Random Thoughts: worth of obscurity


Hanl Brown

Staff reporter Aden McClune shares his perspective on various issues in his weekly column, Random Thoughts.

Aden McClune, Staff Reporter

In some communities and circles, the obscurity of something (music, art, etc.) is sometimes seen as a reflection of it’s worth. There’s even a fairly popular algorithm that you can use online that will measure the obscurity of what you listen to on Spotify. And although one might find some diamonds in the rough, true quality among artists left in the dark is hard to find.

An excellent example of this can be seen in music. Displayed with the aforementioned popular Obscurify bot, there is an obvious tendency to want to be exclusive and have an experience unlike others.

However, while there are very many obscure bands that I have found and do enjoy, this is not the norm. Art is subjective, but unless you know where to look, the average Spotify or Bandcamp user with a couple of tracks here and there is legitimate garbage.

This may sound cruel. “How can you say this, there are so many important artists who need to be recognized, you are destroying the sanctity of music, how could you?”, you may be asking. But just because it’s art does not mean it is good or listenable. The classics are classics for a reason, and are popular (more often than not) because they are good.

This isn’t to say that I don’t like or appreciate obscure music. Quite the opposite. I just dislike the elitism and gatekeeping that is prevalent among certain types of people that ruins art for the rest of us.