October 3, 2008

The Change Up: I Love Powerviolence Music, I Swear (I'm Totally Lying)

This is all because I didn't have a car in high school. Instead, I got a boyfriend who had a car, and he drove me around everywhere. At first it was fun. We'd sneak kisses in at red lights. We'd make fun of stupid bumper stickers we saw. We'd listen to mix tapes that he made and scoot all around the city. Nothing made me happier than when I saw him pull up in my driveway, ready to go on some new adventures with me.

After a few months, when the butterflies in our stomachs settled down and we settled into a steady routine, he got a little more controlling about the stereo. Before, he would always ask me to pick the tunes, a sweet gesture that promoted harmony. Now, he now wanted to dictate every single note that leaked through his tinny speakers. And, all he wanted to listen to was a gnarly subgenre of hardcore, called powerviolence.

Bands named Spazz, Despise You, MK Ultra dominated our car rides. Most songs--if you could call them that--weren't longer than 17 seconds. I'm not kidding. They were short, jagged, loud, atonal shards of a song. And, I hated it. Oh God, I hated it.

Then, we attended a hardcore punk fest together and he remarked how he saw a girl with a Despise You sticker on her purse and how he wanted to date a girl who was cool enough to do that. I looked at my purse, which was clearly Despise You sticker-less, and frowned. If I wanted to keep dating this guy, I was going to have to give a more convincing performance.

He'd do this thing where he'd be like, "I LOVE this song!" Then, he'd turn the stereo all the way up and start screaming the lyrics and pointing at me, trying to start a little mosh pit in his shitty Ford. I endured it with a tight, small smile. I'd go to powerviolence shows with him; I even purchased the bands' records, all in an effort to live up to his idea of a "dream girl."

Well, the funny thing about the Change Up is that when you break up with the dude you were trying to impress, you get back into your usual music/likes full force to reassert your identity. When we broke up, I immediately put on music overflowing with harmonies and hooks. I sang along in the shower and I blasted it in my parents' car (since he wasn't driving me around anymore). Hey world, newsflash: I love poppy music. Hear me ROAR! It was like having myself back and it felt GREAT.


Flufftronix! said...

I was introduced to the genre in 1997 by a band called Luke Skawalker who thought it'd be real funny to change from being a ska band to being a powerviolence band without changing their name. It was pretty funny but I think my 15 year old mind got a little blown from it

Anna said...

DUDE! I totally know Luke Skywalker.


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