First off, it disturbs me that Amazon thinks I want Madonna CDs just because I bought Duran Duran and U2. They need to develop a smarter program, one that can look at the totality of purchases and say, “While Dana might appreciate a few cheesy pop bands, things like Madonna are right out. Let’s not make her want to projectile vomit this evening.”
Second thing, I can pretty much tell just from the search results if I’m going to like the music. If the artist search returns more than a few selections, it’s probably not my cup o’ tea.
It’s an interesting aspect of my psychology. There are a few things that take the culture at large by storm that I adore – take Batman, for instance – but my tastes usually run to the obscure. I don’t usually run with the pop culture crowd. When I worked for a bookstore, I was able to determine which books would make me want to flick a Bic by the number of people salivating over them. That helped me avoid a lot of utter crap. Like John Gray. *Shudder.*
Music’s no different. People love to ask me what I listen to, and when I tell them they’ve never heard of it, they get all puffed-up. “I have eclectic tastes!” they announce. “Bet you I’ll know it!”
After I’ve bludgeoned them with Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Nightwish, Operatica, Epica, Sirenia, and Blind Guardian, they usually give up, eyes glazed and neurons fused. There’s only so many times you can ask, “What kind of music are they?” before you realize you owe me a dollar.
Thanks to Amazon and Project Playlist, I’ll now have a new batch of fun. How many here have heard of Delain? Combichrist? Helium Vola? Estampie? Jon Oliva’s Pain?
I thought as much. But that’s okay – my tastes aren’t your tastes. Understandable.
The thing that really climbs up my nose is when people who listen to every pop phenomenon that hits the airwaves, watch every episode of Survivor, and read whatever tripe Danielle Steele’s spewed out now try to claim they’re eclectic. Loving everything everybody else does doesn’t make you eclectic – it just means you’re a trend slave. Which can be fun and fulfilling, I’m sure, but for fuck’s sake, know your limits. Don’t try to go head-to-head with a black metal chick with a heavy appreciation of the symphonic who didn’t pass out when read Chuck Palahniuk’s story “Guts.”
It’s an accomplishment:
While on his 2003 tour to promote his novel Diary, Palahniuk read to his audiences a short story titled “Guts”, a tale of accidents involving masturbation, which appears in his book Haunted. It was reported that to that point, 40 people had fainted while listening to the readings. Playboy magazine would later publish the story in their March 2004 issue; Palahniuk offered to let them publish another story along with it, but the publishers found the second work too disturbing.
Chicken Soup for the Soul.