DJ Culture

November 2nd, 2006

I have Anne Murray on my iPod. If you don’t know who Anne Murray is, then you’re missing out. If you know who she is, then you’re probably embarrassed for me, and that’s okay too, but I’ll get to do the Tennessee Waltz, and you won’t. I also voted for Carrie Underwood over and over and over again during her season on American Idol. I know it was that much cooler to like Bo, or better yet, Elliot, but I was with Carrie all the way, dude, right up until “Jesus Take the Wheel,” where things got a little too…well, I just don’t think that Jesus is taking any wheel of mine because I’m a pretty lousy driver.

And Dave Matthews? I still love him. I have since freshman year of college, before Under the Table and Dreaming was annoying, and when he was still – no, just becoming – cool. And then one day I woke up, and he was no longer cool, and I seemed to have missed the memo that he is mock-worthy and appropriate only for fraternity parties, which I am supposed to be vastly above. I’m not. Bring on the ice luge shots, I guess.

I also have a strange sort of affection for Celine Dion. I mean, let’s be honest. Name one other woman in the world who can get away with an Egyptian-themed wedding in Vegas that involves headdresses that weigh as much as ten watermelons suspended in mercury, and actually takes herself seriously. (“We have an epic love! That requires headdresses! And SEQUINS!”) Come on, you have to admire that, dude. And seriously, I like “My Heart Will Go On,” if I’m in the right mood. Mock me if you will.

Mock! Mock!

Adam and I often talk about how music choices, more perhaps than any other hobby or personal preference, are reflected in who we are, what we do, how we look. And honestly, nothing makes me happier in the whole world than listening to music. Peter Gabriel can change my entire morning, and if “I Grieve” happens to flash across my iPod while I’m driving, I need to either frantically hit ‘skip,’ or prepare myself for a morose drive full of crying jags followed by a day of repeated calls to Adam to scream how much I love him and please do not die, today or ever, or I will kill you.

Music is pretty damn miraculous that way. It changes us, makes us who we are, and brightens our mood. It can, in a way, define us.

But at the risk of sounding cranky, I’m getting a little bit annoyed at the whole hipster scene going on in music today where if any band is remotely recognizable then my God, they’ve sold out, and you are a sellout by association because they were so much better back then, and you missed it you fool. And you’re also completely clueless because haven’t you heard of the FranzingFlenFriends? They are so hot, dude, and what the hell is wrong with you?

I’m exaggerating, and perhaps being needlessly cruel, it’s just that I really loathe snobbery of any kind, unless it involves lunch meat, and in that case, snob away, because no one should have to endure jellified turkey, and can we not talk about Carl Buddig packaged meats? Ever? Boar’s Head, please. Dietz & Watson if you’re desperate.

And it’s just that music snobbery is just so awful, because everyone feels differently about it. It doesn’t have to define you as cool or uncool. It’s kind of malleable. It can be fun, if that’s what you feel like, or you can weep into your chocolate soda, if that’s your mood. However, Celine is FUN and comes with chest-thumping! Your heart, it goes on.

And yet, so many people are so determined to make it not fun. Maybe it’s fun for them, because listening to the FarFlungFruitLoops makes them feel like they are so much cooler than the rest of us, and my God, do they let us know that they are cool because of this very fact. FarFlungFruitLoops says so, because they sing like angry teenagers who’ve smoked too much weed, and wow, do they have confusing lyrics! Cool, confusing lyrics and greasy hair and whiny voices. And don’t get me wrong, I fully support these choices as much as I do any other musical endeavor. And yes, I like me the confusing lyrics and whiny voices, and far flung bands, but that does not make me cool by that fact alone. I hate the implication that you are cool because you can throw around random band names and mock people who like someone more mainstream, because they are stupid and don’t know any better. It’s just different. Bad music does not make you stupid.

I’m all for hobbies, and the music afficionados who run out and find obscure bands and genuinely enjoy them – I really am. But when a hobby becomes an exclusionary tool, I’m out, man, I AM OUT, and I’m just going back to my New Kids on the Block, Morrissey and New Order. The great irony is that I’ve been accused of musical snobbification, especially because I think in terms of song titles (I do that because it makes me happy, and also think of fun music! Yay Neil Tennant!), but let me assure you, the music I listen to, I happen to love because I love it by accident, and I don’t care if you love it, and I don’t even care if you’ve never heard of it and want to go home and listen to Michael Bolton on repeat over and over again, with a little Rod Stewart thrown in, followed by a chaser of Kenny G. I will still think you are supercool.

