Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Music As Litmus Test...

There was a time when I wouldn't even think about dating someone who had, what I considered to be, bad taste in music. As stupid as this sounds, one of the first things I would do to see if I was compatible with someone was to check the list of musical artists in their profile and see how closely it aligned with my own. If someone's list contained certain buzzwords like Britney Spears, Nickelback, Creed, Ke$ha, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, or any religious or country music artists, then I would automatically disqualify them. Don't get me wrong, I love music and I don't want to listen to these artists anymore than I did then, because I still don't care for it, but I'm also no longer a smug bastard about it. I used to hate these artists--because they had the audacity to make lots money, be popular and have lots of sex. And, by default, I hated anyone who would make me listen to them.

It didn't help that I was in my late 20's, and people in their late 20's are usually penis pumps. I also live in Los Angeles, one of the capitals of music snobbery. On the profiles of my local peers/potential dates were these long lists of ever-more obscure indie rock bands. It was kind of an unofficial pissing contest; whose list is longest and contains the most hard-to-find KCRW or KXLU artists. Seriously, some peoples' lists could be 30-50 artists long. Dicks. In hindsight, it's obvious that I was just projecting, but at the time it did feel that there was pressure to keep up. Which is odd for me, because I generally could give a rat's ass about that sort of window-dressing.

Which leads me to the date I had, some years ago, with the uptight indie music snob who was thoroughly unimpressed by my iPod's contents. She was short, thin, a chain smoker, blonde, conventionally attractive, but a real asshole. She had a large chip on her shoulder in general, but was downright dick-ish when it came to music. And I don't think she smiled the entire night. My grandma would have said she "had a puss on her face". Her face was in a state of constant puss.

Almost immediately she began going off about the band Modest Mouse, whose songs had recently started appearing in national TV ad campaigns. She was genuinely pissed that they'd "sold out". Really pissed. Because, you know, fuck anyone that wants to actually make money off their art. I didn't share her sentiments, but, nevertheless, I just smiled and nodded in agreement at whatever she said. At this point I was already pretty put off by her persona, but not enough to not try and get laid. Don't judge. I was in the middle of a long-ass drought.

Then she dropped the name of some indie band that, to this day, I'm not even sure was real. I honestly think it may have just been a name she made up to see how I reacted. To see if I would own up to never having heard of them, or if I'd play it off like I had. Needless to say, I fell right into the trap. It was something really ridiculous, too, like Jimmy Jam and the Canine Abortion. That's not the name she said, but it was something just as convoluted.

"Sure, I've heard of them.", I said. "I think I heard them on KCRW." Pro tip: When in doubt, just say you heard it on KCRW, because odds are that's where they heard it. But she was a real pro's pro. She smelled bullshit and she was going to call it. So she pressed, "What's your favorite track from their second album?" "Uh, I don't know, I've only heard, like, the one song...on KCRW." "Well, would you say they sound more like Furburger or Clap Your Hands Say Poop?" "Well, I them both so's hard to say, really...hey, how 'bout we start off with this spinach dip appetizer!?" She just glared at me as though, rather than suggest an appetizer from the menu, I'd actually just crapped in my hand and offered it up as an appetizer.

The rest of the dinner was filled with long and painfully awkward silences. And we barely spoke a word to one another during the subsequent concert that I had already dropped $80 on for our tickets. If memory serves, I didn't even jerk off that night. I was so turned off I just curled up into a fetal position, cried myself to sleep and dreamt of cutting off my own penis.

So yeah, fuck music snobbery.

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