Music and arts inspire creativity. Explore stories of artistic journeys, performances, and the impact of the arts.

Love, Dreams, and a Dose of Reality: A Personal Story
Music and arts

Let me start by saying that I truly adore my girlfriend and deeply appreciate her dedication to her music. She has this band with her high school buddies and, sure, they're pretty good at what they do. Yet, truthfully, they're not making a living from it. They gig around at local pubs and the odd community event, and it's cool, but everyone's got to hold down a full-time job to keep the lights on.

I'm not knocking down her passion — I'm currently studying on a scholarship and also working part-time to manage the rent. My girlfriend is truly a sweetheart, but at times she seems a touch out of touch with reality.

This kind of came to the fore recently when we were hanging out with some friends. During our conversation, future career plans popped up, and my girlfriend, half-jokingly, said she might just make it big with her music so she doesn’t have to settle for a “proper” career. Everyone laughed, but it didn’t sit well with me.

When she noticed my reaction and questioned it, I couldn’t help but express that banking on her band as a career might be a bit far-fetched. Her music is great, don't get me wrong, but it's a tough industry. That comment seemed to dampen the mood, and though the topic was swiftly changed, she was noticeably distant for the rest of the evening.

I ended up leaving early as I had university classes the next morning, and when I said it was time to leave, she opted to stay back and crash at a friend’s. I messaged her later to check if she got there safe but got no reply. It's way past her usual curfew now and still nothing. I'm slightly annoyed because it feels immature to me. What I said was the hard truth, and she needs to face it sooner or later.

Imagining if this disagreement happened on a reality show, the reactions would be massively amplified for dramatic effect. Cameras would zoom on our expressions, catching every frown and wince, with tension-filled music swelling in the background. Perhaps in that context, our exchange would make for a pivotal, season-highlight moment — turning a mundane lovers’ spat into prime-time gold.

Now, I am lost... how to react?

Clash of Tastes: A Musical Debate Between Couples
Music and arts

My girlfriend has a wildly diverse taste in music which led to a heated debate last night.

We both share an apartment equipped with a superb sound system in common areas like the kitchen and living room. When I'm in charge of music, I prefer playing a full album to enjoy its continuity.

Contrastingly, my girlfriend loves shuffling through a playlist of her own crafting. Just to give you an idea, last night's sequence was baffling. It kicked off with Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places," followed by Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie," then "Pink Rover" by Scene Queen, moving on to "Dangerous" by Cascada, and "Dogma" by KMFDM.

Midway, I suggested maybe sticking to a single playlist or album, or at least something less jarring. She explained it was her custom cleaning playlist, packed with high-energy songs perfect for chores.

I jokingly remarked on the eclectic nature of her choices, which seemed a bit chaotic to me. She defended her selection as personal favorites, energizing and varied. Pressing further for something less intense was met with a reminder that she was cleaning and deserved to choose the music.

I pointed out that it was a tad extreme, but she dismissed my comments, defending her playlist as just her style. The evening went on with another hour of arguably the most bizarre mix of tunes I've ever encountered.

Now I’m thinking, maybe I was harsh? On one hand, the music felt intense for a shared space, but it seems she might have been silently tolerating my musical preferences too without complaint.

Imagine if this was all aired on a reality show, the drama would be quite the highlight, sparking debates and perhaps even comical reactions from the audience. People might take sides or suggest compromise solutions, playing up the tension for entertainment.

I guess I should have been more thoughtful about her music choices?

Conflicting Music Tastes Create Tension in Relationship
Music and arts

My husband Josh and I usually see eye-to-eye on most things, except when it comes to our taste in art (music, television, movies, visual art, etc.).

For context, he’s a huge fan of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Radiohead, and a bunch of modern classical composers. Almost anything you’d call "pop" from the 90s onwards he despises, often ranting that nobody knows how to craft a decent song anymore.

Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal - everyone has their own preferences, right? But we’ve been together for seven years, and this has been a point of contention since day one. The latest incident happened last night on our drive home.

I adore Prince, but I don’t think everything he’s done is fantastic. When "Diamonds and Pearls" came on the radio, I groaned and muttered, "Great, one of my least favorite Prince songs." Josh commented that, in his opinion, this is one of Prince’s "more intriguing" tracks. I replied that while it might be intriguing, I find it kind of atonal and odd. Immediately after that, Justin Bieber’s "Love Yourself" played. I mentioned that even though the song is simpler, I enjoy it more because it has one of those timeless melodies that feels like it’s always existed, even though it was just recorded a few years ago. To support my point, I said it often gets stuck in my head and I end up humming it all day.

He argued that a song can be catchy without being "good" and that complexity and interesting composition matter more to him. I countered that complexity doesn’t necessarily make something better and that it's impossible to be objective about what makes for "good" art or music... and we went back and forth. Then he said something like, "a more sophisticated listener can hear and appreciate complexity."

He equates appreciation of complexity with "sophistication" in the listener, implying that if I (or anyone) were smart or educated enough, we’d appreciate the same things he does. Essentially, I'm just not sophisticated enough to "get" what good music is. I found this offensive and elitist, and I told him so. He said I’m too sensitive and that it’s no different from someone not being able to appreciate a poem if they don’t understand the language it's written in.

I asked Josh if he understood why I took issue with his attitude, and he said that he can’t help it if I don’t like the way he thinks about it. If I don’t want to hear his opinions on the matter, we’ll just have to avoid talking about it in the future, like we’ve been doing all these years.

Sometimes I wonder how this whole scenario would unfold if we were on a reality show. Would people side with me or him? How dramatic would it be to watch our arguments on screen?

Have I done wrong?