Let me listen to something real
So in case anyone didn't know yet, Brand New is playing Rutgersfest. I know a slew of people who are stoked and are just as surprised as I am that Jesse Lacey and crew have agreed to do this show. Brand New is one of my favorite bands, because in my opinion I feel like they connect with a lot of people lyrically. Some of the best lyrics I have ever heard come from that band. Anyone who knows me or is my Facebook friend knows that I often quote Brand New's songs. My favorite: "Seventy Times 7," from "My Favorite Weapon," which is about a person who basically just had his heart ripped out by a stupid significant other.
I also saw the movie "The Runaways" recently. The film, which is about some of rock music's greatest women — Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Cherie Currie — really made me think about the music being produced these days. The songs written by Jett and her band were so raw. They exemplified rock ‘n' roll at its finest and spilled emotion and energy. The scenes of Jett writing and the hardship she had to overcome as a musician were really inspiring to see as a female musician myself.
Both The Runaways and Brand New — bands from two different time periods, loved by two different generations — have one major thing in common: They were genuine about what they were trying to express to their listeners. I feel like there really is no music today that is being written like this anymore. Nowadays, bands are too concerned with being seen as artists, being ridiculously obscure and misunderstood by their audience or are commercial to the point where the songs they are putting out are ones that will pretty much activate anyone's gag reflex. The state of rock music has slowly been changing — it used to be so angry and raw. Anger fueled live performances and songs were written about being held down and breaking free. Rock ‘n' roll and punk rock were all about sticking it to the man and telling people where to shove their rules.
Take a look at the artists who are considered popular today. Sure, there are some genuine songwriters out there. Sure, people write songs that make some people think, "Gee, I can totally relate to that." But that's pretty much where the feeling ends. I need music that strikes a chord (no pun intended) with me and elicits an emotion. There are so many songs written about the same subject matter, but only a few can really stand out as being songs that truly mean something.
An example that comes to mind is a new artist out on "The Scene," Never Shout Never. This is the stage name of singer/songwriter Christofer Drew. This kid achieved MySpace fame when he started posting his super sappy, "emo-tastic" songs on his page. He recently released his first full-length album, "What Is Love?" and after listening to it, all I can think is — WOW, THIS IS DISGUSTING. The feeling the music strikes in me is nausea. With lyrics like, "everything you do is super-duper cute," you have to wonder if this kid ever gets angry at something. This is not to say that I only like angry music — I guess I just find angry music to be the most genuine. Not everyone has been in love. Not everyone has had a broken heart. But many of us have been mad at something in our lifetime, thus making angrier songs something that people may find more relatable.
If you haven't experienced this power of music, I would suggest taking a listen to the Rutgersfest artist that has so many people excited. For those who are not aware of Brand New, whose members hail from Long Island, the band formed in 2000 and made it big in 2001 with their album "Your Favorite Weapon." Get your emotions running rapid and listen to "Seventy Times 7." This song is the most poetically written and angry song I have ever heard — it is what happens when a member of Taking Back Sunday gets frisky with your girlfriend. This song is the perfect soundtrack for the rock out session you need to get out all your anger issues. Whether stressed or recently screwed over in any way, this song is perfect for channeling your frustration.
After taking a listen, think about music today. Is there really anything genuine being written anymore? Aside from the slow death of the entire music scene, I don't want music to continue on the disingenuous path it's following. If you disagree with me, please prove me wrong. Give me something real to listen to. I feel like music is all about boys in tight pants and American Apparel T-shirts, performing whatever their record company gives them to sing about. I want nothing more than the music scene to be built up again and supported by people who are ready to sing every single lyric to a song that connects with every person on a different level. It's time to bring back real music. Who's with me?
Megan DiGuilio is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies. She is the former opinions editor of The Daily Targum.