Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Love and Guilty Pleasures

As should be clear from this blog, I have never been one of the cool kids, of either the cheerleader or hipster variety.  I am, perhaps, a little too earnest and nerdly to be cool.  And I'm okay with that.  I can certainly hang with the cool kids and speak the cool kid language but, at heart, I revel in my ridiculous dorkitude.  And one of the reasons I am so head over heels for Jason is that he fully appreciates my seriousness, my silliness, and my complete lack-of-coolness.

Case in point: music. As one of Jason's former music-industry coworkers put it, "Becca isn't really a music person. She has good taste and opinions and all, but you can't sit and have an hour long conversation about music with her." For those of you not in relationships with music geeks, it's kind of a big deal to date outside the music geek tribe. I know and adore many indie rock bands (I initially became a KCRW member because of my complete fangirl adoration for Nic Harcourt's Morning Becomes Eclectic) but I simply don't have the passion and intensity for it that true music fans cultivate. And yet, Jason and I have managed to make it work.  He ignores the fact that I can't remember a single darn lyric to any song (even on my favorite albums) and I'm excited to learn about music history via his vinyl collection and late night talks (I mentioned I'm a nerd, right?  I just like learning.) But the best part is that he not only tolerates my (relative) disinterest in music geekery but that he fully supports my moments of all-out guilty pleasure musical indulgences. (I think I decided to marry him when he defended Kelly Clarkson's "Since You've Been Gone" as an undeniably great pop song that will deservedly grab nearly every woman onto the dance floor.  Mmm I love me some high brow/low brow appreciation.  It's much more fun and datable than the indie rock pretension I put up with in previous relationships.) In fact, he supports my ridiculousness to the point that he made me the best guilty pleasure getting-ready mix EVER in preparation for my recent boudoir shoot.

There's no way around it, the mix is full on cheeseball, bum shaking fun.  There is nothing smart, tongue-in-cheek, or clever about these tunes.  Some of the songs firmly date me as a late 1990s college girl when Britney had just come out and became our (kinda) ironic Friday night cheap-wine-and-makeup-application staple. Some of the songs are more recent, such as Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind," showing that there was nothing really ironic about my Britney-love in 1999.  But the absolute best part of Jason's mix was a little detail sure to grate the ears of any self respecting late 20/early 30 something woman aside from my college friends: the inclusion of "I Want it That Way" by the Backstreet Boys.  Oh yeah.  That was our pre-party SONG.  And yes, we took unabashed joy in actually knowing some of the choreographed moves.  And yes, Jason loves me and my ridiculousness enough to have tucked away that embarrassing gem and to have included it in his rockstar pre-party mix CD for the boudoir shoot. 

Obviously, this CD must make an appearance at the wedding prep pre-party. And, in case you were looking for that right mix of guilty pleasure ridiculousness for your own wedding preparations (or Friday night, whichever comes first) here is the mix Jason patiently crafted while good-naturedly shaking his head about my guilty pleasure musical pop tastes (not in order of the CD).
  • Umbrella: Rihanna
  • Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It): Beyoncé
  • Step (feat. Estelle): Kid Sister
  • Since U Been Gone: Kelly Clarkson
  • D.A.N.C.E.: Justice
  • Daft Punk Is Playing At My House: LCD Soundsystem
  • Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: Daft Punk
  • Crazy In Love: Beyoncé
  • Cry Me A River: Justin Timberlake
  • Baby One More Time: Britney Spears
  • I Want It That Way: Backstreet Boys
  • Ignition (Remix): R Kelly
  • Empire State Of Mind: Jay-Z
  • Gold Digger (f. Jamie Foxx): Kanye West
  • Work It Out: Beyonce
  • Digital Love: Daft Punk
  • Dvno: Justice
  • Rock Your Body: Justin Timberlake
  • Oops I did it Again: Britney Spears
Shut up, you know you love it too.  And if you don't (why not?!) and you've actually lost all respect for me, perhaps the following post-prep time mix CD track list (with more of my everyday faves) will convince you that I'm not a culturally uncouth boor:
  • Inside & Out: Feist
  • Natale's Song: Sia
  • Come On Closer: Jem
  • Revenge of numbers: Portishead
  • The Line: D'Angelo
  • On & On: Erykah Badu
  • One Evening: Feist
  • Simple Things: Zero 7
  • Know That I... : Alice Smith
  • Unnamed (This Song Makes Me Happy): Leona Naess
  • Punchbag: A Band Of Bees
  • Day Too Soon: Sia
  • The Sea: Morcheeba
  • Cupido: Maria Rita
  • This Fine Social Scene: Zero 7
True story: I knew Jason liked me when, two weeks after meeting him, I left for a long-planned girlfriend trip abroad and he gifted me with ten CDs.  I knew he really liked me because he'd drawn awesome little sketches on all the CDs.  And I knew he really really likes loved me when he hunted down the Backstreet Boys song for my guilty pleasures getting-ready-to-party mix. This insipid CD-of-fun has love written all over it. 

