August 23, 2010

Confession of a music flip-flopper

I've been the self-appointed president of the Anti-Katy Perry Fan Club from the beginning. Her cheesy lyrics, pander to whatever-is-hot-at-the-moment mentality and average singing ability give anyone with respectable music taste cause to hurl.

I don't know what is more disgusting. The fact she ripped off Jill Sobule's "I Kissed A Girl" and used it as sexual provocation for pervert straight guys or that her pathetic excuse for music enables lazy listeners too scared to deviate from the mainstream.

Katy Perry is the "Twilight" of the music industry ... Manufactured junk that non-discerning consumers waste their money on because some marketing douche tells them to.

The bigger issue is that anyone with a microphone and access to Auto-Tune can put out catchy crap-disguised-as-music and people will listen and make a Facebook group about it, shooting it straight to the top of the iTunes charts, plum for the picking for the 14-year-old with their parents' credit card and non-discriminating taste. The Katy Perry's of the world perpetuate this cycle, keeping truly talented bands and singers in the background and off the iPods of those with the buying power.

But, alas, I must come clean. I actually heard a tolerable Katy Perry song the other day. Don't get me wrong. My views as expressed in the above paragraphs still hold true. 

I even contemplated keeping my dirty little listening secret to myself, but I think there's a lesson here. People can and should recognize junk, but finding a meaningful listening experience in that junk is OK, too. It's when we start consuming things just because they are hip or at the top of the charts that we're in trouble. Expand your horizons and explore lesser-known bands. You may find something you like. Well, I took my own advice ... just in reverse.

Some songs were made for driving with the sun roof open, working out and summer days, and "Teenage Dream" is one of them. Although I am far from being a teenager, this tune transported me back to a time of three-week crushes, sneaking out of the house and feeling invincible. Think musical BOTOX.

Before you call me a hypocrite, know this is a conscious lapse of musical judgment. There won't be anymore slumming it in the world of manufactured music for this head of the Anti-Katy Perry Fan Club.

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