Tastes in Music, or: Do Opposites Attract?

Thought I’d write this, when I read an article about the new No-Doubt-album, the other day. It said something like Gwen Stefani having always been very outgoing about the relationships inspiring her songs, whether it was with her fellow band-members or her as-of-now-husband Gavin Rossdale. I was going “Wut?” and read the sentence over, again. I have to say, I totally missed the recurring rumors about their supposedly upcoming and inevitable divorce. Having done a bit of research since, I’m not yet really convinced it’s going to prove true, this time around. Of course, a couple of things about Rossdale have hit the headlines since the couple married. Even if I personally couldn’t care less about whether or not he fathered a child with Pearl Lowe, or whether or not he’s had a gay relationship. I mean, him saying you have to try things before you can know what you like is a stance I vehemently disagree with. Some things you just don’t have to try for yourself to know they are no good. It’s the reason I don’t drink, the reason I don’t take drugs, the reason I’ve stayed away from most slippery slopes … well, the ones I recognized ahead of time. But it’s probably also part of the reason I’m not a rock-star. So, yeah, whatever. But those are definitely the kind of things that put a strain on a marriage

Now, I have no idea what state their marriage is in, though it does strike me that both are going back to what they did before the marriage, Rossdale to Bush, Stefani to No Doubt. I wouldn’t be able to tell whether they’re a good match from first-hand experience, not personally knowing either. So, it’s purely from a music-lover’s perspective that I’ve always wondered how those two get along. Should be pretty obvious by now that I don’t like No Doubt, very much, nor Gwen Stefani’s solo stuff, either. To sum it up, when I read that she’s one half of a punk-rocker, I want to scream “WRONG!!!” and then add a few more exclamation marks. She’s 100% pop, she acts the rapper, and she acts the punk-rocker. The public person I know is a poser. (And by the same rationale I feel like Marilyn Manson and Rammstein are pop, definitely posers. More commercially successful but nowhere near as credible as Trent Reznor or Tool, e. g.)

I don’t have the answer, but I find it an intriguing question, how much tastes in music tell about how well two people fit together. It’s obvious that there are cultural differences to this, around the world. I want to talk about two kinds of music in Germany that freak me out (Schlager and Mallorca-Party-Tunes), but people in other parts of the world wouldn’t understand. I’m inclined to compare to Country and Western music, but having been to Texas, I feel it doesn’t get across what I mean to just anybody, either. Let’s try this: How good a match can somebody who goes crazy in the moshpit and screams along to e. g. Sum 41 or Bullet for my Valentine and somebody who hums Celine Dion songs, all day, possibly be? It’s just music, you may say. And it’s true, looking at kids in clubs, these days, it seems like there’s a tendency to embrace various kinds of music. To the extent that it sometimes leaves me wondering how a single person can like all of them, and that’s even when I, myself, like to listen to Celtic Airs just as much as to hardcore punk. You get to a point, however, where you wonder what the music that is closest to a person’s heart, if you will, says about that person’s outlook on life, about their personality. For me, personally, I feel like my love of noisy and, to some, aggressive music is definitely mirrored by a tendency to not accept what feels wrong, sometimes on the verge of obstinacy, by an urge to say “No” if that’s what I feel, even if everybody else is saying “Yes”, or especially and more gleefully so if everybody else is saying “Yes.” It even feels more punk, at times, when that seems to make me defend the establishment, like when I’m saying “Yes” to Europe, when it seems to be the fashion to be Euro-sceptical. What I’m driving at is: You may dismiss my taste in music as unimportant, but I believe it is just a display of certain aspects of my personality which make me like a certain kind of music. These aspects are part of me as a person. Sure, there are people to who music just isn’t that important. And to those, it may not apply in the same way. But how much more than to me must it apply to musicians, where a certain kind of music is not just close enough to their heart to make them want to listen to it, but to express their own thoughts and emotions through it.

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