Friday, February 5, 2010

How Do I Solve a Problem Like Maria?

or musical submissions.

It seems there are a bunch of issues here tumbling around trying to get our attention: the music, the lyrics, the interrelationship of the two, and a certain je ne sais quoi.

I'll be the first to admit, I have strong opinions about music.  I'll also be the first to admit, I need to list to a piece several times before I can make up my mind.  Still, I've never tried to articulate what draws me to one piece of music and not to others.  Why do I react so strongly against Tori Amos and in favor of Nirvana?  Why do I click past any DMB or Creed song but listen to Josh Ritter or The Fleet Foxes or Belle and Sebastian?

Most importantly, given that others whose discrimination and taste is the equal of my own actually love Tori, the DMB, and Creed, how do I determine, beyond my own whimsical taste, what is musically decent and what is not?

Why do I feel so confident in my abilities to discern a good poem from a bad one, and so reluctant to apply the same taste to music?

I'm going to be listening to each of our musical submissions a lot in the next month or so, trying desperately to transcend taste and get some answers...

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