It’s a well known fact that I own a lot of records, and that when I say records I mean vinyl. Not CDs, not mp3s, but good old records. Some of my records are really good, like Tiger Trap, The Milkshakes, and of course my whole Hi-Fives collection, but I also have some crap. I love the crap, but I don’t expect others to. I’m talking about Heino (who’s birthday is this week!), Heintje, and Heinz.
This week I bought the 7″ of Ohio Express’ “Yummy Yummy Yummy” for a $1. It was a deal (and featured in one of my favourite Monty Python skits, seen above). Listening to it at volumes loud enough to annoy the neighbours is a joy. Well, I was hanging out with some soccer mates after our game on Saturday and one of them was talking about what he was listening to expecting me to scoff at his selection. I’m sorry, but the Pogues are respectable. Ohio Express is only respectable in certain, smaller circles.
Then today some people on the internet were talking about what albums mean Christmas to them. Of course, most of this group had parents that were square and white, so it was a lot of Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, and the like. I’ve never really been a fan of Christmas music, so I couldn’t be in the fight. Other than to be a brat and point out how dull it all was. So bland, like the Beach Boys. (For the record, I was raised on The Kinks’ “Father Christmas“, Live Aid, David Bowie and Bing Crosby doing “Drummer Boy“, and Spike Jones’ “Barnyard Christmas“. That probably explains a lot.) (For the record, my new favourite Christmas song is “I Wanna Kiss You This Christmas” by Dave ‘n’ Megan on It’s A Team Mint Xmas vol. 1.)
The only thing that kills me in these conversations is the value judgement. It’s human and we all do it, but some keep it under wraps. Why is it OK to proclaim others’ taste to be crap when we can’t proclaim your taste to me crap? Well, we can but then there’s probably going to be an argument as pointless as a trip to the argument clinic.
I think it boils down to people want validation. It’s another human trait. It’s why we like to be a part of something. You like a record that other people like, that reaffirms that you like something good. Even if it’s just a few people, there’s some validation. Some need this, some don’t. Negotiating that can be tricky. I’ve never really had many people who really liked the same things I did. Nobody else liked David Bowie in Kindergarten. It wasn’t until high school when I found people in the scene (Alex and Fran, I’m looking at you!), that I understood what it was like to have common interests musically.
I don’t expect people to like what I listen to or even want to listen to it. (It makes being a DJ weird.) I do welcome argument and discussion, but most people take it as an attack on their taste. It isn’t but I can see their point. People like what they like. Some people are always hunting for deeper and weirder, and some are just happy. The problem is when the content give vibes that they are more adventurous and then there’s the assumptions and we have a problem.
Also remember, I am a sarcastic ass.