If a stranger ever got ahold of my phone and dug into my music library, chances are they’d think I’m somewhere between the ages of 55 or 105.
I’m old-school. I listen to French composers when I walk to class on sunny days, and I worship the albums of most 60s/70s artists. They make me feel like I’m in the movies (maybe a Tarantino? See his best soundtrack compilation here). Confidently, I can say that the majority of my favorite musical artists are either dead or haven’t made new material in… a while.
That is until this weekend.
I’m talking about Two Friends. An extravagant, rave-inducing, euphoric, if-you-could-hear-the-color-neon pair of DJs who have radically changed the way I approach EDM, and maybe music to a degree.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending their concert in Charlotte, NC, with some of my best friends–the people that introduced me to this Two Friends religion. Needless to say, we got our $39-worth out of a nearly FIVE-hour experience.
For readers who might not be familiar, much of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is made from the mixing and sampling of other songs. While a lot of EDM artists who take this route might stick to a few beats and songs to create mashups, Two Friends takes things a step further. Sometimes over an hour-long, this duo manages to compile pop-culture’s most iconic songs from the last six-months to sometimes as far back as the last six decades. This is what they call a Big Bootie Mix.
With 16 different hour-long mixes to date, you can find yourself singing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” effortlessly into Sam Smith’s “Latch” almost as if they always went together and were always part of the same long, never-ending song. This is how they get you.
Soon you will find that this music fills any need. Study music? Big Bootie. Cooking alone? Big Bootie. Getting ready to go out? Big Bootie. Getting ready to stay in? Big Bootie. It becomes the elevator-filler-music your life needs and craves, but why is that?
Because it’s fun.
I’ll be completely honest, on a first listen, these mixes are just…dumb. They sound like something you would only want to listen to while at a huge party where you aren’t really looking for anything other than maybe your drink and someone to dance with. I get that. But maybe sometimes that’s just what music needs to be: complete and utter nonsense.
Before you continue rolling your eyes at that expression, hear me out: not every song made has to be a song of purpose.
Call it a nihilist approach to music taste, but we don’t have to take our music tastes–or any of our tastes for that matter–so seriously.
Coming from a vinyl junkie who looks forward to listening to her Simon & Garfunkel album on the reg and can maybe name five current rappers, I am well-aware of how I can come off as out-of-touch to other music lovers. That’s fine; I’ll own up to it. But I will say that there is something really freeing about embracing music that you would normally jump at the chance to change if given the option.
This is in essence what made this concert probably my favorite live music event of my life so far. I couldn’t tell you what mixes of songs I heard or the name of the openers, but I did know something: I had absolutely no care in the world.
I lived in the present. I danced so hard I got shin splints, and I even managed to earn a lovely green and purple bruise on my ribcage after fighting through a sea of youth. I went all-in. I bought into what Two Friends sells (hint: it’s joy and a lot of great merch).
Am I still going to stick to my movie soundtracks and The Mamas and the Papas? Hell yes. But I’ll probably from now on take time to pause before scoffing at that car next to mine at a stoplight raging to club mixes at 10 a.m. Because they’re having fun.
Because it’s fun.