years and I am extremely popular. I deserve that $10000 scholarship more than anyone else ever!"), but I think I am ready to proclaim that even above the entitled...
...my least favorite people in the world are music snobs.
Hold please--my coworker (yes, working on a Saturday, because the entitled 17 year olds go to school AND play soccer so they CAN'T be expected to visit us on a weekday)just IMed me from literally as far away in this office as he can be from me and asked if I was writing a novel because he can hear me typing. I am, apparently, an overwhelmingly loud typist. When my college roommate's dad would call her in our dorm, he would ask her to step out of the room sometimes because my typing was so loud.
What can you even DO about that? I type with fervor. I don't even know how to help it. I mean, if I don't get this stuff out in a hurry, I might forget it, you know?
My least favorite people in the world are music snobs.
And I have a very specific person (not like ONE person, like your mom, like one type of person) in mind. I am not talking about people who are always into new music, or who appreciate new bands, or who go to concerts in small venues. I love those people (intimately). I'm talking about people who like new music UNLESS it gets popular, and who only like bands that they discover themselves, and who dislike music you share with them because "I can't put my finger on it...it's just not...I don't know...it's so...it feels...", and who label things "mainstream," and...you get this idea.
Here are the several problems I have with music snobs:
#1--Apparently you hate musicians, because you don't want them to make a living with their craft.
Listen, music snobs. I just can't imagine that many musicians (and I only add the caveat in light of MGMT's recent comments about how they don't want to be THAT famous, which I still hold that they only said because they ARE that famous, and have enough money to be fine for life, so they are trying to reach you people again, you music snobs) go into the biz thinking "I really hope I reach tens of tens of people, and that I spend the rest of my life playing super small venues where a lot of people are doing homework at the tables in the back with their headphones in, and that people are never able to buy my music on iTunes." I'm sure there are many that also don't want to play the Thunder Dome (wait--is that a sports arena or something made up from a movie? I was going for some sort of sports arena.) either. I'm not saying everyone wants to be U2. But I AM saying that musicians who play music as livelihood hope to actually be able to LIVE because of it. I don't think many of them want to hang on to their side job serving you gin and tonics at that bar down the street.
And just because a producer happens to approach them and say "I, like all these music snobs, also think you're really good, so how about we produce your album?" does NOT mean they've "sold out," you a-holes. This is what they set out to do.
ERGO (can't say that word enough, ever)
Why are you wishing them ill? Let some college kids get into their music too, and be happy about it, because it means they'll be able to play in your town more often.
#2--That song you like is still the same song, even if you happen to hear it on the radio.
Listen, music snobs. If you're sooo into this amaaaazing new song by this suuuuper underground band because it's soooo groundbreaking and reaaaally speaks to you, you should still like it, and it's hypocritical to all of the sudden hate it when you hear it over the sound system in Urban Outfitter.
"Hey Gina, how does this skirt look on me? Wait, isn't this that band you played for me in the car last month?"
"Whaaa...oh yeah, weird, it totally is. But I don't really listen to them anymore...they totally sold out...I'm pretty over the stuff now."
"Oh, that's weird, because...isn't this the exact song you played for me? Remember...you teared up a little...? The cd is still in your car?"
"Yeah, well, I just keep it there because I am going to Goodwill later, because I never really liked them that much...and stuff..."
Does anyone even buy cds and keep them in their car anymore?
But that's not the point. The point is: that's BS, music snobs. I get that you might be tired of a song that you over-listen, but it doesn't somehow lose its what-you-just-called-inherent-quality because some cool music buyer for a store picked up on it too.
#3--Music doesn't have to be groundbreakingly innovative to be good.
Listen, music snobs. Just because this guy sort of sounds like Peter Gabriel or that band clearly gets inspiration from The Cure doesn't mean they're not good! Don't you also like Peter Gabriel and The Cure?? So why would you hate someone inspired by them? If The Cure is good, a band that sounds like The Cure can also be good. It's science.
