I am a self-proclaimed music nerd. I am always trying to take in as much musical culture from as many places as I can in order to broaden my horizons. I look down upon no form or genre of music as a whole for every type of music has artists who have mastered the style. Before moving to San Francisco the music that I listened to had absolutely no correlation to my surroundings. Everything I owned I found on the Internet or took from my parents. However I am now just recently learning that in such a colorful environment such as San Francisco I am inheriting a lot of my new musical tastes from the world around me. The best example of this would be my new obsession with garage rock.
Prior to moving here I knew enough about garage rock to converse with others about it but I only really appreciated a select few bands that fell into this loose category (The Black Lips, Ty Segall, Girls etc.). Now it seems as though I have been thrown into this environment where garage rock is all that is talked about and listened to. This began to worry me, as this was nowhere near my favorite type of music, but as I began to listen to it more and go to the shows this fast paced simplistic music began to take hold of me. What started out as a small portion of what I listened to became an obsession! Everything about the environment around me was forcing this music upon me and I loved it. The music my friends would play in the dorms, the dirty shows in the mission that I would end up at at four in the morning on a Tuesday night, and the all around grime and fast paced life that the city of San Francisco had to offer were emotionally investing me deeper and deeper into this music. It’s not as if garage rock is just extremely appreciated here in the city, this is where the music is being created. This is the city that is inspiring these songs. I’m not just simply in a place where this music is prevalent, I am living in the fucking epicenter.
The appreciation for this music isn’t like any appreciation that I have had before. There is a certain deeper understanding and love of music that is made with the same external influences that have influenced you. It almost feels as if this music is being created with me in mind. When I am walking down Haight st. and a song by Coachwhips comes on my I Pod I feel a connection like none other. Like all of these pieces just fall into place. The music that I am listening to was created for this specific experience, for this exact moment, It was made by people just like me, for me.
A lot of my obsession with this music didn’t necessarily come from the sound its self. The carefree lifestyles of these artists fit the mold of my ideal lifestyle. The best portrayal of garage rock can be found in the mini Garage Rock documentary put out by vice.
By going to these shows the raw energy of it all really helped me appreciate the music and see where these artists were coming from. This clip is from a Coachwhips show.
The overall purpose of this post was to demonstrate the effects that the environment you are placed in have on your culture and your life in general. I’m not trying to say that garage rock drastically changed my life but in a way it opened my eyes and has greatly helped me assimilate to my new home.