Photo: Cypress Hill, Philgarlic
I Was An Indie Rock Chick
Music breaks down stereotypes
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST EMMANUELLE LAMBERT
Once upon a time…
When I was young, I used to believe that rap music was for
b) not the kind I wanted to hang out with.
Loud, misogynist, lyrics it seemed to me my 12-year-old brother could write, no guitar. I was an indie-rock chick and proud to be, I was not going to start mingling my beloved indie rock with something I thought of as devolutionized noise passing as music.
Until I discovered Cypress Hill.
And the Beastie Boys. Not so much gangsta rappers, more like we’re having fun hip hop musicians. Yes, musicians. To make the picture complete, Beastie Boys used to be a punk hardcore guitar-heavy band, and make the borders between rock and hip hop very very blurry.
Monks and Boy George
When I was young I also used to think yoga was some sort of cult where all members had to put their foot behind their head, and everyone chanting “Hare Krishna” was bald and wearing their living room orange curtain as robes.
Not to mention they could not be anything else but monks whose only aim was to convert everyone to their strange religion. Monks and Boy George.
Fast forward a few years. Imagine my surprise when I finally understood that yoga was not a cult and started practicing, and when I found myself spouting out the words “Hare Krishna” for the first time. Wholeheartedly. Especially as my name is not Boy George.
It is such a cliche, but music is the soundtrack to our lives. Our changing tastes reflect the changes in our lives, our own evolution, our perception of ourselves and the events that define our lives.
It’s like going to the hairdresser and getting your hair dyed blonde and chopped off into a short bob (or shaving your head for that matter) when you’ve always been a long-haired brunette.
You will usually get people commenting that “yes it’s that break-up, you know…” Start listening to Celine Dion everyday over and over, I bet you will get that same comment…
Music you feel is yours
Now let’s play a little game, shall we? Have a look at your CD / 7 inch / tape collection, at your mp3 player, and scan the whole lot. Think about what you started listening to when you were a kid, when you were a teen, when you loved for the first time, when you got your heart broken for the first time, etc.
How have your musical patterns changed overtime ?
Almost as important: what do you still have, what didn’t you give away, the albums hidden behind the latest purchases that you don’t listen to anymore but you keep no matter what? And why do you still have them ?
But what if what we believed for a long time was not true anymore?
I still have loads of albums that take me back to my teenage years, I believe mostly because they helped forge my identity, who I was at the time and above all who I was not.
As much as they used to be the most valuable thing on Earth, are they still “me”? Isn’t it time to let go?
Blushing fan: now it can be told
Let’s take it to another level: is there anything in your collection that you almost felt ashamed to buy / download when you got it? Come on, we all have skeletons in our musical closet.
Full disclosure: after much internal debate revolving around the topic “this is not right, I shouldn’t be listening to this, this is not right”, I caved in and bought Justin Timberlake’s second album “Future Sex/Love Sounds” a couple of years ago. To this day, I still believe this is one of the finest pop records of this decade.
There, I said it.
I’ve come to accept these changing tastes, as I’ve come to accept twists and turns in my life. I’ve come to appreciate them, embrace them. As much as I’ve tried to resist change, it might be time to surrender and let go.
So yes, in my music collection, CD and mp3s alike, you will find Nirvana and Justin Timberlake, the Beastie Boys and the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, Kasabian and Synchroniciteen (that’s a Japanese pop rock band, I swear it’s like a strawberry lollipop in musical form), Sonic Youth and Miles Davis.
All these records tell the story of my life.
Keep on busting tired clichés
You want to know the best part? I believed for a long time that “yoga music” was some bad new-age keyboard-programming noise with random fake birdsongs and waterfall sounds added in there for good measure, not to mention the chanting by bald monks wearing orange curtains.
And then I discovered Bhagavan Das’ album “Low”, produced by none other than Beastie Boy Mike D.
I think I’ve come full circle with that one!
Find Emmanuelle here on The Magazine every month in Music Matters. But don’t lose touch with her great style of living real – read her smart, hip and honest blog Plans on a Comet.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.