Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Journey to Dubstep

I've always had eclectic taste in music. As far back as I can remember I've liked hard rock, dance music, the blues, and country. I've even been known to listen to Enya at times. (Don't judge me. Sometimes you just need a good chill-the-eff-out song.) I studied classical piano in high school, and then went to the premier jazz school in the world. Although there are certainly some songs and artists that make me want to poke my eardrums out, there are few genres that I'm willing to write off as inherently suckish.

In my formative years, the years when most of us tie our very identities into the music we like, I gravitated toward 80s hair bands - Poison, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, etc. I enjoyed this good time music with its wailing guitars and driving beats. To this day I still love to screech my heart out along with Sebastian Bach to "I Remember You." And hearing Bret Michaels demand that I talk dirty to him always makes me smile.

I forgive you for Rock of Love.
At the same time during my misspent youth, back in the olden days when MTV played actual music videos and the average sound system was waist-high, I would also enjoy listening to Madonna, Salt N' Peppa, and Tone-Loc. (I challenge you to listen to this song and not wanna get down witchya bad self.) I would do my homework to the soundtrack to Amadeus. I would even listen to the occasional bluegrass song if my friends weren't within earshot.

My openness to various music genres and my unhealthy obsession with Ghost Adventures recently joined forces and led me to something my ears are very happy about: Dubstep. I had heard the word bandied about before, but never really checked out what it was. Then one day I dutifully followed a link tweeted by host Zak Bagans, and oh my eargasm, it. was. awesome. Not long after that, EVP analyst Billy Tolley (aka DJInferno on the Las Vegas club scene when he's not ghost adventuring) released a dubstep mix on his podcast. (Seriously, if you need some good workout music check it out. And no, nobody is paying me for all this advertising.) That did it. I was hooked.

Now I can't get through a busy day at work without hearing the likes of Skrillex, Bassnectar,  and Deadmou5. (That second syllable is pronounced "mouse," for those of you following along at home.) The cool thing about dubstep is that it takes a bunch of genres (dance, rock, rap), ties them together with a heavy bass line, then kicks it up a notch with electronic sound effects that sound not unlike grinding metal and chainsaws. I don't really know why, but that particular mixture greatly appeals to me.

Not only does dubstep help me think straight while playing editor at work (No really, it gives the easily distracted part of my brain something to do while the rest of my brain stays focused.), but it also gave me an increasingly elusive bonding moment with my 15-year-old nephew. On a recent Sunday my local sibs and I, plus spouses and offspring of course, converged on our old family home and made our parents feed us. I heard the familiar strains of Skrillex coming from the room where all the chi'drens were hanging out and got excited enough to dislodge my behind from my comfy chair and go in there.

Me: You kids listening to Skrillex??

My nephew's eyes grew wide with concern. He's the oldest cousin in the family, and he probably figured I was about to tell him to turn off that damn noise before it corrupted my sweet little angels. Or something like that.

Nephew: Yeah. Is that OK?
Me: OK??? It's freaking awesome!! I LOVE this song!!

His eyes grew even wider, only now with wonder. Kinda the way I'd have looked at my Gramma if she'd busted out with Funky Cold Medina back in the day.

Nephew: Aunt Sassyfats, YOU like dubstep?
Me: Hellz yeah!! D-d-d-d-drop the bass!!!

A slow smile spread across his face, as if he were a research scientist who had just discovered a new species of super adorable puppy and realized he could charge a million bucks per litter. I smiled back. I knew that I, a grown-up, had just won major cool points.

Either that or I totally ruined dubstep for him. Since I didn't see anything on his Facebook page telling all the other young'uns, "Dubstep is dead!!! Even the elderly like it now!!!" I'm gonna stick with cool points.

Update: How could I have been so silly not to have mentioned Baltimore's own LAZERbitch? Sweet DLake dubstep remix of their song "I Loved You." And I'm not just sayin' that because I've known LAZERLibby since she was my little sister's horseback riding partner when they were like my Daughter1's age...     


  1. I love your Facebook postings so I can't wait to read more! Thanks for making me laugh. = )

  2. Hilarious post! :D Awesome, I only just discovers dubstep myself, (through a beat boxing video O.O) I don't even know any artistes,

    I saw your comment on my blog so I just had y visits yours. It's brilliant. I think you're a prolific blogger (compared to me anyway ) :P.


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