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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ashamed

Earlier this week, Josh did a post devoted to Emmylou Harris after watching Knocked Up. What's the connection? Well, Knocked Up features "We Are Nowhere and It is Now," a Bright Eyes song where Ms. Harris contributes backing vocals. He also mentioned other songs on the soundtrack, namely Loudon Wainwright's contributions. I strongly agree about the greatness of the songs in the movie, but one song I was not familiar with really took to me. And it comes from a very un-hip source: Tommy Lee.

I mean no offense to Josh, his blog or his readers, but a part of me felt like I had to be really brave to post the following comment:
Great songs on this soundtrack, including the Tommy Lee song during the drive to the hospital.

Why this feeling? I think it comes from the numerous times I've felt berated by people who think my taste in music is suspect. No matter how many times I've written about this general subject, the level of mean and callous statements I've received from people on message boards has had a lasting impact. They really make me wonder why certain corners of the Internet seem like a mixture of the Mos Eisley cantina, Comic Book Guy's store and a heated debate on Fox News. It's all about some anonymous people inflicting their misery about life into the world . . . and it's supposed to be therapeutic. I beg to differ.

In this case, I'm well aware that Tommy Lee isn't as cool as the Clash, Loudon Wainwright or even Haircut 100. But the power of Lee's "Ashamed," with its climbing guitar riff augmented by a string section, does not make me feel ashamed. Still, before openly discussing the love for it, I had to build up some mental defenses before saying anything. It's like I'm waiting for somebody to come out of the woodwork and say, "You suck."

Most of my life as a music fan has been isolating when it comes to music I really like that my friends don't. I respect my friends' tastes -- as they do with mine -- but when they don't see the beauty and power of a band like Killswitch Engage, I'm drawn to the online world. Once there, it's hard to pretend these virtual, non-friendly trolls don't exist in the real world. If you don't believe me, just go to a college radio station or a record store, or watch/read High Fidelity.

This is all a vicious cycle that makes me wonder why I want this kind of acceptance in the first place. I've got my friends and family, and they all rule, right? Sure, but when you want to connect with people on things you can't connect with people in your everyday life, you look elsewhere.

2 comments:

blogs are for dogs said...

Great post Eric and thanks for your comment. I went back and re-watched the scene and you're absolutely right, it doesn't matter that it's a Tommy Lee song, the strings and guitar are perfect.

I think your post gets at what Eric Marathonpacks calls the "prestige economy" and Matthew Perpetua calls the "reputation economy," namely that what sustains and powers most mp3 blogs is a sense of indie cred and fandom for the sake of status. Good on you for realizing this impulse and kicking it in the ass.

Eric Grubbs said...

Thanks for the comment Josh.