We all have that friend in our lives with whom we can’t see eye to eye with—or hear ear to ear with, I guess would be more appropriate—on music. We play them one of our all-time favorite bands, whose posters and magazine cutouts bedecked our bedroom walls back in high school and…no reaction. We christen their ears with a brand-new, just-released track that has us blasting it on replay in our cars…not impressed. We play them one of our top feel-good songs…nothing but mild distaste. In fact, we’re no longer sure that this is actually a friend of ours.
In my case, this “friend” is my cat. That’s right. My cat hates my music. And not that this cat is an all-out hater of pretty much everything—just the opposite. She’s a sweet, loving girl whose favorite activities include snuggling, being held like a baby and cold-lampin’ on my lap. Buuuut she’s also a bit of a princess—not much of a rocker. She’s so prissy that I ended up naming her, quite befittingly, Miss Alissa. You may recall from my commemoration to Biggie in which I mentioned almost naming her “Smalls” in his honor, but it’s a good thing I didn’t. The Miss hates Biggie. Which brings us to our first song of five that my cat cannot stand (but I freakin’ love)…
5. Notorious B.I.G. – “Machine Gun Funk”
This song in general makes Miss Alissa very uneasy, right from the get-go. At the start of the track, Biggie comes on, talking about “the chronic, boy” and inhaling so hard that it becomes a loud, unappealing snort. I’m pretty sure it’s the soundtrack of his unattractive nasal activities that first put my cat off. The song starts out mellow enough, so she relaxes a bit again…until the beat drops and Biggie starts with, “So you wanna be hardcore / with your hat to the back, talkin’ bout the gats in your raps.” She flinches. Then the chorus, with what I believe is a trumpet but comes off more like a kazoo, in the background really irks her. Enter the police siren sample and Miss Alissa is out the door.
4. Slayer – Angel of Death
This shouldn’t be a surprise, right? I just described what a priss my cat is, so it’s rather obvious that she’d hate Slayer. Well, she doesn’t seem to mind this song so much until Tom Araya’s impressive, blood-curdling scream within the first 30 seconds. This awakens Miss Alissa from her slumber, and she spends the rest of the song twitching angrily, thumping her tail loudly and glaring with disapproval. She won’t even let me pet her because she is too upset—probably because she knows that, as a cat, her answer to the song’s question “How long can you last / in a frozen-water burial??” isn’t lookin’ too good.
3. Municipal Waste – “Waste ‘Em All”
Ahh, yes, one of Richmond, Virginia’s, very own thrash bands. We’re quite proud of them…Miss Alissa, however, is not. I’ve noticed that not only does she hate loud, fast music, she hates people speaking—not in person, but on my phone or from my laptop or iPod. It weirds her out that there are little people talking very loudly in these mechanical objects, not possessing the same warmth to their voice as the real-life humans with whom she’s interacted. So, rather than being impressed by the fact that this song starts with a bit from the ’80s movie The Toxic Avenger, she gets upset about the strange voices transmitting from my iPod. Then the song gets loud and fast—which we have just learned angers her—and Miss Thang is storming out of the room. She could at least get me a beer while she’s out there so I can continue rocking out.
2. Flight of the Conchords – Robots
Speaking of strange, cold voices coming from mechanical objects…Miss Alissa cannot stand this song for this very reason. It’s two dudes talking throughout most of this song. And what’s worse, for her? They’re talking in robot voices. They sound even weirder, and it totally creeps her out. Plus, the binary solo only ticks her off. I’ve received many a disapproving look from her when playing this song. Sometimes I wonder if she even has a sense of humor.
1. Bon Iver – Calgary
Yep, Miss Alissa hates Bon Iver. Something about his vocals. I was playing classical music while studying, and this music seemed to please her; she was lulled right to sleep. After an hour or two of this, my boyfriend put on this new song by Bon Iver…and Miss Alissa woke up from her happy, pleasant sleep and gave us an irked glance. She twitched. The song kept going. She twitched again, glaring. The song was still on. She got up and left the room. Wow.
The lesson to be learned here? When the Miss is in the room, only Johannes Brahms or Miles Davis, kthx. It’s not that I enjoy caving in to my cat…it’s that I enjoy her lazy, sweet company.