(Although, seriously, I had a Kenny G song played on the piano at my wedding, and I lied on the program and used his full name – Kenneth Gorman (Sorry! Edited: GORELICK! GORELICK!) – because I just didn’t feel like dealing with the assholes would be all, “KENNY G AT YOUR WEDDING, YOU CHEESEBALL,” and at that point, I was so stressed that I would take the easy way out of anything, and that includes betraying the very point I’m making now. So if you are getting married, I fully support this decision. People are assholes. Change Rod Stewart’s name to Rodney Stewartostopholis-Macy, I do not care. I will not judge you. Weddings make you crazy.)

And in case anyone was wondering, I choose my music very scientifically: I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and spent a lot of time listening to The Cure, because back then I was really angsty and superimportant because I was a teenager and woe, seriously WOE, was me, and also, I was madly in love with ELO because of my weirdo parents. And then in middle school I found Peter Gabriel by accident. Hence, I have spent the last 10 – 25 years trying to recapture the magic that once was, and I do so through Amazon’s suggestions, iTunes surfing and maybe Pandora if I have an assload of time.

And also! Music is to be shared together, not hoarded like you’re some kind of special person. Share! If you wanted to listen to whatever I listen to, and if you wanted to copy my entire iPod and run around with my playlists and love on them, I’d be so flattered and excited and I would give you whatever you wanted because we should all listen to The Smiths! Girlfriend in a Coma!

Or maybe you prefer New Kids on the Block? I have Hangin’ Tough and also Cover Girl. And I also met them in New York City when I was 13, and I was actually THERE when Joey bought the peace sign jacket he wore in all the photos and the Hangin’ Tough video. And then many years later, he hit on my friend at a bar after he was uncool and tried to tell us that he was very cool, and then EVEN LATER, a friend of a friend (hi Annelise!) made him leave Daisy Buchanan’s on Newbury Street by singing, “I HOPE YOU ALWAYS STAY THE SAME” really loudly to all of us and then staring at him a whole lot. We were 27. Sigh. So I guess what I’m saying is that I have an obligation to keep NKOTB fresh.

My really long-winded point is that God, we find a way to make everything exclusive and frustrating sometimes, don’t we? Even music, which is possibly the greatest gift in the history of miraculous gifts, and I think that kind of blows. Long live Celine.

*Pet Shop Boys

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40 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Suebob  |  November 2nd, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    You would love Mr Stapler. He has 25,000 songs on his hard drive. And no, he didn’t illegally download them. He bought the CDs and burned them to a hard drive. Because that is how he is.

    But anyway, he loves him some Anne Murray. Loves. He can wax rhapsodic about Snowbird.

    He also loves loves Brian Wilson, whose name in Mr Stapler’s house is always said “Brian Wilson, supergenius.”

    And Steeley Dan. OMG there was a 6 month Steely Dan phase where I thought I was going to kill myself.

    I could go on. Anyway, he has very eclectic music taste.

  • 2. Heather B.  |  November 2nd, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    cough ABBA cough

    I love ABBA. I love them in a way that’s really scary and might be seen as sad and odd to some people. I also love Johnny Cash, Tom T. Hall, Elton John, Jack Johnson, Marah and rap from ATL. Whatever. I’m over it now. I like people with eclectic taste in music and enjoy a little something that everyone else thinks is odd. If you like Kenneth Gorman, then so be it (Did I mention that I wanted to be him? BEcause I played the B flat clarinet and figured that I could be rich off of it one day too. That didn’t happen). I won’t judge. I’ll just sit in the corner and sing Winner Takes it All.

  • 3. Orange Peacock  |  November 2nd, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    I think a lot of the exclusivity comes from just plain feeling like you’ve found something really shiny and awesome and you want it to be your special secret. It’s like when you found something cool on the ground as a kid and kept it in your pocket and didn’t show anyone, because it was fun to have something just yours. I tend to like a lot of people who are woefully underappreciated, and I am always grateful when they get big enough to move down from New York and play the clubs and bars here in DC so I can see them, but at the same time it really sucks having to elbow through a giant crowd to get to the bar when you just know six months ago before they got “cool” you could have been having a MOMENT with them right up in front of the stage and not even have to knock the wind out of a guy with your shoulder.

