Things that make you go hmmm…

As a serious music fan, maybe you’ve heard of the indie v. mainstream debate. Heck, maybe you’ve even taken a part in the debate. Maybe you lean strongly toward one type of music and have a heavy distaste for the other. Some people will argue that if you’re a true indie fan, you can’t possibly also like mainstream music.

I tend to disagree.

In my mind there is no wrong type or lesser quality music. Sure, it gets old to hear the same song over and over and over again on the radio. (That’s probably what drives me to switch to my iPod and listen to my favorite lesser known artists in the first place.) But listening to my indie faves doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy mainstream music. I do. In fact, I find myself drawn to nearly every type of music.

If you took a scroll through my iPod you’d find anything from christian rock, to hard-core rap (the old school stuff you’d be embarrassed to have your mother hear), to country, pop, indie, techno, and just about everything else in between, including instrumentals and musical soundtracks. I turn up the volume every time I hear a Bruno Mars song and sing along. The same goes for Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson and Eminem. Imagine Dragons and Awolnation are frequent playlist favorites, too. You name it, and I’ve listened to it, and probably even loved it.

Books are a lot like music in this “mainstream” way.

When so many people are raving about the same books, it’s easy to get turned off to reading it before even picking it up. TWILIGHT is a common example of this. If you have enough people shoving the book down your throat before you’ve read it, you’re almost guaranteed to be disappointed. How could you not be? I’ve heard the same complaints about many of the more popular bestselling authors like Nicholas Sparks, John Grisham, etc. As someone who has read and loved TWILIGHT, THE NOTEBOOK, and THE RAINMAKER, I never did understand why some people are so annoyed by others liking them.

Isn’t it a good thing that people are finding something to love in so many different places?

Isn’t it great that people are reading at all?

Isn’t it wonderful that somewhere, someone is smiling in their car while listening to yet another Rhianna song on the radio?

Maybe mainstream music doesn’t always offer the most thoughtful lyrics or showcase the best true singers available, but if it gets me to dance, I say let’s hear it. Maybe some books get pushed harder than others. Maybe they aren’t “as deserving” – and there are always going to be authors out there that aren’t getting quite as much love as they should, but if people are reading, that’s what matters.

It always makes me happy when I see someone’s nose buried in a book. Always.

So I say, why argue at all? Why not just listen and read and just enjoy the lyrics and beats and words on the page as the entertainment they were meant to be? Maybe if we all enjoy the essence of art a little more, we can all hold hands and dance together without judgement. (Well, unless you try to do the cabbage patch. There’s always judgement with the cabbage patch.)

And now, just because I’m suddenly finding myself listening to this song again, I’ll let you enjoy a little bit of The Civil Wars. You probably already know this, but the entire Barton Hollow album is fantastic revision music.