Monday, January 24, 2005

Music taste

I read an interview of some heavy metal fans in which some guy said that your taste on music is shaped when you're 12 years old. While the thought may have some truth on it, I don't buy all of it. When I was 12, I didn't listen to music. I remember that we had a C-cassette of Italian schlagers. I thought at the time that Italians make the best music in the world. Yeah, right.

When I was 13 or so, I started to listen to blues and rhythm'n' blues (not the kind you get nowaways, with snappy electro rhythms, but the so-called real r & b). I liked bands like The Fabulous Thunderbirds and the Finnish Bad Sign and was an avid fan of the so called "real music".

Now, it's totally different. I've grown very weary of the so-called real music and especially the boogie stuff. No more rock'n'roll hoochie koochie for this guy. I once thought that the bands should play guitars and drums, not electronic instruments. Now that strikes me as pretentious. Guitars *are* instruments, goddamit!

Nowadays I listen to whatever is available (from the library, usually) and my tastes may vary from old fifties bebopish jazz to the retro postpunk of Franz Ferdinand and the like. There are still some old favourites left. For some reason I've never grown tired of Creedence Clearwater Revival. And I still get a kick out some old blues, like Howlin' Wolf and especially John Lee Hooker.

One genre never leaves my cold. I had my first dose of sixties' acid or garage punk in 1986 (I was 14), when DJ Jack gave his legendary Hard Day's Night in Finnish Yleisradio. I still listen to the tape I made out of that session. When Rhino's Nuggets boxes came out, I rushed to buy them. That's great stuff.

But there's still a mystery to the whole thing: why does one listen to the kind of music one does? Why do I like CCR or Franz Ferdinand, but U2 or Madonna leave me utterly cold and uninterested? Why do I like Gene Pitney, but don't care for Frank Sinatra? Is it because of the genes (that's what sociobiologists would say, but my father used to listen to Arnold Schoenberg and my mother, well, she doesn't listen to much of anything) or is it because of the upbringing (see above)?

I like to think that my taste is what it is because I wanted to listen to something else than my mates in school did, because I thought they were dull (and they were picking on me most of the time). W.A.S.P. and Ratt were their favourite bands and that stuff didn't really strike me as music worth listening to. The girls liked the Finnish neo-glam-cum-schlager bands like the Finnish Dingo (from Pori, where I come from, a midsized town on the Western coast of Finland). I could always guarantee of sticking out not listening to the same stuff. It was different when I changed school and found out that I wasn't the only guy who listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then I found my real mates.


Why do I always have to rush and leave all the things to the last minute? Today I had to go to the bank that closed at 16:30. I thought I should go there something like 15:30 and have plenty of time to take care of my business. I was there at 16:15! I was also going to post some magazines (Iskus and Pulps) and had to leave some of them behind, because I didn't find any envelopes to put them in! I cursed myself - and this was not the first time, let me tell you. I've done it before: rushed angrily to the post office and feel like I'm forgetting something important. Now I had money only for two of my letters and had to go out to get some more money to put the third package in the mail. Argh, I said to myself.


I wrote couple of days back about the sadness that comes when I held my new book in mys hands. I remembered later that that is just what happened when my first book, "Pulpografia", came out. I remember that life seemed dull and empty and there was nothing to do. It went by, the blue and sadness. I remember thinking at the time that there should always be enough time to rest after some large work (such as "Pulpografia", which has over 300 entries of American pulp and paperback mystery authors). Maybe I don't allow enough rest. Even now when I have nothing to do and could sit back and watch TV, I sit here and write this.

So, enough of this now. More later.

No comments: