Pop vs. Rock
My 13-year-old daughter listens to Japanese pop CDs. It’s her music. It’s mostly electronic, synthesizer sounds. When she watches her favorite pop singers on television music shows they are always lip synching to heavily choreographed dance routines. I hate choreography. I (rightly) despised disco when I was growing up in the 70s, and I don’t like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Madonna clones, or any dance oriented music. I prefer a band to just stand there front and center with guitars and drums and do their songs - preferably blasting me with volume and heavy bass and percussion rhythms in the process. It’s how I was raised, I guess. I prefer the music I listened to when I was growing up - 60s rock ‘n roll and late 70s Punk and New Wave. Give me The Beatles, the Stones, Meatloaf, The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, baby, and don’t make me listen to or even hear that other rinky-dinky silly crap.
So I said to Emma, “Music should be fast and furious, baby! Even love songs. Heavy bass and guitar going ‘boom-boom-bam,’not keyboards going ‘tinkle-tinkle-tinkle.’ It should give you a sunburn just listening to it. Your ears should bleed and your teeth hurt. It should destroy reality as you know it in your everyday life, blowing it to smithereens. You should stumble away from your stereo or CD player in a dizzy blur.” Music should blast you with a sonic shock wave that rips the skin off your face and liquifies your liver.
“But you would die.”
“Yeah, but what a way to go!”
I replaced her Hikaru Utada CD with Meatloaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” for a taste of what I meant.
“Yada! I hate it!”
“But this is real rock ‘n roll music.”
“No way! Yada! Anyway, Pop and Rock are different.”
“Yes, that’s true.” And there it was.
It’s spring time now, and in the spring time I regularly listen to The Sex Pistols as a way of blowing the winter blahs out of my brain - something nice and angry to contrast with the gentle loveliness outside my door.
If I feel like a love song or ballad there are many ones I like - even slow ones, even keyboard pieces. They are all usually black, but in the end still life-affirming, which matches my experiences of love, maybe. I like the kind of love song that moves
you to a cascade of tears - enough to melt your face with the bitter acidity of love. I’m a very emotional guy.