OT: Well, sort of…

A while back I read an interview in which Richard Armitage was asked to comment on what music he liked to listen to.  In his response he enthusiastically named bands like Coldplay, Radiohead and Keane.  I’d heard of Coldplay but wasn’t very familiar, so like a well besotted fangurl I trotted over to YouTube to investigate.  I listened to a few songs of each and realized that I’d heard them before, on Top 40 radio when my kids commandeer control in the car.  Huh?  Curious…doesn’t do much for me. “It’s OK,” I told myself.  “It doesn’t make me less of a fan if I don’t get his musical tastes.”  Myself was not wholly convinced however.

I have recently discovered the wonder of Pandora.


Pandora opening the infamous box

Sorry, not that Pandora, rather Pandora Internet Radio.  Today while I undertook the Herculean task of cleaning my kitchen, including the refrigerator (E gads!) I decided to give Coldplay and their genre a more comprehensive listen to make sure I hadn’t judged them too harshly the first time.  I started a new Coldplay station which proceeded to play a mix of songs by them and other artists with a similar sound.  I lasted about forty five minutes before I was in dire need of an auditory intervention in the form of a station change.  As the iconic opening guitar riff of Guns and Roses Sweet Child of Mine whined through my ear buds, I reached for a can of Aqua Net and my black motorcycle jacket and sighed contentedly.

Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the musical quality of bands like Coldplay and their ilk.  They remind me a lot of artists like OMD, Tears for Fears and Simple Minds who were among the many bands making up  the “Second British Invasion” of the American music scene when I was a teenager.  I listened to them all, but their characteristically synthesized sound eventually paled for me.  I was converted by the soaring guitars, thumping bass and pounding drums of bands like Guns and Roses, Metallica and eventually Nirvana and Pearl Jam along with a multitude of others who themselves owed much to the sounds pioneered by the artists of the original British Invasion”.

My tastes have mellowed a bit with time and exposure to a variety of new genres.  My playlists are pretty eclectic these days, but I can still break out a mean hair whip when I hear Metallica’s powerful antiwar opus, One.  When I look back, my conversion to hard rock music was probably inevitable….destined even.  As a young man, my Dad looked a whole lot like rock legend Buddy Holly.  Even better, when I was a little girl my babysitter (his name was Doozer and he drove a van…what was wrong with my parents?) would sing me to sleep with Kiss’ ballad Beth and color all the Alices in my Alice in Wonderland coloring book to look like Alice Cooper.  As the Greeks expound again and again, there is no escaping your fate.

This time, instead of being alarmed at my distaste for my crush’s favorite tunes, I am immensely relieved.  I have watched and squeed.  I have ogled, objectified, questioned and commented.  I set up an array of monitors in my office that rivaled NASA mission control to watch the Wellington premiere of The Hobbit.  I have started writing fan fiction, and now a blog.  All this is in relation to Richard Armitage.  I had begun to wonder what the limits of my uncharacteristic activities might be.  While I have done all of the above and more, it turns out that I won’t be changing my musical tastes in light of my crush, and it doesn’t make me less of a fan.  Variety is the spice of life and individual listening devices are plentiful, so Mr. Armitage, rock on! Errh, well, whatever it is that you do when listening to your faves.

17 comments on “OT: Well, sort of…

  1. Leigh says:

    **chortle, chortle** I can just see you with the Aquanet and the black leather motorcycle jacket, rocking out to those songs, just the way my daughter did back in the day. I have yet to sample Richard’s preferences, but I know not to expect Dvorak or any of the other classical cello pieces. I doubt I will ever be able to hear “Love in an Elevator” without an accompanying visual ever again. 😉

    • obscura says:

      That Aerosmith reference indicates a certain amount of eclecticism on RA’s part doesn’t it? It would seem he’s familiar with the lyrics…and how to incite the fans 😉

  2. […] On Coldplay and the limits of identification with a crush. […]

  3. jasrangoon says:

    Isn’t Pandora great? I love putting it on when I’m doing stuff around the house. I was already a moderate fan of Coldplay, Keane and Radiohead before my Armitagemania set in. Once I learned RA was a fan as well, it was something of a relief that I didn’t suddenly feel the need to listen to them all the time! See, fangirling doesn’t have to be all consuming! 😉

    By the way, love that you were able to keep the Greek at going with Pandora’s box. 🙂

    • obscura says:

      Love pandora…I haven’t figured out how to transfer all my ripped songs from pc to iPad, and my new phone is being a pain too in the mp3 dept. When there’s wifi, Pandora it is.

      I was starting to worry about the all consuming thing a bit :). Honestly, a little bit of any of these bands I don’t mind, but after a while they just start to grate.

