By Blanca Torii
Like begets like. Last Thursday I saw a singer who has a lot of songs on the television show “Sons of Anarchy,” and leather and plaid-clad guys and gals were everywhere.
There were many long-haired, bearded men crowding the tavern but only one was The White Buffalo. Lowriders were stationed in the parking lot.
There were cowboy boots and button-down shirts left and right. “Sons of Anarchy” is about the drama in the lives of an outlaw motorcycle enthusiasts. He also has one song on the soundtrack of Nicholas Spark’s novel adapted for film, “Safe Haven.”
Yet there we were, my friend and I, two 20-something female college students. What brought us there? My friend loves “Sons of Anarchy” and frequently falls in love with the music on the show.
His voice had the smoothness of that of Morgan Freeman’s. It was raspy and velvety as if coated in the whiskey that he very likely downed at the bar. He had a slight beer belly but somehow he used his confidence to the best of his ability. In other words, he had swagger.
Before the show started my friend noticed him walk to the bar with a woman with long hair. He stayed, faced toward the woman and leaning into the bar, up until the first act appeared onstage. Later, as he described having written a song two weeks after meeting her, we found out that the woman was his wife.
The show itself is an example of like begets like. The main performer chooses to perform with opening acts who are of similar genres. The opening acts of The White Buffalo, who describes his genre as “pirate,” were The Paragraphs and Terraplane Sun. The Paragraphs was a less exciting version of The Lumineers. Terraplane Sun was a band with L.A. looks and origins but with a sixties, piano-playing, blues rock vibe.
Readers of this newspaper who are also students are also probably already English or Communication Studies majors. You probably surround with friends who share the same interests as you, and you share your interests amongst yourselves. Yet I want to know how a break in the homogeneity arises. How does one reach out and affect a variety of people?
I can think of a few examples that break the theory of like begets like. In the fashion industry, there are collaborations between major distributors to the general public, like Target and Walmart. These companies sign business deals with high end designers to create more affordable items to sell in their stores. Currently Target has joined with Prabal Gurung, the New-York based designer who has dressed Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton.
Or when a rapper records a song with a band a la Mos Def and Jim Jones, who are featured on The Black Keys’ song “Ain’t Nothing Like You.”
A break from similarity may be the result of chance, irregularity or on the extreme end, random mutation. But the examples that I gave, they’re still not entirely out of the norm, both Target and Prabal Gurung are commercial sellers, and the song collaboration involves artists. These collaborations include players in the same game.
I know a handful of English and biology double majors. Sometimes two seemingly unrelated disciplines intersect. And I remember an ad campaign for GE several years ago that showed an image of two people side by side, supposedly married. Their appearances were meant to be opposites of each other. For example, one of them would be dressed as a bohemian while the other sleek and modern. The caption was something along the lines of “superb marries supersonice,” and “beauty marries intelligence.”
What happens when the scientist marries the artist? Do opposites truly attract? It is said that two extremes on both ends of the spectrum equal one another, that all is nothing. What happens when people take a chance?