Thursday, February 5, 2009

so why on earth should i moan, 'cause when i get you alone, you know i feel okay

Just like I do with Pop Tarts, I go through cyclical obsessions with the Velvet Underground where I just listen to them nonstop. Currently I am going through one such cycle -- listening to "The Velvet Underground and Nico" to an almost obnoxious extent. Normally I wouldn't complain, but an incident at school today really just set me off. I was driving with a classmate of mine who I'm working with on a project (we were going to pick up supplies) and I had the album case laying in my car. She picked it up and -- laughing, mind you -- says "Oh cool I got a bag from Urban with this banana thingy on it too. I didn't know someone used it on their CD."
Okay, let me just list off my grievances:
1) She called the cover a "banana thingy." No, it's just a banana, clearly. No "thingies." Banana.
2) I hate when people refer to Urban Outfitters as 'Urban.' Blech.
3) She thought some random band just decided to use the "banana thingy." No hon, the sole purpose for the "banana thingy" to be designed was for this cover.
So in order to make this entry have some sense, I will try to draw some connections between what happened to me today and just some general annoyances. I guess the thing that that bugs me about this album is that it is so known by even those who have never heard any Velvet songs. Maybe that is obnoxious of me, but I really don't like when people claim knowledge over a subject that they just read a blip about in Rolling Stone or something. I guess this is because music is like this strangely personal thing to me -- I listen to music that I have this genuine connection/admiration/attraction to and I'm basically a five-year-old because I don't like to share that feeling with people, especially with people who don't really care about it anyways. To me, listening to music is the sort of personal connection one can get from writing in a diary. And just like a diary, I don't really like throwing my musical tastes into public forum. Not because I am ashamed (I passed the brief Hoku-and-Avril stage of my life many years ago). Maybe that's bad of me and I should be less possessive (especially over things that happened like thirty years before I was born), but I really couldn't help the urge to strangle the girl in my car today.
I'm not going to deny it -- the album (and Velvet Underground itself) is genius and very influential. I really like how they could pull off doing an album of songs that are basically of different genre types (compare the soft "Femme Fatale" to its proceeding track "Venus in Furs") without making it sound random and shotty. But where is the line between something being influential and something being over-exposed? I'm not saying that this album is at the point of being commonplace yet, but I do worry when a teenage girl cannot distinguish the difference between a mass consumer product and the original art it ripped it off from.

1 comment:

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Very well put. I would have wanted to kick such a person out from the car while driving.