Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Hating the Haters

Before I moved to New York City I thought it perfectly acceptable to admit to enjoying a listen to The Dave Matthews Band and Coldplay.. In case you aren't 'in the know', it isn't. Really, it's just tacky. I'm sorry to be the one to break the bad news, but it simply is not hip to listen to any band more than a few thousand people know about. Unless! Said artist was popular before you were born (although keep in mind this rule comes with a few caveats. Read on to find out). For example; I like The Clash. Even though they're an extremely popular band, this still works with those 'in the know' because it's almost retro. I actually had to discover The Clash instead of being hypnotized by radio or MTV airwaves, therefore The Clash is a safe bet. But really, the more obscure the band, the more regard you garner from those 'in the know'. If you can reel off a band those 'in the know' have never heard of, you're a musical genius, no matter how shite the music.

Just this week I was informed by one 'in the know' that liking The Beatles is soo over..
"Oh, you like The Beatles.. but they're so cliche!" said in contrived bored tones accompanied by a dramatic eye roll. Huh? The Beatles? I always figured something became a cliche because of it's popularity. If wearing flared jeans is a fashion cliche, doesn't that mean a lot of people are digging the flare? If liking The Beatles is a cliche, doesn't it follow then that a lot of people are into their tunes?

What has happened to sincerity? My generation is exhausting me. My sneering, sarcastic, slouching, artistic contemporaries are wearing me out. Am I doomed to share sidewalks and subways with sarcastic, oversized sunglasses wearing, strange hair cut sporting, too cool for schoolers?

Tough crowd, these New Yorkers. But are they New Yorkers? These scruffy haired, androgenous "free thinkers"? Don't they all come from someplace else, like me? It's rigorous trying to stay in on the joke. And always with the sarcasm, the irony, the smug smirking.

I never thought I'd say this but give me a squealing TRL fan any day. At least they're sincere. They wear their emotions on their sleeves and don't care who liked which band first, they're just happy you like the music. They dance at concerts (I know, it's crazy) actually seem to enjoy themselves instead of standing there, feet super glued to the ground, cigarette dangling from sneering lips, smoke hazing around disheveled hair that took ages to perfect. If you watch them long enough, you may spot a tapping toe, a slight nod of the head.. Maybe..

I like what I like and it doesn't mean I don't understand music, that I can't appreciate 'real' music'. You hipsters just want to feel like you're on a higher musical plane than the masses, that your finely tuned ear picks up what the rest of us idiots stupidly ignore.. But the minute the world discovers your band you're on to the next obscurity. You'll stick around long enough to utter "I've been listening since..." "I remember when..." "They're such sell outs now..." and then you're off, in search of the new and obscure as a means of setting yourself above the rest of us musical morons.

P.S. I listened to Milli Vanilli in junior high and I luuurrrved them and even though I hate her on general principle, Britney Spears' music makes me sing along AND tap my toe! How is it that I never bought a single album of hers AND don't listen to much radio yet I know every damn song.. THAT'S musical genius my friends..

Reader Comments (20)

Dude! The Beatles, in my opnion, is the best band of all time! They were the first to come up with the central formation of Rock, guitar, bass, drums, and rhythem guitar.... I loooooooove the Beatles. Sure, the snickery kind tease me, they can bite me!
Helter Skelter..come on. it doen't get more hard core than that!

Keep your additude girl! That's why we love you!

P.S. I looooved New Kids on the Block...and I still know how to do "The Right Stuff Dance" :)
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
oh oh oohhh! oh oh ooohhhh! oh oh ooohhh! THE RIGHT STUFF!
October 21, 2005 | Registered CommenterMonica
Ah Simon Cowell would say...those are the "affected" ones. The ones that don't get giddy when they're standing next to a rock star. The ones that want to remain cool. Dude, if John Taylor was standing next to me in a bar, I'd be a fucking bumbling idiot. I'd ask for his damn autograph. Who fucking cares.

