And the Truth Shall Set You Free

Posted: July 11, 2010 in Grunge
Tags: , , , , ,
When engaging in a conversation about music, or anything really, I feel it’s imperative to know what you’re talking about; to have a basis or reference for why you’re saying what you’re saying is really not that difficult. We don’t have to agree on everything because let’s face it, at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But the ideas being thrown out into the discussion should be based on truth. What really irks me, is when people make things up for no reason. They use a tiny bit of true, and a whole lot of false to make themselves appear more intelligent. Allow me to elaborate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           To give you some history, I have always had a penchant for rock/alternative music, likely due to being a by-product of the grunge era (think Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc) that exploded in the 90s, when I was in high school. Which is why the following incident was so troublesome. I was driving with someone and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” comes on the radio. For those of you unfamiliar with grunge music, Nirvana essentially defined it. They had the look (plaid flannel shirts), the hair (head banger hair as I used to call it) and the sound (angry enough to instantaneously induce mosh pits). And “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became grunge’s anthem. So the person I am with, who clearly does not listen to any music of this genre, but has heard of the band, proceeds to make a statement suggesting that it was amazing how famous Nirvana became, after only making one album (ie Nevermind) before lead singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide. My immediate reaction: shock, followed by horror.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What ensued was a very disturbed and confused me, trying to convince an ignorant her that Nirvana had in fact recorded more than 1 album, as I own at least 2 others (1. In Utero with my all time favourite “All Apologies”; 2. Unplugged in New York including an amazing cover of Bowie’s “Man Who Sold the World”, which never fails to give me chills).  I shit you not, she refused to believe me. What frustrated me the most was this was a textbook case of someone trying to look like they know what they’re talking about. Needless to say, we no longer hang out.
Name-dropping is another variation of blending true and false. Just because you can drop the name of an obscure indie band no one else has heard of, it doesn’t mean you’re into indie music. If you tell me you like Interpol, you should be able to name at least one of their songs. I’m telling you, there’s nothing worse than pretending to know something. Whether it’s to appear more intelligent, to make it seem like your taste in music is expansive, to make others think you’re interesting, or even to hide the fact that you’d be perfectly happy just listening to Lindsay Lohan’s “Rumors” on repeat, it’s inexcusable. Here’s the thing, if you want people to think your taste in music is “different” and “interesting” and “so not mainstream”, try actually listening to music that is different, interesting and so not mainstream – who knows, you may actually like it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All I’m asking is for everyone to be honest. Educate yourself. It’s just like anything else in life, if you are going to make a statement you think is fact, then make sure it’s fact. If you haven’t heard of a band – admit it. If you like music you think will get you made fun of – own it. Please, just stop pretending, is that too much to ask?

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