I always have a hard time describing my music tastes. They’re erratic. They’re all over the place. They’re dictated by whatever mood I’m in from moment to moment. I have dubstep days and j-pop days and classical days and post-hardcore days. Whatever it is I’m feeling, I listen to it.
I don’t think I’m alone in that sentiment. Not by a long shot. When I studied popular music for a semester at uni for my literary and cultural studies degree, we touched on a French term, jouissance. From what I learned in that class, jouissance is a feeling of bliss. I recall associating the term with house music, rave culture, and underground clubs, and their strong connections with the blacks and the gays. Basically, those clubs, and that music, brought together those minorities to dance away the prejudices they were subjected to in the world at large. In their clubs, with their loud, pumping house music, and their disco, they could just let go of their fears and concerns and embrace the music, the beat, the bliss.
I think this idea of bliss, the feeling of jouissance, is pretty common these days. Kids, more than anyone, know the feeling all too well when they lose themselves over the latest pop sensation. The teenie-boppers are fucking atrocious and the music is terrible, but the core idea of it is that they don’t know why they like their Biebers and their One Directions or their Lady Gagas or whatever, they just do. Same with Skrillex. He’s ridiculously popular for making random spastic computer sounds. I went through that phase. And why do people share their music on social media? Spotify lets people know what you’re listening to, when you’re listening to it. You can share songs from youtube on facebook or twitter and there is a record of the exact moment you shared that with your social circles. Why? Because you’re living moment-to-moment, and music is a strong part of that. Music can sometimes express feelings better than you can express them in words.
I listen to shit, knowing that it’s not the greatest thing out there, but that it’s good enough because it captures a feeling that I can latch on to and find my bliss, my jouissance. I don’t pay attention to song lyrics because of this. Music is just sound and it gets inside my head and does things. I like drum and bass and dubstep because of this. I don’t care if I’m listening to dubstep or j-pop or screamo or a mashup or a remix or a whatever. I never really got on the Gangnam Style bandwagon, but I can see why people did.
And now, here is a list of songs that put me in that mood: