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August 26, 2008

I Hate Whatever Music You Like

People ask me all the time “what kind of music I’m into.” I hate this question because what they’re really asking is, “Are you as cool as me?” I can answer right now. No. No I’m not. No, I’m not into that twee British act you read about it in Gravesitter or Thunderfuck or Quiznuts or whatever obscure music magazine you read. No, I didn’t go to the Bohemian Shithead concert the other night in Williamsburg. No, I’ve never heard of them, and no I don’t want you to burn me a CD of their “amazing new album.”

What’s on my iPod? Your dick.

Asking somebody what kind of music they’re into is exactly the same as asking them what their sign is, an attempt to discern something meaningful from the meaningless. What possible difference does it make? What are you going to learn from me if I tell you I like U2? That I’m into debt relief?

And there’s just no good answer. Turning the situation around, if I ask somebody the same question, here’s what I’m thinking based on their answer:

Jazz – douchebag
Classical – douchebag
Metal – douchebag
Country – douchebag
Rap – douchebag
Pop – douchebag
Classic Rock – douchebag
Christian Rock – douchebag
Alternative Rock – JUST LIKE ME!!!

Not that people generally answer in genres. They don’t. People just tell you whatever band they’re mildly interested in who they think you will think is cool. So they’ll say, “I’m really into Feist right now,” when what they’re really listening to is that kickin’ new Jonas Brothers jam.

Or else they’ll say, “I’m really eclectic?” For some reason, this sentence always ends in a question mark. “Eclectic?” And then, without prompting, they’ll tell you all the “eclectic” music they listen to, “I like Frank Sinatra and the Clash,” in a tone that suggests “Can you believe how CRAZY I am???” Douchebag.


And yet, I like Frank Sinatra. I like The Clash. I like jazz. I like pretty much all of the music I just made fun of other people for liking. Liking music does not a douchebag make. Being “into” music does. If you’re much older than an adolescent and you’re still keeping up with what’s going on in the Bristol scene or wherever the fuck, then you’re a douchebag. If you even know that Bristol has a scene then you’re one, too. If you are older than twenty years old and any part of your disposable income is going towards concert t-shirts, then you are a douchebag. Or even if you find yourself referring to any rock band’s “early work,” you’re treading on some very thin, very douchy ice.

When people ask me that question, I just tell them I don’t listen to music. If they ask me why I tell them I hate it because music killed my dad. That usually ends the conversation. But if they persist in asking how music can kill somebody, I just say that my dad was Amadeus. Then they understand.

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Sarah

Yay....this was just what I needed to read today.

much love.
Sarah

Lindsay

Michael, you are amazing. You always make me laugh!

s.gothman

thank you! people need to just get over music. i'm pretty sure when the devil invented it even he didn't intend for it to be popular for centuries. you know why music soothes the savage beast? because savage beasts are idiots.

Susanna

And I'm LAUGHING!!

But I absolutely draw the line at smooth jazz.

Jenny

ahahahaa!!! EXACTLY!! I literally have tears in my eyes. God, I hate music snobs. Thank you for saying what most of us are afraid to yell. :D

Mark

I agree with you 100%.

And just so you know, I'm into that soft music they play in elevators. It's like a bubble bath for brain and ears.

Camille

I could not agree more! Bravo, Michael, brav-0. (see...I made my "o" with a zero because it's obscure and goes against the grain!)
I'm also "eclectic" and it's a personal choice, like the meatetarian on the Wendy's commercial.

Kevan

You should definitely check out Hipster Runoff blog. reminds me of this diatribe
http://www.hipsterrunoff.com

John

You just summed up about 90% of my asscrack friends. I've forwarded this to them. Thank you so much for articulating my putrid feelings towards them.

Ethereal Zoe

I refuse to believe you never got laid to Kenny G. So don't EVEN try that.

Jordan

Oh Michael, this made me laugh so hard my roommate looked at me weird. This totally made my day after the second day of boring college classes.

And I can totally imagine you rocking out to the new Jonas Brothers' jam, singing along.

Salieri

I killed your father.

By the way, what kind of music do you like?

cat

Hipsters are the worse.

"you’re treading on some very thin, very douchy ice."
ahahaha thanks for the laughs

karyrogers

I will commit this to memory word for word and recite it anytime anyone asks me what kind of music I am into. I will, of course, credit Michael Ian Black.

vfghyjumk

you're like my art teacher! she doesn't listen to music and her dad is dead too


this post is wrong though, you're obviously ashamed of your music taste. don't be lil baby

Steve Huff

Dude. You give AWESOME rant.

Nicole C

I could not agree more... I hate when people say I listen to "everything" OH REALLY?? Douche bag. LOL

Felicia

Neither the post nor the comments that followed were on douchy ice.

And you're right, the question sucks. The better question isn't "What kind of music do you like?" but "What kind of music do you play while having sex?" because you'd be able to tell who the freaks are.

Jaime

"they’ll tell you all the 'eclectic' music they listen to . . . in a tone that suggests 'Can you believe how CRAZY I am???' Douche bag."

Ha ha ha! Yes. I just mostly resent that tone. Not so much the music question. (I think I might be a douchebag. I heart Feist and your buddy's fave Sia. Oh well.) Anyone that delivers a statement in a "hold on to your hats because I'm about to blow your mind with how effing cool I am" tone can bite me.

That tone is reserve for ME. I call dibs. Elitism rules!!

Mandy

i don't agree at all. i think it's really awesome when older folks are really supportive of a music scene and keeping new music cheap and available for everyone. the toddpnyc scene or LA Smell one are totally supportive 'scenes' that are just about having fun and enjoying music no matter what age you are and i think it's unfair to say any older people who support that and are a part of that are 'douchebags' when you don't know what it's like or can't appreciate what it's like.

And i think YOU really are trying to come off as better than others by saying 'no I'm not into this new band or this scene' well whatever, good for you. but if you were and we connected about going to loud obnoxious shows in shitty DIY venues that would be awesome. we could go to some shows, we could be really good friends.so it's a totally valid question.

Zane

Mandy, I think maybe you are missing the point. Perhaps when you are a bit older you might come to realize that you DON'T want to connect with some new random person. You DON'T want to share or become really good friends. It is enough to work and keep up with your old friends and be with your family.

That being said, if there are any other super-devoted fans of The Dazz Band reading this, totally call me and we'll talk!

Chad

"some very thin, very douchy ice." Hahahahahaha, that's great.

Jaime

I love that I'm not the only insomniac who reads you. Take comfort in the fact that there are mobs of bleary-eyed drones staring at _YOUR_ blog at 3:30 in the morning. Fuck Feist :)

Emma

And yet, the music geek continually ends up at the top of the geek hierarchy lists. It's just sad.

http://www.i-mockery.com/visionary/geek-hierarchy.php

"Or even if you find yourself referring to any rock band’s “early work,” you’re treading on some very thin, very douchy ice."

Patrick Bateman is the perfect example of the douchiness. Though he was quite hot covered in blood.

Reen

Jaime, as an occasional bleary eyed blog reading drone myself, it's not just the blogs I'm staring at. Ok now? Hell yeah! Can I get a witness?

Ok, it IS just the blogs I'm staring at. I already saved all his pictures and placed them in a secret stash. Next to my "other" secret stash. Pot. (And my remote controlled "butterfly").

Michael, I love your pissy rants - you crazy cantankerous bastard!

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