I consider myself fairly open-minded about most things. I respect the opinions of others when it comes to many issues, including those that I consider most sacred. If you want to bash my political views, go for it. If you say that you hate horror movies, I’ll smile and respect your decision to have bad taste. But, there is one subject that I cannot allow others to badmouth: my music.
I have argued my opinion on this subject more times than I can count. I have fought with people that I consider my closest friends and I have thrown my hands up in frustration during conversations with new acquaintances. When it comes to discussing music, I have to admit, I am completely close-minded.
Now, when it comes to the study of music, I’m no scholar. But I do know what I like and that is rock ‘n’ roll.
But, when I say that I enjoy listening to rock ‘n’ roll, I am not inferring that I listen to Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead or any other self-righteous hippie bands. I’m not a fan of Hoobastank, Good Charlotte, Linkin Park or any other modern day excuses for rock music. They’re good at producing the music they do and for that they have earned huge fan followings, so obviously they’re doing something right. But, that doesn’t mean that I have to like or appreciate them.
No sir. Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis. These are the artists that I consider to be the greats. They are the ones that recorded some of the music that has influenced the modern musicians that I love today.
While these hepcats happen to be the ones who started it for me, they aren’t really at the top of my list. My heart belongs to a subgenre of punk rock that is rarely given the recognition or understanding it deserves.
Pop punk won my heart years ago. Not pop in the sense of popular, but pop, as in poppy. Bubblegum pop punk is at the top of my list. I live for a catchy punk love song with surfy guitar riffs and lots of woah-ohs. This is the music that I find myself constantly defending. With the exception of myself and a few die-hard fans, most people do not understand what makes this music scene so wonderful.
Sure, a lot of kids say they love the Ramones. This band has influenced all types of music. You can spot kids sporting Ramones merchandise everywhere you look. But, many of these kids aren’t really fans of the Ramones at all. They are fans of Hot Topic and ever since this alternative trend store got their grubby paws on that presidential seal, the name of the Ramones has grown to become as fashionable as the word Hollister.
I’m sure Arturo Vega is loving every penny that his design has pulled in. But what womps about this whole thing, is the fact that the same kids that claim to love the Ramones, trash the very music that stems directly and most noticeably from the Ramones: pop punk.
Whenever I attempt to discuss my favorites, I usually get a “ ugh, that music is lame, what about (insert terrible band here)?” This is where the conversation turns sour. If someone attempts to convince me that his music is better than mine, well, that’s when it gets hard for me to turn the other cheek.
As much as I wish people could accept why I love the music that I do, I just can’t understand why someone would subject their ears to such horrible racket, some of the worst offenders being those in the whole rock-rap world, the neo-metal movement or the entire screamo-emo-hardcore scene.
I know I may sound pretty self-righteous, claiming that my music is better than yours. But, what of it? You’d probably say the same thing to me. I am standing up for what I love and sharing something that I believe is worth being shared.
Valerie Rojas, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.