2010 marked the beginning of a new period for me. Whenever someone asks me what my favorite band is I have begun saying Between the Buried and Me instead of The Smashing Pumpkins. I don’t know how this happened. It was as surprising to me as it was to my friends. For the longest time you could set your watch to my response to that question.
It’s not like The Smashing Pumpkins fell out of favor with me. I will forever be grateful for their catalogue between Gish and Machina. I don’t think I could even fathom another squad of musicians I would rather pick to have been my first concert ever. Imagine 2000. Now imagine the bands playing then… ok, you see my point. The Smashing Pumpkins were/are the shit, but I’ve gotten over them. Maybe it’s the hours I spent perfecting the solo on “Hummer”. Perhaps it was the need to listen to Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on repeat as I slept as a kid. Whatever the reason, I’m over a lot of their stuff. I used to be able to listen to them non-stop since I was about 12. No more.
Now, it’s Between the Buried and Me’s turn. I’ve begun learning some of their songs. Their technique is amazing. I’ve seen them three times (the same number of times I’ve seen the Pumpkins), and loved every minute of it. In my eyes, they are perfect.
What do I even need a favorite band for anyway? It really means nothing. Between the Buried and Me doesn’t encompass everything I listen to in the slightest. From Jim Hall to Public Enemy to Knapsack, I listen to some of the most random music, but why do I insist on cornering myself? It seems like such an adolescent, closed-minded thing to do. Until I can fully break this habit, Between the Buried and Me are my favorite band.
It seems in adolescence, you treat your cultural items, commodities, as trinkets that identify you. I listen to X so I am Y, and by virtue of that I am fucking legit. As quickly as trends change, society tends to mandate that your tastes should as well. You accumulate more and more trinkets and forget the old. You never look back, and when many people do it’s for irony’s sake. The older you become the more you buy into this system or the more you grow wary of identifying yourself thematically for other people. I run into a lot of people that have achieved the former. There are others that have not. I’d like to think I’m somewhere in between. Until then:
PS: The band I’ve seen the most is Coheed and Cambria. Me thinks it’s at about 5 times, 6 in April.