    …or maybe that’s just me.

    Anyway, I love sharing music and I love cheesy music (my ringtone alternates between “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Barely Breathing”, hel-lo!). But you were wrong about one thing. Music doesn’t connect *everybody*. My ex doesn’t like music at all! At ALL! It’s amazing. He won’t even allow car radios to be on unless it’s strictly talk radio…crazy, huh?

  • 4. Lulu  |  November 2nd, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    I am coming out of hiding to tell you that I love this post, I love Hangin’ Tough, I nearly puked when I first heard Carrie Underwood’s Jesus Take The Wheel *** (which was later redeemed with the SUV attack song) and also, I love you for changing Kenny G’s name in your wedding program (which is not technically duping.)

    *** Really, really- did she have to go all Jesus-y? And she is a million times better live than she was a little over a year ago after she won.

    Oh my God, I just wrote a mini-thesis on the evolution of Carrie Underwood. My my.

  • 5. no name slob  |  November 2nd, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you, thank you for referring not only to Morrissey but also to the Smiths. You proved your own point perfectly by making my whole day a bit happier with those simple mentions. And I agree with everything, especially the sharing bit. I urge everyone I know to give Moz and also Warren Zevon a try, because really, everyone ought to get the chance to enjoy these two men. And if they don’t enjoy them, hey, I don’t pretend to understand, but I do wholeheartedly stand behind the adage of “to each his/her own.” Except that I had to go and fuck up the adage with PCness. Whatever.

  • 6. Gentry  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 2:26 am

    “I’m a alive. And the wooooorld shines for me today.” I can’t stop hearing it in all it’s moog glory. Damn you (and the whole Xanadu soundtrack).

  • 7. jonniker  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 5:19 am

    OP: Oh yes. Liking obscure stuff is totally fine! Totally cool! I get the secret in your pocket thing, sure. I got into a (friendly) brawl with another blogger about this very point a while ago. But I don’t think that makes you any cooler, or me any less cool. And so many people do!

  • 8. aly  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 5:34 am

    you just totally made my morning about anne murray. she is my ALL TIME MOST FAVORITEST christmas album of all time, and that’s saying something.

    my husband is also a music snob, and while i enjoy it, i dont particularly care. especially considering that i’m happy with any grateful dead show, nevermind if it was from 74 or 79. whatever.

    so in essenence, yay celine! yay NKOTB! yay ABBA! yay DMB!

    (also? YAY JOURNEY! cause nothing makes my morning than a solid rendition of “don’t stop believin'”).

  • 9. jes  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 6:11 am

    I still don’t know why, but my mom wouldn’t let me go to the NKOTB concerts when they were in town, and I thought she was evil for making that decision.


    Now, I thank her. Because I have the privilege of saying that I *never* went to an NKOTB concert.

    Even though I still totally rock out to Hangin’ Tough.

  • 10. Christine  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 6:54 am

    LOVE you.

    I would mock you for the Kenny G. — I apologize, Kenneth Gorman, at your wedding…

    But who am I kidding? My last blog entry was about my current obsession with Prince’s Little Red Corvette. No seriously.

    Music snobbery is just a way to make someone feel better about themselve. As is all snobbery. Pass the Celine.

  • 11. Lawyerish  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 7:07 am

    There is SO MUCH going on in this post. I love it.

    But the highlight: Kenneth Gorman. KENNETH GORMAN. I would never have realized that was Kenny G, had I been at your wedding. Unless, of course, the song in question was “Songbird”, in which case, who can mistake that lilting sax (?) and little pulse of syntho-drums for anyone BUT Kenny G?

    As for all the rest — every bit of it, including the lunch meat (our grocery store only carries Dietz & Watson) — AMEN TO ALL THAT.

  • 12. Amity  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 7:29 am

    Gosh, if Dave Matthews is no longer cool then I guess I’m the biggest dork in the room, since I just saw him for like the 25th time. There seemed to be A WHOLE LOT of other dorks in the room with me, though!

  • 13. Y  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:15 am

    From my MySpace profile (haha, I have a myspace profile.)

