6. My thoughts on mainstream music

main·stream /ˈmānˌstrēm/
Noun: The ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional;
the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or the arts.


“The ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal.”

Who says what’s normal? Who determines what is mainstream? Is Rise Against mainstream? I think it is, but their music isn’t played on the “mainstream” radio station here in Bakersfield. So Kelly Clarkson, Pitbull, and Train are “mainstream” if we’re using that definition.

With that premise, my thoughts on mainstream music are pretty much in line with my thoughts on politics and religion: To each their own. Musical tastes vary greatly from person to person and even within each person. Myself, there are days when I feel like listening to Linkin Park, days when I’m scrolling my iPhone for Saving Jane, and days when I’m on a country station in Pandora. It varies based on my mood, so I expect it’s the same for everyone.

With my “To each their own” theory in mind, I’m pretty non-judgmental when it comes to music. Just because I don’t like something, doesn’t mean I should say something bad about it. It may not be for me, that’s all.

And yes, I know I’m walking the center line here, but it’s truly how I feel.

Each generation has music that their parents don’t understand. For me, it was Madonna. My mom never understood the appeal. I have yet to encounter this phenomenon with my son — he’s a huge Linkin Park fan, so we’re all good there.

I enjoy listening to music with lyrics that are personal to the artist. I think that’s why I’m drawn to Kelly Clarkson, you know that she believes in the lyrics. And it you listen to the lyrics in Linkin Park’s last two albums … amazing meaning behind them.

That said, we’re all looking to connect with music. If the lyrics connect with you, it becomes a great song, an anthem of sorts, inspiration, motivation, etc … .

Songs I’ve connected with in the past:

• Linkin Park “Waiting for the End”
• Kelly Clarkson “Stronger”
• Christina Perri “Arms”
• Rise Against “Swing Life Away”
• 3 Doors Down “Let Me Be Myself”

And lately, I feel like singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Don’t Be A Girl About It” at the top of my lungs. And that’s just because I’m done dealing with the games and the B.S. If everyone would stop being “such a girl about it,” things would be a whole lot easier for everyone involved.

Back to the original topic, I think mainstream music is fine. I love the music in some songs and the lyrics in others. Some of it speaks to me, some of it is just fun. It’s music. One day, I’m sure I’ll be too old to understand it and telling my son to “turn that racket down!”

But not today. Today, he and I sing (loudly) to Linkin Park’s “In Pieces” …

So I, I won’t be the one
Be the one to leave this
In pieces

And you, you will be alone
Alone with all your secrets
And regrets, don’t lie


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