Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"It's got a good beat..."


I really wanted to illustrate this with a picture of a bad dancer, but somehow got sidetracked by Robert Webb doing his Flashdance routine. In a leotard. Anyway...
What I wanted to discuss was: given that most of us would happily describe ourselves as music obsessives (and I'm being kind with that word, obviously obsessive means wise, passionate, erudite, to me!), have any of you got friends who are really not into music? One of my friends actually said last week, "I don't give a monkey's about music" in regard to picking her wedding music! I was horrorstruck. And then I realised that almost all of my friends feel almost as strongly about music as I do: given that I met many of them in clubs, maybe this isn't so surprising. Another old friend recently got in touch and, as I was a demon mixtape maker back then, I suggested sending him a link to my current Spotify playlist. He said "I probably haven't listened to much good music in the past 15 years" and the scary thing was, he wasn't even exaggerating. He and my other friend are really what I would term "straights" and I've never really had many "straight" friends, if you understand my meaning. Like SKP said, he got the 'mis-shapes' cat-calls on a Saturday night, and me and my friends did too.
So, my question is, if you have these friends, do you try to educate them? Take them to clubs and force them to dance awkwardly? Or just look on them as missing the music gene and try to play up their other good points?

22 comments:

ejaydee said...

I have one friend like that, but there are so many things wrong with him,, I have to take things one at a time, (it's the same friend who's been involved in 100% of my hangovers), but I love him. I do have a few friends who think they don't like music, one for example, is a fan of soul and old reggae, but she feels it's not new enough or too limited. I guess if I was a good friend I could make mixtapes for them. Hmmm, what does that say about me?

goneforeign said...

Tracy: Funny you should post this topic, I woke up a couple of hours ago thinking of exactly that. My first wife not only had no appreciation of any of my musical taste, she hated it! I I remember that amongst many other things during our divorce, [after 13 years] , thinking 'How can I stay married to a woman who HATES Joni Mitchell when I think she's fantastic.?'
The divorce was right about the same time that 'Dark Side' was released.

treefrogdemon said...

gf, that's a bit like me: I've only had the one husband, but he didn't like any kind of modern music, nor did he approve of recorded music - it had to be live R3 stuff or he just didn't think it counted as music at all. That's why I don't know much about early 70s music - we didn't have a record player, though I did listen to the radio, and John did like John Peel. (So I'm looking forward to a proper listen to DSOTM!)

So what changed things? I hear you ask. Well, I was doing an OU degree and I persuaded John that I needed to go and stay with my parents during the half-term week just before my first lot of exams - John was a teacher so he looked after the kids. I revised really hard, and one evening for a bit of light relief I went to the pictures.

What was the film? Ken Russell's Tommy. I went home, demanded that we buy a record player forthwith, bought all the Who records I'd missed, and that was me restarted on music appreciation. It was a much harder job getting my Dylan and Bert Jansch records back from my sister though, as she claimed finders keepers.

DarceysDad said...

Oh I've long since given up trying to "educate" or enthuse friends (who I wonder if I could describe as) amusical.

From here on in, my efforts on that front are being directed at two small girls of my acquaintance!!!

;o)

ToffeeBoy said...

I have a friend [Really? Ed.] whose musical horizons are, shall we say, somewhat limited and over the years, I've attempted to educate him by making mixtapes and mix-CDs. He's usually appreciative but makes no effort to explore anything further for himself.

@ TracyK - I was interested in the way you phrased your question - the fact that you instantly thought of taking someone to a club as your method of introducing them to music. Having never been to a club in my life (seriously) this was an entirely alien concept to me. Am I alone in feeling like this?

TracyK said...

Ejay, I see what you're saying, but what if the person you've slaved over a tape for just comments "oh, it was alright. I suppose." Or worse, SAYS NOTHING. Relationship almost-breaker?

GF: funny how these are things you learn to tolerate in a partnership but are the things that drive you insane just as you break up. It's all so obvious in retrospect.

TFD, I love your moment of revelation! A friend's ex (who was one of the worst kind: one we all really liked but turned out to be utter scum all along) never liked live music as it never "captured the essence of the recordings". We should have guessed. It's really strange that your husband approved of Peel in that case too, what a weird contradiction. My ex used to tape every Peel show and then re-listen, taping the best tracks onto a kind of running best of. Slightly insane and time consuming.

Good luck with the indoctrination DsD, it does seem to be working so far.

TB, it may have been a follow-on from that particular male friend. When I did my teacher training, I met X, and he was utterly straight, completely the clean-cut hero type, not my usual at all. We all used to go to a cheesy club upstairs in an Aber seafront hotel (Katrina and the Waves. Here Comes The Hotstepper. You know the score) and one night I led him down into the basement, where the indie/goth/metal/greebo/traveller kids hung out. He was terrified, managed one dance and then fled back upstairs. It made me realise that however much we were attracted to one another, we really weren't meant to be.

I have taken sympathetically inclined friends to clubs and got them even deeper into scenes they were dipping their toes into, but I wouldn't dream of it if I didn't think they'd slightly enjoy it. It's tapes and "Just listen to this" all the way. And if it doesn't work, I think slightly less of them, which is awful I know. But honest.

Abahachi said...

Oh dear. That would be Mrs Abahachi, then. Limited amounts of opera and classical - mostly Mozart, and the grief I get for liking Wagner, let alone Schoenberg... - and the pop she remembers from her youth. Have largely given up taking her to jazz gigs, except for a few very carefully selected ones, as she tends to fall asleep, and I usually turn the music off whenever she comes into the room as a reflex action...

