Sometimes, you just have to take a chance on music you wouldn’t normally give a second thought to. This is an accepted truth, and a necessary one if you’re ever going to break free of a musical rut. Yet, at the same time, it can be hard to overcome long-embedded musical prejudices. Take, for example, the above-mentioned song. I’m a bit done with all of the “The…” bands, frankly, and, even though this band promised to deliver two of my favorite things (marsupials and Joy Division), it took me some time to warm up. This snobbery, I admit, is the danger with becoming so very attached to specific types of music – and, yet, without this “Barry in High Fidelity” syndrome, I’d be worth almost nothing as a music commentator. Tricky, tricky…
You see, I don’t think anyone sets out to be a musical snob. I wasn’t born with a “Your Favorite Band Sucks” t-shirt in hand. (Though, nowadays, I wouldn’t mind getting one or two.) It’s just the consequence of refining one’s own musical tastes over time. Not in the sense of discovering the musical equivalent of haute cuisine (which, I suppose, would be a c.1979 Joy Division bootleg), but in getting to know your own aesthetic desires and pleasures. Developing the ability to raid the local music shop with all the speed and precision of a surgical strike, I guess. And this is a fairly easy phenomenon to demonstrate, when you think about it. Let’s face it: there aren’t a lot of people who are equally passionate about early and late Green Day – or Pink Floyd – or R.E.M.. These people have made up their minds, and they know what they’re after. I don’t really consider myself a snob. From my own perspective, I’m simply in-touch with those things I am excited by – and acutely aware of what bores me (Pre-fab pop music, radio, the bleak winter that was 1998-2000, and anything involving the word “crunk”). Which, as I suspect it is for many people, is my weakness.
On a normal day, I would’ve breezed straight past “Let’s Dance to Joy Division.” I would’ve raised an eyebrow, saw the name of the band, and moved on with my life. But something happened, and my reflexes were slightly slower than usual. And…well, you can guess the rest. I find that the song gets stuck in my head, which gives it about a fifty percent chance for long-term survival. (1) The lead singer makes me feel like someone in The Strokes and Robert Smith were involved in one of those comic book accidents where two people get fused together somehow. (2) In any case, I find myself caught up in the energy of the track – and, furthermore, as someone who has “danced” to Joy Division… I can certainly get behind the sentiment. Have a listen!
P.S. A moment in the above video reminded me of this one. Can you spot it?