Friday, August 30, 2013

Why I Said Ke$ha Was My Favorite Artist

If you ever run out of glitter, you know where to find me.
In the kitchen at work there’s a television monitor that scrolls through the names, faces, and team breakdown of all the employees in the company.  It went several months without being updated, and at the rate we’re growing, that was a big deal.  So recently a grand effort was made to take new pictures of everyone and just make general improvements to the virtual Rolodex.  Someone had the idea to include along with our names and photos a fun piece of trivia.  How about…Favorite Band?

Now, pretty much anywhere else, this question would fall in the “Mostly Harmless” category.  It’s easy to have a casual conversation about music you’re currently into or to “Quick! Name three bands you’re digging hard right now.”  There will always be people that judge you for the music you admit to listening to, but the commitment implied by naming a “Favorite Band” is another beast entirely.  And surrounded by people whose career is based around the indie music scene, the pressure only increases.

The Black Keys are usually a easy go-to if you want to convince someone you know good music, but here, even that wasn’t a safe answer, because they’ve become so mainstream.  At the other end of the spectrum, if you name someone no one’s ever heard of, you risk looking presumptuous or altogether weird.  A similar problem arises if you go classic with something like Led Zeppelin or Van Halen, because it implies that you feel music has yet to be as good as it was in the [insert decade here].  If you venture farther and say someone like Miles Davis or Duke Ellington, you could come across as a genuine fan of the genre, or you could wind up looking like you’re snubbing your nose at everyone else.  If you name someone that hasn’t been around long enough, you risk looking capricious or irresolute.

At about this point in my mental breakdown I realized something about myself:  I care what people think of me way more than I thought I did.  When did being effortless start requiring so much effort?

All at once an idea occurred to me.  I would write down Ke$ha.  Complete with currency notation.  Part of it was to protest the question altogether.  No one should ever be forced to come up with a “Favorite Band.”  If you’ve got one, more power to you, I suppose, although I’d posit the idea that maybe you should listen to more music.  It was sort of a way to say, “Alright, I’ll give you a Favorite Band, but you’re not going to like it.”

But it goes deeper than that. 

I like Ke$ha.  I honestly, unabashedly enjoy her music.  I like her be-yourself battle call and her unapologetic straightforwardness.  I also think she’s a talented lyricist, although her chart-topping pop anthems aren’t the best examples.  On top of it all, she doesn’t take herself too seriously, especially compared to some of her contemporaries (cough cough, Lady Gaga).  Most of my workmates do not share my opinions, but I thought I would take a cue from Ke$ha and be who I R (u kno?).  Because I wasn’t just being ironic about the Favorite Band question, hoping that others interpreted it as a joke.  By actually meaning the name I wrote down, I was being ironic about being ironic, in an attempt to create an explosion of irony powerful enough to teach Alanis Morissette the meaning of the word.

Somebody else said The Black Keys.

1 comment:

  1. Being ironic about being ironic is a win in my books ;)