More on Guilty Pleasures

At the risk of repeating myself, I don’t buy into the concept of “guilty pleasures” when it comes to music–unless, of course, someone finds pleasure in the Dave Matthews Band. That’s the type of guilt usually chased down by Lenny Briscoe in around-the-clock “Law and Order” reruns on TNT.

I find myself getting into the guilty pleasure argument once a month or so, usually with a snotty friend who thinks that breaking ranks with the opinion of Pitchfork’s editorial staff is a sign of cultural weakness.

The topic came up again yesterday. I had a friend over who couldn’t get past the fact that I like Rush so much that my digital library is loaded with their collected works. “You’ve taken your guilty pleasure a bit too far, haven’t you?” he asked as he scrolled through my iTunes.
I winced. “Why is Rush a guilty pleasure?”
“Because they suck, dude.”
“So, because you think they suck, I should be ashamed to listen to them?”
“Everyone thinks they suck, dude.”

And that response explains the fundamental flaw behind the concept of “guilty pleasures,” that if someone’s music interests don’t buy into a commonly-held concept of what is cool, their interests are somehow socially criminal. It’s an exercise for the young and insecure. People can talk about M.I.A all they want, I’ll take that “Jai Ho” song over her albums any day of the week.

If a song moves you, speaks to you, or compels you to think, act, or raise holyfuckinghell, it’s valid. Don’t let anyone tell you that Kid Rock and Chad Kroeger covering “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting” is a “guilty” pleasure. It rocks.  And yes, I hate Nickelback.

Sure, KISS is one of the most artistically-limited bands to ever earn the kind of money they have. Does that mean you shouldn’t have “King of the Nighttime World” and “Strutter” on your iPod?  Hell no.

Madonna? Give me “Music” and “Frozen.” I’m so there.

And Rush? Nothing to feel guilty about at all.
By-Tor and the Snow Dog rule over Fleet Foxes.

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