Mix tapes for Satan

Today I bought a Florence and the Machine song off of the iTunes.

Last week I bought Ellie Goulding’s Starry Eyed. Months after it’s release and eye-roll inducing inclusion on Kick-Ass. I bought it. Off of the iTunes. And for some reason that I can neither pin down nor want to have spelled out to me, I felt some furtive shame.

Weeks before that, I bought Guns and Horses. Also by Ellie Goulding. Also off the iTunes.

Something is happening to me.

I do not profess to know that much about music really. I try, feebly, but never persist. I’m lazy like that. I know what is popular, and I know what people largely recognise as good.

I have a rough idea of what other people register as classic [genre]. And I have a have a strong sense of what is acceptable, safe, reliable, mainstream, blah.

To my increasing horror, it turns out that blah just might be what I like.

It shouldn’t be this way. I was brought up on Zappa and Beefheart. Stockhausen and Saint-Saens. Kraftwerk and The Smiths.

Florence and the machine?

When asked what music I wanted for a birthday game of musical statues one year, I asked for Messiaen’s Resurrection of Christ and ‘something by Boney M’ (apparently).

Ellie Goulding!?

This scares me.

I don’t want to like Florence. Her insistence on warbling at any opportunity just grates on me. I don’t want to like Ellie either. Her fluttery voice is cute, and I like all the uptempo-ness of it all, but I can feel what little cred I think I have burning up under the gaze of those around me who know better – should I casually hint that I like ‘her latest one’.

It feels worse that I am buying singles – consuming passively, reactively, everything I hear that sticks. I can’t even claim to have “gone further”, and assert that their lesser known songs are much much better.

And now I’m worried. What will I buy next? Yeah OK, there’s nothing really shameful about listening to the likes of either Florence or Ellie. But how long before I’m mainlining radio 2 playlists?

How long before I’m stood at the front of some wedding disco, or worse, a live gig, punching the air and Singing. Along. To every. Word?

How long before I receive a gift of some CD that someone thought I’d like, based on observations of my disgusting music habits?

What’s wrong? Is it Florence, Ellie et al, or is it me? It’s me isn’t it…

Shit.

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4 comments

  1. i only consume total crud these days too. it’s strange. i used to really care about music. now i can’t find any music to care about. the odd single. no albums to learn all the words off by heart of. no bands i can quote as favourites. when people ask me what kind of music i like i think. “err…?” i used to identify myself by the music i liked.

    is this the descent into the non-hobbydom of my mother? what’s next? books? films? if i lose books and films as well all i’ll have left is cleaning. oh lummy. it better be music’s fault, not yours/mine

  2. You know that thing where they explain relativity with two trains going really fast towards each other then time dilating and one person growing old and it was in that Nic Roeg film with Einstein and Marilyn and I never really understood it, but i just have this thing in my head with torches and balloons and physics and never growing old?

    I grew up on Radio 2, and Abba, and love it, and as I get older I like harder and harder music and even now, a special treat is the month that WIRE has a covermount disk.

    You and I are those trains, passing at the age of 35.

  3. Tae, I have been this way since I was born. Get a hold of yourself, man. Take note:
    1) Candy by Cameo is awesome.
    2) Singing along to the words of songs at full belt is one of life’s true pleasures
    3) Buying singles off iTunes is what heroes do.

    What’s wrong with buying the stuff that sticks? It sticks for a reason.

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