Saving sonic souls, one song at a time

Zane Womeldorph
Zane Womeldorph

Some things in life are simply indecipherable. Hummers, the popularity of baseball, vegans – these things have baffled me for years.

Lately, one Universal Mystery has been gnawing my insides: Why do so many people like such terrible music?


The notion of “good music” is probably the most subjective thing on the planet, unless of course you are one of the millions of young-adult sheep aurally corralled by Miley Cyrus and radio-rap.

Since the Great Digitization, the opportunity to delve into increasingly obscure genres in various dark holes of the Internet has expanded immensely and is one of my greatest pleasures. Slovenian hip-hop is a real thing.

And so, with this vast variation of music available online, usually for free, I will never understand why so many young adults still listen to the manufactured Top 40 hits and the repetitive, major-record-label tunes that should have lost their appeal after we graduated high school.

My roommates go through confounding periodic obsessions with whatever abhorrent cacophony is currently trending. I recently spent a harrowing week shoving small objects in my ears to try and block out Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop,” but to no avail. Dreams of twerking pop-stars permanently tainted my innocence and staved off sleep for days.

Before that it was A$AP Rocky’s “F***ing Problem” blasted from the living room at 9 a.m. by my younger brother Gus, who, along with his proclivity for terrible music and delight in annoying me by any means at his disposal, apparently has no respect for those who enjoy sleep.

As designated “House Hipster,” it falls on me to snuff out these misplaced notions of acceptable behavior. Sometimes I can’t help sounding like the stereotypical hater of all things pop-culture and my eye-rolls and complaints do little to sway things. Drastic measures may soon be necessary to save the sonic souls of my housemates.

As soon as I make any cultural headway, my efforts are drowned out by the next piece of corporate trash, usually right about the time when we host our next house party. The lowest common music denominator turns my living room into a neighborhood version of Bondi as gyrating hips and table dancing remove any semblance of intelligent interaction.

Changing the music mid-party is a risky proposition. The rage of the drunken crowd can quickly turn violent. Friendships have been ripped apart for less, but sometimes these hazards must be faced in order to save people from themselves. The sins of the many may only be nullified by the sacrifice of the one and I shall risk life and limb to rectify these crimes against ear-manity.

Salvation is easy, however, when you have a penchant for playing your new favorite song on repeat at full blast for several days and own the loudest speaker system in a house with paper-thin walls. I don’t feel sorry though. Like I said, it’s for their own good.

Zane Womeldorph would like to encourage everyone to listen to Emancipator. Send responses to