Getting used to the unusual

People seem to have little tolerance to ways of doing music that they’re not used to. Did you ever experience buying an album of your favourite band/musician and then realizing you need some time to get used to their new work? Now imagine processing music from artists you never heard of, or don’t care much for. Yeah…

Well, last Saturday Night Live, Lana del Rey got plenty of criticism for her performance. Initially I thought she had pulled a Jessica Simpson and avoided watching it. I suffer from embarrassment by proxy so I avoid watching other people in embarrassing situations. But today I woke up with “Born to die” in my head so I had to go see what all the fuss was about.

Honestly, it just seems to me like a case of the old resistance-to-the-different kind of thing. First of all, some musicians will simply not produce music that will appeal to most listeners in their culture. That’s just how it is. As we say in Portuguese, we can’t please Greeks and Trojans!

Following on the footsteps of my previous post, some music we just like instantly, whether we are fond of the musical genre or not. Other music will just appeal to some of us. And why should that be a problem?

From what I have been able to see so far, Lana del Rey has a very distinct way of presenting her music, very emotionally detached, even when she’s singing about very emotional things. Not everyone will appreciate that way of doing music.  But that is just the way she decided to express herself. Since it seems that we expect it to be emotional, does this mean hers is bad music?

Of course that in an era where success seems to be measured by how many hundreds of followers you have of twitter and/or your youtube channel, it comes as no surprise that the US consumers of music would be so demanding and judgemental when it comes to widely visible performances. If it’s being given visibility people in the US seem to expect to be swooshed by it. Once again, Hollywood and the US music industry has gotten the US consumers used to that status quo. And isn’t it a little bit sad to be manipulated like that?

Perhaps because I don’t identify with that culture, I don’t see what most people in the US or who identify with that culture, did.

But hey, what do you think? Are we free to enjoy all music or are we biased towards what’s common?

And what did you think of Lana’s performance? What do you think of her music? Do you find the comments on youtube fair game?


About Rita BA

I read, I write, I think, I dream, I write a bit more...
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