Monday, October 25

Musical Snobbery Guide

This article by Something Awful's Dr. David Thorpe is pure brilliance. I consider myself somewhat of a musical snob, but this hilarious and well-written article proves that I am, in fact, a faker! Who knew? Yeah, I know you knew, Fraxas. Who else knew, huh?

There are a couple of main aspects to seeming more pop-savvy than you really are. First of all, you have to break through the more-indie-than thou barrier: sometimes, people are going to bring up a band that you know nothing about, and you have to be able to beat them at their own game. Secondly, you’re going to have to create an air of pretentious snobbery in order to assert the superiority of your taste (and who would know more about that than me?). Finally, you must fake a sick obsession with some sort of musical cult figure. Once you’ve done these things, you’ll be virtually indistinguishable from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.
The follow up article is equally good, not least of all because it discusses using Frank Zappa as the ultimate tool for indie-cred-bait.

Combine this with Zappa’s penchant for giving his albums and songs bizarre names (Uncle Meat, Theme From The 3rd Movement of Sinister Footwear, Who Are the Brain Police?, etc) and it becomes possible to create a plausible Zappa song or album title simply by stringing together seemingly unrelated words. Throw in a musical term if you want to imply it’s an instrumental piece; references to food are frequent and can be used to add that unique Zappa touch. For example, “The Industrial Cheese Variations” or “Gumbo for Jumbo” would serve nicely.
After reading these articles, I highly recommend listening to this song while snorting derisively over the articles on Pitchfork.

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