During a conversation with a friend not long ago, I made a few realizations about the opposite sex, musicians in particular. I then wrote some of this down (I've elaborated a bit more here) because I personally think it's dead-on accurate. Some of you might disagree, and I understand that. Regardless, at the request of a one Chris Milam, I've blogged this for the world. I have some very specific examples to back up my claims, but I won't include them, as I do respect anonymity. However, if you know me (or you are one of these people), then you can probably guess them easily.

Based on my EXTENSIVE experience, I have determined there exists three basic types of male musicians. This does apply to the non-musical to some degree, but I don't have enough specifics for that. Moving along. The three types are as follows: the wannabe emo, the wannabe douchebag and the wannabe badass.

Boo hoo. The girl you were dating broke your heart. Okay, that gives you some material. Prior to that? Nothing. This kind of musician plays the martyr, the poor sad boy, the good guy who just can't win. Garbage. This musician actually tends to be a jerk. A marginally talented jerk, but a jerk none the less. This poor fellow is just SO tortured and sad and broken that he can't maintain a functioning relationship with any girl because he has too many scars. He's very very busy feeling sorry his poor self. His goal in life is to be totally awesome and rad like Chris Carrabba/Dashboard Confessional. Oh man. However, emo is sort of over as a genre (except maybe with 17-year-old girls with black MySpace pages, but that's a whole other point), so the poor lad doesn't have anywhere to channel his sensitive and broken feelings. He decides to give up his craft. Whatever, but is that the smartest choice? Absolutely not, but it IS melodramatic and he needs sympathy; this way, people will tell him how great he is and how "hott" he is with that guitar. He'll write a song about it — a song about how no one listens to his songs. Hm.

This boy is (and I sort of hate to say it) a waste of talent. He has a great deal of potential, but he refuses to get truly deep and write about more than just the pretty girl who broke his heart. Why? Who knows. Maybe he doesn't go that deep. Or he thinks he IS going deep. He's exposing his vulnerable soul. Pardon me while I gag. Whatever the reason, he's not going in any new direction. This musician has tied himself to the ideal (is it really an ideal?) and his acoustic guitar and then gets very sad when things don't go as planned. Marginal talent is better than none at all, but, again, he's too busy tending to his perpetually broken heart to realize that maybe he ought to try something different. After all, this boy probably doesn't have TONS else going for him (at least my example doesn't). Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but this just seems to be the trend in my case studies.

MORAL: This guy is awfully whiny. Occasionally he has a complex thought, but he's often too busy "missing her soooooooo much is hurts" to pay attention to that lonely thought. Doesn't know himself very well, but thinks he does. Very puzzling.

This guy appears to be the polar opposite of poor Mr. Emo. But he's not — after all, they're both musicians, right? This guy is a closet nice guy. He just needs to give off the I'm-a-jerk-I-fuck-all-the-girls-I-want-because-I-play-the-guitar-pretty-damn-well attitude, but that's not necessarily who he is on the whole. Maybe he is a little bit. This guy is actually very nice and pays attention. Emo guy will break a heart and then write a song whining about how much he misses her. The douchebag will have his heart broken, then write a song about how he's glad the dumb ho is gone, even though he's pretty sad inside. Then he'll go get laid to make himself feel a little better, though he may regret it a bit (A BIT) in hindsight. This guy's best material is inspired by the ladies but not all of it is necessarily about them. Some big issues get disguised as girl issues, but metaphors (or similies or whatever the hell they are) are sneaky things. Oh metaphors — this guy loves them. However, he's pretty smart and has quite the way with words, so sometimes it's tough to tell if he's being literal or not. That works nicely because it helps him justify the jerk-itude.

Alas, he's a bad faker. He does possess the ability to be nice and sympathetic, and he's the farthest thing from flaky. The list can go on. So why the front/alter ego? I'd say that differs for everyone, but part of it is that the nice-guy image doesn't really mesh with the stereotypical musician image. It would ruin his credibility as a purveyor of she-did-me-wrong songs. But, unlike Mr. Emo only wishes he were, this musician isn't pushover-nice. He's just nice. How frustrating that must be. He's choosy about to whom he's genuinely nice and to whome he's nice because he's wants to get some. The rest of the time he's busy giving himself how-to-be-an-asshole pep talks so he doesn't ruin the persona.

MORAL: He's nice but fronts ass. Great potential for dishonesty, but also great potential for the opposite. Maybe doesn't know himself very well. Very puzzling as well.

This musician is nearly legit but not quite. He's a regular guy most of the time, but he's in musician mode, he is too cool for school. This one is also a musical elitist, and if there's something he doesn't like very much then OBVIOUSLY it sucks and no one should waste their time on it. His music sounds really similar to that which he listens to, but it's not all the same. Just almost. It's not bad or anything, just sort of indistinguishable from some of the other lyric-less songs. Instrumentals work better than songs with lyrics for this dude because it's pretty difficult to write about being a douchebag and MEANING it.

Besides, some of the things he has for writing about just seem too shallow for his ideas. To the average person, they' re probably pretty good, but he thinks nothing of them. Rarely does he say what he means in his songs — like Douchebag, he speaks (sings) in metaphors — but in real life he does. Sometimes. But he's mostly just a jerk. In musician-mode, he's an aloof ass and plays what he thinks is the proper role of a musician. He's sort of like Douchebag, except he's quite nearly the same person in both instances.

MORAL: He's a jerk who fronts to be a bigger jerk but is occasionally kind-hearted. Maybe doesn't know himself all that well either.


Common thread? The way people perceive these dudes is somewhat different than they way they want to be perceived or the way they think they're being perceived. Indeed, exceptions to the rule do exist, and sometimes there are people who legitimately fit into each of these categories because they are truly whiny or jerks. Of course, there are people who span the categories and people who don't fit neatly into any of them. I don't know if either of those are preferable, but if that's who you are then that's who you are.

What I can't quite put my finger on is why this applies so well to musicians but not quite non-musicians. I've considered it at some length (hey, I have to think about something when I'm in class), but I just haven't been able to nail it down. I can't say with certainty that all these are true, but I feel rather confident in the them. I welcome your thoughts, and if you recognize yourself in any of these, um, I'm sorry? They are but my opinions.