So now, fess up: what songs will be on your guilty pleasure getting-ready mix?


  1. Ha, this is very much me. My music tastes tend to run indie, but I can never remember the titles + artists (neither in a lot of cases), whereas my guy knows the history of every drummer who's been with the band. I usually end up turning to him and asking "um who is this again?" and once he tells me, I sheepishly realize it's an artist I've loved for years and who's concert I've attended, LOL. So bad.

    And yes, I definitely have guilty pleasures ("I Want It That Way" being one of them). Also Fergie's "Clumsy," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and "Mary Jane Shoes"... Beyonce, Shakira, Nelly Furtado, Kelly Clarkson - those songs get me dancing (even just around my living room).

    love me a highbrow/lowbrow mix (of almost anything).

  2. THIS is an awesome post! I can completely relate!! I, too, am marrying a music lover! I call him my music snob. :) I, on the other hand love bubblegum pop and anything I can "dance" to.

    My fiance proposed to me on a mountain top about 1.5 hours south of our city. On the trip down, I found an old CD called "Shannon's Groove Music" and we popped it into the CD player. It was one terrible song after another. The worse song was a techno remix to Pokemon's Pikachu.

    My fiance later told me that as we were listening to all these ridiculous songs, he was thinking to himself, "this is the girl I'm going to marry", and he loved it.

    Thanks for such a great blog!

  3. Haha about six months into our relationship, I left for my fieldwork on the other side of Europe, and G. burned me cds of about 30 of his favourite albums. Clearly he was smitten. :)

  4. The guy likes horrible 80's music (madonna, air supply) and I love him for it.

    Jason is a sweetie for making you that mix (I like On & On: Erykah Badu)

    I am not a hipster at all. But I am very narrowminded when it comes to music. I only like the music I like. I am very rarely open to other people's music. I am the music nazi (not fun at BBQs)

  5. What a sweetie.

    He-Mouse can't remember the lyrics to anything, either. One of my favorite road trip games is to make him sing things and see what he comes up with. Seriously. Not even "Twinkle, twinkle little star."

  6. I adore my cheese. It will be at my wedding. There will be so "cool" stuff too but the cheese makes me happy!

  7. JASON IS AWESOME. Like way awesome. First of all, the playlist rocks. And it should totally make an appearance at the wedding, ESPECIALLY Digital Love, by Daft Punk. Because it kicks ass. And everyone loves it.

    Secondly, I totally get the music geek thing. I am the music person of Mike and I. He digs music of course. Loves to dance like a jackass. But it's not a "thing" of his like it's a "thing" of mine. So I'm the one who makes him pump up mixes and the one who makes all the party mixes, the roadtrip mixes, etc etc. Sometimes I wish he could geek out on music convo with me more-- or care about expanding our vinyl collection-- go to more concerts and club shows-- but in the end it's just not his bag. So when I want to geek out on music, I know who to call ;) I was actually going to ask Jason what his top 5 must-plays at the wedding will be. I think I know mine... but I'd love to be inspired from someone actually in the industry.
    ROCK ON!

  8. I'm pretty damn sure I adore you even more :) Amazing post!

  9. And I realize I didn't list my favorite jackass songs, because 1. They were already included in the playlist (like, I already have this nearly identical list on my itunes right now). and 2. My list of jackass songs is LONG. And I need time to properly prepare it. But don't you worry. I will share my list in good time. Although, I'm sure jason will already have his arsenal of jackass music ready to rock. But perhaps I have a few gems that will surprise even him.

    We should have a music listening party!!!!!!!! Just throwing that out there... perhaps I shall organize...

