I Hate Music - By Volume

Got our poster on her wall so every boy that she brings back will see my best side. Johnny Foreigner - Stop Talking About Ghosts
Credit: Thomas Nielsen

I Hate Music

As much as love is a very personal, very essential thing when it comes to music, so is hate. Author: on May 1, 2013
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I don’t know when I first thought to pick up a book, and nor can I really pinpoint the time or place that I first penned a thing as a wistful pre-teen. I can remember wandering around city streets trying to find my way to a club where the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Mars Volta were playing the first non-local show that I used my own money on. And I remember countless nights hopping around the beer soaked floors of Providence’s The Living Room, careful not to rip the smoke-stained wall paper from the building’s insides. And I remember being truly inspired by a Pixies acoustic set at The Newport Folk Festival – my first real introduction to the band at age eighteen. And I – first – remember my friend introducing me to the likes of Wilco and Sigur Rós, on recommendation from his Berklee-instructed brother.

But that’s it, isn’t it? Singular moments and distinct memories arise within the kind of pinpoints that any one may possess of another thing. In this case, the thing is music. I write about it and you presumably read about it because, well, we fucking love music, and it spills out. Whether it be passing or engaged attention (most would assume that, reading this, you’re dedicated) the relationship is reflected the same; Top 40 or distant obscurity, a heart is still a heart, and it can beat with fervor for anything.

Which brings me to another point: what use is there then in criticism? Should we not be loathe to cast some dreary shadow upon an album? Why deride a kind, humble artist in the name of taking things too seriously? Well, serious is good. One of the most beautiful aspects of freedom is opinion and acceptance and negative outlooks are just as important as positive. Not to imply that my general disposition is negative – I just feel negativity is given a bad rap. While I hate being told something I’ve created is in any way unworthy just as much as the next person, motivation is often built under stress. It creates another side to the story. Something more than: “blah, good” – because that is what opinion would eventually become – “blah blah blah,” akin to an adult yapping in Peanuts.

And as much as love is a very personal, very essential thing when it comes to music, so is hate. And while no one piece is going to be magnificently better than the other in some grand-scheme mechanics – we all have our own personal scale – I’m just here because I can translate those proportions to paper. But make no mistake: both ends of the spectrum are essential. As much as my nostalgia and personal anecdotes carry it – as much as yours do the same – we’re all here for the same reason. We all love music, we all hate music, and most importantly, we all care enough to dedicate ourselves to it in some way or the other. That’s the benchmark.

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