Wednesday, June 15, 2011


All Songs Considered just posted their Best of 2011, So Far music poll, as well as their staff's Top 25 picks of the first half of the year. I haven't heard ANY of the albums up for the vote. I feel so behind! I miss having my radio show as an excuse to search for new music every week, it was always such a thrill to find something I'd never heard and instantly fall in love.

I realize that not many people have the same open-mindedness towards of music as I do. I'm reminded of this reading through some of comments left on All Songs Top 25 list.  It's amazing how ANGRY people get if their favorite artist isn't included. Some of the comments left :
  • you guys are crazy to not include KURT VILE's new record, SMOKE RING FOR MY HALO. i created an NPR account just to say this.
  • Times New Viking is not on this list, therefore it is wrong!
  • No R.E.M., Raphael Saadiq, Paul Simon, Decemberists, Beastie Boys, Fleet Foxes, Lupe Fiasco... A good 40% of this list tests the musical relevancy of the old addage "If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?" Hipsterism is a pernicious affect that kills music.
First of all, a list called "25 favorite albums" is completely subjective. How can you argue with subjectivity?  If I told you my favorite fruit is an apple, you can't argue with that. I'm not saying it's the best fruit in the world, I'm saying it's my favorite.  It's my opinion.

Secondly, why would anyone want to read a top 25 list if all it included were really popular bands that everybody has already heard of?  If I told you my favorite fruit was something you never heard of, like a cherimoya, wouldn't you at least be curious to see what it looked like, and if you were brave, tasted it for yourself?  The point of these lists are to introduce people to music they probably haven't been exposed to yet, and give deserving, unheard artists some recognition.

Furthermore, it really bothers me when people assume any music they haven't heard before is pretentious, and then start throwing the term "hipster" around like a dirty word. Do they really think all good music is popular (or only popular music is good)? Why are they so afraid to keep an open mind and try something new? Everything is new in the beginning. Even R.E.M. was underground at some point. Even Beethoven.

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