I think the thing that gets me the most here is the inherent performative contradiction that pops up with maaaany true music snobs. If you only shop in thrift stores, and only wear vintage clothes, and hate the kids of today's trends because they're "stupid and new," and want to look as much like a girl from the Fab Forties as possible, why do you hate music that has any ties to old music? Wouldn't it follow that you only like music that represents that same "I only like old things because they're old and cool and I'm awesome because of it" way of life?
Would it make more sense to you if I called it "vintage" music?
"Ew, you listen to Owl City? They sound just like the Postal Service. I hate Owl City."
"Don't you love Postal Service?"
"Yeah, totally. They're super innovative and groundbreaking."
"But didn't you say that Owl City sounds just like them?"
"Yeah, but they're not innovative, because Postal Service already did that."
"So you don't like them because they weren't first at it?"
"No...what? No...it's because they're like...totally copiers."
"So anyone who comes after a successful band has to be different than other bands in order to be good?"
"What? I don't know...I mean...like...Postal Service is super innovative..."
It has to be new and innovative to be new and innovative. But it doesn't have to be new and innovative to be good. That's stupid.
#4--Just because it's weird doesn't mean it's quality.
Listen, music snobs. I like overdrive-guitar-with-horns-with-xylophones and Reagan-speeches-through-an-autotuner and screaming-in-German-in-the-middle-of-your-song and no-one-knows-why-but-there-are-three-fat-clowns-dancing-on-stage-with-bloody-hands as much as the next girl (if the next girl thinks it's interesting), but just doing that stuff in a song doesn't mean it's super awesome. Sometimes, it's just weird.
"OMG...did you hear how Reagan was totally autotuned in that song? So awesome and meaningful."
"No, Gina, that was just super weird."
#5--Just because someone listens to Beirut AND Britney does not mean that they have no taste in music.
Listen, music snobs. I listen to Kelly Clarkson dance remixes in my car on long drives. I was that girl who said "YES...someone finally sampled 'Free Falling!!!!'" (don't look it up...you'll just be pissed). I'm definitely that girl on the dance floor in da cluuuub singing AND dancing like an idiot when they play Rihanna. But I also know just about every Fanfarlo song by heart, and sometimes cry a little bit in my car when Bright Eyes comes on, and played the new Frightened Rabbit album on repeat every day the whole first week I had it.
"Ew, you have ABBA on your iPod? I'm not looking at any of the other bands you have, because you have ABBA."
"You're really starting to piss me off, Gina."
#6--Music can still be awesome and worth enjoying, even if you didn't find it on an obscure music blog before anyone else did.
Listen, music snobs. Sometimes, I stumble upon what you would call "good music" too.
I know that you would've found it eventually, and if you did, for some reason you would've liked it more, and I hate that sooo much. I love being the one to find things as much as the next girl (who LOVES IT SO MUCH), but I don't have to be that person to see the value of amazing new music.
If you have to, just pretend that you did find it, and tell all your friends it's from this amazing but super obscure music blog that they don't know about. I don't care. Just open your heart to loving it as though you found it.
And stop making up stupid excuses as to WHY you don't love it. Just own it--if you only love what you find, say so.
"Hey Gina--did you hear the AMAZING new song I emailed to you?"
"What? Oh, yeah, it was pretty good."
"You didn't love it?? Because I LOVED it. And it's so right up your alley!"
"Yeah, I mean, it was good...I just...I mean...it felt...sort of...hmmm...I can't really put my finger on it...just a little...I don't know...contrived...maybe..."
"Wait--what do you mean?"
"I don't know...I just heard it...and I wasn't...like...I didn't...I wasn't like moved...or anything...it was just...I don't even know..."
"So you're saying you wanted to be the one to find it?"
"No no no...it's just...um...well..."
Just say it, Gina.
So I don't like music snobs. Those are my reasons. I might have more later...I can never be sure. I'm always finding new reasons to dislike music snobs. Don't be one.