    I like whatever kind of music I want to like, regardless if people think it’s “uncool” or “bad taste.” So, keep your opinions to yourself and let me enjoy music, EVEN IF IT IS BOYBANDS.

    Kelly Clarkson and Linkin Park 4EVAH.


    Could I have this dance for the rest of my life? Would you be my partner every night?

  • 14. Allison  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:17 am

    Celine Dion=LOVE HER. Love. You need to download her version of “God Bless America” this instant. It rules. I don’t like cool music at all and my husband never ceases to remind me of that. Him of the Velvet Underground boxed set. ugh.

  • 15. jonniker  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:18 am

    Y, I just broke out in heaving, breath-sucking sobs of laughter.

    Because, when we’re together, it feels so right.

  • 16. guinness girl  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:20 am

    I totally don’t get the whole Dave Matthews is No Longer Cool phenomenon. I still love him – OPENLY. ANd OMG please tell me you know the Anne Murray song Snapshot. Please!

  • 17. Amanda  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:42 am

    I love the way you write! I found your blog via Leah and am smittem. Keep it up.

  • 18. Amanda  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:43 am

    Also, I cannot spell. SmitteN, not smittem. Sorry.

  • 19. Claire  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:55 am

    i didn’t know Dave Matthews is no longer cool. Which is kind of a shame, i guess. I hated him (HATED HIM) and everything he stood for for like the first 10 years of his career. Mostly, probably, (and unfairly) because when i was in high school and then college, his greatest following were the fratboy types and i hated them even more than DM. I’ve kind of succumbed to the Dave Matthews band, however and now can’t change the station when he comes on the radio. I get it.
    And The Smiths! Yay! I’ll take your Girlfriend in a Coma and add that Some Girls are Bigger than Others. Cause they are.

  • 20. whoorl  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 9:50 am

    Um, “You Needed Me” by Anne Murray is like, the GREATEST song of all time.

    “You put me high, upon a pedestal, SO HIGH THAT I COULD ALMOST SEE ETERNITY…you needed me, you needed me”

    WAHHHHHHHHH, I love that song.

  • 21. Krissy  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 10:10 am

    I was the music director of a radio station in college. The program I was in charge of was “Cutting Edge”, which means it is bands that no one has ever heard of and maybe one day 1% of all the crap I had to listen to would actually be famous. The only good part about it was that I knew about all the bands before anyone else, and I could make the hipsters feel like they were the idiots. I was so glad when I was done with that job though, it was exhausting to keep track of all those bands. I really think that all the hipsters are secretly spending hours researching bands so they can seem cool and in the “know”. I have totally reverted now and mainly listen to music from the 50’s and 60’s.

  • 22. maggie  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 10:12 am

    OMG- you MET Joey McIntyre?!?!?! I am soooooo jealous!

  • 23. Beth  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 10:20 am

    SO an unabashed lover of many things pop and will defend Madonna until the day I die.

    Also, complete sidenote and solely for reflective bragging rights: my sister is in the crowd of one of Dave Matthew’s earliest videos.

    Also again, Anne Murray is the awesomest.

  • 24. Zoot  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 11:59 am

    There are so many things about this article that had me screaming HELL YEAH.

    My husband has a lot of rants he goes on about bands who “sell out” and “damn top 40 music” and “overpriced concerts” and “FUGAZI tickers were only $5” and it goes on and on.

    I have never been ashamed of loving DMB. I am, however, ashamed for myself for loving Anne Murray. PUHLEASE don’t tell my husband.

  • 25. karen  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 12:04 pm

    So great to hear the variety of music everyone is listening to. I am of the old school myself and our digital music station is on 80s or 90s when i am in charge. My husband, however, has turned into a 13 year old girl and tells me how cool Nick Lachey’s video is. What? MTV? You are 33! Anyways, power to the less than hip people. And when i was 16 and 5th row at a New Kids concert I SWEAR Jordan checked me out until I held up my “Jordan get Naked” sign and then he rolled his eyes and our connection was lost.

  • 26. dissed  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Lived in Athens, GA, 1979-83. Saw the first public performance of REM before anyone in the band could sing or play instruments. Attended The Parties at The Church. And now they’re, well, you know. But we were. By god, we were. Back then.

  • 27. Jen W.  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    Um, yeah…Journey…Foreigner. I am not allowed to mock.

