Juxtaposition has this special place in human existence, finding its home in our cultural and social roots. Take two different things, put them next to each other, and all of a sudden, we can see how they go together. We’re always looking for common ground, and often, our strongest bonds are formed with people whose common ground with us was forged over the juxtaposition of ideals, hobbies, or the wrongly held belief that salmon and mango isn’t the most delicious combination to exist in the history of sushi.
So Dorian, you might say had I slipped a twenty under the table for you to ask me this question, What gives with this shitty music video? Well, good sir/madam/pawn, this song, Everybody That You Love, happens to be a great example of Bomb The Music Industry!’s ability to create beautiful music out of the juxtaposition of chaos and harmony. Bear with me, because if you didn’t like the song to begin with, I hope that by the end of all of this, I can guilt you into agreeing that it’s a good piece of music.
As with all writing, I’m going to need my reader to do a little suspension of disbelief. I would like you to suspend your disbelief that BtMI! is anything but a band who needs a better singer. In fact, Jeff Rosenstock (guitar/vocals) is what make BtMI! so amazing. The word of the day is juxtaposition, and Rosenstock has got decades’ worth of the stuff. BtMI! takes ska, punk, rock, hardcore, and whatever genre they can get their hands on and not so much blends them as they do smash them together and see what order comes from the chaos.
If we take a look at pop music, we’ve got dozens of Top 10 songs being written so interchangeably that a comedy rock band actually mashed them all together:
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a “Four Chord Song” as the Axis of Awesome refers to them as. There’s something unifying and comforting in whatever that chord progression does for people, and songs will continue to come out with that chord progression and they will continue to be popular and they will continue to make oodles of sweet delicious cash. But it all feels a bit homogenizing to me.
Bomb The Music Industry! is something entirely different. Instead of unity through similarity, the cohesiveness of their music comes from the juxtaposition of things we are comfortable listening to and things that we aren’t. Unity through difference, and if we’re all beautiful complicated fucking snowflakes, then we’re gonna need a whole lot of practice with juxtaposition if we want to get along with anybody. Regardless, juxtaposition is a powerful tool you can use in your writing (Aye, there’s the rub!), so absorb this tool into your every day life and branch out from the music you normally listen to. Go out there and juxtapose the shit out of the world!
Check out Bomb The Music Industry!’s website to download all of their music for free (though you really should kick them a few bucks if you do because you’re not an asshole, right?)!