Not Snobby, Just Bored

I really love the new “Music Snob” t-shirt on Threadless. It’s just a black shirt with labels featuring a bunch of weird hybrid genres, some of which I would love to listen to, including: “Industrial Soul,” “Children’s Hardcore,” “Speed Funk,” “Acid Classical,” “Dixieland Techno,” and especially “Gangsta Lounge.” At least one genre on the shirt, “Instrumental Hip Hop,” does actually exist (and I listen to it relatively frequently).

When asked what kind of music I like, I have occasionally answered with flippant things such as, “Side projects by bands you’ve never heard of.” This actually got me in trouble at least once, when I answered something along those lines with someone who is way more of a music snob than I (no offense, Caralyn).

I don’t really think I’m a music snob, though. I just crave novelty in music the way I—and most people, I think—crave novelty in other media. Sure, rereading a book is a bit more involved than listening to a song repeatedly, but I still feel like some music stands up to repeated consumption better than other music, and most pop music doesn’t do it for me. (Instrumental hip hop, incidentally, does. It makes really good background music for writing.)

So remember, next time you hear that indie kid complain that he “liked their old stuff better,” don’t feel bitter toward him, but pity him: For he is doomed with a taste for novelty so acute that his thirst for song will forever remain unquenched.

Wow, I really want this shirt. Especially because I do, in fact, listen to a lot of indie klezmer (Beirut)… and goth pop (Smashing Pumpkins, hello; maybe even Tiny Vipers)… and emo bossa nova (Nouvelle Vague)… Hybridity is so awesome.