Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Music Outs You


Suzanne Vega has a new post about music and how performative the seemingly passive act of listening is.
Vega points out:
"I remember walking down the street one day, wearing a Smiths t-shirt, back in the mid-’80s. I was headed for the subway station, and I had to pass through a crowd of black teenagers to get there. There were maybe eight or so young men, looking me up and down as I picked my way through them. My neck prickled with worry. What would they say? Would they call me a goofy white girl, or worse?

One of them snickered. My stomach dropped. Then another one sang out, “I am human and I need to be loved!! Just like everybody else does!!” Morrissey’s transcendental lyrics from “How Soon Is Now?” It was so unexpected that I burst out laughing. They knew the song! Then we all laughed, and the tension was broken. Maybe we were the same tribe after all."

It's a brilliant piece. Read it here.
graph via wiki: morrissey




subscribe Subscribe to HetPer

subscribe Subscribe to Gendering the Media Podcast

10 comments:

Dieter said...

this takes me back to a similar experience when wearing certain band t-shirts offered an 'in' to social opportunities in new settings. vega's words make full sense to me. thx

Dieter said...

this takes me back to a similar experience when wearing certain band t-shirts offered an 'in' to social opportunities in new settings. vega's words make full sense to me. thx

Dieter said...

Morriessey mag ich nicht aber den 'Text' von Morrissey find' ich hilfreich.

Nicki said...

What a cool post. I liked that she does homage to her diverse background, yet, the point that she makes is that we are all the same vis-a-vis music.
I liked this.
And I have often felt that music has intervened on my behalf perhaps more often that I deserved.
But as Grady Tripp says, 'Sometimes people just need to be rescued.'

Am am scoring good points here? Thx, Bri!

JJ said...

Not a Suzanne Vega fan. Well, till now. I don't care much for her music but she can write one mean post. This was good.

Mary said...

Great post!

Sra said...

On my first date with an ex, I thought we were hitting it off when he put in the Violent Femmes; but I should have taken it as a sign that we wouldn't last when he played Joni Mitchell a few weeks later.

And I was right.

Nicki said...

An ex of mine liked bubble gum pop.
Need I say more?
Heck yeah, music outs one, as a non-datable person that is....

Perry said...

Music outs us better than words in certain contexts. 'Go away, I listen to Verdi. You, on the other hand, have musicals on your iPod."
I know it's cruel but it's a used line. :)
And, of course, thanks for these Bri.
Elucidation is an ageless pursuit, indeed.

Jonas said...

'Yeah, last weekend I saw Nickelback in concert.
'Yeah? Ok, nice talking to you....' I mean I had a Cure shirt on for crying outloud!