I forgot the when, or the why, but some hotshot sent me a vitriolic message, taking great umbrage with my taste in music.
Now, I’m drawing from memory, but their beef was with my appreciation of Canadian band Finger Eleven. No big deal, but the chap decided to tell me to quit my job.
Believe me, if the he knew how much journalists make, he’d be the first person exiting stage left. Plus, as Danny Glover put it so eloquently in the Lethal Weapon series, “I’m too old for this shit.”
However, my assailant of the spam variety is a great example of music snobbery. Every time someone pooh-poohs on the affinities of a certain cross-section of music fans, I replay the scene from High Fidelity. You know the one. It’s where Barry (Jack Black) denies the sale of Captain Beefheart’s debut album, Safe as Milk, to whom he believes, along with his colleagues at Championship Vinyl, is a geek.
Now, fair enough, the guy wasn’t your typical Captain Beefheart fan. But does it matter? What matters is people appreciate music.
And really, bands can’t choose who likes their music, either. Politics aside, Tom Morello should’ve taken this to heart when he denounced Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan as being a fan.
Me, personally, I do not discriminate. Plenty of genres are represented in CD collection. Though classical and opera are non-existent, and rap is in limited supply.
Are there any albums I regret buying? Yes. Len being one of them, and Broken Social Scene being another. Those were instances of buying an album for one song. “Steal My Sunshine” and “7/4 (Shoreline)” the targets.
Still, in the world of art there are still people with enough burrs up their ass to make a fallowing field jealous. Canada is no stranger to this malignant brand of pomposity. Our literary scene is rife with upturned noses.
While in university I would listen to one friend rail against the music of the Aughts. Admittedly I would nod my head in compliance, or say nothing when a band, or musician, I liked was caught in fiery crosshairs.
I tire of petty, subjective analysis being held as gospel. Music is subjective. The consumer’s market is what reaches more people. Yes, I own a couple of Nickelback albums. To use my favourite social media acronym: BFD. To counter that, I own Bang Camaro CDs and everything produced by Jack White.
And that would lead me into my next beef, Canadians, as well as artistic elitists, hate success. Metallica was given grief when they did their first music video. I’ll save that stream-of-consciousness deconstruction of Canadians and their loathing of success for another day.
Also, generations not of this modern music era always look down upon the current Top 40. There are other reasons for that. Reasons that McGill neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin’s book This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession explains. Pick up that gem, and give it a good read. It will explain why our parents hate our music, and so on.
Coming back to the abrasive email I received some time ago, all it boils down to is emotion.