You’re not a music aficionado, you just really love ecstasy…
I recently read an article on Forbes.com that claimed Calvin Harris made $46 million dollars in the last year. Forty-six-million-dollars. Why? Why is Calvin Harris making $46 million dollars? Children’s brain surgeons make an average income of $108,000 a year and a grown man that presses play on an iPod is making $45,892,000 more than a person who saves the lives of grievously ill children. I don’t know Calvin Harris and I’m sure he’s a super sweet guy, but he’s not curing children’s cancer. He’s queuing up a Spotify playlist for sweaty Euro trash in Ibiza.
The influx of EDM, shorthand for electronic dance music, is disconcerting. I didn’t even know what EDM was until I was stuck in traffic for two hours trying to drive past a Kaskade concert last year. All around me were teenagers dressed up like extras from The Fifth Element. American Apparel’s entire neon muscle tee inventory was flooding the streets of Downtown Miami. Girls in rainbow colored wigs and boys in electric green fuzzy pants were swarming my car waving hoola hoops and glow sticks in broad daylight. Everyone was wearing suspicious looking backpacks and sweating profusely. It was like a scene from 28 Days Later, except all the infected zombies had been replaced with molly soaked teeny boppers. Which was somehow more frightening.
It’s not even the actual music in the electronic dance music scene that bothers me. Obviously it’s terrible garbage music that sounds like two rusty robots fucking during a thunderstorm but whatever, I guess my music palate just isn’t that sophisticated. I’ve been to an EDM show once (by accident) and I was confused. Everyone around me seemed to be enjoying the music but when the ‘show’ ended I was convinced that I had just listened to the same song on repeat for almost two hours.
I used to be a music columnist so I think I have a perfunctory knowledge of music. I can understand why someone would like screamo death metal, or Peruvian pan flutes. But when someone tells me they enjoy electronic dance music because they’re “really into music” I want to punch them in the mouth and say, “uh, no, you’re not ‘really into music’ you’re really into drugs”.
For example, I work with a guy who considers himself a DJ. He usually shows up to our actual, paying job completely hung over and then pretends to work while listening to mix tapes on his computer or stalking underage club rat tramps on Facebook. Recently, when he showed up to work with the pallor of a bloated corpse we asked him why he looked so awful. The following is an actual conversation:
DJ Co-worker: I was at the Calvin Harris show, working last night.
Sane Co-worker #1: Working?
DJ Co-worker: Yeah, you know I listen to when he plays his songs and I write them down on the notes section on my phone. I record the times he plays the songs and when I don’t know a song, I’ll just Shazam it. It’s my work.
Sane Co-worker #1: What…
DJ Co-worker: I gotta see what he’s playing and what order he plays the songs so when I do my set I know what to play.
Sane Co-worker #2: So, you just steal Calvin Harris’s set?
DJ Co-worker: Woah, bro, that’s not what I said. I just reference his songs and the order he plays them.
Me: Ok, so you go to the club and write down the exact song and exact time he plays his songs and then replay them in that exact order during your gigs. That’s cool, that sounds like a successful plan. And, I totally get it, opening up the Shazam app while you’re rolling your face off is hard work!
Part of me feels bad for relentlessly making fun of this guy. But then another part of me remembers that he once said, “I invented the word epic” and I no longer feel any pity. Maybe that’s the real underlying problem with EDM and the culture that surrounds it. It’s a culture that caters to the arrogant, lazy, narcissistic, and entitled millennial generation. While I think it’s crazy that Calvin Harris is making $46 million, there’s no doubt that he busted his ass to get where he is today. Which is why it’s infuriating when people like my co-worker believe they will be famous if they can just get the right people to listen to their bullshit Fraggle Rock dubstep remix on SoundCloud. Give it up dude, it’s NOT GONNA HAPPEN, your music sounds like garbage juice and your blatant misuse of Instagram #hashtags is embarrassing.
Please, children of my generation, put down the glow sticks, stop popping mollies, don’t shave only one side of your head, and above all else cease and desist from sending me your garbage juice playlists on Spotify. I never open them; they’re clogging my inbox, and putting a pox on our society.by