Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Coulda Gone With Ground, Man

I wish I could say, here, that I know loads of stuff about rock and roll. I wish I could list all the cool bands I love, with names like Steel Dirigible and Snog. I wish I had the imprint of a thousand sweaty concerts all over me, my ear drums decimated by years of being cool, my attitude sniffy when other people say that their favourite Tumbling Pebble song is something obvious that everyone likes.

I like that obscure B-side from an album they released in an alternate 1990 where everyone has clones played by Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan. Or something. Something that's not about the most amazing book of all time that I read in one go the other night.*

Yeah, that's the kind of rock and roll fan I want to be.

But I'm not. I never will be. Because I like the bad kinds of music.

You know the ones I'm talking about. Your bad Uncle used to tell you all about those kinds, when he was trying to frighten you into going to sleep. I don't know why bad Uncles seem to think that making you shit your pants in bed and be forever tormented by the skull face book you didn't want to look at is a sound plan, but there it is. They do, and they also tell you horrifying stories about The Bad Kinds of Music.

The stuff that isn't cool and sweaty. Maybe it's even sung by an ex-contestant of some dreadful singing show. Perhaps it has words in it that rhyme really obviously, like sound and ground. The slick glossy creature that wails this Bad Music doesn't have tour jackets with things that are bleeding on the back. You can't wear lots of eyeliner to her concerts, because people with sweaters over their shoulders will throw drinks on you.

And the drinks will be really obvious, too. Someone will have seen them on the latest episode of Gossip Girl, or something like that. Hell, the song from the person I embarrassingly like will probably have featured on Gossip Girl, too.

But I just can't stop. I love Halo, by Beyonce. All right? I do. I think it's an amazing, amazing song even though she doesn't even rhyme sound with ground. No no no. She rhymes down with sound.


Awful, just awful. And in the video she's all mooning on this guy with veils blowing around and oh how I mourn for my lost bleeding jacket eyelinered dipped in sweat coolness. The closest I get to cool rock and roll is probably U2, and even I know that they are Not Cool. Maybe once they were, back when they had weird Johnny Cash songs on their albums and sang in German and shit, but not anymore.

Though the truth is, I don't even know. That's how uncool I am with rock and roll. I don't even know what's cool and what's not. I don't even understand it on any level. I just listen to Cryin' by Aerosmith, and pretend. I listen to The Fly, by U2, and can almost fake my way through the imaginary coolness I invent for myself, in my head.

But even my head knows the truth: faker.

*Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro


  1. Loving Never Let Me Go makes you pretty cool, at least to me.

  2. Not sure how to respond to this one. I've never worried about cool. Anyway, my cover would be blown the moment I acknowledge that I still sometimes listen to Emerson Lake and Palmer...

    On the other hand a lot of what I listen to these days, other people wouldn't even acknowledge as 'music'. Go to Youtube, search for 'Muslimgauze' and you'll see what I mean.

    On the other, other hand, I've also been listening to Jessie J recently - not so much the full-on dance type production thing on the music channels at the moment but the acoustic folksy versions on Youtube - amazing voice!

  3. Hi Charlotte,

    I feel the same way about Jazz; I know there must be something to it but I can't figure out what.

    I've never really thought of rock as cool. Rock doesn't need to be cool. It just needs to be loud.

    I like a lot of the tracks you listed. I suspect you're more of a rock head than you give yourself credit for

  4. Hi, Charlotte,

    It's not a question of cool. If that's your criterion for picking music to listen too -- well that's just undermining the whole spirit of rock in my opinion!

    I love Beyonce. Hey, I love musical comedies. My blog post at Hitting the Hot Spot this month starts out with a bunch of lyrics from "Gypsy"! How uncool is that?


  5. Kathleen- it was such a good book!! I was gripped from start to finish. Loved it.

    Fulani- oh, I'm always worrying about cool. Or not worrying, exactly. More like wondering what I'm going to blunder into next, wearing something completely wrong and saying dumb things that everyone hates. But I have made my peace with it! You do have a lot of fun, being not cool. You get to like what you like- even when it's something that everyone thinks is non-music- and that's orsum.

    Mike- maybe! But I guess it's just music in general. Have never felt that I had great taste in it, and am happy to own up to that. I too do not understand jazz!

    Lisabet- Yeah! Yeah! The spirit of rock demands I be not cool!

    Aww, you guys have made me feel so much better!


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