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Confessions of a Skrillex Junkie

Defining what music is can become tricky. Is Skrillex a musician or more of a sound engineer? His songs lack melodies, harmonies… basically anything that one would classically define as music. So why do I enjoy listening to him?

I never thought I’d like what (at times) sounds like metal scratching against concrete with some weird Donald Duck vocal loops glitching in and out of the background. But, I have to be honest, after a few cups of coffee (my mind bouncing around all glitched-out and manic) Skrillex can be exactly what I need. He’s a guilty pleasure of mine… and a good excuse to use my sub-woofer. If you have a speaker with good bass quality, why not indulge in some ridiculous sound fx? Music doesn’t have to always be melancholic indie rock (although producing this might take more musical knowledge).

Recently Skrillex won 3 Grammy awards. This set off a firestorm of angry blog posts and Facebook statuses. I wonder, can’t that anger be better directed towards genocide or something actually worth complaining about? Not to be rude, but people are always going to listen to whatever they want. While all of Skrillex’s songs eventually become a fuzzy wall of extreme noises, who’s to say what counts as music anyway. Yes, he appeals to a drug and dance culture, but every generation had their drug music. 1920’s Jazz was beloved by heroin users and alcoholics across America, and who’s to say what counts as music and what doesn’t. Composer John Cage regularly performs a song called “4:33” where he does nothing more than sit in silence and force the audience to make their own judgments. Invariably this outrages some people and causes others pleasure. Also, when did the Grammies suddenly become relevant again? Thanks Skrillex!

Winning Grammies in the categories for Best Dance Album (twice) and Best Electronic Album, clearly somebody finds him talented. But remember, these categories don’t exactly require Bob Dylan-like poetics or the technical instrumentation of a Jimi Hendrix. My advice is to take it for what it is, nonsense for the sake of making bad decisions and sweating it out on the dance floor.
Skrillex, let’s face it, is for young people. His influence doesn’t reach beyond that. I can’t imagine being 50 years old and pulling my quad while trying to pelvic thrust in perfect timing with the ensuing (and inevitable) dubstep drop. Is there someway to prove that one type of music is better than any other, or is music simply about what’s going on in your life, what you feel at that particular moment? If I’m angry I might just listen to Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters,” and when I feel like sinking slowly into the sofa maybe I’ll listen to the Grateful Dead. Is Skrillex worth 3 Grammies? Probably not, but he’s a good excuse for me to nod my head and pump my fist (yes, I’m a terrible dancer).

7 comments on “Confessions of a Skrillex Junkie

  1. Truth. I feel that the Grammies is more of a popularity contest anyways and in this case Skrillex deserves all 3. Dude took the youth by the horns. He filled the shoes of early punk and grung. Music that the kids love and the parents hate and protest. “Your music is only as good as the ears that listen to it.”

  2. I don’t like Skrillex for the same reason I don’t like 99% of what is glamorized at the Grammys. It’s crap. For me, music is something that is about self-expression and self-discovery (as horribly cliche as that may be) so producing something with the intent of mass appeal is irritating. It has its place, sure. But to say that it is somehow worthy of what is supposedly an objective, highly-respected reward is absurd. Indeed, Skrillex is for kids to dance to, it doesn’t evoke any real emotion or idea – which is exactly my problem with it garnering recognition.

  3. I think you make a good point of Skrillex’s use in drug culture, but like you said it’s important to remember that a lot of music was at that time. But what does it say about us that our drug music is Skrillex and the 60s had the Beatles’?

  4. It says we don’t know how to play instruments anymore! At least famous people don’t, that is.

  5. You need to go to the wiki and read what a melody and harmony is, because if you really listened to his music and could find where the melody smaking you right in the mother fucking face is, than forget about hearing for melodies. You’re better off reading about it.

    So grab your favorite browser and look up these terms:

    how to feel good about yourself when others are better than you
    Why am I a loser when I try to devaluate a winners achievements.

    Got the point?

    Stupid mother fuckers…

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