A news post today, "Music is Dead. Long Live Music," regarding Millionaires and their upcoming album pretty much tipped me over the edge. There is a reason why a large majority of the music community could never accept, or be indifferent towards, a "band" like the Millionaires, and honestly, the argument of "what is wrong with a band making fun music?" has now become so overused that it's starting to make my porn collection look like it's in mint condition. Rather than regurgitate the points that quality, highly talented bands are suffering throughout the industry because of these atrocities (which is definitely true btw), I figured I would try and shed a little different perspective on the issue. Oh, and just because some of you out there feel it's ok to defend a band like Millionaires and their music, and then as soon as someone bashes you for it, you whip out the "everyone is entitled to their own opinion" card, and expect to get +3 invincibility, just remember...that phrase is a complete and utter cop-out. Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but some opinions are better than others. You might as well tell everyone that you really have no actual basis for what you stated. Rather than try and come up with a genuine point of your own, and defend it, your going to take the easy way out, and play on the fact that contemporary society is plagued with all this egalitarian and passifistic nonsense. Sure everyone is created equal, but this is with regards to natural rights, and not ideas. But before I digress any further, let's move on, shall we.
Here are just a couple of reasons why I find bands like "Brokencyde" and "Millionaires" absolutely offensive, repulsive, and overall...shitty. While their existence in the industry is a reality, I think people need to understand why they are, in fact, so creatively hideous.
1.) No career longevity
Iíve always maintained that for a band to be successful they need to surround themselves with a loyal following of listeners (nothing new), but these bands really have no potential to do so. Their music, which may currently stand out in the industry to young listeners, lacks any sort of sustainable value (how long can you write songs about drunken debauchery and meaningless hook ups without it appearing repetitive and unoriginal?). Listeners donít connect with the band, and instead ride the bandwagon of whatever trend they are a part of. Thus the industry just exploits these bands for a record or two, while trying to hide their lack of talent in a series of flamboyant hairdos and flashy clothes. By the time the band is making their second or (god forbid) third album, kids are going to become asphyxiated to the next new thing. These bands are low risk, potentially high reward for music companies, and as long as there is a supply (and a demand), labels can shuffle them through the industry like some product on an assembly line and then retire them when deemed necessary. The whole business has become mechanical. And to be completely honest, it makes sense to labels, but only for the time being. As more and more upcoming bands of this nature try and cash in on this genre of shitty music, the market will become so flooded that consumers (aka. Pre-teen girls) will no longer be able to differentiate between these bands. The music will no longer be unique and thus its popularity will die. One can only hope that the ensuing power vacuum wonít be filled by another shitty genre of music for kids to latch onto in the future.
2.) I've always had an issue with these bands on a personal level for some reason, and hopefully by writing about it I can help myself define exactly what it is about them that truly disgusts me.
-Consumer judgment has become so warped by the trends. Plain and simple. The majority of kids today are likening ďgoodĒ music to anything thatís strange and uncommon. And this isnít about bands being unique in a good way. Itís about the Brokencydes and the Millionaires of the industry stumbling across some funky beat in garage band, and then a song about a one night stand and an image makeover later, they have fooled the general public into thinking that they are the next hottest thing. In doing so, these bands have essentially robbed kids of any sort of sense of community surrounding music. So many of them will never understand what itís like to have a bandís music connect with them on a personal level, to get them through hard times, to inspire them to pursue their goals, and the list obviously goes on. Because really, thatís the greatest part about music, that itís open to interpretation, that a song can mean two totally different things to two different people based upon how they connect it to their own personal experiences. So how could I not sympathize with the youth of this generation when I see them listening to shitty music from shitty bands that only teaches them that itís cool to get drunk and get laid. Perhaps if some of these kids took the time to try and find music that they actually connected to, it might just change their lives for the better, because it surely did just that for me.
Hopefully this stirs some discussion, and gets people thinking about the current state of the music industry, and why it is that some of us could never just accept a band like Millionaires. They practice a perverted imitation of music just like terrorists practice a perverted imitation of religion. But whatever, I'll carry on spinning my TSL records and remembering of, what were to me, the glory days of music.
Spent spring break with the parents. Skiing/snowboarding, relaxing, catching up.
They live overseas so I can only see them during my breaks now, and it sucks having to leave them. College is so fucking hyped, it's ridiculous. I'm so privileged to have parents that I love, and every now and then it scares me how much life has changed since I've been at college. Especially since I know my childhood is over. Spending time with them reminds me of how much I'm going to miss them when they're gone, and being aware of it doesn't help. They leave and I miss them even more. But school and the excessive workload does a pretty good job of supressing any sort of real emotion I have. Sometimes. College makes no sense. I'd rather be with the ones I love experiencing life with them.
Today I started tutoring at a nearby elementary school. Once a week, 10 weeks, just for an hour. Fuck, I can't wait to get back.
The kid's name is Jose. I think he is in either 1st or 2nd grade, although they never told me what grade he is in. I didn't really expect too much going in. When I signed up, I had hoped to tutor middle schoolers or high schoolers in either math or science. Instead, I got a nearby elementary school, helping this kid named Jose with english. My last and last choice. Long story short, the kid is amazing, and I'm legitimately sad I have to wait a whole week to go back.
I don't even know if he will remember my name next week, haha. It was all pretty basic stuff. Sort some words, write some words, have him read some words. Honestly, it's a little creepy that I want to go back so badly. I didn't really even do that much. He pretty much read everything perfectly. The words that he had trouble pronouncing initially...he was a pro at sounding them out. English is his second language, but he is already light years ahead of me. I will most likely go the rest of my life knowing this one language. At the age of 7? 8? he knows two.
