Earlier this month on Facebook, I put up a link to a video that a friend of mine hipped me to called BabyMetal.
I loved it for a number of reasons.
As someone who was familiar with J-Pop and Metal, it was a bizarre juxtaposition of two musical styles that at first glance appear incompatible, but actually works in an indescribable way.
I may have been amused watching the video up to the verse of the tune but I was dumbfounded when it got to the chorus. It completely surprised me, and I can’t tell you the last time that happened to me in a popular song.
I dug the production. I dug the concept. I dug the band in skeleton costumes. I dug that SO MANY people were there to see the show. (And it is most definitely a show – based on the audio in the video – I doubt that much of that performance is “live” in the same way that a Britney Spears performance is more about being a live show/event than a musical concert).
On repeated viewings, it made me smile ear to ear regardless of whatever mood I was in before I heard the tune. It’s high energy and fun and if given the chance I’d do that gig in a heartbeat.
However, when other people posted about this on FB, it appears that 3 young girls fronting a metal band, singing about loving chocolate and dancing synchronized steps to it can shake some people’s delicate sensibilities to the core.
There were people that were outright angry at having been exposed to this. Comments like “This is cancer for metal” or “I don’t find this funny at all” or a dozen other sentiments of people who were annoyed or outraged that this existed in the world and that they saw it.
And then I had a realization about strong opinions to art.
Art can be a Rorschack test.
It’s not the inkblot on the paper, but what you see in the inkblot that’s important to what’s happening with you.
If you have strong opinions about something it’s because it challenges or conflicts with beliefs and/or aesthetics that you have. However, that’s what art is supposed to do. It communicates and challenges. It exposes you to things you haven’t seen/heard/experiences before so you can expand your horizons and develop your own aesthetic.
I heard a quote on The Wednesday, March 12th show of @ Midnight (a gameshow riff on Comedy Central) from staff writer/contestant Matt Mira that resonated with me. When asked to help define the internet he started his punch line with:
“The Internet is actually a place where non-content creators go to complain about content that’s been created….”
For many guitarists, YouTube has become a delivery device for an endless pissing contest of this guitarist’s solo being better than that guitarist’s solo and this gear being better than that gear but do any of those comparisons challenge anything other than your opinion?
“As you gaze into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into thee.”
I posit that if the BabyMetal video makes you angry, it’s because you’re already angry. If metal as a genre is so fragile that 3 girls (and a talented producer) combining J-Pop with it ruins it for you, then it’s probably time to move on.
Here’s what I see.
This video inspires me. It has over 4,200,000 views on YouTube. They had the number 2 album on iTunes and their cd’s are selling for $40 on Amazon! In the video, it looks like they’re playing to a crowd of at least 5,000 people if not more – and the crowd is into it!
If a concept this weird can get traction, then what’s my/your/anyone else’s excuse for not getting things out into the world?
When asked by an acolyte how to make the world a better place Lord Basho replied something to the effect of, “Just be the best person you can and then there will be one less rascal in the world.”
It’s well documented that goal setting is a critical element in getting things accomplished, but in the best tip I gotten in a while – reverse engineering goal setting by looking back from the future is a great way to keep yourself on track with achieving goals.
- Instead of looking at where you are right now, take a moment and write down today’s month and day on a piece of paper and add in the year 5 years from now.
- Then write down all the things you accomplished in your life by that date.
- Finally, write down today’s month and day and one year from now.
Now the question is, what are you doing right now to achieve those 5 year goals?
I’m going to go watch the video again, and then get my sounds together for a show next week, and put things in place for getting things done this year in meeting those goals.
What are you going to do?
I hope this helps and as always, thanks for reading!