We're really judgmental.
Or maybe it's just me. All I know is I feel like a huge jerk because the main reason I didn't like the Band of Horses show on Monday was because I was wedged between some sorority girl who was dancing obnoxiously and a really tall bro who insisted on standing in front of me with a hat on.
But I feel like an ass not only because I let the sold-out crowd that contained large swathes of people I don't exactly relate to affect my experience, but also because I judged this one dude wearing a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt.
Don't get me wrong, Hendrix is good - innovator in rock 'n' roll, all that -but in the context of this show, my perception of the guy was, "Yeah man, I'm going to wear my rock shirt today. Ooh, but it's cold out. Better wear my long sleeve under my shirt so people can see it's my rock shirt."
Admittedly, I still think this is really funny, but I hate myself for it. In reality though, a lot of judgment gets passed regarding people and the music they listen to.
But it's easy to judge. People love to tell you what kind of music they're into, especially on the Internet.
I don't really know why, but everyone does it. Whether it's a laundry list of bands, the ever-vague "anything I can dance to" or the unfortunate "everything but country," Facebook and MySpace profiles host so much of our personal tastes.
Hey, I do it too.
Panda Bear, Fleet Foxes, Bowerbirds, CCR, Gram Parsons. This is what the "favorite music" section of my Facebook profile displays.
But why? Why do you, I and pretty much all of us feel it is necessary to lay out our favorite musical artists to people that might not even know us?
Is it a reflection of our personalities? Is it an attempt to show off what we think is great taste? Or is it a cry of outreach to other souls with similar tastes in an indirect, kind-of-sad, yet kind-of-endearing way?
For better or for worse, it's all of these things, and these Web sites are just one way we go about doing it.
As I've expounded on before, the type of clothes you wear can send this message (i.e. Hendrix T-shirt), but even farther down the rabbit hole of letting other people know what kind of person you are based on music you listen to are applications like Last.fm.
Last.fm is a downloadable program that logs, or "scrobbles," all the songs you listen to on your computer. It's pretty much Big Brother for iTunes and yet another way to be seen or to at least try to be seen.
It also can affect the way you listen to music, or even what you listen to.
I'll even admit to this one too. Yeah, when I first got a Last.fm account, I was very self-conscious about how people would view the music I was listening to. I wouldn't play songs that I thought weren't hip enough. Even worse, I would leave songs that I thought were hip playing when I wasn't even in the room so they would get scrobbled.
Ridiculous and whorish, I know. I realized this soon enough (also that no one looks at my account anyway) and now I listen to all the Def Leppard I want.
But I still keep the account because there are some neat things about it. I do like to see what I listen to over the course of a week and it is kind of fun to see what other people you know are listening to.
It can bring people together too. International means of communication are opened up based on an immediately accessible common interest. I always enjoy discussing the finer points of the Hold Steady with an online mate in Australia.
Then again, that sounds really, really lame.
Anyway, the point is just be true to your own taste, and if you're judged, who freaking cares?
Oh yeah. All of us.