I hate to directly contradict Ryan of the Dead Parrots, but if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the widespread condescension displayed by the self-annointed music cognoscenti toward popular music. It’s the same order of pretentious twaddle advanced by NPR listeners, independent bookstore owners, peddlers of concern about low levels of political knowledge among the American public, and film-school graduates—faux bourgeois superiority, nothing more, nothing less.
You know what? I couldn’t care less that every Nickelback song sounds alike, that Jewel’s music is now the soundtrack for marketing womens’ razors, or that record companies—in their efforts to produce sufficient content consistent with Canadian domestic artist quota rules—have foisted a succession of Alanis Morrissette-wannabes on the North American listening audience. I refuse to care what poor, long-suffering garage band has been pushed aside for Linkin Park, or what nameless-but-nonetheless-vastly-superior Little Rock bands toil in obscurity while Evanescence’s Amy Lee rockets up the charts, or how Kenny G killed the market for Herbie Hancock CDs.
So, if you don’t mind, I’ll get back to listening to Avril while the bourgeois piety police go back to diving into the remainder bins full of obscure, but doubtless vastly more “artistic,” artists in their endless search for art that meets their own exacting standards.