How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Embarrassing Music
Life as a music lover who doesn’t fully appreciate the music part
I’m on my morning perambulations, listening to “all the good girls go to hell” by Billie Eilish on a music streaming service. Suddenly, a young man starts whispering sweet nothings in my ear. I’m too cheap to pay for premium, so I only have so much control over what I hear. That said, I like that my cheapness forces me to listen to new things. Otherwise, because I’m either a toddler or Buffalo Bill, I would listen to the same songs over and over for seasons on end.
The man’s voice is that of an up-and-coming artist named Miles Carter, and when I get home I stretch while listening to his album. He’s talking about love and vulnerability and he sounds like the perfect boyfriend. At 41, I’m too cynical not to think he must get more heinie than the proverbial toilet seat with his claims of sensitivity, and how he’s definitely going to fall in love first. So please be gentle! But the part of me that isn’t bitter as a Bernie Bro appreciates his sentiments.
For the first time in a long time, I wish I still had Facebook so I could post about “discovering” an example of young people’s music to assure everyone that I am Still Relevant. But I gave up Facebook, for a lot of reasons. There was that thing about it undermining a political system that has hitherto survived, albeit problematically, for over 200 years. But it was also killing my optimism, alongside democracy, and pouring sauce on the well-marbled steak of my cynicism. Flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, anti-immigration memes, and that Ubiquitous Racist-In-Law commenting seemingly everywhere with, “Actually…” had driven me into an unbearable funk. So I nuked my profile. Yes, I feel quite smug about that, if you’re wondering.
But I did enjoy sharing what music I was listening to. Which is weird, because a) I know no one actually cares, b) I’m fooling no one about my relevancy, and c) I have a tin ear. I like music in the same way everyone except retired ballerinas enjoys ballet: with zero understanding of what actually goes into getting one’s leg over one’s head while twirling one direction and then the other. How does one make music, I think, and why is that melody so pretty? I have no idea. I…