Laugh, but I'm only half joking here

About a month ago, I was really digging the song "The Light Is You" by Said The Whale, or as my friend Manga T.C. likes to call it, "the Happy Apple Song".  I think she came up with the name because she really likes apples... or because she was suffering from a head injury of some sort.   

I was looking for upbeat acoustic songs, and so I turned to another good friend of mine for music recommendations:  The good ol' itunes genius fairy.

Now, for those that don't know, the itunes genius fairy uses a very powerful tool I like to call "magic" to find songs similar to songs you like.  For example, if you really like the White Stripes' song "Seven Nation Army", the genius fairy will recommend you listen to The Libertines.  Amazing!  And if you like Jon Bon Jovi, the itunes genius fairy will teleport through the internet and kick you in the reproductive organs!  

I am a huge fan of the itunes genius fairy.  He needs to, like, rule the united states of america... but apparently they have a rule against fairies running for president.  (Yes, unintentional joke intended). 

Anyways, after I asked what I should be listening to, the genius fairy recommended an incredibly lovely band by the name of Apollo Sunshine.  The song suggested was "Singing to the earth (to thank her for you)" and within a few days, the song (and the associated album) were on near constant repeat on my ipod.

As a music snob, I needed to know more, so I utlized some super-secret research techniques on the band, and learned they were an up and coming group of musicians who had developed quite a cult following.

As I already said, I am a music snob.  You may not know this, but when music snobs hear about a band having a "cult following", they get this tingly feeling inside, sort of like how your sister feels when she sits on the washing machine during the spin cycle. 

Everything just felt.... right.  Until yesterday. 

You see, Wal-mart fucked it all up. 

I had dropped by on a walk home from TC's house to pick up some sugar-free ice cream.  While dodging arguing drunkards and avoiding eye contact with young moms upset that a pair of childrens' sneakers cost "a whole three dollars!", I found myself in my usual state of jungle-like readiness I reserve for box stores and buffet lines.  But then, in the frozen foods aisle, I let my guard down and soon found myself humming for some reason.  And that was when I realized - my song was playing over the intercom.  Wal-Mart, the intergalactic empire of evil, was playing my new music crush over their canned music intercom. 

I know it shouldn't matter.  But it does.

I know my anxiety over this is due entirely to my own music snobbery - I shouldn't care what music Wal-Mart plays! Isn't a good thing that Wal-Mart is playing music I like?  But this is how my mind works:
  1. Wal-mart makes money through mass-marketing items to its customer base.
  2. Wal-mart's customer base can be summarized as "the lowest common denominator"
  3. Wal-mart playing such a band indicates that the band is one that can easily be absorbed by said "lowest common denominator"
  4. Therefore, as a person who likes said band, I am part of the lowest common denominator.
Don't you see?  By liking a band that played over the speakers at wal-mart, I have become a person of wal-mart!  Next time you'll see me, I'll be three hundred pounds, wearing ratty track pants and a nascar t-shirt, buying toilet paper and cheeze whiz in bulk. 

May God have mercy on my soul. 

(PS, Yes, I realize the irony in being fine with using a mass-marketed music-finder app, but not being okay with hearing that music played in a mass-market setting... but I am a strange person.  Roll with me, here).

1 comment:

  1. Well, you WERE shopping at Wal*Mart, so maybe the genius fairy is just more powerful than you imagined. Maybe it followed you there, bringing good music with it. And maybe, just maybe, that good music that is following you around will have the power to change others. (or dare I say, THE WORLD!)

    So I say to you, you should listen to as much Beatles, Hendrix, Who, Apollo Sunshine and Nirvana as possible and start going to places that really need that kind of music. Like monster truck rallies and tea parties...

    Good luck, we're all counting on you.