Music FAIL

Sometimes I take a moment to think about the fact that I am 25 years old. It’s weird, in the past year I have begun to notice that I am no longer in the ‘drunken, live out of a bag, student’ category of society. I fall into the ‘single, working, woman’ category. ‘Woman’. Ugh. I have been a ‘girl’ my whole life, but now, alas, am past that stage…even though I don’t feel it. Other times I really do.

I was at a braai last week and someone put on the album “Kid A’ by Radiohead. I started listening to that album when I had barely turned 19 and was indeed a ‘young, trendy, party animal’ type. Then someone at the braai turned the music off and put on Max Normal. When I last listened to Max Normal, I was 18. Since then the band broke up, but a new album of theirs was playing. I had no idea they had even gotten back together, let alone had a female join the group. Then I looked at the people at the braai who I was sitting with: An 18 year old and a 20 year old.

I swallowed hard.

“Why turn off Radiohead, man?” I asked the guy who was organizing the music.
“Oh God, that stuff is as suicidal as… Coldplay,” said another girl, this one 21 years old, whilst imitating hanging herself.

I swallowed harder.

“Er… jeesh, actually, Coldplay is one of my favourite bands” I retorted, standing up for my taste in music. “I would kill to see Radiohead, Muse, Coldplay and Moby live!”

I was going to say something after that, but was drowned out by their laughter due to their amusement at my social feaux pas. And then it hit me. When I was 19 and listening to these bands as a hip, alternative and psychedelic kinda girl, these people who were having such a laugh at my embarrassing taste in music were in junior school and had probably only just started wearing a bra. Not cool.

But, there is some music of recent that I have started to quite like. One of the great things about being in recovery from drugs and alcohol and working a programme is that you begin to accept yourself, including your likes and dislikes.

When I was growing up in Durban, my dad used to take me to what seemed like the dodgiest restaurants on the planet so we could eat hot Durban curries. Now curries in Durban ain’t no ordinary curries. They are like a belch from Satan’s belly.

My dad, bless him, is quite the fan of curries that are so hot, they border on illegal. I used to win kudos and praise for managing to wolf down a plate of extra hot prawn curry and walk out of those restaurants with a functioning intestine. However, one of the first moments in my recovery process where I really made a breakthrough in self discovery was realizing that I didn’t like hot food, and that that was ok. The realization came like a ton of bricks and since then I have had no problem saying ‘no thank you’ to fiery cuisine and have been a happy member of the ‘mild please’ assortment of people.

So one of the things that I have grown to enjoy is… Justin Timberlake. Fine, judge me if you like, but that is me, and if you don’t like it, you can fuck off. I don’t like all of his songs but I must say, there are a few tracks I listen to quite often and really enjoy. I think he is incredibly talented and has the caliber to pull off being such a huge star in a major way.

At the office, I tend to put music on my computer and listen to that through headphones because I don’t really like listening to 5fm; I find 5fm tends to drive me up the wall. And that is ok too. I don’t like 5fm! Another major breakthrough in my journey of self discovery!

My work computer was broken, hence I was using my home laptop. Now, this laptop is OLD. It was built for windows 2000 for god’s sake. I don’t think you can even get anything compatible with Windows 2000 nowadays, so I have Windows XP loaded on there too. The headphone jack on the laptop is quite loose; the headphones can pop out quite easily with a small tug, but the laptop does have fantastic sound. I usually play my music to the level of deafening on the headphones, but if you just listen to music straight out of the laptop’s built in speakers, it is pretty damn good.

On this particularly uneventful day, I had a large playlist of music loaded and just happened to have Justin Timberlake playing. The exact song was “What Goes Around.” I had already listened to “My Love” and was quite enjoying the song as I tapped away at my laptop.

As I was typing away, I needed to signal to my colleague sitting at the next desk adjacent to me. I turned quickly to my left, bringing my left arm up in a snap to wave at him so that he could take his earphones off. Forgetting that my headphone cord was next to my arm, the unspeakable happened when my arm shot away from my body and pulled the headphone jack clean out of the laptop.

The chorus of What Goes Around was then broadcast across three offices, including my own, at top volume.

At first everyone froze. No one did anything. Then papers went flying. Pens stopped writing. The cleaning lady dropped the tray full of crockery. Printers stopped printing. Faxes stopped faxing. Obama lost the presidency. Ok all that didn’t happen but everyone was pretty mortified: a lot of blank faces looked up suddenly from their work stations and gazed at me, not quite sure what the Hollioaks Omnibus was going on.

“I am NOT listening to Justin Timberlake!!! I am… er… just… FUKKIIIIIT!!!!” I exclaimed in a pitiful attempt at covering up Justin Trouwsersnake’s voice. But because my computer is a brick, pressing stop on Window’s Media Player takes about two minutes for the command to register, so I quickly muted the speakers.

Silence followed.

Then, a female colleague sitting behind me said in a disgusted tone: “Where you listening to… Justin Timberlake?”

“Um… yeah… I think one or two of his songs are ok!” I responded, trying my best to pick up the shrapnel of my self esteem lying on the floor beneath me.

“Ooooh I am sooooo embarrassed for youuuuu!!!” another colleague sitting next to me laughed. I looked, hopeful at some kind of sympathy, at my colleague who sits opposite me. But all I got was a, “Dude…” and shaking of his head. He was unable to look at me in the eye.

I haven’t listened to JT since then. My headphones came out again after that incident, but thank God I was listening to the Killers. Imagine it was Dire Straights. Or Brian Ferry.

The one on the left... really is JT.

The one on the left... really is JT.


9 Responses to “Music FAIL”

  1. Lamer. Who cares what you listen to. You should have started singing along when it played from your laptop.

    I listen to the most random music from Enya to Japanese Black Metal and occasionally it’s so loud when I take my headphones off people can hear it.

    Then again.. I do sometimes sing duets with this guy Marius who sits across from me.

    One thing that annoys me is people that listen to Evanescence at maximum volume, leaking from their headphones and singing along in a fashion that sounds like weird dying chipmunk noises..

  2. Dude, Dire Straights is actually very trendy right now…

  3. 1. Muse is awesome
    2. Radiohead is awesome
    3. Coldplay are good
    4. JT does, in fact, have a couple of good songs

    Pay no attention to these life n00bs!

  4. starstripe Says:


  5. I LOVE that young realisation moment of “hey, I don’t have to eat/buy/watch” this any more! Life is short. You won’t lie on your deathbed thinking “I wish I hadn’t listened to so much JT.” Or “I wish I hadn’t eaten my pudding before I ate dinner that day”. I LOVE doing that, heh heh!

  6. starstripe Says:

    I still sometimes feel like my mum is standing behind me with a wooden spoon, waiting for me to finish my vegetables 😦

  7. ah music. that old saying about not talking politics or religion at dinner….should include music.

  8. You listen to what music you like girl! Who cares what anyone else thinks about your music tastes. Just feel sorry for those poor sods who can only listen to what is fashionable. They miss so much good stuff while listening to rubbish. What music you like is YOU, not what someone thinks you should be. You like JT, I don’t – so what? I don’t think any worse of you because you do, and I know you don’t think any worse of me because I don’t! I do have to draw the line at Butterfly Kisses though – anyone who likes that is really saaaaad!

  9. starstripe Says:

    Thanks Mum, so it’s cool for me to blast Radiohead through the house when I visit then? You do have such a good sound system 🙂

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