Suck It All You Monkee Haters!
I posted some of my musical guilty pleasures a little while ago and a good friend of mine said: “I guess it shows a lack of musical sophistication on my part that I didn’t find much to feel guilty about in your list. But then, heck, my list might include The Monkees.” Other blog authors I read regularly have also written about the joys of so-called “guilty pleasures” and have made excellent points which lead to the fact that there is really no such thing as bad taste. If you enjoy it, it’s good.
Music is so damn personal isn’t it? My collection is full of different genres and styles of music and it’s a sure bet that it’s not completely full of critical favorites. Sure I’ve got yer Elvis Costello’s, yer Underworld, yer Flaming Lips, yer Bob Dylan and yer…er…The Beatles. But I’ve also got Queen, E.L.O., Supertramp and yes, The Monkees, to name but a mere few. Hardly the stuff that gets the drool going over at Pitchfork.
I don’t think owning music that makes you feel good has to do with lacking “musical sophistication”. We like what we like and that’s it. No point in analyzing it, really. Tastes can vary dramatically from one person to another, even if you think that you’re mostly simpatico with other so-called music snobs. Sometimes we like to think that our tastes are superior, that we have a better ear for the finer sounds, but it’s all bull shit. Really, who am I to say that the stuff you listen to and enjoy sucks ass? I enjoy a good debate but I don’t believe I’ve ever elevated it to the point of being obnoxious. Or maybe I have. Actually, yes, I certainly have, but not lately. I’m a music fanatic, not necessarily a music aficionado.
So, you like Lennon and I prefer McCartney. You like Tears For Fears and I prefer The THE. I think John Prine is one of the most underrated songwriters of all time and you believe Jim Croce had more influence than Bob Dylan.
All so-called “music snobs” are open to new experiences and most can take a little constructive criticism. There is so much good, undiscovered stuff out there, old and new, that we’d be foolish not to keep an open mind.