Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Unpopular music vs. Teeny boppers

I have almost never listened to any music that would be considered remotely popular for my age bracket. I grew up with Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Bach, and Byrd. Canadian Brass were pretty crazy for my classical world, but still acceptable. Dad introduced me to his music, but that was still more folk or rock than pop... Stan Rogers, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel. On my own I discovered the world of the musical, starting with basics like Godspell, Andrew Lloyd Webber and the 90s Disney musicals.

In eighth grade I briefly decided to attempt to be "cool" for a while and listened to the radio for a year. I listened to top 40 for a year and got very bored, so when I moved to Kentucky, it was back to my music. In high school, I'll admit I liked Backstreet Boys and N'Sync, but that was the extent of my interest in popular music. (Yes, I was a cliche, but that is gone now, thankfully. Unless you count this rendition of Get Down, sung by the Vienna Boys Choir. I listened to it for the first time in the ER waiting for migraine meds. I couldn't stop laughing. It helped make the pain go away. Nothing like Austrian choir boys with British enunciation telling you to "get down, get down and move it all around," to make you laugh hysterically. Then they rap. The album was a steal at Cheapo for the number of hours of laugher it has provided.)

In college I branched out slightly further (thanks to Rachel and Shoshana) and became a fan of Seven Nations, a celtic rock band. We drove up to four hours to see them and learned the hard way about the fact that Kentucky was in multiple time zones. We also got stuck on the Bluegrass Parkway at 3am on Easter morning. That was fun. We definitely didn't dance to music on our laptops in the middle of the highway. The picture makes them look hippie, but they have fiddle, bass, guitar, bagpipes, and drumset. This is the only pies without the drumset.

Over the past few years I've been incorporating more of a mix of music into my ipod mix. Most recently, I've incorporated the new Pink Martini album (surely it has nothing to do with the smooth vocals of NPR justice correspondant Ari Shapiro) and They Might Be Giants (not their new science album, but an older less geeky one. Still my ipod primarily plays non-hip stuff...classical, folk, LOTS of NPR, and some audiobooks (currently Stiff by Mary Roach).

All this means that when I do start listening to things that don't fall into these categories, say, Mika... I feel like a teeny-bopper. I feel like I'm sitting on the bus bopping my head like I'm 12. And I'm secretly afraid that I'm going to be busted for it. Yeah, I know this is bizarre. (Albeit deserved for some of my music, but not this stuff...) I don't know exactly what it is: his vocal range (3.5 octaves, meaning that he often sings in my range), the fact that his average fan is probably younger than me, the driving beat, the European-ness of it all? Anyways, that's what's been going through my head tonight. I've finally bought more than the one single track off of iTunes. I wanted to buy a physical cd, but then I decided that was stupid (and would take too long).

The King's Singers sang their gig with Mika tonight, so I'm hoping that now that they'll stop talking about preparations on their blog, I'll be able to ween myself off the music... worst case scenario, I'll have some new boppy music, good for workouts and when I need to wake myself up. The other good thing is that it has been really productive music for me to work to, so that's something. I just can't help feeling like I'm pretending to be 13 when I listen to the music.


Simon said...

A semi-friend/acquaintance in high school once said to me (I remember the exact quote because I was as appalled at her English as I was at what she said): "Piano is my worst instrument." What she meant was "I hate classical piano music even more than I hate other kinds of classical music." As a pianist and someone who loves classical music in general and who has never been a slave to the "hip" I knew at that moment she and I were not friends and were never going to be friends. And I never had cause to feel I missed out.

Katie said...

Funny how this month is teaching us about each other. Somehow I think I didn't know that you played piano. It is interesting though how classical people are classical and non-classical people are very much not. There are occasional crossovers and converts, but at their heart, I think there is a duality there. Maybe I'm simplifying it, I don't know...