Musical Pomposity

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

While driving to work this morning, I was feeling in the mood for some alternative rock.  I have SiriusXM in my new car and the alternative rock station plays a good amount of my favorite bands.  I flipped the switch, hoping for classic Interpol or that new Danger Mouse/Jack White song, maybe even “Ruby” by the Kaiser Chiefs if I were lucky.  (It’s currently my favorite alt song.)  Instead, I got three songs over the course of my fifteen minute drive that were all about politics.  3 songs in 15 minutes.  As the ranting singers sang (spewed) their hatred, I sat at a red light and sighed.  I thought to myself: If I WANTED to hear virulent political opinions at 7 AM, I’d put on talk radio!  All I wanted to hear was some bouncing alt rock: a little Franz Ferdinand or the Killers to start off my morning.  Airborne Toxic Event?  Foster the People?  Some nonsensical lyrics with an awesome bass line to wake me up??  No, instead I got a bunch of condescending punks who think that their music is a conveyor belt for doing their civic duty.  Slide tray on, receive twice-recycled Bush insults, sing with proper amount of snobbery, next album please.  It’s not like I turned on the Christian music channel and then was angry because I heard songs about God.  That would be expected.  I don’t expect to have to endure haughty diatribes against my nation on my alt rock station.  The thing is, I might not even mind political songs if they weren’t so astoundingly arrogant about them.  Sing me a song about America, the land of freedom and bravery.  Sing about the red, white, and blue, the sweeping snowy mountains to the vast ocean coastlines, a Fourth of July fireworks commemoration, a neighborhood where no one locks their doors.  What’s so wrong with singing about the ideals, the beauty, the purpose behind America throughout the centuries?  Instead, all I hear are schoolboy taunts barely disguised as music.  I don’t think it’s just because these songs usually are far to the left of my personal beliefs.  I’d feel the same way if I heard a song taunting President Obama.  Arrogance is detestable in any form, against any person.  Arrogance in song is simply ruinous to the idea of music being art.  It destroys it in a touch.

I have news for you bands: I’d rather listen to you make good music than a discourse on how you hate the affairs of state.  You want to share your bureaucratic opinions?  Get a blog.  (I hear it’s what all the cool kids do these days.)  Get a Youtube channel.  Get a Twitter.  Just get the hell out of my morning drive to work. 


Agree/Disagree?  Do you think it’s okay for bands to use their music as a platform for their political beliefs (when they’re obviously enjoying being arrogant and insulting)? 


PS- sorry for the post title, but honestly, how many times do you get to use the word pomposity??  I couldn’t resist.  🙂


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