Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How I stopped head banging to Vengaboyz

We were sitting in the state of the art auditorium and 'western electric' was about to begin. I had absolutely no clue what they were going to play on the stage, I hated being there because anyways I wouldn't know what they were singing. Some of them are usually so nasal that its a pain listening to them live. You can't even zap. No control. But the only two people I knew in Bangalore were here and they were interested in this. Not only them, there was a booming crowd of some thousands who were all anticipating something exquisite. I had no clue again, I felt bitter and ignorant. But I have never failed! I just couldn't give up on this like that. Not to mention at least three more years of dreadful conversations and guitar holding men and women around me singing something that my ears refused to call music. It was one of the most belittling days of my life. I was something despicable I couldn't seem to reconcile with. Back then, I had more urgent solid tasks. One of them, I whispered to my own ears, was to listen to English music.
Yeah, it may sound so exaggerated but all I had heard before that was Vengaboys, Britney Spears and Jenifer Lopez. They were all banging heads like maniacs and all I could enjoy was colored light. Then started rigorous torturous ear lending to Yahoo free radio and somebody's ugly I-pod or mp3 player lists. Trust me, I couldn't tell Coldplay from Metallica and honestly, I didn't care. I would actually note down famous names and try and recall the songs when I heard them. Till date I haven't figured how many people actually could recognize some obscure(!) Pearl Jam number but would still go, 'Dude! the bassist was so kickass!"
Never mind, today I listen to 65% English and the rest is mixed. Today is not forced and I am not cornered by "Shit! you haven't heard The Massive attack?" What I learned is that its just a matter of knowing primarily. Then, liking or not. It doesn't matter if someone thinks Pink Floyd is god, there is absolutely no survival need to discriminate based on such exposure/information/aesthetic endeavor especially when today music can be reduced to a set of algorithms.
Don't even get me started on classical music. That's partly why I empathize and identify with pop lovers in India (no pop in India is not Sheryl Crowe). Balls to all those puritan 'rock', 'metal' lovers and their inherited guitars.. I will still listen to Shakira if I want to