So, it wasn’t more than two months ago that I interviewed Jesse James Madre of Tiger Flowers — a band I have always loved — for the site. We hit it off, and after some discussion, it was agreed he would be a regular columnist here at Gun Shy Assassin. Here is the debut of Jesse’s column ‘Jesse Get Your Gun.’ We hope you like it.
Like me, like me, like me!!!! Nothing wreaks like desperation. It’s an eighth-grader who got into his older brother’s Drakkar Noir. The whole locker room is wondering what you’re covering up. What your inadequacies are. What’s under that towel? Like me. Please.
It’s pathetic how, as a whole, we need all these stamps of approval, like little merit badges of validation from our peers. “This one is for most likes on a comment,” “This one for most posts on a video.” Like me! Screaming, “Please, look at me!” Look at how everything I am doing is exactly the same as what everyone else is doing but mine has a hint of me hidden in it.
As Tyler Durden so eloquently put it, “You are not a fucking snowflake.”
The greatest privilege we have is the privilege to choose what we like, and don’t like. This is goddamned America (or ‘Merica!, as the swollen-gutted are saying these days) and though our freedoms aren’t as free as they used to be, we still have the right to choose what we like.
We can choose if we prefer Coca Cola or Pepsi, the Whopper or Big Mac, Aerosmith or Skynryd. These choices are ours.
But lately these choices are being taken from us right under our noses. No, it’s not the politicians this time. It’s not the reptilians making their final moves before they peel off their meat sacks and expose themselves. No, it’s bands. It’s the very people who allow us the greatest freedoms. They give us music. Music we can choose to like or dislike. Music that accompanies us on our greatest adventures and our saddest days. Music that gets us through the work shift and through the lectures and commutes.
I’ve been seeing this more and more lately, from all types of bands. Ones I respect, ones I never heard of, and ones I think blow dog dick. These bands are posting new music, that you can not listen to, unless you “Like” them first on Facebook.
You must “Like” them first, before you decide if you actually like them. They are forcing you — yes you — to like them without them earning your respect or ears. Is no one else pissed off about this? Does no one else see what is going on here? How inherently wrong this is?
You know who makes you like them before you come to your own decision? Communists and dictators. Priests and other religious figures. You’re all not for communism, are you? Not here, in the land of the fat and free, ‘Merica!
I get how this works in the band’s behalf — I do. You have some buzz, you have a new track up and an album coming out soon, and those 2,387 “Likes” on Facebook would look a lot more impressive if they were, say, 5,000. That would continue the buzz, perpetuate it, validate it.
So these bands send out a press release announcing a new song, and all you gotta do is head on over to their (linked) Facebook page and “Like” them and you can hear this brand new song! You can be the first to like them, before you like them.
If you like them.
Whatever happened to pride? Letting your music stand for itself. That old, lost, rock and roll attitude of if you don’t like it, fuck you — we’re still gonna make it! (Make the music, not “Make it,” like get rich. Because we all know, there is no future in this).
I’ll see a link like this with a band name that rings a bell; maybe I’ve heard about them or something. Then I see in order to hear some music from them, I need to first proclaim to the (social media) world I like them.
Sorry guys, guess I’m not hearing you this time around. It’s obnoxious and as a fan, you should feel condescended to. When they take the decision away from you about what you like and don’t like, they are basically telling you that you are too goddamn stupid to make up your mind for yourself. You are not intelligent enough to choose what is best for you. “No, no, you should like this band, it goes with your eyes. And you, this band — it fits your demeanor. You, you should be a ditch digger, and you a farmer and you…”
Next thing you know, the whole damn country is painted red and you got that crazy little asshole Kim Dong Eel storming around in pajamas. They rewrite “Rocky 4” and Dolph Lundgren kills our hero and throws him in the same hole Apollo Creed is in and your iPods come pre-filled with music they tell you you will like.
Now, let me nip the naysayers in the bud right now. I know you can “Unlike” them. I know it’s just a little button and another click of the mouse but let’s face it: This is America — I’m fat and lazy and they hide those buttons in awkward, ever-shifting corners and by the time I find it, some girl with giant tits shows up on my new, improved sidebar news feed saying she just took new glamour (tit) shots and everyone should go like them. Guess where I’m going.
I say like what you like. I say the choice is yours. Don’t feel bullied into it. In the long run, as a musician, you want as many people to hear your music as possible. Out of every twenty that listen, seventeen should hate it. But it’s for those three that don’t hate it that you keep making it. You put it out there as easily accessible as possible so those three can tell three more and they can go and hear it, without signing up or swearing in, and decide if they like it.
I say let’s make our own decisions. Let’s choose our own tastes! Let us eat cake!! If we like it, we’ll come back for more and more. If not, you’ve lost nothing, because at the end of the day, internet “Likes” are like assholes — we all got one, and they mean shit.