Your indie music taste doesn’t make you cool
There’s a solid chance you’re boring
Fresher’s week has come again and for most second years (such as myself) it’s a time to reminisce about all the mistakes you made, all the arseholes you put up with and all of the shitty JCR events you were semi-obliged to attend.
The clamour for any kind of friend you could find, the nicer more open person you pretended to be to that end – they’re all now relics of that seemingly distant week we remember as being ‘a bit weird’.
Don’t feel nervous, after all, at the time I thought it was a fun, if bewildering, experience. Naturally there’s plenty I regret, mistakes I have – for the most part – been able to mitigate. Unfortunately, a string of minor errors lead to something of a branding, a permanent tag, perhaps only to be removed at graduation (like some kind of academic millstone). I was the ‘pretentious prick with the headphones’.
Not to worry, though, you’ll meet people at your college who enjoy music just as much as you do (unless you’re at Peterhouse, the Vatican City of Cambridge colleges) and undoubtedly the moment you realise that you’re both ‘one of those types’ will be a bonding moment. The thing is, shocking as it may sound, not everyone wants to discuss your eclectic and broad love of the auditory arts.
You shouldn’t be confused when they haven’t heard the B sides, or don’t own the album, or just like that one song that’s actually a cover (although that one still irks me). Not everyone will understand your need to genre-label every minute of your records and if you keep going on about that lovely little ‘post-dub hardcore’ track you found in the recesses of YouTube then, well, people might not like you.
You see, there’s a school of thought (shared by everyone) that the overzealous music kid isn’t really interesting at all, in fact, he’s a little boring on the surface. Perhaps his contemptuous little intrusions on the pre-drinks playlist (with something he has secretly deemed ‘accessible’ enough for the unenlightened folk around him) are a little cry for attention. His new found hatred of grime is a natural flair of his contrived contrarian nature, while the posters decking his room (bought a week before arriving off RedBubble) are just his attempt to show you the real (read:not real) side of him.
Part of me thinks this develops out of a kind of fear of the great new unknown of university. This year, returning to the friends I left last June, in the university I love, it’s hard for me to empathise with the whole first day of school type paranoia that unless you fill some kind of stereotype, or rather have something that is yours, you’ll be left alone as the boring middle class kid you really are.
You may think a heart-on-sleeve passion for the most obscure music you can dig up will give you something to be known by, something maybe even to be respected for, but sadly, it won’t. You’d be better off just chilling out, and maybe not being such dick about the difference between house and techno.
Again, I stress, don’t feel paranoid about that fact. After all, you can still discuss music with your normie friends. Although they might not want to hear about the three separate waves of post-rock (google it), they’ll probably be happy to listen to a few gentler recommendations, so long as you don’t rubbish Beyonce. Maybe when you’re prepping for a club visit, it might be best to step away from the AUX chord, and it may be advantageous to at least pretend you’re enjoying Cindies (even if it’s gnawing at your soul like some wild, blue WKD-fuelled rodent).
Whatever happens, just be nice. You can reveal your power level in Pub Quiz music round.