Why Does Music Have to Suck? (Part I)

Do you see what I’m listening to? Look down at the left side. On Monday and Tuesday it was Nirvana. Wednesday is Bright Eyes. Radiohead, Bush, The Beatles, The Doors, The Killers, The Alkaline Trio; these are good bands. There are plenty more bands out there that know and understand how to make music, and how to make music interesting. It wasn’t always that way, though.

There was a time when a band in Seattle would be the last new sound I could hear. Picture, for a second, that it’s Middle Aged times. Except, rather than living in England (a moderately small area) you are living in America. The Shaman has just completed his concert for the villiage, and you and a female friend are sitting discussing your favorite musical artists.

You: So, what kind of music do you like?
Her: Uhh.. shaman music, I guess.
You: Yeah… me, too.
[pause]
You: So, who’s your favorite music artist?
Her: Uhh.. probably the Shaman.
You: Yeah. It’s … good.
Her: Well, I have to go find a real man to marry me. Good luck with your “artsy-ness”.

Man. How did artsy Indians ever score? The answer is that probably only the artsy ones who also hunted and killed for a living scored. The story wasn’t much different in Europe. You could hear the same conversation (albeit in English this time) by replacing the word “shaman” with “minstrel”.

England had an advantage, though. There was more “civilisation” over there. The queen or king had a lot of power, and he or she wasn’t typically a benevolent or wise ruler. That is why you should never elect a leader based on who his or her parents were. NEVER. And you definately shouldn’t do it twice in 8 years.

The Queen or King had, at her dispossal, the arts of the minstrel and the jester. This meant that there was always a musician and a comedian in the court. The Queen or King, however, always chooses best. Good jesters and minstrels became famous figures, and their names lived on in history books read by a select few history geeks.

The Queen or King, differing from the Shaman, had the ability to order the head of a tone-deaf minstrel or a boring jester severed from their body. In this way, a check and balance was put in place. Well, not so much balance, but lots of check. This way, a person in power could get rid of the music if it became muzak. The Indians didn’t have this, and that’s why they were so easy to conquer. They had lost the will.

Then there began the transportation era. A musician could travel froma small town to a major city and sit in the streets and play. This meant that the city folks could now choose their music. It wasn’t whatever King Silly Pants wanted – it was whatever you wanted (and could travel to). This meant that conversations on music were much more easily brought about.

You: So, what kind of music do you like?
Her: Uhh.. minstrel music, I guess.
You: Yeah… me, too.
[pause]
You: So, who’s your favorite music artist?
Her: That guy on the East End
You: Oh really? If you like that guy, you should hear the guy on the West End.
Her: When does he play the West End?
You: About late afternoon.
Her: I think it’s the same guy.
You: Oh. Well, maybe he changes clothes then. I didn’t recognize him. Of course, I get very drunk in late afternoon.
Her: Well, we can’t all be police constables. Good day, sir.
You: Good day.

SEE? You practically went home with her! But, there still wasn’t enough to talk about. And the fact that you’re a lush doesn’t help either. Eventually transportation becomes quite popular, and eventually (through the centuries) it becomes widely used and accessible. You leave England for France because you no longer have any friends in England. Here you meet a pretty french girl.

You: So, what kind of music do you like?
Her: Uhh.. french music, I guess.
You: Yeah. Me, too. Except I’m from Britain. I like British music, too.
[pause]
You: So, who’s your favorite music artist?
Her: Uhh.. I think I have to make some french bread. Excuse me.
You: Well, I’ll come by around mid afternoon to hang out and talk more about music. Ok?
[no answer]
You: Excellent.

Hey – you have a date! Except, when you get there, she’ll be long gone, and you’ll never see her again. Oh well, at least you have your music. That’s how I feel. At least I have music. I mean, I’m thankful for my family, friends, Megan, and Haji, but at least I have my music.

Nowadays, music is everywhere. You can actually have a conversation with someone and mention bands they’ve never heard of. Radio, Television, and then the Internet are the titans that have brought us music from all over the world. Where else could I know names like “The Beatles” (from Britain), “Daler Mehndi” (from India), or “Bright Eyes” (from Omaha)? The conversation takes a final form.

You: So, what kind of music do you like?
Her: I like Indie rock.
You: Me, too. Who is your favorite?
Her: Have you ever heard Cursive?
You: They have the cello, don’t they?
Her: Yeah. They have a great song called “Art is Hard.”
You: I love that song.
Her: I… I love you.
[pause]
[kissing ensues]
Her: Have you ever heard of The Mars Volta?
You: I celebrate their entire catalog.
Her: We are going to have a great life together.

So now, centuries since music began, a man is finally able to impress a woman with his musical tastes. Enjoying a little-known, hardly-known, or unknown band can make you “cool”, “interesting”, and “artsy in a good way” to members of the opposite sex.

Now we just have to get the radio to play it.

…part I (one) of ? (many)!

Author: Miles Rausch

I've made a smart playlist of all the songs with 0 plays. I listen to them because I feel bad for them not because I like the music. I'm THAT guy.

6 thoughts on “Why Does Music Have to Suck? (Part I)”

  1. WHERE :eek: do you find the time to do such intensive research? Whenever I feel like I’d be pleased and fulfilled if only I could write a thoughtful and well-informed piece about music and sex from the Middle Ages to today, having a life always seems to get in my way. Kudos to you, my friend, for finding a way.
    Ps. the theme confuses me. I thought you hated snow. :question:

  2. “So now, centuries since music began, a man is finally able to impress a woman with his musical tastes. Enjoying a little-known, hardly-known, or unknown band can make you “cool”, “interesting”, and “artsy in a good way” to members of the opposite sex.”

    This is why Jeff has a girlfriend .. ?

    SNAP :razz:

    It’s just not how it works.

Comments are closed.