  • 28. Carolyn J.  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    I once heard someone say that you can’t ever be cool for liking a band. You can only be cool if some music came on and you’d PLAYED it YOURSELF. Hell yes!

  • 29. jonniker  |  November 3rd, 2006 at 8:00 pm

    GG: I can’t find Snapshot! I don’t have it!

    Also: Maggie. Yes, three times, oddly. If you lived in Boston in the late 1990s, chances are you saw him out at least once, and if you were remotely attractive, he DEFINITELY hit on you. He was desperate, and not a little gross about it. The illusion was gone, and he became another desperate Boston dude. HOWEVER, I have to say he was still pretty hot.

    Also, Karen, Jordan was totally the hottest New Kid. And I still think he is, even if he’s kind of gross.

  • 30. Gentry  |  November 4th, 2006 at 3:20 am

    I just had to come back to tell you that I played “Could I Have This Dance (for the rest of my life)” as my contemporary selection at my 3d or 4th piano recital somewhere deep in the 1980s.

  • 31. LCA  |  November 4th, 2006 at 12:39 pm

    Wow, I can’t thank you enough for writing that. My boyfriend is the snobbiest music snob you could imagine. I hear, “That band is AWFUL!” and “What a loser! He listens to XYZ!” and “Some people have no taste!” etc. I know he sounds like a real winner, and it annoys me to no end, and I’ve told him how awful HE sounds when he says that. My musical tastes overlap his, but I’m more from your school of playlists. There was a point that I thought, “Well, I guess Idon’t like music” just because my taste didn’t match up with the snobby standards. How crazy is that? Because you’re exactly right; music is NOT about that, and how could there be one standard for everyone to like and follow.

    I just bought a Killers CD and I love it. There. It’s out. And it feels good.

  • 32. Kristin  |  November 5th, 2006 at 11:16 am

    I just wanted to tell you that I love you even more for loving Ann Murray.

  • 33. Jem  |  November 5th, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    Gah, I so agree! I hang out with metallers, who are their own special kind of music snob. And I love metal, I love rock, but I also love Britney Spears. Like, seriously. Not just ironically, I ACTUALLY LISTEN TO HER MUSIC BY CHOICE. Because it is fun.

    And right now I feel like that scene on Almost Famous where the plane is about to crash and they’re all telling their biggest secrets and that guy goes “I’M GAY” and then the plane doesn’t crash. Hi! I’m that guy! I like Britney Spears!

  • 34. jenfromboston  |  November 5th, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    O am still readign this post but I still keep coming back to the part where you cop to Anne freaking Murray.

    Is TeddyBears’ Picnic on your most played list?

    (I mock and yet you ask, “how would you even know that song?”)

    Anne Murrary.

    I just …

    Anne Murray…

    no words.

  • 35. christen  |  November 5th, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    I’m so jealous that you met Donnie D. My girlfriends just met Jordan K last week at a promo event for his newest CD. I was beyond jealous of them, too. I get up in the morning and I see your face girl, you’re looking so good, everything’s in place.

    Rock on.

  • 36. christen  |  November 5th, 2006 at 8:01 pm

    Oh, and reading the others’ comments–
    I am the biggest Journey fan EVER. If I could afford it, I would stalk them all over the country, even with Steve Augeri in place for Steve Perry, or even for the mixed-race guy that took Steve Augeri’s place on their tour this summer (I was surprised to not see Steve Augeri, but the mixed-race guy was still good. Not sure if it was the 6 giant stadium beers that made him sound good, though.).
    I heart Journey. Journey 4 eva.

  • 37. Leah  |  November 7th, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Let’s run away together, just you ‘n’ me, m’kay?

  • 38. guinness girl  |  November 13th, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    OMG! Jonna, I must find it for you. I fear I no longer have it either – I had it on cassette!

  • 39. Naked Girls and Women&hellip  |  September 24th, 2007 at 6:50 am

    Naked Girls and Women

    Sorry, it just sounds like a crazy idea for me :)

  • 40. The Trifecta | whoorl&hellip  |  October 13th, 2011 at 10:28 am

    […] patient. Oh, and how could I forget, listening to “You Needed Me” by Anne Murray (THANKS A LOT, JONNIKER) 14,000 times. The second half consisted of some pumping, some bottle-feeding and some purchasing […]

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