Music & the art of being uncool

My head is full of thoughts this week. Thoughts I can’t quite articulate. Thoughts I can’t believe still need to be said. Thoughts I’ve said again and again to no avail. Thoughts muddled.

Instead, I’m going to talk about music. I love music. I love listening to it, pretty much all the time. I have a stack of mixed CDs in my Jeep (because it’s way too old for anything fancier than a CD player and even that’s an upgrade over its original tape deck). I have Pandora on the TV or the Chromebook or my phone most of the time I’m at home or out walking or trying to jog. Despite my hatred of iTunes, I haven’t switched because there’s 32 days worth of stuff in there. And it’s that small because my hard drive and my budget don’t leave room for much more.

That said, I have terrible taste. I’ve been told so by nearly every person who’s come into contact with me. Almost everyone who’s ever been a passenger in my Jeep. Almost everyone who’s come to the house and been subjected to my Pandora stations or, before, the 300 CDs on shuffle in the stereo or my iTunes playlists. This terrible taste goes back as far as high school when I discovered Little Earthquakes. Even Bitch Magazine will tell you listening to Tori Amos is hopelessly uncool.

Most off-putting to people seems to be the Japanese pop. Even the ones who tolerate Utada or even Ayu can’t get behind Nana Kitade. Even the friend who loves anime dislikes the tracks not associated with his favorite shows. (Beyond him, the closest any of my friends got to endorsing any of it was the girl who borrowed an Ayumi Hamasaki CD to drive across the state because “the screeching keeps me awake.”)

There’s the eye rolls from the guys (and my perkier, top-40 friend) about all the “angry lesbians” who aren’t all lesbians, for the record, and are not always angry. *crosses arms and gives side eye* There’s the atheist who can’t understand why I like Beth Hart. The classical pianist who doesn’t think anyone should listen to Green Day and that my having listened to them since Kerplunk is sure sign there’s something wrong with me. Then there’s the friend who likes the indie folk stuff, tolerates the pseudo-punk and the 90s rock, but hates the Chicane and Afrobeta, and Aesop Rock, and Sia, and anything that smells like dubstep. There’s the friend who adds hipster-y indie dude-bro stations to Pandora every time I leave the room because he heard about them from servers half his age at work and he very much wants to be cool.

And no one can figure out how Nneka (love her!) or Zazie or Anna Vissi or the Yoshida Brothers got in there. And they’ve all given up trying to figure out how it seems normal to jump from Front 242 to Lizzo. And I guess the answer is I’m just uncool.