Anyone who follows me on social media knows I like to talk politics. I can do it all day. I was a history major for a while with a serious interest in political science before getting into the news industry.
The old rule of thumb was you never discuss politics or religion in politics, public company. But, I can talk politics with people diametrically opposed to me and my blood pressure won’t often trickle up in the slightest. It happens on occasion, but not often.
No, if you want to get my blood to boil, talk music with me. I will physically fight people over musical opinions. Music and St. Louis pizza, apparently.
And the worst take one can have on music is “I haven’t heard it, so it can’t be good.” If you ever want me to shut up for 10 seconds, just drop that little nugget in a conversation, because it will take me that long to convince myself to not punch you. I will be silent, because the conversation will move inside my head.
I say this admitting I get that not everyone consumes music the way I do. Nor should they. This isn’t “i’m better than you because I like this music”. No, I have read enough about the science of music to get that I am the weird one. We naturally navigate to the familiar. It is ingrained in us. Music is a passive stimulus for most. And that is okay.
But what I struggle with is an outright refusal to listen to anything unfamiliar. To me, that reeks of the “nothing new since ’82” mindset I struggle with. Those who stopped learning at a certain age, or stopped exploring educational or cultural growth. It tends to be the same people who think batting average is still superior to WAR, that music was the best in their junior high and high school years and that sex standing up leads to dancing. For a certain age group I find often guilty of this, that time was around 1982.
And I will fight that mindset to my dying day. Come at me, bro.
Want prompted this little diatribe? Working on a music playlist of course. I came across a song from a Key West artist Michael McCloud called Just Another Song. The main thesis–all songs started as something no one had heard. It is up to us to give them a chance. It’s specifically about Buffet, who I’m not even a big fan of, but the message in the song I can endorse. And that is what I seek out most often, a message in a song.
The intro of this song actually talks about what I typed above. I typed all that before finding the video. Go figure.
Years ago, I put together a playlist built around a similar theme: Adam Hood’s Play Something We Know, which is a song about a band dealing with cover requests. The rest of the playlist is some of those often requested songs.
Now, who wants to tell me the songs they have never heard aren’t any good?
(*I will allow the exception of Toby Keith. You don’t have to hear any Toby Keith to say he sucks.)