I'm over it. Give me my Pearl Jam. My Duran Duran. My Cure and my Depeche Mode. I don't care if I have to sit in the last row because there are 45,000 in front of me. I don't care. I grew up listening to these bands and I love them.
October 21, 2005 | Registered Commentertallchickbarbara
It is almost like a guilty pleasure to enjoy New Kids On the Block ( my fav was Jonathon!)
I like what I like. I am sure we all know bands that someone else has never heard of, but it doesn't make us cool! LOL I like what I like!
I am a huge ROD STEWART fan, I don't care who knows. Whew, ok, got that off my chest!
My sister is 30 years old, and she knows EVERY Justin Timberlake song, and I mean EVERY ONE OF THEM!!!
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJen
My theory is this: much of the time I like music for the feeling it invokes, the time it takes me back to, the person who I am reminded of.. I don't necessarily like music for it's musical qualities.. make sense? Of course, there is music that I straight up love for it's technical merit as well.. but more often than not, it's the way the music makes me feel, not the actual music..
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMonica
I seem to remember a time my friend bought Darrin's Dance Grooves and we spent an entire evening trying to learn the choreography to Briney Spear's "Crazy" and N'Sync's "Bye Bye Bye"

Oh yeah, I went there.
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAnother Monica
I'm certainly not gonna argue with the central theme here (I like what I like, dislike what i dislike, and calls 'em as I see 'em, just as we all should), but I'm afraid I must contradict the first respondent's claim that "[The Beatles] were the first to come up with the central formation of Rock: guitar, bass, drums, and rhythem guitar."

Credit for that belongs to the mighty Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and none other than The Beatles would back up my claim. Not only are they on record as being hugely influenced and inspired by Mssr. Holly and his Crickets musically, but they've also noted that said influence extends up to and and includes the very name of their band (as in, their choosing an insect for their band name was both inspired by, and in homage to, the Crickets).

Rave On.

- John
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMaxsilent
I think I used to feel that way and I definitely still do with certain bands, but living with my baby daddy who is like the PITCH KING (no wonder we love American Idol), I've gotten my ear back which makes me a little more critical of the music I listen to.

That man can pick out a bad note three miles away.

It's scary.

October 21, 2005 | Registered Commentertallchickbarbara
I am beyond with you on this one. I actually got into a bit of a spat with someone I barely know the other day because he was being a music snob. I say, if it makes you happy and takes you to a good (or even bad, if that's the mood you're going for!) place, then it's doing its job. In my mind, being all high-brow or all low-brow isn't good. You should really keep your mind open to both ends of the spectrum - there's something to appreciate in all of it. Plus, I hate the idea that when someone becomes commercially successful, they're labeled as "mainstream, talentless". Ridiculous.
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersandra
Take Green day, for example. They were booted from the grunge rocker community in the Bay area because they signed a record deal. Lame! If I had the choice of rolling in the dough while pursuing my dream or "staying true" to my rocker community, I'd say "sorry dudes, I'm outtie". You like what you like, and that makes you YOU!
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJacynth
A wise woman once told me that I'd be boring if I were ALL high-brow, you need a little "Sweet Child 'O Mine" to spice things up! Great post.
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAlissa
I listen to ABBA. I am the world's lamest person. Therefore, coldplay and DMB? Not that bad.
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterHeather B.
I love me some britney, girl. I know the whole dance from the video Oops I did it again. It speaks to me, and I'm not ashamed.
October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSicksadworld
Maxsilent point very well taken and certainly noted. We Cubans tend to speak in extremes :) I just love them that much! ;)

October 21, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
I am a Beatles fan. LOVE'EM. So whoever says they are so not in well they so don't know good music at all. LOL Just look here Icons of the Century and I totally will agree with that.

For me I've had a thing for Rick Springfield since I was 7 years old. I'm not ashamed to say I listen to him still. LOL And I've just recently heard that Rick Springfield will be appearing as Dr. Drake again on General Hospital for at least 4 episodes. Makes me happy. 56 years old he is and he's still HAWT!!! :)
October 21, 2005 | Registered CommenterFiabug
I was once set up on blind date with a girl. Our initial interaction was via email. Trying to find commonalities, I asked her a series of basic questions one being "Wgat is your favorite Beatles song?". Her response- "The Beatles suck.". Now i'm a guy that allows anyone an opinion. You can say you don't listen to them. You can say a number of things but empirically they don't suck.

Oh blind dates.

October 23, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterLightsplashed
Mon, you are a wierdo..;)~
October 24, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
I have older siblings, so I grew up listening to Led, Doors and Floyd while my friends all bopped to Janet, Paula and Vanilla Ice.

That being said, I'm more teeny-bopper now than I was back then. You called it, Britney AND Justin are on my workout mix.
October 26, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterPLD

Oh Who this takes me back to a time, where I pretended I was "jesses girl"

July 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMississippi Belle

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