TonNL said...

To see the musical 'taste' of a couple of good friends (the third team of RIOS '31 FC) check:
http://www.limburger.nl/article/20090603/FCCRISIS/775157916/1168/fccrisis
...yes, it's all there, Dire Straits, Eagles, Guns'n'Roses, but they are a great bunch of guys, just don't try to impress them with anything exotic....

steenbeck said...

TracyK--interesting questions. I was thinking the other day that when I was younger (in school, I guess, or teens and early twenties) I made friends based mostly on similar musical tastes. (WHich tied in to similar political beliefs, fashion sense, etc). But as a supposedly mature person, music doesn't seem to come up as much when you're meeting people. It's more about who you work with, or having kids the same age, or--I don't even know any more. Wonder why that is?

And I remember coming back from dinner at some new friends' house a couple of times in the last few years...and the conversation on the walk home. "They seemed nice" "They don't listen to music. they don't seem interested in music at all" And that seemed to say it all, somehow, and the friendship never got much farther. Um, not to seem super bitchy. Don't have to like the music I like, but...I like when people are passionate about what they like, (or even curious about what they don't) whether I like it or not.

Anyway--the result of all this reflection was that I realized that one of the reasons I like RR/'Spill is that it's very strange and refreshing to be known for what kind of music I like and relatively little else about me.

Anyway--can't really put an articulate sentence together anymore, but I found these questions very interesting.

steenbeck said...

Although--to complete my profile as a bitter curmudgeon--I just started working in a restaurant again and EVERYBODY is a singer songwriter. And I'm sort of over that, too.

Japanther said...

Hmm...interesting question Tracy.

I worked with a bloke a couple of years ago, he was a normal, young, slightly upper class English bloke, and when I asked him what kind of music he was into, he said that he NEVER listens to music. NEVER! He didn't own any CD's at all. I was incredulous, "what do you mean?" I said. "music just doesn't move me" was his reply. I was stunned, physically stunned!
But he was a passionate sports fan and could talk endlessly about cricket, which doesn't move me in the slightest, so, it's horses for courses I suppose.

steenbeck said...

At my only office job, about a decade and a half ago (I was fired in the end) the woman at the desk next to me never peed. Were' talking an 8 1/2 hour day, plus commute. weird, huh?

Shoey said...

Most friends seem to be more into video games or movies instead. No one seems to read much either. Perhaps musical trainspotters are a dying breed?

(Could have done without that particular pic - but hope M&W3 finds it's way over here soon).

nilpferd said...

We have a number of good friends for whom, as far as I know, music means nothing in particular- but our interests do intersect in some other area, such as art, film, literature, food, or- (believe it or not, Tracyk..) children... in fact, our closest and most frequently encountered friends are the parents of a boy Mara met at kindergarten; when Robert recently drove us to Prague I had to endure 4 hrs. of eighties hits on German commercial radio stations.. still forgave him for it, though, and I did manage to squeeze in some Grant Green on the return journey..

debbym said...

Having read your comments, I now feel extremely lucky, because my closest friends I actually met through music, and it's music that brings us all together (we've managed to get a LOT of geographical space inbetween us) for far-too-seldom sessions or the even rarer gig.
I remember years and years ago reading an *agony auntie* letter in a magazine, where the writer was compaining of being ostracised for not liking music, whereas in his or her eyes people could get away with not liking, say, art or sport. That shocked me at the time and still leaves me feeling baffled today. I can understand someone not liking certain genres of music (I have great difficulty with the soprano voice and the cembalo!), but to turn all music down flat (oops!) suggests to me no love for Life. That may sound a bit harsh, but I consider music of some kind or another intrinsic to life (hope I've got the right word there) - how else do we explain how music and rhythm can enrich the lives of even the severely disabled, even people who can't *hear* in the sense an able-bodied person can?

Sorry, I think I may have got a bit carried away there...

So, Tracey, to answer your question: I really don't think I'd feel at all comfortable around someone who just wasn't interested in music, but I've yet to encounter that person. Or at least to encounter that person and find they'd want anything to do with the likes of me.

Toffee, do you think we should found a non-clubbers' club?!

treefrogdemon said...

debbym: I will join your non-clubbers' club - I have only ever been to a club once, and that was a gay nightclub in Blackpool. (Not as a tourist - I was at an HIV trainers' conference and there were lots of gay men there, and I went with a group of them.) I enjoyed the outfits but the music was, of course much too loud.

goneforeign said...

One thought occurs to me, music in one form or another has existed since the dawn of humanity on this planet, across all continents, in every different language and in all social structures. And it's all the same, give or take; man has independently discovered that blowing down bamboo pipes, banging on things and stretching animal hides/guts over gourds makes for interesting and creative ways of communicating ideas and emotions.

tincanman said...

I think the worst are people who are in to music, who pride themselves on it, but only listen to a narrow range of things. You can only talk to them about their likes, cause they don't know anything else.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ Deebym - now that's a club I want to be a member of!

ToffeeBoy said...

That's Debbym of course. I am, as you all know by now, an active member of Mispirnters Anyonmous.

AliMunday said...

I can't think of any friends who don't like music, though it might not be the same music that I like. We usually meet somewhere in the middle.

TracyK said...

Thanks for your responses everyone, interesting. I can't understand how anyone could ever say "Music doesn't move me" and mean it.I'll never hear that from you guys, at least!