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South Florida According to Brooklyn: How I Became More Open-Minded to New Music

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Photo by Justin Namon,
To read past installments of South Florida According to Brooklyn, click here.

What I would like to talk about this week is what I've realized more recently is the coolest thing about music: the fact that it keeps changing and evolving. It's funny because whatever each generation comes up with, the previous generation thinks is crap at first. For instance, my Nana (my grandmother) loved Frank Sinatra, but at the time, her mother would say, "What's that crap you're listening to?" Then my mom was a hippie, and my Nana, her mother, yelled at her, "What's that crap you're listening to?"

Then you have my older brother, who listens to Eighties glam rock, and my mom didn't get that. Same thing with my other older brother, Wally, who listened to punk rock and hardcore and worked at CBGB's in the summer of '88. Back then I was lucky enough to go to a lot of the Sunday hardcore matinees there and see what was really going on.

So that's one reason why I've always loved hip-hop, hardcore, and metal my whole life. But for so long I was so close-minded and I only listened to those genres. Recently I started to open my ears and my mind a lot more, and discovered a lot of really cool artists that, a few years ago, would have made me say, "Get this crap away from me." But as it turns out, I really do like bands like the Jayhawks, Hall & Oates, and yes, even K-Ci and JoJo. Those are older artists, but I missed out on them before because I hadn't yet opened my mind.

Similarly, there's a lot of new music that's worth checking out. Don't be focused on "I'm just a metal head," or "I'm just a hardcore kid," or "I'm only going to listen to hip-hop." There's always something valid in the new stuff that comes around, even if it's unfamiliar to you at first. Think outside the box. Personally, I even found stuff to like among some of the new fancy-pants DJs, like Tommie Sunshine -- he's really dirty and grimy like a lot of the bands I liked, and even MSTRKRFT. In indie, I discovered Elefant -- they're not even really still active, but for me it's still new because I spent so long being close-minded.

And even though they're basically a hardcore/punk band, Gallows is fucking awesome. And Sex Positions -- Jake Bannon from Converge put them out on his label Deathwish, which is mostly hardcore, but they have that electronic thing going on that's really cool, I think.

The point of this is just to make people think and not be close-minded. Music is meant to make listeners expand their minds, and to lose themselves in it it a little bit as well. Keep an open mind, or something great might pass you by.

Five Albums I'm Listening To This Week: 1) Kid Dynamite, Kid Dynamite. 2) Avail, Front Porch Stories. 3) A Wilhelm Scream, Mute Print. 4) Agnostic Front, One Voice. 5) Fugazi, 13 Songs.

Quote of the Week: "All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." -- Walt Disney

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