Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Dying Breed of the Eclectic Music Enthusiast

Being a fan of many genres of music - arguably more than the average person - it's interesting to see and meet people from many walks of life, and to see exactly how they react when I bring up a particular genre.

Exhibit A: I'm a huge R.E.M. fan, which many of you know (and many of you don't). Now for those of you who only know me for the R&B/soul/hip-hop production side of things, it may surprise you that my top 5 favorite music acts are in rock and roll. R.E.M. is one, tied with the Beatles for my favorite. "Weird," one person called me when I mentioned how I was the member of a vast community of online R.E.M. aficionados.

Exhibit B: One of my favorite albums is Michael Jackson's Thriller. Upon hearing I am a fan of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, a similar reaction from another friend: "You have a weird taste in music." I responded, "That's just me being eclectic." Her response: "That's one word for it."

Certainly, both friends above were/are entitled to their opinions and were definitely welcome to share it; yet, I believe individuality in taste, in anything, is something that should be embraced and shared, encouraged and not discouraged. But in the bigger picture I'm glad they said what they said, because it brings me to my bloggable point of the day:

R&B and Rock - it's hard to marry the two sides when it comes to discussion amongst avid fans of either side.

It's like liberals vs. conservatives, or even PCs vs. Macs; maybe worse. Some will deny that it's that bad because there are millions who love both sides; but they likely haven't been exposed to instances of disparity.

Exhibit C: Back in middle school, Fall '91, grunge was in full swing and one DJ decided to throw in a new song, "Smells like Teen Spirit." It was booed so hard that the DJ stopped spinning the song after less than a minute. This was Seattle too. (All was right in the world to these kids, apparently, after the DJ proceeded to play "I Wanna Sex U Up" by Color Me Badd.) And yes, there are multitudes in Seattle who are focussed and tunnel-visioned on R&B and hip-hop, and could have cared less about grunge back then, and still don't years later. "It gives me a headache," was/is a common response. Seattle.

Let me redeem my former middle school and peers, however.

Exhibit D: In Spring '90 (I was in the 6th grade), word got out that I was going to play a Mozart sonata for the school's talent show. Groans were heard. The majority of the students were more interested in the latest choreography dance routines for Janet Jackson's songs on Rhythm Nation. So anyway, the day of the performance came, and I whipped through that 3rd movement of the sonata in about 6 minutes. The kids gave me a nice and long ovation, and a few even started getting into classical music after that. The ensuing reception I received when I walked through the halls was overwhelming in the following two weeks.

It was an unexpected response, and I'm forever grateful to them.

1 comment:

blueshades said...

You should've busted out Sonatina in C on their asses for an encore. Would've blown their tiny minds.