The Garden State effect

At first I thought The Garden State effect was going to be a ranty anti-mainstream essay -- and while it is indeed that, it turns into more of a self-examination near the end which made it worth reading.

There’s a sizeable portion of the population that listens to the music they listen to because it’s there and they don’t know any better—a reality that actually predicates the existence of mainstream music. Here’s what I mean: nobody thinks long and hard about music and what it means to them and then ultimately decides to listen to Toby Keith.

The main problem I have with this attitude is that it dismisses the opinions and tastes of anyone who isn't an insular Pitchfork-reading hipster. That seems more than a little self-important to me, but I have a hard time giving middle class twenty-somethings credit for anything.

A related story: I was at an Apples in Stereo show a couple years ago and afterwards I stood behind some young girls to talk to Robert Schneider. When they were done, I moved up and went on about how much their album Tone Soul Evolution meant to me in my middle class twenty-something way. My eyes might have gotten a little misty as I tried to put my intangible feelings for that album into words.

While we talked, he told me that the girls before me were disappointed that the Apples didn't play their song from the Powerpuff Girls Movie soundtrack. Robert said they "don't play that shit" but said he was disappointed they didn't play more songs off of Tone Soul Evolution for me.

I guess I should have felt like a true fan, that my interest in them was "pure" and that he and I shared some sort of special musical connection. But mostly I wished the Apples in Stereo had more teenage girl fans so they could have played a better venue with decent sound.