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|Rhynchophorus ferrugineus larvae (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Recently I was watching a PBS documentary about exotic adventures. In one segment, the featured adventurer was hunting with a group of indigenous people in Paraguay. At one point the group came upon a cache of grub worm larvae which is considered a delicacy among those people and they started popping them live into their mouths and gobbling them down happily. The lady who was hosting this segment (yes, the adventurer was female) warily held a squirming white larvae between her fingertips to display before the camera and then proceeded to pop it into her mouth and chew it up. It was thoroughly disgusting to me, but she seemed to handle the experience well.
Okay, so there are some things that I am reluctant to try and perhaps would probably not try. I seriously doubt whether you'll ever find me eating brains out of a monkey skull or snake in some marketplace in China (though actually I have eaten rattlesnake meat). I tend to be a fairly adventurous eater compared to many people, but certain preconceptions and cultural aversions put some things off limits. Besides, if food is overly disgusting to us it's because you've got certain issues of taste and aftertaste, appearance, smell, texture, and even sound (like if something squeals when you bite into it). Otherwise, if I'm not just totally turned off from the start and other people seem to be enjoying the food, then I'm likely to at least give it a try.
Now music is very different than eating stuff. I'll try music that is new to me, even when I'm pretty sure that I don't like the genre. Especially if the music is popular, then there must be a reason for that popularity so I'm willing to give it a chance. For example, as I write this I'm listening to Kanye West. I've never paid attention to his music and I've tended to reject it based on the person doing it and the genre. Actually, what I'm hearing now is not too bad. Kind of catchy as they say. I probably won't be listening to Kanye's music on a regular basis, but I will acknowledge his talent (yes, I would call it talent--I haven't created anything like he has and he's got millions of fans who appreciate what he does).
Years ago I dismissed genres like jazz, country, gospel, and other styles as music that wasn't of interest to me because it sounded crappy. Jazz was just a bunch a silly annoying noise produced by weird musicians who were probably heroin addicts or something. Country was twangy garbage performed by a bunch of backwoods hicks and hillbillies. Gospel was something that was screamed and moaned more than actually sang. If I didn't like a genre I would dismiss it as something not worth my time to listen to.
At some point I began to come to a realization that I was already listening to a lot of music in all of these genres and enjoying it. Somehow certain music like recordings of Johnny Cash, Stan Getz, and the Staples Singers were charting and getting radio play mixed in with the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Simon & Garfunkel songs. Then, once I realized that Johnny Cash, the Statler Brothers, Skeeter Davis, and the like were country I started exploring other artists like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and the Stoneman Family. I was missing out on tons of interesting music just based on my own resistance to changing what I was willing to listen to, but at the same time I realized that I had always had some innate curiosity about all types of music that opened my mind to new possibilities when I was willing to give it a chance.
I guess I've always had a stubborn streak in me that made me resistant to change. At times I still do show that stubborn side, but I also try to listen to what others have to say about what they like and be reasonable in my response to them. It's not likely that I'm going to try any wiggling larvae and I'll probably never become a huge sports fan. But I will consider the idea of anything that others enjoy and hopefully be nice in my response to them. I enjoy sharing the music I like and hope that others enjoy it. I'll listen to the music other people like and try to figure out what they see in that music and ask them to turn it down if it's playing to loud or turn it off if it contains too much language that offends me. But I'm open to giving music I normally don't listen to a chance. At least that's the way I like to see myself--less resistant to change than I used to be, but I know I'm not always successful at appearing so.
Battle of the Bands Results
my recent Battle using covers of the Justin Bieber song "The Feeling" stirred some strong sentiments among some of the voters as well as with a few who absolutely refused to vote. Personally I think it's a very good song and though it can't be proven, I think most voters would have had a far different opinion of the song had they not known about the Bieber connection. In the final analysis, I suspect that many of the votes on this Battle were of the "a vote for the least obnoxious of the two" variety.
Bieber obviously has some real haters out there who were unwilling to separate the music from the artist. Arguments were posed as to what was wrong with the song or the delivery or whatever, but I wasn't convinced by those arguments and I still think "The Feeling" is an excellent song. And by the way, if you noticed the Billboard Music Awards which were televised last night (Sunday May 22nd), Bieber didn't do too badly with 12 nominations and the award for Top Male Artist.
One surprise in the comments was the appearance of Braden Hallman, one of the band members from Kingdoms. This in turn opened up an exchange with Mary Burris from Jingle Jangle Jungle who may be featuring Kingdoms in an upcoming article so you might watch for that. Keep us posted Mary.
I had a tough time choosing between the two artists in the contest as I felt both were excellent. To me the Kingdoms version was entertaining and innovative, but as many of you indicated the heavy metal growling was a bit of a tough listen. However I also saw it as a bit of cheeky fun on behalf of the performers--and this video was indeed a performance. The Mayven version is beautiful and over the long run a version that might hold up better for me under repeated listenings. But in this Battle my vote is going to Kingdoms. Doesn't help them with the win though.
Final Vote Tally:
Next Battle on Wednesday June 1st
Seriously? June already? I guess so and I hope you'll be here for that Battle of the Bands installment. After offending so many this time around maybe my next effort should be an offering of atonement. Or maybe I should just continue with my typical adventures in music. I don't have to give this much thought actually as I already have my next Battle in place. What will it be? Here's a clue: It's a huge hit. Also, be here on Friday as I participate in Flashback Friday (which will be another BOTB clue).
Do you like to give new things a chance or do you tend to resist change? Did my Bieber song Battle disturb you, annoy you, or affect you in any other negative way? What do you think I should do for my next Battle?