Portland as Fuck 

Music

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MY NAME IS Ian Karmel, and I enjoy the music of Sublime.

While I'm at it, I also enjoy Blink-182, Everclear, and Limp Bizkit's cover of "Faith" a whole fucking bunch. At some point in my life it became evident that I wasn't supposed to like this kind of music if I wanted to be considered interesting or intellectual. There seemed to be a supposition that if you listened to Charles Mingus or the Pixies, you absorbed their cultural credibility—like Mega Man, but with clove cigarettes.

This is a ridiculous conceit. A Sunny Day Real Estate T-shirt doesn't make you interesting any more than a Dan Majerle jersey allows you to dunk. Still, many of us go through this infernal dance—making playlists for parties, filling them with Iron & Wine or King Crimson and hoping someone walks up and asks, "Hey... what is this?" while the whole party is bumming out on the bum-out music, waiting for whichever song from Off the Wall you definitely included.

Why?! Why do we do this? Has anyone outside of the Velvet Underground ever been blown because of the Velvet Underground? (HOLY SHIT—IS THE VELVET UNDERGROUND A EUPHEMISM FOR VAGINAS? IT IS NOW. Also, The Silk Road. Do those last two jokes make me a misogynist? No way, I listen to Dum Dum Girls.)

Don't get it twisted, many of the aforementioned "acceptable" bands have the bangingest of tracks. And I don't believe that everyone is harboring a clandestine Goo Goo Dolls obsession. It's important, too, this tendency to shun your childhood fancies. (< Get a load of that fucking sentence, "fancies" he says, what a fucking dork.) For example, I traded Master P's MP da Last Don to a dude on my bus for Outkast's Aquemini, in large part because I was ashamed to own a Master P CD—now Outkast is my favorite rap group of all time.

The shame can scare you into making important discoveries, but the shame is also why I hate whatever-the-fuck a hipster is. I see people talking about Shabazz Palaces and all I can think is, "Yeah, I tell people I listen to Shabazz Palaces, too, you fucking phony—but what do you REALLY listen to?" It's a Mexican standoff of people who won't admit that Nelly had a couple of good songs. It's self-loathing projected.

When I made the switch from high school to college, something telling happened on my computer. I stopped hiding my porn and started hiding my Mighty Mighty Bosstones MP3s. I'm done with it. I'm done rolling my windows up when I want to bump a Kelly Clarkson joint real loud and sing along. I'm done buying Danny Brown in public and the Game in private. I'm done pretending that there's even a hint of irony when I sing 4 Non Blondes at karaoke. I SAID HEY. I'm done with it.

You know that feeling when you're on a road trip, and a song comes on the radio that you hate yourself for loving, and you slowly find out the entire car also loves that song and before long everyone is singing the Cranberries super loud? That feeling is awesome. Let's have it every day.  @IanKarmel

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