Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Musical Taste And The Eternal Search For Popularity

[I mean absolutely no offence to Cool Kids or Popular Kids, two of my best friends are stereotypical Cool Kids, and 99% of the time, I wish I was one of them. Bro, I don’t care if you listen to Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake or Justin Bieber, I’m simply wondering why liking Coldplay makes me uncool.]

Be it consciously or unconsciously, we all crave popularity. No matter how old you are, don’t even try to pretend that you don’t wish you were the person that everyone else wanted to be. The cheerleader, the footballer- the Cool Kid. Like it or not, taste in music plays a part in popularity.

I’m not a cool kid, I never have been, and I’m under no illusions that I ever will be. I’m a concert kid, a music kid, basically, I’m a fangirl, and that’s not cool at all. Whilst normal people my age listen to the likes of Usher, Enrique and Lady Gaga, I’m perfectly happy to exist on a diet of indie rock, alternative rock, and normal rock- that is, of course, until I crack out my collection of oldies and country, but we won’t talk about that…

It probably all started when I was about nine. I don’t even know what Cool Kids my age listened to in the late 90’s, but I’m willing to bet that it was Britney, The Spice Girls and TLC, as opposed to my favourites, which included Savage Garden. I mean really now, what kind of nine-year-old is into rock bands?

But back to Cool Kids. Cool Kids simply adore dance music, but why? Why is it that liking Pitbull is cool, but liking Muse is odd? What is it that separates the two? My own humble opinion is that I’ve already answered my own question: it’s because Pitbull makes dance music. Cool Kids are always at clubs- dancing- and their lives could basically be summed up by any number of popular dance songs on the radio. They can associate with lyrics such as “hey baby, you look so good on the dance floor, baby, you’re amazing, on the dance floor baby, let’s dance baby, take your clothes off baby”, because that is what a Cool Guy says to a Cool Girl! Ha! I’ve figured it out! And the reason that un-cool people don’t like dance music is because we can’t relate to the lyrics…no guy has ever asked me to take my clothes off on the dance floor, baby!

There are exceptions, however, and I can think of one in particular. I met a girl, about four years ago, who is undoubtedly a Cool Kid. So much so, that on first impressions, I thought she’d never be friends with me. However, she has impeccable music taste: she loves Death Cab For Cutie and 1940’s jazz music, no one judges her for her it!

I am almost certain that I exist in a constant state of being judged. People ask what kind of music I listen to, and as soon as I tell them that my favourite bands are Coldplay and The Killers, I can almost feel them deciding that I’m not cool. Perhaps before answering, I should make a judgment call as to the popularity of the person asking, and if the person is a Cool Kid, I should answer “David Guetta, bro, he’s legit”. The day before I saw Coldplay live, I bounced into my lecture, squealing with excitement. My classmates’ reactions ranged from ‘I hate Coldplay’ to ‘Coldplay are terrible’ to ‘they make me feel like killing myself’. I’m not going to lie, my feelings were slightly hurt. If I had been a Cool Kid, excitemed about seeing Deadmau5, for example, they would have most likely jumped up and down squealing with me.

Whilst considering my favourite bands, I must acknowledge that even some Cool Kids were jealous that I went to see Kings of Leon live. Upon a quick Facebook creep, I find out that over 70 of my Facebook friends ‘like’ Kings of Leon…and some of these 70 are Cool Kids! However, I am soon able to deduce that Cool Kids don’t actually like Kings of Leon- Cool Kids like Sex On Fire. Sigh, there go my last hopes of ever being cool…


  1. Um. I disagree with this. I think I would feel very uncool if there was David Guetta on my iPod.

    I think the mainstream music you mentioned is popular with the general population, so diverging from that and liking alternative music kind of makes you rebelious, and thus cool in an independent 'hey, I'm doing my own thing while the world bops to Britney' way.

    But beyond that, I think I would actually be a very depressed person if I had to listen to Bieber 24/7 - it just doesn't meet my requirements of good music. I don't know how someone can feel like shallow lyrics and a repetitive dance beat can really communicate a message and touch you the way some of the bands I like can. But I guess every one is different and has different likes and dislikes. So if you have to like a lesser-known band or genre, I think you should do what makes you happy and not what other people think is 'normal'.

    And Coldplay are awesome. Those classmates missed out.


  2. ^ you're cool, let's be friends ;) bahahaha

  3. Maybe it varies in different countries, because the cool kids at my school all listen to obscure bands, one of them got his hair cut to look like the guy from the Script and they all say "the Killers ARE a good band" when they find out I'm obsessed. They seem to exist in a state of in between, liking both David Guetta and Coldplay, Pitbull and The Killers.

    I don't know, maybe that's just my school, maybe it's just my year. I think you have a cracking taste in music though :)

  4. I realise that none of those bands are really obscure, but I've heard them talk about bands whose names I simply can't remember.