Music is a very different artform than any other because it is so much more about the audience that enjoys that music than it is about the music itself. By saying that you like a kind of music, you are not telling someone anything about the music that you enjoy listening to, but rather the people you wish to identify with.
This is why I like how we’ve transitioned away from full CDs and albums and vague musical pretensions from any long form musical appreciation that implies that you gain something besides image from the music that you listen to. Instead the single has become king – and a single becomes king from its video.
I loved freshman year of college because no one has any friends. No one has any friends, so, for once in my life, I’m on equal ground with everyone else. Desperation is the overarching feeling for all and as a result we have constant conversations with people about inoffensive, useless drivel, commenting only with unbridled enthusiasm for the other person’s interests. That sounds like something that I would hate, but it’s the best because it is the time where I get the most attention because I refuse to participate properly. I am most interesting on first meeting and then it just goes downhill as you realize that my desires are boring and self-obsessive instead of quirky and counter-cultural.
One reoccurring question in these first couple weeks of trying to make friends is “what type of music do you listen to?” This is because music is our greatest signifier if the person likes the same things you like without actually bringing up the things you like. Nobody can genuinely be offended that you like Wilco instead of MGMT or that you listen to classical music instead of early jazz, but they can secretly despise you and find other people who say the same thing about The Dead Cranberries early 90s influences.
I like Lady Gaga.
I like Kanye West.
They aren’t musicians – they are icons of our time.
Kanye West’s penis has more influence on our society than half the artists that you think are upcoming, underground, and uberawesome.
This isn’t to say that I only pay attention to music if the artist is famous because fame is the only way to have an influence in music. I almost agree with that, but I think that music has an ability to force people to self-reflect (the only purpose I find valid in art) because it can appeal to a group of people based solely on shallow signifiers while subverting the message that they are typically bombarded by.
If you don’t know her, you should. Princess Superstar is one of a group of maybe 10 people that I think are perfect.
This is what music should be.
Telling someone you listen to Princess Superstar does not tell people that you prefer to dress a certain way and smoke a certain type of cigarette, it rather tells someone the opinions you find valid and the ones you don’t.