#WHYMUSIC / volume 6

whymusic_tiga

on music, love, and dumping guys over their taste in music /

i’m not going to sugar coat it. i’ve dumped guys over their taste in music. i’ve actually walked out on dates because they made me listen to josh groban, or used air quotes when talking about minimal techno. once, i dumped a guy because he corrected the way i pronounced skrillex (i’m sure it was equally a dealbreaker for him because i don’t know or care how to pronounce skrillex). before you judge me too harshly, though, remember that it’s easy to let something you’re passionate dictate how you perceive other things in your life; i have friends who have broken up with quality people for less. music is the answer to almost everything else in my life; creativity, passion, sadness, anger, sketchiness, loneliness, heartbreak, guilt. so, why not love?

i’ll be honest. i take a lot of my advice from music. i’m starting to sound like a crazy person, but i swear i’m not a socially inept music obsessed audiophile with no shame (the embarrassing part is that i don’t even make music. i can play like half of the low part of “heart & soul” on the piano though. so i have that going for me, which is nice). it’s just something that i connect with on another level, and if you think i’m nuts, you’re one of the unlucky people who hasn’t experienced that. unfortunately for you, it also means we’ll never go out, which is clearly your loss. clearly.

last year, i broke up with my long term boyfriend; the first boy i’d ever really been in love with. our relationship had been destructive at best, but i spent weeks torn between second guessing my decision, and wanting to move on (as one does). i went to mexico for a week in january to attend the BPM festival, and on our last night in playa, in a rare moment of serenity between parties, my friends and i sat in contemplative silence as a new friend played a couple songs on the guitar. i requested a ben harper tune (obviously, have we met?) as it turned out, the only one of his songs that she knew ended up being my personal favourite, “walk away.” we sat there listening to her and trite as it may sound, i made up my mind in that moment; i let the lyrics of that song speak to me in a way i hadn’t ever before. surely it wasn’t a coincidence that on the night i needed it most, the answer was that song? in the end, walking away was one of the best decisions i’ve ever made.

maybe i knew the answer all along, and i just needed to hear it in that way. maybe. or maybe music knows us better than we know ourselves. i’ve had some of the most incredible moments of my life while listening to a song or dancing to a track or singing along at a concert. think about it. certain songs are so special, that when you listen to them, you are taken back to whatever moment they represent, down to the smell or sensation or feeling. that being said, if music doesn’t make you think about the person you’re with, doesn’t take you back to a moment with them, their smell, or the feeling you get when you’re with them…well, maybe it’s time to walk away.

okay. so the whole “dumping a guy for his taste in music” thing isn’t as black and white as it seems. it doesn’t really matter with the right person, but i wish people would stop calling music preference a pretentious or ostentatious dealbreaker in a relationship. it’s as much about my own taste in music as it is about his…my favourite songs have an effect on my relationships as well. let’s be real. it’s about more than whether or not your new boyfriend thinks yeezus was a stroke of artistic genius, but it’s also about more than just being a dick about music. i don’t tell people what to listen to (for the most part) and i try not to tell people why they shouldn’t listen to the music they like – every kind of music has its place. just, you know, not in my life, and certainly not in my relationships.

++ check out the full catalogue of #whymusic entries here
++ image by tiga samuelson for littlecity #whymusic

10 thoughts on “#WHYMUSIC / volume 6

  1. Such a weirdly prideful display of music snobbery. I’d personally be embarrassed to express having dumped someone for them correcting me on how I pronounce an artist’s name. OH HOW UNBELIEVABLY CRUEL OF THEM. At least you have the courage to tell us you’d dump someone for such a baseless reason. So you have that going for you, which is nice. Personally, I’d deem it fitting to dump someone who previously dumped people for such superficial reasons. But then, that’s just me; guess we all have our different criteria.

    • hey there, thank you for your comment and for reading! i had a whole giant response penned out to you, but i decided i will just say this: it’s unfortunate that that tiny detail is the only thing you took from this essay (or the thing that stood out to you the most). perhaps that says something about my writing skills or maybe it has to do with your understanding of the piece. either way, you’re right that we all have our different criteria.

      again, thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment, it means the world. all the best to you and yours this holiday season.

  2. I like this. Very honest. Made me think about my own relationship. Music is a big part of my life; my wife can take it or leave it. That’s fine. I travel solo on my musical journey and she let’s me go. And when all else fails, we always have The Eurythmics.
    I assume you’ve read High Fidelity…
    Thanks for sharing the music in 2013, and all the best in 2014.

    • thanks so much for your continued support ross :) i love that you and your wife both love the eurythmics!! i’ve def been in relationships with a “take it or leave it” attitude where music is concerned, but all in all…the relationships that meant the most to me had some kind of musical connection or importance. great that you and your wife have that understanding though.

      all the best to you and yours as well <3 happy holidays!

  3. I’ve broken up with people for worse. Nor do I believe there is anyone who hasn’t broken up with someone for a reason that could be deemed shallow, so I don’t find admitting it to be all that prideful. I think one can own up to one’s actions without pride being the driving force behind it. Is it musical snobbery to break up with someone over music? If music is the most important thing in your life, as it is in mine, how is this any less valid than breaking up with someone because they don’t share your faith, if you are pious and that’s the most important thing in your life? Would that be religious snobbery? Or maybe it’s just good to know what works for you and what doesn’t. I listen to a little of everything, so I can tolerate most musical preferences, but I can certainly understand the sentiment behind not.

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