Noel Murray Nails It

The AV Club’s yearlong feature Popless, in which Conway’s own Noel Murray takes a sabbatical from all new music listening to focus on weeding and reviewing his entire collection, is wrapped up, and I had to pass along this elegant crystallization of what it means to move into parenthood from mere adulthood:

And I’ve got no problem at all with music that’s soft, pretty—even wimpy. I’m a middle-aged family man. I have nothing invested anymore in being thought of as a badass.

This may be the very reason why my musical tastes are all over the map: I have nothing invested in being thought of as anything other than someone whose tastes are all over the map.

While I’d like to admit that I’ve never much cared for what people think about the music that I like, somewhere in college, as I was transitioning out of metal and guitar wizardry[1], I think I subconsciously was guided by the desire to be known as someone whose music collection had no borders, someone to whom nothing was musically off limits. Working at a college radio station, I saw a lot of people putting limits on what they could or should listen to or not. Indie/college rock demands that you not listen to a lot of things: 80’s rock isn’t cool, jazz fusion isn’t cool, mainstream pop isn’t cool, thrash metal isn’t cool[2]. I certainly wanted no part of that hierarchy of badassery. If loving Huey Lewis and the News and Megadeth is wrong, I didn’t want to be right. And I still don’t.

By the way, I cannot recommend more highly that you go back and read each and every weekly Popless entry to learn about a lot of music you’ve probably never had the time or inclination to listen to – here is the first installment of Popless. And here is the index of all the articles.

1.) Or more specifically, “being thought of as someone who was a guitar badass.”
2.) Except Slayer, because there’s a certain hipster credibility to Slayer, because Slayer is the scariest band most indie rockers have ever heard.