The Only Girl in the Room’s Guide to How to Play Nice With the Boys (Music Ed.)

The conversations of boys in groups tend to devolve into the guys one-up-ing each other. Every aspect of life that can be contested, they will, and then invent elaborate scoring methods to compare those that can’t. Having attended engineering school, I am more than 100% accustomed to this state of affairs. Unfortunately, it means I have a tendency to get really competitive over really, really stupid stuff. 

This weekend, it was music. I was visiting a friend from college in Minneapolis, who introduced me to a bunch of his friends from the area. They had a record player. Okay, apparently it was actually a turntable, for reasons I still don’t understand. It plays those big black plates with center holes the hipsters call “vinyl.” The two roommates had collections mostly inherited from their fathers, which made me happy, because as a classic/alternative/indie rock fan, most people don’t seem to play my music. The guys termed it “Dad” rock, which they immediately had to defend with a five minute dissertation on why getting music from your dad is kinda cool. (Which it definitely is. My love for music and my Led Zeppelin collection both are from my dad, whom I would like to take this moment to thank. “Thanks, Dad! No, I don’t have your CD’s.”  )

And then we were deciding on what to play with the fancy record player/turntable/musically doohickey. This is always the beginning, the launching point for the musically-inclined war. Or not. Here’s my strategy:

Jazz by Queen: Good start. It’s always a good way to pacify both the hipsters and people who just want to listen to something they recognize. The hipsters love the Farsi; you will belt “Bicycle! Bicycle!”. Contentment will reign.

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac: Boys apparently think Fleetwood Mac is lame. Certain ones believe Kanye is more talented. That is complete nonsense, just like the idiots who consider them “soft” rock. (To those in that category, go find “The Chain” and listen, especially to its fantastic guitar solo.) But for the sake of peace, it will not be played. Instead, blast them at full volume all the way home, again reflecting on their brilliance. And how Stevie Nicks is the coolest.)

Led Zepplin IV: Because you can’t have Fleetwood Mac. But immediately get ostracized in the following discussion for liking Led Zepplin I and III at all, and even more when you declare that III is your favorite. Listen to IV anyway. Pretend you’re the girl from “Going to California.” They’ll forget about it later anyway.

Diesel: Which is probably the name of the band. They have guitars, that don’t annoy you, but you can’t seem to remember anything about them either. Oh well. This is really the “whatever they decide” choice.

Throughout, see if you can come up with bands you like that they haven’t heard of. Bonus points if they’re older than 1990. Feel superior when you pull out Little Feat.