Dear Nervous Journalists,

I am going to say something to you that will come as a great relief: You have my complete and unfettered permission to go ahead and enjoy our music as… music. There is no need to become anxious about some “inside joke” that you may not be getting, nor is there cause for excessive worry that you might “feel something” only to find out later that what you were “feeling something” about turned out to be merely “ironic.” (We don’t really do ironic, at least not in the over/misused, beginning-in-the-90s sense of the word: Yes, irony is best left to happenstance itself.)

In other words, even though we play a lot of different types of music (and sometimes even get all conceptual on your ass), it doesn’t mean that any of these things negate one another. It is truly possible to play a “lock groove” in the park for nine hours and be able to sing a pop song with complete sincerity (no winking required). Additionally, it is possible to perform a driving rock song with a 4/4 beat and whip out a 12-minute epic with myriad changes, instrumentation and time signatures. Without compromise! Our (albeit hopelessly finite) tenure on the planet allows us these freedoms.

(You know how you can be driving in rush hour, getting all frustrated and stuff, and then arrive home to find your boyfriend or girlfriend waiting to make love with you? One minute you’re a nervous wreck on the verge of implosion, the next minute you’re bathed in ecstasy without a care in the world. Well, you’re not any more yourself or less yourself in either scenario, you’re simply experiencing a range of human existence. It’s kind of like that with music!)

I know it’s your job as a journalist to “get it” (and it’s your ego’s job to “not get gotten”), but when the concern for “getting it” starts to outweigh any content that you might otherwise be “getting around to,” I think it’s time to take a step back, live a little, and maybe see if there’s something else present besides your own blinding, all-encompassing, vocation-induced anxiety.

The vast majority of people out there (journalist or not) didn’t even need to read this. Through the miraculous act of listening/feeling/experiencing, they already “get it.” Ironically enough.

7 Responses

  1. Patrick

    “Getting it” is crucial for people who write about music. It justifies their existence.
    It’s what elevates them above us poor schmucks who are only able to “enjoy it”.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

  2. djedfre

    but it all fits you know? you know like when you were saying, “The old man is buried in the clouds, spread the rumor of a new heaven for sale” – you weren’t thinking of anyone in particular when you sang it?

    July 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

  3. Wowee, this really hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it? Thinking about it, people really are AFRAID of being exposed as someone who doesn’t fully understand something. And I do hope people get over the idea that a band is achieving the impossible when they incorporate many different influences into their work. It’s still quite prevalent for people to get hung up on the idea of mixing “genre A” with “genre B”. And bands too! So what if you’re a gypsy metal band! Is it good or interesting or unique or enjoyable or intelligent? That’s all that matters to people that really love music. And good point regarding the analogy of a person in traffic jam/love making session, that says it all in a nutshell.

    July 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm

  4. Slipbeat

    Journalists? Oh my god!
    I didn’t think they still existed.

    July 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    • Thymme

      Ya know, I understand (and like) the first response; I understand (and like) the third response; The second response, however… I still have a ways to go toward comprehending that one. And I’ve been mulling it over for two weeks now. Perhaps it’s because I’ve known the second responder for three decades now. (And I’ve known responders #1 and #3 for maybe a combined 7 years.) Sometimes it takes a long time to get to the point where you can truly misunderstand a person!

      July 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm

  5. djedfre

    i must admit, it is a bit obscure – though not impenetrable – and even rewarding if the “Truth” can be found! does that make it an inside joke?

    July 21, 2011 at 8:47 am

    • Thymme

      Obviously, there’s the “Metaphysical” reference… and the New York Times reference… just can’t seem to put those two together and make them pertain to the topic above. I mean… I kinda can… about 83% there… I think if I could access that remaining 17%, that would make me (i.e. someone other than you) laugh, which would turn the inside joke inside out.

      July 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm

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