Music Genre Haters: Not Cool (Music Column)

STLCC FLO Valley student newspaper, June 2013.

Birds of a feather flock together. That vintage old saying maybe a bit cliché, but, for the most part, stands as a true statement. It goes along with the idea that people who like the same things will gather together and enjoy each others company. That is true of music fans as well. Favorite Genres in music, let’s take rock and roll as an example, (because after all, this is the Rock Block column,) have loyal fans who may not like other types of music genres. This is nothing new in culture, but the internet has provided a powerful and easy access outlet for opinions and hateful degrading statements.

This social media filled society has no shortage of music genre “haters” that fill cyberspace with rants. There are people who say they hate country music and label country music fans as rednecks or hillbillies. Those stereotypes are usually not meant as an endearment. Rap music haters, pop music haters, gospel haters, the list of haters could go on for miles.

Is this really something new or is ever-advancing communication technology simply amplifying what has always existed?

Let’s look at the rift between rock and roll fans and disco fans in the 1970s. Much has been made of this, shall we say, the difference of opinions between fans of two wildly different and distinctive musical personalities.

The togetherness feeling of like-minded music fans has always been evident in the culture. Elvis fans swooned together, the Beatles delivered the “mania phase” and the different music genre’s gained faithful followers. However, if fans from different genres cross paths they do not always play nice together. The disco era stands out as a colorful example of this culture clash.

In this battle of sounds and cultures, rock-n-rollers seem to have a fabulous and fathomless attitude of gritty rebellion and an unlimited supply of denim and concert t-shirts. Cool shades and tough-guy faces were the chosen pose for many pictures of rock fans from that time period. The universal sign of membership is tossing a metal horned hand in the air to signal to friend and foe alike…”Hey, yeah, I’m a rocker…anyone got a problem with that?”

On the flip side of this vinyl spinning table are the disco kings and queens. The glittering call of the sexy nightlife inside a disco must have been a magnet for the dancing firebirds of the time. Floor to ceiling flashing rainbow colored lights and carefully choreographed dance moves had thousands flocking to dance schools in their stacked heels learning the John Travolta moves from Saturday Night Fever. No matter who boogied on the disco floor, one requirement must have been a sensual pout on the lips and come-hither stare in the eye. Or maybe that sensual look was really the blinding shimmer cast from the flamboyant dance costumes under the disco lights that made everyone squint instead? When I think disco, I think of the famed nightclub  “Studio 54.”  The smoky haze of the party in that disco must have been quite dreamy and addictive indeed.

There may not be much hope for peace between disco and rock and roll, but people are who they are, and have a right to be so. Everyone has a music style and music culture can relate with. A little respect of those differences between music lovers will go a long way in understanding and acceptance. Unless the music in question has lyrics that incite violence against another or a crime spree, then okay, maybe that music might be a deal breaker. However, hating someone on a personal level just because of the type of music they like is just not cool.

Published: STLCC FLO Valley student newspaper, June 2013. (Monthly Music Column)

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