Whilst cramming for a journalism history exam yesterday evening (aka tying the noose), I was craving some musical inspiration…something that simply could not be found in my “recently played” mishmash: a dangerously random melting pot of Bob Dylan, the Donnie Darko soundtrack, Blackstreet, and the suicide-sponsoring themes of The Cure. So I broke the self-enforced rule of no-music-outside-one’s-own-iTunes collection (as I pride myself on its 6,000+ song status) and hit the Youtube button. I was feeling pretty classical, (as we know, a feeling that the topic of muckrakers and printing developments usually evokes) so I looked up the Black Swan soundtrack, another shameful obsession. But then I was like no…….I want the REAL thing. The man himself. I switched the search bar topic to “Tchaikovsky” Swan Lake. The first result was the genuine, 2 hr 57 minute deal. And so began my audio-ballet journey into wonderland. My focus peaked after the first movement, and I was going HARD IN THE FLASHCARDS YO! Before I knew it, my memorization was clicking and my steaming hot, caffeine-packed chai was just an accessory for my concentration. No doubt–classical music, especially ballets/operas lasting over an hour, are ideal for one’s study experience. Tchaikovsky entranced my ears last night, and although he didn’t get me an A on the exam, he certainly was alive and well in my basement living room area jamming out with me. I recommend Swan Lake for enjoyment–but ONLY through headphones! I do believe that lack of proper audio equipment might have detracted from the full-stringed experience.
Basically, the purpose of this post is to express my ongoing realization that there is good in every genre. Quality in rock, alternative, post-punk, r&b, hip-hop, you name it. Each has its stereotypes, but each can break them with one single body of work or time-tested album. I really don’t like country music; in the rare occasion it invades my ears, I am caused psychological distress. I simply cannot tolerate the vapid lyricism about dirty pickup trucks, losing one’s dog, losing one’s woman, whiskey, [losing one’s whiskey?], country girls “shakin it”. BUT, at the same time, I remind myself that not ALL country music is comprised of such junk. Same thing with classical. A lot of that scratchy violin grinds my g[ears]. But then I reevaluate my judgements about the genre and try to find the beauty (and one’s view of “beauty” is always subjective in music) in at least one song or artist. Last night just happened to be P-Ilyich’s lucky night. Challenge yourself to enjoy a body of musical work that falls under an otherwise un-enjoyable genre/niche. You’ll find that music is even more beautiful. And personal.