Your Taste In Music Is Terrible

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I’m that guy who will rip your iPhone out of the speakers at a party and plug in my own.  I will replace all that Top 40, tween hip-hop, pop-country, blandly generic bullshit EDM with the likes of Death from Above 1979, Deadmau5, MSTRKRFT and The Arkells.  

And you know what?

 

You’re welcome.

 

Because your music is terrible.

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“But isn’t it all subjective?” You ask, “Isn’t it all just based on personal taste?”

Let’s clear something up right here and now. Pop music is quantifiably terrible, and you don’t really like it. You just think that you do.  If it’s all that you listen to, you don’t actually have a personal taste.

You’ve been letting 13-year-old girls tell you what music is good. And it’s not that “feminine” music is bad, it’s that 13-year-olds don’t know shit, because they don’t have fully formed brains.

Ask yourself; why is it that your friends who go to shows, discover new bands and artists and always seem to be listening to someone you’ve never even heard of, are unable to stomach the likes of Nicki Minaj?

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That’s because their brains are not being hijacked by a kind of “musical Stockholm syndrome”. But because you haven’t broadened your horizons enough, and you’ve let yourself be subjected to Katy Perry over and over again, you actually think it’s good, when it’s not.

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Most Top 40 songs are pushed through the record labels onto radio stations, who are paying them to play their songs over and over again, hoping to get you addicted.  They use a system called “payola” to push their crystal-meth-of-music onto you.

Record labels do this because they’re actually betting that you’re not paying attention and let’s face it, today’s attention deficit generation is doing anything but. They want something that you won’t think twice about consuming. They don’t want educated consumers.

A recent example comes from last summer, when some radio stations were forced to play Iggy Azalea’s Fancy at least 150 times. You don’t like the song. I promise you don’t. You’ve just been told to like that song.

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In fact everything about music made by pop artists should irritate the living shit out of your brain, if you’re actually paying attention to it. The songs are made to be homogenously repetitive, shallow, and boast a purposeful lack of dynamic range, so that you don’t have to actually think about what you’re listening to.

It’s music made to work on any dance floor, to any crowd. It is music without history, and without purpose, and it assumes that you’re not paying attention.

In fact, science has proved that nothing in these songs should even be remotely exciting.  Scientific American says, “nothing within it stands out as being exclamatory or punchy” Which basically translates to “boring”.

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Do you understand? Taylor Swift is scientifically boring. If you actually pay attention to her music, it should bore you.

It’s not that you’re in to Taylor Swift, it’s that you’re just not that into music.

One might submit that by listening to pop music, you’re actively being made stupid. In fact, some scientists have gone so far as to say that pop music is ruining your brain.

So, pop music like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and even the beloved Beyonce makes you  less creative than your friends who listen to indie rock, jazz or even disco. Pop music is about as artistically motivating as a Big Mac.

Seriously, there is no difference between Beyonce and a Big Mac. They both look delicious, and are enjoyable when you're drunk at 3 a.m., but are ultimately just empty husks that have been aggressively marketed to you.

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They don’t want to make art. They just want your money. And they’ll get it by assuming that, and then actually making you, stupid. That’s why their music is awful and you shouldn’t listen to it. Ever.

Think about the culture you promote by listening to something like Katy Perry. You’re saying that it’s more important to be marketable than talented, and that it’s more important to have an image than a sound. Listening to Katy Perry actively contributes to vapid, senseless consumerism. Every time you listen to Roar, you legitimize the idea that it’s okay to be shallow and tasteless.

This music lowers all of our standards, like Honey Boo Boo or the Transformers films. By popularizing terrible music, we are raising a generation who thinks that music is easy, generic and a product, rather than an art.

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If you listen to Taylor Swift, you are responsible for every entitled, shallow millennial teenager.

So yes, your music is bad, and mine is good.

But before you start to retaliate against this piece, giving into your own corporate programing to defend the plastic bullshit that you’ve been told to consume, I will fully admit that I’m just trying to justify a gut feeling with various facts I found on the internet.

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I don’t know everything there is to know about music.  I haven’t heard every band in the world, and I can’t decipher every album on the most technical music level.

But I have worked as a music journalist for a number of years. I grew up in a musical family. My dad played in a band for years. I’ve been going to concerts- both big and small, for as long as I could walk.

Music really matters to me.

As an equivalency, if you were a food connoisseur, you wouldn’t be caught dead in a McDonalds, eating a Beyonce Big Mac. At least, not while sober.

I don’t hold anything against any of these “musicians” on a personal level, I’m sure many of them put a lot of work in, if even to create a generic product.  I couldn’t do it.

And I'm not just here to berate you for having no taste in music. Honest.

This is a call to arms. Go discover some music. Get out there, go to a show, see bands and artists live. Real musicians. And yes I count electronic acts. It doesn’t matter where the beat comes from, as long as it’s made by somebody with and for a love of music.

Find it for yourself and make up your own damn mind about how it makes you feel. Stop being sold what you like.

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Explore.

Something found is always sweeter than something you’ve been over-exposed to. Go see for yourself how much more precious, real and pleasing music is when it hasn’t been forced down your throat by a radio station.

Oh and when somebody at your next party unplugs that Nicki Minaj garbage and fires up something of their own. Leave them be. They care about your brain and they know what’s best for you.

Chris D'alessandro