      Don’t forget Hercules. That was kind of an accident though 🙂

  4. katie70 says:

    Where would the world be without music! You learn something new every day. If you where a teen in the 80’s who can forget the hairspray ( my hair seemed to be shellac in it). My boyfriend (now husband) had a black leather motorcycle jacket when we first started dating and he let wear it a couple times ( liked me better in my jean jacket) he would wear it with black jeans, black shirt and black combat boots, (he was so good looking in it) so you see I have always liked my guys in black. HaHa
    My taste in music in all over the board. In high school I liked the british as well as others. Not really sure who I liked more at the time. My big pull was I was not to listen to any of that kind, so in secret I would. I did like Duran Duran, Fleetwood Mac, Kinks, but I will never forget the hour long bus ride and ACDC. My cousin’s wife even sent me a Rick Springfield poster that I could not put up in my room.
    My boys like all kinds of music and I let them chose what is best for them. I do like Coldplay and Adele, but you might even hear 1940’s jazz.

    • obscura says:

      🙂 To this day, I cannot stand it when my hairstylist blows my hair flat..has to be a holdover from my “big hair” days. My seven year old daughter told me the other day that she would need to change her musical faves after I told her that I too liked Adele and Pink, and I quote, “you are too old to like that Mom!” Funny you should mention the 1940’s…I went to a Big Band revue a while back – loved it!! Music is a continuum I think…I can find things that I like, things that speak to me, in virtually any genre…viva the mixed playlist! 🙂

      My favorite rock concert memory has to be a Kiss reunion show at Alpine Valley…it was a total extravaganza!!

      • Leigh says:

        Here’s to eclecticism! However, I have never been to a rock concert, unless you count seeing the Beatles live and being unable to hear the music for all the screaming. I am not sure they would let me in these days, even if I had a ticket.

        • obscura says:

          The Beatles live? I’m pretty sure that for many, that would be considered the Holy Grail of rock concerts 🙂

        • guylty says:

          Kudos Leigh!!! The Beatles in concert – that is pretty historic. In a good way.

          • Leigh says:

            Thanks, Guylty. It didn’t feel historic at the time, of course. I just felt painfully deafened by the screaming audience, incuding my companions, but of course, we had to stay until the end.

  5. guylty says:

    Music was my first love (yeah, like that old crooning song) and I’d love to know what music RA listens to. Although the danger is that I’d like him less – cos I am an awful music snob. The Coldplay preference had me choking. Not good, Richard. Keane, alright (that “Hamburg song” is actually quite good), Radiohead is good, too. Aerosmith and Depeche Mode – well, that’s retro at this stage, so ok. The latest thing on that interview yesterday was Gotye *grah* – horrible. But well, it is all subjective, isn’t it? It’s nice that people have an open mind and check out the songs that others recommend.
    Pandora – used to listen to that when I was still working 9-5. Nowadays Pandora doesn’t work in Europe anymore 😦

    • obscura says:

      I know what you mean, but I am determined to persevere 🙂 Note to self: no long car trips with Richard Armitage…I have been held musical hostage one too many times – I drove cross country (I’m talking Wisconsin to Southern Arizona) with my sister in her hip hop/rap stage. *shudder*

      I can totally find value in something from most genres, it is just in repetition that I might begin to get a little twitchy 😉

      No European alternative to Pandora? That seems odd.

      • Leigh says:

        You poor thing! I, too, have been held musical hostage too many times. Now at least there are iPods, mp3 players, etc., with earbuds and you can force passengers to use them. I sometimes sing when I drive alone, but I don’t inflict that on anyone!

  6. katie70 says:

    Obscura, I will most times walk out of the hairdressers with the 80’s big hair unless I have her flat iron my hair ( love a new look every once in a while) , since 2003 the curl has come back and I HATE it, but I still don’t like flat bangs.
    I have never been to a concert, another no no with my parents and my husband don’t like crowds. As for long trips we are stuck listening to country, some is ok but others forget it. Son 1 is like me so in go the earbuds so he can listen to his choice, it can go two ways that.
    I would go on a long trip with Richard, but he would have to talk the whole way, I would join in the conversation so it would not be all one sided. Now I could listen to his voice for a very long time.
    Leigh how cool to be able to say you have been to a Beatles concert!
    Singing to ones self not bad either, I just don’t sing in front of anyone any more, I gave that up after highschool.

    • Leigh says:

      Katie70, on a long roadtrip with Richard, I would even be happy if he was relaxed enough to sleep while I drove, just the sound of him breathing against the muffled road noise. Of course, if he wanted to sing along with a CD, I’d be happy, too, no matter what it was (hopefully something melodic).

      After an injury, I lost my pitch, so even my daughter tells me not to sing. I have to make sure no one else is around before I let go with the Ode to Joy or “Vissi d’Arte” or “Dove Sono”, let alone “At Last” or something more contemporary.

    • obscura says:

      Now that kind of car trip sounds just fine 🙂

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