Music: not just for listening to anymore!

Sometimes I get bored. This usually happens in those periods of time too short to get anything worthwhile done, but too long to fill by checking my e-mail. Sometimes I fill them by checking my e-mail anyway. Sometimes I read your blog. And sometimes I remember a website that I haven't visited for months and months and months. A post by Mr. Vertigo reminded me of one of those websites, and specifically of a very humorous music-related article on it (note: feel free to deride me for the snobbery of my comment on his post. I have thick skin.)

From SomethingAwful, I present to you: How to Fake It (not that)!

From the intro:
If you want to impress people with your boundless wit in the field of popular music, all you have to do is convincingly fake it. It’s not hard at all. Just like anything else worth knowing, from tying a necktie to building a nuclear bomb, you can learn to do it just by reading a single stupid article on some two-bit Podunk website. I’ve been watching people do this for years; it’s impossible to have conversations about music frequently without running into quite a few sly bastards who have mastered the art of faking musical knowledge and quite a few more who are at least half-assedly attempting it.

There are a couple of main aspects to seeming more pop-savvy than you really are. First of all, you have to break through the more-indie-than thou barrier: sometimes, people are going to bring up a band that you know nothing about, and you have to be able to beat them at their own game. Secondly, you’re going to have to create an air of pretentious snobbery in order to assert the superiority of your taste (and who would know more about that than me?). Finally, you must fake a sick obsession with some sort of musical cult figure. Once you’ve done these things, you’ll be virtually indistinguishable from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.

Here's an snippet of the advice:
Suppose someone says this: “Hey, have you heard of Flop?” Obviously, we’re also going to suppose that you haven’t heard of Flop, because you haven’t. How would you react to this? Your first instinct might be to say “Yeah, I’ve definitely heard of Flop.” This is bad idea for many reasons: first of all, it might be a trick. There might be no such band as Flop. Worse yet, your interrogator might have all manner of follow-up questions about Flop, and they’re going to be increasingly difficult to weasel your way out of. It might also be tempting to say “I’ve heard of them, but I haven’t really heard their records.” This is a wishy-washy compromise, and it’s an essentially meaningless answer. Basically, the only way to win at this game is to play it like Double Dare. You supposedly know everything about music. They ask you about Flop: dare. It’s time to put them on the defensive. “Hmm, Flop… what label were they on?” Double dare. Chances are, they don’t know. For all your opponent knows, you might know all about Flop, but he has failed to give you enough simple information, such as the name of their record label, for you to correctly identify them. Even if your opponent does know what label the band in question was on, you still can’t lose. “Ah yes,” you can say “I am almost certain that I have a compilation released by that label that has a few Flop songs on it.” This at least buys some time; the worst that can happen is that you’ll have to go home and look up Flop on the internet (this is known as the “Physical Challenge”). Your opponent is foiled, and you live another day.

How to like music:

D) If anyone’s heard of it, it’s crap.
Nothing can possibly get on the radio or on MTV without being watered-down for easy consumption by frat-boys, hicks, and teeny-boppers. Anyone who owns a radio and has it tuned to anything but the local pirate radio station or college station is a reprehensible consumer whore who wouldn’t know art if he ran face-first into Michelangelo’s David. Pop music is for children and yahoos.

E) If nobody’s heard of it, it’s crap.
The kids who do shows on the local pirate radio station or college station are a bunch of idiot scenesters with an infantile and ridiculous fear of pop music. Unable to appreciate pop music on its own terms, they turn instead to tuneless indie crap and ridiculous obscurity pissing-contests. The shit they play has no standard of quality; maybe that’s why only fifty people bought it.

1 comment:

Mister Vertigo said...

Heheh very funny! It almost sounds like he is poking fun at music lovers like yourself more than anyone. Especially the last part on how to like music.

It's way to much work to talk about music anymore. I remember conversations that went like:

Music Lover 1: "Hey, you hear that new Nirvana CD?"
Music Lover 2: "Oh yeah, very cool! I really liked the song All Apologies."
Music Lover 1: "Yeah, me too. I really enjoyed Serve The Servants as well."
Music Lover 2: "Yeah, Kurt's vocal work on this album really shines."

etc, etc, etc...