“Things Have Shifted from ‘What Kind of Music do You Like?’ to ‘Do You Have Music Taste?’”

You know Matt Pinfield doesn’t run the world anymore, you might say, when you come across a girl who “can’t think of a song.” Yes, that’s right — and this was in 2011, sadly enough — our Spanish instructor asked us each to name a song and this one girl goes, “I can’t think of a song!” So she’d never heard of “Jingle Bells” or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”; apparently. 

In light of this, it somehow makes it a little more digestible when I’m in the bar, the cute, 26-year-old bartender has her playlist on and it’s a bunch of what I’d snobbishly quip as “dentist office music.” The formative trait had to be Foster the People, which isn’t music I’d describe as being loaded with emotional force or structural unorthodoxies, and the extra-“cool” Beach House albums like the self-titled and Bloom. She seems to have a specific vendetta against me, as it were, as my two favorite albums by those guys are Devotion and Teen Dream, two LP’s on which Victoria Legrand carries a way stronger proclivity toward ardent, purposefully focused emotion and vivid, elaborate subject matter (not to mention the killer Velvet Underground influence gleaned on “Gila”). 

Anyway, with this girl “having a music taste,” albeit not one I would have championed, myself, per se, we are, might say, given a little tolerance and distancing of perspective, encountering a new sort of value system in our culture wherein a person who simply furnishes any music taste whatsoever offers an increased sort of luster or merit. And we’re probably done with the days of hating someone for liking the Queens of the Stone Age, provided that metalhead is retired from our local record store, which I think he is. By contrast, that is, the other bartender who works at this place never puts music on, constantly shows ample cleavage and gladly concurs, “I love the song ‘Back That A** up!’” Talking with the other girl, at least, you do get invited into a little mental world of hers, one which might likely entail more awkwardness, based on her natural, introverted tendency toward the arts, but, perhaps, a way more rewarding experience, for obvious reasons of being able to share in her appreciation for things that are metaphysical and therefore inherently human. 


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