In the first (and quite possibly last) Dear Londonist, we have an interesting music poser from one of our readers. If you have a question, about any subject, send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Ask Londonist. (Clicking this link should save some tedious typing business for you.) If you're lucky, we might even have an answer for you.
I like to think I have good taste in music, I make an effort to seek out new music and go to see bands live but as I get older with more
responsibilities I find it more and more difficult.
I couldn't help but see the video for the new Fightstar single (Charlie, the posh one from Busted's new band) and against my better judgement appreciated its rock styling, though found the video a bit formulaic.
My question is, does this mean any credibility I may have had as a music fan is now officially gone, or have I just matured and now appreciate the music irrespective of the artist's baggage?
Confused music fan.
A good question, CMF, which requires a considered answer. Londonist hasn't seen or heard the Fightstar song yet which means the first thing is to throw a question back at you: why were you watching the Fightstar video in the first place? You say you couldn't help but see it, yet unless you were forced, Clockwork Orange-style, to watch the video, we're betting you could have helped it. So you fall at the first hurdle, you have no musical credibility.
Let's assume, however, that you were stuck somewhere where there was no escape from the video. The question is, then, is there anything inherently wrong in liking pop?
There's a weird reciprocal snobbery between the pop and indie camps. Indie snobs think anything that isn't difficult to like in some way is somehow inferior to pop. Pop kids think that indie bands should learn how to sing and dance properly and just cheer up, and they might sell some records.
Of course, the days when indie was somehow outside of the mainstream are long gone, and the argument is more about 'is it good'? And, CMF, you're not the only confused one. Londonist find ourselves appreciating some of the Girls Aloud pop stylings whilst decrying the likes of Coldplay and New Improved Anthemic Athlete for being boring. Yet would we argue that the song-writing of the latter two to be weaker? For us, it's like comparing sherbet dabs (mmmm, sherbet) with a fillet steak. We love both, but we take different types of enjoyment from each of them.
Just because we find something enjoyable, doesn't mean we have to think it's brilliant. Music ticks different boxes and they don't always have to tick all of them at once.
So, to answer your question directly, you have matured and you deserve credit for allowing yourself to enjoy music irrespective of the credibility that goes with it.
Also, it's quite trendy to like pop nowadays. It shows how broadminded you are.