I Hate Boxes

‚ÄčA college friend once asked me what my musical identity really is because he was puzzled how i can easily relate to country, punk, indie, jazz, etc. I told him none. Well, true, when i was a kid i identify with pop culture. But as i grew older that no longer is the case. My identity is not build around the music i listen to but rather the music i listen to is build around my identity and i identify myself as a music connoisseur among other things. Of course there are lots of music i don’t like but my reason for not liking them has nothing to do with its genre but rather on its quality and my own emotional rapport towards it and these are often subjective (which is why some people like Nickelback and some don’t). It just so happened that most musical styles that i can emotionally identify with falls into what is now categorized as power pop and americana (formerly referred to as alt-country).

Now i understand most music genre has its own culture and aesthetics. I too identify with neither though i understand those who do. This is because i hate boxes. I get dizzy inside an elevator. Instead of going inside one box i like to explore all available boxes and learn from each but i don’t build my own box around it either. Like i said, i hate boxes. I love to grow and learn. Collect knowledge and wisdom. Apply them. Test them, and see how it stands. Plus life is much bigger, complex, and stranger than that.

My Interpretation of a Poser

A poser is someone who belongs outside your little universe who likes and is interested on the same thing you like.

Example 1:

 You’re a scientist. Intellectual. Reasonable. Logical. You studied a particular thesis but somehow your results always negate your hypothesis. Here comes a non-scientist man. Street smart. Bully. A jerk. The kind of guy who used to bully you in high school. Somehow he accidentally stumbled upon the problem you’ve been studying for years but he managed to find a solution amd went famous for it. Got tv interviews etc. You call him a poser for acting more than who  you thought he is.

 In reality though, he’s really smart but because he is outside your little science circle, you figure him for a poser.

Example 2:

You’re an ordinary Joe in an ordinary town. Blue collar. Street smart but don’t read much. And you drink Tuba (a hard drink made from coconut aka palm wine). You claimed Tuba as yours and something that belongs to your people. Then you found out about these rich kids in the neighboring town who also enjoyed Tuba. They don’t only enjoyed it, they pretty much nerd themselves around it, reading literature about Tuba and formed a society based on their love of Tuba. They’re the kind of people you despised simply because they belong to the upper class and you have your own biases towards that social class. So you call them a poser.

In reality, they really are genuine on their love of Tuba but you don’t see them that way because they’re outside your little social circle.

Creepy Valentine

My band The Difficult Stranger is independently releasing our 2nd album this month called Creepy Valentine. It’s almost a year in the making and I am mighty proud of it because we were able to finish in our own terms despite our busy schedules. Unlike our first record, High School Lover, which was released two years ago, this album is more diverse in terms of sound but has a unifying theme lyrically. We wanted to make a record we can enjoy listening to as well as play live and being confined to particular genre bored us. Sure I have my roots in indie rock and power pop while my bandmates in punk rock but we all decided to expand the musical palette just a bit to spice it up without abandoning our roots. The CD will be available on Feb. 17, 2017 at Chainzaw Records, Music Lab, and The HQZ. Of course we’ll also make it available digitally via http://www.thedifficultstranger.bandcamp.com.

We don’t claim to change the world or reinvent the wheel. We just love to play the kind of sound we wanted to hear.