For my birthday this year, my friend D the Williamsburger very kindly gave me two homemade DVDs. On them were no fewer than 2,188 songs that he had burned from his computer. We're talking all the "good music" I should have been listening to in my youth but somehow couldn't find the time or the will: Radiohead. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Miles Davis. Sonic Youth. Don't get me wrong: I know my Ella from my Billie, and I like alterna-music. It's just that my tastes don't diverge much from compact discs released between 1994 and 1998. (And a college boyfriend who told me my musical tastes sucked didn't help things much.)
I am neither musically nor technologically savvy anymore. Figuring out how to install the songs into my iTunes player was hard enough for me. D had to walk me through the whole process over IM. But even tonight, as I sat down to listen to some tunes and was faced with hundreds of songs on my computer screen, I became overwhelmed. I got a little nervous. What if I played Thom Yorke and hated him? How long was it going to take me to listen to one of these albums, let alone all of them? What if my musical education has been irreparably altered by my not caring about "cool bands" in college (or, um, ever)? So I took a deep breath and selected a Tool song. I became impatient and paused it. I selected a Spoon song. I became impatient and paused it. And then I selected one of the only songs I knew from all 2,188 selections: "Gold Digger" by Kanye West.
Lulled into relaxation by baby mama drama, I became confident enough to surf on over to iTunes and download an album by The Knife, which is a kick-ass band. But iTunes was confusing. All the albums by The Knife were released in 2006 or 2007, according to the screen. There were lots of options. And cover art. And buttons. And holy...hell. I was hyperventilating again. Which music site was I supposed to look at again to figure out which Knife album was the coolest? Pitchfork? Stereogum? Some other blog? And should I even be spending my money on this stuff? Shouldn't I be reading Twain or at least Bookslut?
And then, when I thought it couldn't get any worse, my cell phone rang. And I was saved from my own ignorance.
I will never be a hipster at this rate.
I will never even be a cool grandma at this rate.