Monday, April 19, 2010

Umm... Yes. I know that song. It's the one with the chorus... and, um...

I wish there was a weekend course on culture. Some people forget that I was born in the late eighties. I went to a rich, private girls boarding school on the Gold Coast. All the girls were more interested in hair extensions and their ponies than Radiohead - who I didn't really listen to until after high school much to my older brother's chagrin. Even having an older brother with excellent taste in music didn't help because he just made fun of my musical leanings as a teenager. My parents did a good job trying to be good tutors, taking me to the MoMA, making me listen to the Beatles and letting me try food like cous cous and dosai. But it's pretty obvious that I was more interested in shopping at Pacific Fair and platforms, unfortunately.

The first few guys I dated were very much into metal (Pantera, Slipknot, Korn, Sepultura, All That Remains, Children of Bodom), which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I still love my Nine Inch Nails and can sing along to pretty much any Marilyn Manson fan. But seriously. Anything that wasn't metal was taboo. This culture thing is really difficult sometimes.

I probably shouldn't admit this, but sometimes I feel totally uncultured. I know so many older, much wiser and creative people in their mid-thirties. They all seem to be band managers, former rockstars, photographers who have snapped famous people, writers who rub shoulders with icons, stylists who have given certain Mercury Prize winners advice... You get the idea. I think they forget that I was only seven when Kurt Cobain blew his face off. When I talk to these ridiculous dapper folk, I sometimes have no idea what they are talking about. They may reference a movie that I have heard of but have never actually seen. Or talk about their favourite band and I'll have to go home and Wikipedia the shit out of it.

I recently went for a job interview to be state editor for a certain music establishment, and the question came up. "What Australian bands do you like?" While there are gazillions of Australian bands on my iPod, and many local acts that I absolutely adore, my brain went completely numb and the only two people who came into my mind were Yves Klein Blue and Sarah Blasko. I think I repeated them twice for effect. I should get an A-plus for acting like a blonde. Any good hairdresser will tell you it's hard going so many shades lighter in a matter of seconds. I pretty much undid all my I-swear-I-know-what-I'm-talking-about pretence I had going on.

This is probably my social suicide, admitting this. But it's true. I still feel like a dorky fourteen year old figuring out what she likes (Kitty Daisy & Lewis) and doesn't like (Washington), what I can admit to liking without I being laughed at (Lion King) and what will (INXS). But honestly. If someone was to hold a crash course on culture, I would be the first in line.

PS I recently admitted this to a photographer in his (I think) mid-thirties who told me not to worry because he only developed his taste in music in his mid-twenties. There's still hope for me yet.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry - you're still very young. From your writing, we can tell that you do indeed know what you're talking about. Just be yourself and like what you want to like. Most people are just trend-followers, anyway; honesty is rare. Keep up the good work. Cheers.

Paige Xc said...

Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I picked it up right but your blog seems to be struggling between trying to find your own personal taste in music and having to learn the music tastes of these '30yr olds' in order to relate to them and also to further your career path.

Of course you will need to learn their culture in music and even branch out into some other genres but you also need to know the trends now and you have the added advantage of being able to relate to them more closely. In 10-20yrs you will be in their position explaining who the Backstreet Boys were. (And I have no hesitation in stating the fact that I liked them when I was young and would still sing along to them today regardless of the fact that I'm also a rock and metalcore fan).

Being cultured in different styles and eras of music can give you a greater insight into where music is now, but at the end of the day your music taste should be your own regardless of what other people like.

I hope I've helped you a little bit and not gotten it completely wrong :/

Paige Xc said...

Yes, I do look forward greatly to the day when I cant tell a youngster about the musical gems of our generation... and the really embarrassing ones that also made an impact on our culture (I'm talking to you Britney!).

Thanks for the advice :)