Will Meinen | The Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. — Local music fan, Rory Levin, despite his best efforts can’t get into electronic music.
“I have spent countless hours over the past year trying to really explore the genre,” said the apologetic Levin, “but I don’t get it. I’m sure the people that make the music are somehow talented. It’s just that I prefer music made by people playing real instruments and singing.”
Levin, a current senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has asked friends for recommendations so as to make a judgement based on the the genre’s best artists. Friends have shared digital files of Grimes, Pretty Lights, Skrillex, and Flying Lotus.
Levin described much of the music as “interesting” and “cool at times.”
“I could see how it would be fun music to jump up and down to and maybe rotate glowing items in a circle, but there is no way I could just sit down and listen to it. I’ll stick to The Replacements and Johnny Cash.”
Levin’s friends feel like he is stereotyping the electronic music scene and underestimating the talent required to make compelling DJ music.
Levin, however, expressed incredulity regarding the creativity required to engineer and perform electronic music.
“Most of it seems to be a process of taking music played by actual musicians and then adding a drum beat or a ‘wha wha’ noise somewhere in the mix. DJ’s pretty much create a playlist and then show up to the gig and press play. It’s nothing I couldn’t do with my iTunes library.”
It was clear at this point in the interview that the frustrated young man no longer felt like behaving diplomatically.
“Just what is it that DJ’s are doing at the booth really? One headphone up to their ear, pretending to slide faders up and down, occasionally pushing a button at an important part of the song like they just initiated the big bang. Okay, I’ll say it, I think it’s all bullshit. Anybody could DJ. My Dad could DJ. People would probably think he was being revisionist by spinning nothing but the Everly Brothers and Herman’s Hermits. ‘Spinning,’ is such an obnoxious term. DJs and mixologists should throw a party in a non-ventilated garage with several cars running.”
Despite obvious reservations, Levin agreed to accompany friends to House of Loom to watch an acquaintance “spin.” Levin proceeded to drink excess amounts of Irish Whiskey and pretend DJ with coasters while holding a rocks glass to his right ear.
“Look everybody,” he shouted as he danced mockingly with the crowd, “I’m being innovative and cool. Fuck this, I’m dub-stepping my ass out of here.”