Saturday, February 23, 2008

Guide to Becoming a Music Snob

Every once in awhile I'll run across someone who is amused or confused by my musical tastes. It definitely occurred more in high school and college than it does today. Still, it even occurred on this blog not too long ago. The argument usually boils down to people like myself only listening to certain music to "be cool". As if listening to non-mainstream music, ie, "unpopular", somehow makes you cool. Generally you try to fit in with what's agreed upon as cool but I digress (guess those goth kids listening to Bauhaus were getting ridiculed because they were too cool and flaunting this to the conventionally popular kids).

In the interest of being informative, I'll try to briefly outline the ease of becoming a music snob yourself. All you need is an open mind, a little adventureness, some time, and some money. It's really not that difficult. And I'll use myself as an example, since I've always been a huge music fan. If it wasn't indie rock it was the now obscure butt rock CDs I have (Junkyard, Trixter, The London Quireboys,etc). For some reason I've always sought out new music.

As a lot of young lads, I transitioned from butt rock to indie rock with the arrival of Nirvana. One minute I was in arenas watching Motley Crue, the next at St Andrews Hall watching Sunny Day Real Estate. So let us start with Nirvana. Say I really enjoyed Nirvana and this is the onset of grunge. I hear about bands such as Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and actually see them on MTV. They are about to become household names but are not yet. So I buy those CDs and really dig them. I listen to the radio stations that play music like that and hear other bands I like, such as Sloan and Dinosaur Jr. This gets me intrigued so I pick up some of their CDs. I see in the Metro Times that some of these bands are coming into town - let's say Sunny Day Real Estate. So I buy tickets and go with my brother. The headlining band happens to be Shudder to Think, who put on an incredible show. The next time I can make it to a record store, I pick up one of their CDs and listen to it for days.

If I really enjoyed a particular CD, I would have to listen to their other CDs. And if they happened to be featured in a magazine I would pick it up. When they mention artists they like or influenced them, I would usually give them a listen. If I ended up liking a publication, I may pick it up regardless of who was on the cover. In fact, I may even get a subscription. When reading the music reviews, I usually noticed a handful of bands I have not yet heard and would make it a point to listen to them. It keeps going on and on like this and doesn't even take into account the influence from like-minded friends who are enthusiastic to share their music with you and vice versa.

With the options available now, it's even easier to expand your musical listening to outside the mainstream. It's really not that hard. And it's not about being cool; rather, it's about a love of music and that joy you get when you discover new music that truly blows you away. Sure, you may have to wade through lots of below average or crappy music. But it's all worth it when you find that music that completely changes your life.


*Tom G*music *snob*Nirvana*punk*indie *butt rock


Blogger Ste. Goldie said...

If I wasn't on my way to work I would tell you my story!!! It involves a finding great music 5 to ten years past their original release and then finding out that there was a lot going on during the early-mid ninties when i had my head up grunges poop hole... long story short. i love music i never knew i could love but now have snob status...

2/24/2008 06:15:00 PM  

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