The best part was how enthusiastic he was. He never got discouraged. Watching him concentrating, silently sounding out words to himself, and then only after making sure he had it, proclaiming the word aloud. It was just so cool.
I'm in my second year of college now, and I feel like something has to give. My major is Biomedical Engineering, but for a few months now I've felt totally uninspired. I've felt like this is not the career I want. And now I've fallen into this routine. Everyday is just a trial to get to the next one. All the school work just serves to dilute any sense of beginnings and endings. Needless to say, the weeks are a blur. And every now and again, I find myself asking whether or not this is what I want. Problem is, I keep forgetting to find the time to actually sit down and figure out what it is I do want. Maybe I'm just straight up scared. Most of my friends are in engineering, and to switch majors would mean I would have to carve out my niche all over again. That's really not it though, that's hardly bad at all. Honestly, I'm probably just afraid that people will think I'm a quitter. Which is ridiculous because I do really well in school, but I've always been sensitive like that. I can't help it. And all of these things coupled with the rigamarole of changing majors. For the short term, I don't even want to think about it, I'd rather just trudge along. But I know I need to. It scares me to think about it. But I will have to. And the scariest part. I'm going to have to soon.
After I finish this year, I should really have an idea of what I actually want to do. It would be too hard to switch majors afterwards otherwise, without extra school. Maybe it is Biomedical Engineering. Maybe it's not. I know I would love to make music the rest of my life. Not realistic. Work in the Music Industry maybe? Haha, anyone willing to tell me that's easier than it sounds? Well, it's about time I tied this all together. Amidst all my uncertainties, I felt like today definitely meant something. After the tutoring session, I felt so refreshed. It's been a while since I've done something so gratifying, fulfilling, and yet so incredibly fun. I mean, one day of tutoring isn't going to change my mind about my future career choice. But who knows, another 9 weeks to go.
I just wrote my first blog minutes ago, and now I feel like I have so much to rant about. I don't even consider myself a writer, but my blog (and in it's infinite two post wisdom) is hardly anything special, haha, so I guess it works out. There is definitely something liberating though about posting pointless thoughts that your future self will probably scoff at a little over a week from now.
Anyways, my first rant, and I'm so fucking excited. I know I will look back on this and feel badass. I just know it.
If you go to a preppy school, and aren't a prep (sorry to stereotype people but, fuck, I don't really feel sorry - it's the best way to get the point across at this particular instant), then you must have noticed this at some point or another.
Before I continue any further, I am going to coin the term that I will be referencing in the rest of this blog: Cookie Cutter Girl.
Pretty self-explanitory I hope. Those girls that walk in packs like they are the shit's shit. Northface sweater. Jeans tucked into their Ugg boots. Pledged some sorority that I only know through nicknames referencing how ugly or slutty it is.
Maybe I have a chip on my shoulder. Growing up overseas it's hard for me to sometimes realize how narrow minded people are, but to say that these Cookie Cutter Girls are only narrow minded is complimentary at best. Talking to them is like throwing words around in a black hole. There is never any substance to the conversation, totally devoid of any meaning, totally worthless. Obviously they are smart girls if they got into UVA (Not bragging or anything...just saying. My allegiance to this school is minimal at best, haha), and it basically just confuses me how so many of them can act the same without trying to do anything of their own volition. Go to the same parties every weekend. Drink the same crappy beer. Complain about the same boys. Maintain appearance and repeat.
Yea, maybe I'm jealous because they are "popular".
Yea, fuck that.
Obviously, I'm over-generalizing people here. I know I would probably see things differently if I really got to know some of them. However, the fact of the matter is...I don't want to. I'm not the type of person to play it safe and just go for the same ol' chocolate chip cookie time and time again. Obviously I could elaborate on this very, very bad analogy, but I won't waste anymore of my time. These girls just all seem the same to me. Like they came from the same batch of cookies! Get it now!
Well ok, that was definitely a pointless rant, but it was pretty sweet! If anything it feels awesome to just sit and type crazily for a bit. Obviously, there are still a lot of people who are much more interesting than I am out there, and I'm more than happy I can call some of them my friends. I guess it's all about carving your niche.
I think I am going to start a blog. I've never kept a journal or anything of the like so this is fairly unknown territory for me (what do I do...?).
No one will probably ever read it...
I don't know if I've ever done anything that has only involved myself, or for that matter, anything that I haven't wanted to show someone else or receive praise for in some sort of fashion. Perhaps I've never done anything for myself.
Let me see if I can explain...
I starting playing baseball when I was younger because my dad encouraged me to. I started playing the guitar in middle school because I wanted to impress girls. When I started writing songs just a little under a year ago, my aim was still to impress girls, haha. And for as long as I can remember, I've done well in school because I just thought it was what was expected of me. Good grades, good college, good job.
Just so we don't misunderstand each other ('we' being 'myself', haha), I definitely do not regret any of this. I love baseball, watching and playing. I love music and playing the guitar. Both are probably the only things in my life right now that I can truly call "passions" of mine. And I'm glad I've done well in school, and that I can go to a good college. Knowledge is freedom, and I am very fortunate to be going to a good institution. (I can put off the real world for a little while longer if nothing else). My parents are the most understanding people in the world also, so there has never been any sort of pressure from them. They have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I guess I'm the one constantly imposing expectations upon myself? I have always been very sensitive towards what others thought of me as well; a huge flaw of mine. Anyways, who knows. But I am going to start this blog so I can have something that is only meant for me.