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February 16, 2015 / Brittany Hendrick

Pale Blue Dots: New music I like — really!

People who strive to convince me like or do something for the sole purpose of wanting me to like or do the same things they like or do, make me cranky. Hmmm, I already have a mom and dad whose job to a point, even at my age, is to guide me in life. I’m also pretty well self-actualized, thanks again to those annoying Mom and Dad peoples. I’d clarify further about how many fucks I give about accepting peer pressure advances, but then I’d just be bragging.

It’s noteworthy: In my experience, those who exceedingly celebrate chest-beating “individuality” through self-help aphorisms and pithy proverbs are the same people hellbent on pushing peer-group propaganda onto outwardly amiable folks like me. Do not be fooled by my shoulder shrug and “huh!” grunts in response to your egotistical protestations, in spite of me stating my stance 30 minutes earlier, which you obviously didn’t process. By this point, I’m ignoring you in plain sight. It’s much easier than entering poorly debated back-and-forths and answering “why?” for the billionth time. Superfluous resistance makes me tired.

Sure, I’ll truthfully and respectfully listen to your reasons on why you think I should like A instead of B. I’ll acknowledge the good points: “Yes, the lyrics really do make you ponder the meaning of life.” We all clamber like impatient children for the opportunity to extol the virtues of something we’re passionate about; we want to share it with everyone we know, and people will listen with open ears! There’s no problem with this approach.

But there reaches a point when a person’s immutable sermonizing crosses over to unctuous proselytizing. Herein lies the problem. We don’t need to make believers out of everyone. Not everyone needs to join the cult. Not everyone needs his hand held. So fucking let it go when, despite enduring your cajoling, I remain unmoved toward full-fledged fan status. It’s not a personal affront; it’s personal taste.

The irony of individuality kills me. Sorry to hurt your sensitive antennae by not validating 100% of your interests so that I be more like you instead of myself. My tastes are capable of change, and they have changed over the years. But I’m in charge of that, not you.

Though, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it would be nice to be able to mindlessly float down the Me-Too River.

It’s well known I don’t like a lot of new music. I could go into an entire sidebar about my attitude on this, but I won’t. Surely you can fill in the blanks.

Besides, it’s not like I don’t appreciate music. I like new music when it strikes me. My Spotify playlists seem to say I enjoy a lot of music across several genres, spanning many decades. A lot. It just happens not to be what you’re in to. Big deal. What makes your music more “right” than mine? Don’t I get credit for my tastes being left-of-center at least? How would you like it if I lectured you on what you’re missing with electronic, classic rock, rap, hip hop? That’s what I thought. Sit your self-righteous ass down.

Anyway, recently, I felt a flutter of excitement over some new music. See? It happens! But not blindly…

It’s no secret Super Furry Animals is one of my favorite bands. Over the years, members have become involved in various side/solo projects. As with any band, I’m always wary of these things — solo projects often don’t match the sum of their parts. Save lead singer Gruff Rhys’s first solo album, I’m not a big fan of the SFA sides. Believe me, I’d love to love everyone’s output unconditionally. But mostly they leave me “meh.”

Finally, there is an album I dig: guitarist Huw Bunford’s outfit, Pale Blue Dots. It’s none too surprising, because I love Huw’s songwriting and vocal contributions on SFA albums. My record review writing days are over (they’re fun to write, but, really, the concept is ridiculous). So I’ll just say this about the Lots of Dots album: fun, catchy, creative, beautiful, well mixed, well produced. The only complaint — not enough songs. I want more!

C’monc’monc’mon, give them a listen! I really think you’ll like them. What do you mean you don’t like these songs? Why not? Everyone else likes them. Open your mind. You must hate music if you don’t recognize the artistry and craftsmanship of Pale Blue Dots. Are you deaf? We can’t be friends. Don’t you appreciate new music? You’re beginning to offend me. I don’t understand why you’re not all in it. Why? C’mon.

See how that works? Exaggerated or not, it sounds pretty stupid when the shoe is on the other foot, huh.

Some songs to like or dislike:


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