Taste in music

I am a music snob. This will come as no surprise to some of you out there. Other people (perhaps Townsville people who’ve seen me lead the singing in church) will question my right to hold such a position based on my demonstrated lack of actual musical ability. Still others may argue that musical taste is a matter of personal taste and therefore should be judged subjectively, and on that basis my musical snobbery is yet another form of arrogance.

I haven’t always been a music snob – in fact the darkest skeleton in my closet is an old Backstreet Boys album** (it’s not literally in my closet having been donated to the Campbell family music collection some time ago – perhaps it should have been donated to the Smith family… but that would hardly have been charitable).

I was recently directed to a website that I’m sure will amuse my fellow music snobs. It’s the brain child of Eman Laerton (which backwards is Not real name). A mysterious caped crusader fighting the good fight against bad, derivative music. I’d recommend you spend some time there appreciating all the fine videos. I’d particularly recommend the Evanescence one.

“If Linkin Park is the derivative – what do you call the derivative of the derivative?”*

This site is the coolest thing I’ve found online since discovering Strong Bad and friends at homestarrunner.com. The download times are well worth it – I’ve been literally LOLing for days.
Special thanks go to housemate Dave (as opposed to other Daves, of which, it must be said, there are many) for sending me to this site. I can only hope that further Eman Laerton productions are equally amusing.

I must confess at this point to owning a Linkin Park album, it was a rainy day, I was walking through Target, and it was pretty cheap… That’s all I have to say in my defence.
** The nice thing about writing blog entries is that they don’t have to be linear – I have no defence for buying this album apart from youthful naivety… I should point out in my defence that I did grow up listening to Simon and Garfunkel – and surely that gives me some credibility.


Andrew says:

A well known* writer once said “People like what they know, and they know crap”. And it’s true. Mozart is simply to complex for most people to understand, so they think it’s boring…

Speaking of opera:
I touched Dame Joan Sutherland’s arm last night… she tripped up the steps at the opera house in front of us… we probably shouldn’t have been standing against the railing..

* In operatic circles

Nathan says:

Wow. A comment.

Scott says:

I thought Joan Sutherland was dead. If I were you, I’d wash that arm pronto.

Nathan says:

Wow. Another comment.

Mark says:

The “derivative is bad” argument is silly. Pretty much everything in art, music, science, social/political thought, etc has prior art “influences” and thus can be seen as derivative or reactionary.

Of course there are those whose interpretation is sufficiently distinct from these origins to make inroads into popular (or niche) culture. Those that “make it” can be seen to be “new”, but mostly it’s a product of astute timing and marketing of an idea that really isn’t that new.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

My point is, no contribution is invalid merely by being “derivative”.

matt m says:

Mathematically speaking, the derivative of a derivative is called a “double derivative” or “second derivative”.

I knew that maths degree would come in handy one day!

Mel says:

Hey! My sister & i happen to like linkin park. Ok, maybe the word “like” is to strong a word for how i feel about it. But it is great music to get fired up to! We like to play it on the way to our netball grand finals. Yelling at the top of your lungs “Shut up when I’m talking to you” tends to get you in the mood for a great, aggressive game. The lyrics are profound and are an inspiration to us. Try it some time, we fully endorse it!

mel says:

Oh & i think Jill got a speeding ticket one time on the way to a final. Wonder if that had anything to do with the CD of choice….

CB says:

HI MEL!!!!!

Nathan says:

I’d heard you girls were going to converse via the pages of my blog – but I wasn’t expecting anything as verbose and deep as that effort CB.

mel says:

Hey CB! It was great to meet you on the weekend. How are you going?

Hello to all the other townsvillians who are reading this whom i met on the weekend! What a great time it was.

CB – have you used any of the nath info i gave you to your advantage? Hope you found some of it useful.

88k says:

Mr Campbell

More evidence is required before your acceptance into our exclusive club can be granted. At present, you have outlined the time in your life when you were not a musical snob, and subsequently jumped on Mr Laerton’s bandwagon. Please express in clearer terms the qualities you posess that will qualify you to be a Musical Snob.

Yours Sincerely

The 88th Key
Graduate Certificate in The Use of Chords I IV and V
Diploma of Superior Musical Taste
Masters of Misused Modulations
Grand High Poobah of
The Royal Society of Musical Snobs

Phil says:


Just a note to say Bruce Winter is the new principal of our Brisbane Theological College… and the Year of Excellence is up and running. (www.yearofexcellence.com)

Nathan says:

88k – it seems you are not who I believed you to be, and now I wonder – who is this fellow music snob… In answer to your question, I own the entire Radiohead back catalogue… And I prefer their more avant garde work…

I often quote alternative musicians in my blog without pointing out that I’m doing so…

I know that the guy who sings the song Hallelujah on the Shrek soundtrack didn’t write it – nor indeed did Jeff Buckley. I know that Rufus Wainwright (the guy who sang Hallelujah on the Shrek soundtrack) has since performed in a show dedicated to the works of Leonard Cohen – the man who wrote Hallelujah.

Andrew says:

Q. How many pop song writers does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. I, IV, V, I

CB says:

Haha. Good call Andrew.

Mel: Not yet, waiting for an opportune moment (coffee anyone?!).
It was great to meet you too…