Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"I dig music..."

I definitely count music as a passion of mine. I can't read it, I can't play it, but I can and do love it.

This is evidenced, among other things, by my basically massive collection. I have more music on my iPod then I can really get to know, which has its upsides and downsides. On one hand, I'm always hearing new things. On the other hand, I don't always know what I'm listening to. It seems like it gets hard to appreciate certain artists, or their albums as a collective whole.

As much as the digital music revolution has benefited the consumer's ability to have portable music with songs in the thousands, I wonder if it hasn't affected the way we hear the artists' auditory visions. And sorry, but I'm not talking about the pop albums that are basically albums full of songs that could or could not be singles, and aren't really meant to stand together. I'm talking about the albums that are crafted as a whole, with songs that flow into one another, and full discs that have a running conceit or story. Pink Floyd's The Wall. Funeral by Arcade Fire. Tommy by The Who. The Mars Volta's De-Loused in the Comatorium, or Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814. All albums I have, and all albums that have suffered from a single song from each popping up on my shuffle, rather than being played as part of the album - part of the story. It's not that the songs aren't good enough to stand alone; it's that they're even better united.

And just as my old albums, that I used to listen to cohesively, have suffered from inattention, I'm not giving new artists the attention they really deserve either. I'll hear something I like, download it, and forget to listen to it. Then it will come up on shuffle a month later and I'll have to check out who it even is because I'm not sure.

And yet despite this, I still consider myself kind of a music snob. I've written before about my song electronic quality demands. I look down on the high school kids who are going to massives now because they're n00bs, and I feel like they mostly just go to raves so that they can dress like baby porn stars and roll on E. The thing is, I was a high school kid at some point myself at those raves, getting looked down on. And I know that I was going for the music, so why should I judge the kids who are getting into it now? What gives me the right? A lot of them probably are into the music too.

And so, it's that kind of undeserved sense of superiority I have that's giving me reservations about going to Coachella this year. I look at the line-up every year, and every year I think to myself, "Wow, there are some great artists playing." But then I think to myself about all of the people who are going just for the scene, like the people who I perceive are going to raves now for just that reason. And I kind of talk myself out of going, because even though I know that I'd be going to see the musicians I want to see, I can't help but admit that I'm a Coachella novice. It would be my first time. I'd be starting over - I'd be the n00b again. The veterans would no doubt think I'm just looking for a hipstery good time like all of the other poseurs there.

And as stupid as it is, my pride is having a hard time reconciling with that. Because I know that there are other people like me who feel ownership over their favorite artists and events, and don't like to see the fellowship polluted with other people who don't seem totally dedicated. I want to go to Coachella this year, but I want to do it right. I'm going to get a weekend pass, and sleep under the stars. (Maybe in my car with the sunroof open?) I'm not going to shower for three days, and I'm not going to look cute. (I will bring my 100 SPF though - it's in the desert and I'm not looking for a skin cancer surprise.) I'm going to push my way to the front of the stage when my favorites are playing. I'm going to dance and act a fool. If I'm lucky, I'll get some epic photos.

Does anyone else want to do it grungy style with me?

No comments:

Post a Comment