SPLASHING ENTRE VOUS, HIDEOUS HAGFISH!
Deep in the oceans of the human anatomy flow poignant rivers of disdain and cruelty, wafting scents of soul sewage directly into the visceral senses of any passing and vacant vessel. It runs parallel to how we act when there isn’t a clear middle ground in our preferences.
“You like Metallica? Oh, you’re a metalhead.”
“You jam out to Britney Spears? You like pop then.”
“You only play Hard House? How is constantly being on MDMA?”
Even in those examples, it’s pretty clear when my own personal bias lines are drawn, and even I recognize that is integrally unfair to simplify any form of music to being all-encompassingly bad. Sure, there are all kinds of fringes to already niche genres (be it Noise, Grind, Black Metal, whathaveyou), but they retain merit in their own right by creating a corporeal, marketable, and manageable entity. If you can physically present your music in more forms than your Soundcloud rap account, you have in turn created a visual aspect, something that people who are not drawn to your music can connect to.
Way back when I was pre-twenties and was a little (not much) more of a snot-nosed pain in my parent’s collective ass, they took me a ski resort for a business seminar they were attending. Overall, I thought my time would be spent bumming about the lodge, chasing snow bunnies, or playing around on my iPod in the car, but I was sorely mistaken. The gentleman speaking at that event was Rex Crain, a motivational speaker/life coach, and when he was finished speaking about a grand overview of “How To – Business” he came down and was meeting audience member individually. This included my parents “upline” (pyramid schemes, amirite?), my parents, and myself. To cleave the fat off this story, suffice it to say that Rex took a far more involved interest in my own hobbies than ANYTHING to do with the company that was paying him to be there. We talked about music, what kind of things I liked to play and how I grew to be influenced by them. We quipped about how that event had really needed a live band or some other more vibrant entertainment. Lastly, Mr. Crain made a pretty grand deal about connecting my music to something more. Be it charity, rights, or freedom, even music with a message WITHIN IT can very easily not have a message BACKING IT. For example, the difference between a skinhead and a white supremest is a clear-cut case of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Two polarized groups with the same haircut.
A huge piece of music is the defense of culture. Take any Tupac song, brimming to burst with calls to social justice. Any Black Flag song, singing about feeling isolated or poverty. Artists tend to weave their perspectives about reality into their music, giving us a perspective to worlds which we may have never known existed. Those examples exist within the lyrical themes and tones of the songs themselves and are not external entities tied to the artist. You can have songs about monogamy from a cheating dickhole is kinda the other side of the message as well, but rarely will you see a band backing a cause that isn’t in some way tied to their beliefs.
So this leaves us with two JARRINGLY hard to quantify sides:
SIDE “CHOCOLATE IN PEANUT BUTTER”:
The artist who pushes an agenda within their music, with the intent to exploit or manipulate those weak enough. ROBIN THICKE’S “BLURRED LINES” is a forefront example of this, along with any act that plugs their own merch or that you should buy said merch IN THEIR SONGS (GHOUL is actually guilty of this, but they did it as a JOKE). Different levels of manipulation assuredly, but manipulation nonetheless.
SIDE “PEANUT BUTTER IN CHOCOLATE”:
The artist who means to start the conversation about harsh truths with the intent of ripping away the wallpapering done to those suffering. Be it through community involvement, donation, or otherwise. Bands that share idea’s, not one glorified frontperson with personal goals to attain.
The unfortunate thing is that side C-in-PB can easily mascarade as PB-in-C. Adorning themselves with titles like philanthropist or humanitarians but they’ve never seen the regions they sent aid to or the people they feign to want to better.
BASICALLY WHAT I’M GETTING AT IS JUDGE YOUR PREFERENCES ON MORE THAN THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE A BEAT. THEY PROBABLY DIDN’T EVEN MAKE THAT THEMSELVES ANYWAYS.
Here are some bands that you should probably take personal account of, beyond the music they made.
THE BEATLES – A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
Yeah, THE BEATLES. Fun fact, JOHN LENNON was a totally abusive ween. Each member had a touch “bad news” time, but JL takes the cake above and beyond. I’ll leave you to do the appropriate research about a band you’ve likely screamed drunk.
R.KELLY – I WISH
HE PEE’D. . .ON A KID. . .AND PEOPLE STILL SCREEEEAAAAM ABOUT HIM LIKE HE WROTE THE BIBLE.
TOBY KEITH – YOU DON’T NEED TO HEAR A TOBY KEITH SONG, SORRYNOTSORRY.
Basically, TOBY here is one of those GOOD ‘OL BOYS. Freedoms, Miller Time, and rootin’ tootin’ school shootin’. Ironically if you wanna take yer gun into any KEITH establishment, you’ll be met with a phat NAW, BROTHER. In light of that dodge on listening to anything TOBY has ever “written”, I give you this offering and challenge you to think about it instead of just being ruffled.
BLACK FLAG – MY WAR
EVALUATE. YOUR. TASTE/FRIENDS/ENDS.
You can find Bear smoking bong and building snowmen on instagram.