I stopped being such an insufferable music shitass in 2010.
I fancied myself a music nerd in college, but aggressively hated 90% of all music for no good reason. That’s probably the worst thing about being a punk rock fan. Unless something falls within a very narrow aesthetic definition, you pretty much hate it on principle. It’s absurd, and absurdly limiting.
Eventually you get bored of hating everything and seek out other stuff. This is why being married is awesome. If you marry someone interesting (Note: not everyone does this, which is crazy), your spouse is RIGHT THERE with a whole boatload of new tastes you probably haven’t paid enough attention to. And even if you don’t agree, you’re pretty much certain to have found a germ of something that will set you off in a bunch of different new directions, and voila, you’re not bored anymore. It’s a system that works.
Unless you read Pitchfork.com which seems to be comprised of people whose sole purpose on this earth is to find the most interesting, enigmatic, superlative music in the entire world and drop backhanded compliments and stanky pretentiousness all over it. Pitchfork is the molten blob of repressed intellectual insecurity that shows up at your dinner party only to snidely make sideways remarks about how you should have seared the steaks in a cast iron skillet to seal flavor before grilling while smugly commenting on the flabby petit syrah you failed to aerate properly.
Which also pretty much describes anyone who’s ever written more than five beer reviews online. At my old website my co-founder and I debated who was worse, beer snobs or wine snobs. We both concluded that beer snobs are way more insufferable. Why? Because if you’re drinking shitty wine, you realize immediately it tastes like melted Alexander the Grape Otter Pop mixed with industrial grade benzene. Know what shitty beer tastes like? BEER.
Beer is probably the greatest product produced in America. Why? Because for probably less than $100 you can make some yourself, and if you’re good enough at it, you can grow that into your own business. It’s cheap, it’s delicious, and everyone loves it. It’s the fucking American dream.
And there is so much variety out there, reading the tedious faux-intellectualism of a few self-anointed experts who have chosen an extremely small slice of human experience on which to focus the entirety of their energy sucks all the joy out of some of life’s greatest pleasures.
Which is a long way of saying that I’m listening to the Japandroids in my hotel room and drinking an Indica IPA from Lost Coast Brewery & Café and I don’t care who knows it.
2 comments on “Pretense”
I both agree and disagree. Music and beer are both things I’m passionate about, but it’s all in how you handle sharing them. If you’re willing to try things outside of your comfort zone and vice versa, you can learn about good beer and good tunes. I like Pitchfork and I like my small batch local brews, but I’ll still listen to Top 40 music and drink mass produced beer (just not… cheap ass pilsners, except PBR). Being an exclusionary douchebag is a bad thing.
Aaron, good thoughts, and that’s sort of my point. Expanding both your musical and beer palate is a good thing. But if you’re someone who hasn’t connected with a community of similar interests yet, watching people who have much more experience with a broad range of new tastes, and are therefore much more discerning (and possibly cynical),That can be a barrier to entry for some. It makes me insane when I try something that blows my doors off like Stone Cali Belgique, and I glance online and see people noting they found it “underwhelming” or some such shit. These people strike me as self-aggrandizing for the purposes of seeming smarter than everyone.
I don’t think we’ll ever agree on Pitchfork though. I can’t recall anything I’ve ever read there that didn’t make me go blind with rage. There’s just so much posturing going on.
Thanks for the comment, man!