  10. love both of the lists. and sometimes it is just fun to have fun with light hearted songs. definite yes to crazy in love by beyoncé :) i am also all about hollaback girl by gwen stefani. those are my guilty pleasure songs and way fun to dance to :)

  11. The first list: I'm all over it! Music is such a huge part of our lives. I love this post for all the reasons you list as to why it infects your relationships. So great. Lucky couple :)

  12. Ohhh woman. I heart you so. You have hit close to home. Except in my relationship the beau plays you and I play Jason. Admittedly, I totally missed out the whole late 90’s-early 00’s Britney/NSYNC thing, for this was my aggrieved Ani DiFranco/Operation Ivy phase and I was Mad At The World, Mad, I said, and I would have none of pop culture during this era.

    That still doesn’t stop me from eagerly embracing music that is widely known to be (gasp!) POPULAR. My guilty pleasures, since you asked, include:

    Promiscuous – Nelly Furtado
    1 Thing – Amerie & Eve
    My Humps – Black Eyed Peas
    Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna
    SexyBack – J.T.
    The New Workout Plan – Kanye
    Glamorous -- Fergie

    I will definitely be making getting-ready lists for the bach party and the wedding that include these and more.

  13. I love this post.

    I am also a Britney fan. My roomie and I used to dancing around the living room copying all of the moves on the Greatest Hits DVD. Love.

    I am going to add the following:

    Stop- Spice Girls (complete with dance moves)
    Mr Brightside- The Killers (With lyrics screamed at the top of your lungs)
    Candy- Mandy Moore
    Genie in a Bottle- Christina Aguilera

  14. If these are guilty pleasures then I sure am guilty. You basically just listed every CD single I own. Yes - I am obsessed with CD singles - it's an illness. I hardly ever like the whole album.

    Love that your man made you a mix CD. Super cute.

  15. P.s. I totally meant the first list. The second one...call me a culturally uncouth boor.

  16. My current most guilty pleasure song: Tick Tock by Ke$ha. Oh yes, a singer with a dollar sign in her name is a sure way to know there is nothing intellectually redeeming about her music. I don't care. I just turn it up and sing and dance in the car.

    And I will be playing this pre-wedding and singing "everybody gettin crunk, boys trying to touch my junk, Imma smack him if he gets too drunk." My mother should love that.

    And I really love your list. Jason is such a sweet guy.

  17. Oh you're lucky! My guy is definitely a music nerd and won't admit liking any new poppy music unless it's completely ridiculous, like I'm on a Boat, Take You to Da Movies, or Pants on the Ground. Then he's all sorts of booty shakin' too! But he knows it's my guilty pleasure and accepts that while he plays guitar in his music room to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I'll be rocking out at the gym or in the car to your getting ready mix.

  18. Ignition! My college roommates boyfriend LOVED that song. Oh memories. The mix is awesome! Our college anthem (a carryover from high school really) was Baby Got Back.

  19. Also, love the comments! The boy and I are huge music geeks (he works in the industry and I'm just a nerd) so our music is going to cover a whole wide array of stuff from my gloomy Cure days and his anti-establishment punk days to Nsync. We may even throw in some country because Billy Ray Cyrus's Boot Scootin' Boogie makes us fall over in laughter.

  20. Erm... What's wrong with the first CD list? Am I dork without knowing it? Oh dear... That would explain A LOT.

  21. Oh my gosh. I think we need to be best friends.
    I want it that way!?!? totally-best-choice-ever.

  22. i'm just catching up on your blog now after vacay. i love both mixes and i can totally relate. i'm marrying a music geek too. my tastes are not shabby either, but they're a totally different breed. i can listen to feist and the pixies and zero 7 for hours but at the end of the day, i need me some beyonce and madonna.

  23. your "getting ready" mix is pretty much my "workout jams" mix. you just cannot break a good sweat to indie rock, it must always be bubblegum pop.

  24. um omg this is so cute and awesome and i've totally been stalking your blog and deciding where i should leave my first comment (lol)...and this is it. this is the post that got me out from under my rock :)

    i'd LOVE to highlight this on hi-fi weddings, if you are interested. just email me (hifiweddings@gmail.com) and we can talk about the details :)


    (ps - hi my name is ashley! nice to meet you darling!)


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