Growing up, I was a closet cheese junkie. It certainly helps that I am from Wisconsin (which is quite sad). Guilty pleasures of music sap and/or trash gives me a needed boost or helps me sink even deeper into depression. This definition of cheese will expand beyond anything that many will consider a guilty pleasure.
What’s my cheese?
Velveeta (The Cheesiest)
Elvis (ballads and bloated)
Michael Jackson (1980’s)
‘80’s Glam/Hair Rock (Motley Crue, Poison, Cinderella and ‘80’s Bon Jovi)
‘80’s Pop Compilations (Pure ’80’s and Best of…
Tony Orlando (with and without Dawn)
MC Hammer/Vanilla Ice
Waxed Cheese (Masked Cheese, but Still Cheesy)
Apples In Stereo
Belle and Sebastian
The Divine Comedy
Dave Matthews Band
Complete albums from new wave acts (Human League, ABC, Thompson Twins and etc…)
Anything dream pop
Hammer (one-off Death Row record)
Van Halen (David Lee Roth led)
Madonna (during her sleaze period)
Masked cheese is concealed. As an inane child, I listened to oozing Velveeta. It sleazed its way into my daily life. As a ten-year-old, I would (gulp) smile and sing boldly when my favorite cheese songs came on. It was ill display from a pathetic pre-teen. I was not at all embarrassed and let it all go. Damn all the naysayers, I am gonna shout it.
Later on, cheese was considered dorky and guys would rip (including me), so one would have to be a closet fan of cheese. As a teen, if alone, cheese would play between some hardcore rap or rock and I may crack a smile. If it came on during a school dance, flipping out was in order, while referring to any of the dancers to these tunes as queer bastards or fags.
As I grow older, my tastes have changed; masked cheese has taken over where the Velveeta backed up. Most of my masked cheese pleasures have a certain cheese factor to them. It may be the performer, their music, reputation and/or pop success. Each of these acts, I could justify to myself and/or others. For example, Belle and Sebastian play obvious pop music, but are without an American top-40 hit and they write great lyrics.
Why is a justification necessary?
In my life, I have listened to a lot of music. Once I heard more and more music and let new genres and acts grow on me, the Velveeta was strained through and most of it has no room in my system. If heard, it backs up and makes me sick.
There are many more acts that I could use (and listen to) that I could put in these examples, but it’s not important because the point was given. If you close yourself completely to cheese, you are closed to many (if not most) types of music. People that listen to poppy music may or may not be queers (like it matters), but at least they are at least a little open to what MOST music aims to be….
Whether it is the artist or the record company, most music is made to be more than a release; it is made to be heard. Cheese could be applied to everything because acts are geared towards their audiences and the mere act of playing to one’s audience is CHEESY. Personally, I would not want to listen to a band that does not attempt to cater to an audience.
Therefore, if you rank on someone (even Celine Dion fans) that their music is crap, remember there’s likely enough cheese in your life to fill one (or many) vats in Taco Bell.