This guy – this guy you don’t want liking your music – pretty much looks like me. Or at least we’d favor if I ever broke my steadfast rule against taking my shirt off in public. And if he had
- Less hair on top of his head,
- Less hair all over his torso,
- A shorter beard,
- Larger man-boobs,
- Bigger biceps.
Okay just kidding. His guns are on par with like Shark Week compared to my Finding Nemo arms. But whatever. That face he’s making? I know I’ve made that face when something fantastically awesome is going on. You know why we make that face? Because fat guys look horribly ridiculous when we move anything more than our faces with sudden excited energy. We can move just as fast as anyone; it just takes our fat a while to catch up is all. So we make faces or – at most – hand gestures to portray the awesomeness of the situation lest some innocent bystander be taken out by rampant flab.
So what the hell’s wrong with us liking your music? I mean, I can understand not wanting to see us shirtless at your super-cool music festivals. I get not wanting our fat-man sweat flung over your body as you’re trying to slow-groove to Death Cab. But what do you have against us liking your Death Cab? Can Death Cab and Radiohead only be liked by skinny people with reasonable amounts of hair in the right places? You think you’re original for liking The Black Keys? The Black Keys?!?! Dude, I listened to them back in like 1988 when they went by the name Jimi Hendrix. And many people got to them before I did.
And what the hell makes it your music in the first place?
There’s a fundamental difference between music-lovers and collectors. Music-lovers love to share music. They are never more thrilled than when they turn someone – a friend, a relative, hell, even an enemy – onto some of their favorite music. They understand that sharing music doesn’t make music any fundamentally less theirs, because music – by its very nature – is made to be shared. Collectors, on the other hand, like to put things away where, often, only they can partake of it. Collectors don’t share, they hide. They secret. They horde. Every music-lover I’ve ever known has passed music on to me, if for no other reason than so they can have someone to talk with about that band or song or whatever. This is how I know that you are no music-lover. You are a collector.
And I’ll tell you something else. I do have something I call my music. It’s music I wrote and I recorded so it is 100% mine in a way no one can change. And I’ve spent the past few months painstakingly recording my own arrangements of classical songs with GarageBand for iPad. I consider those mine too, because I put the work into them. I learned how to make them. I made the arrangements exactly how I wanted them. And when I play them for people and they like it, that compliment is mine. All mine. In a way you’ll never understand unless you set pretentiousness aside long enough to stop consuming and start creating.
The music isn’t yours, my friend. Unless you’ve learned to play and wrote some songs, the music’s never been yours. Or, not just yours. Let it go. You’ll be doing everyone a favor.(1)
- This got a little personal and for that I apologize. Sort of. You started it, even if you didn’t know it. At any rate you shouldn’t go getting all snotty about music without expecting some backlash.