Thursday, August 26

Don't forget my musical friends below... they shaped my life.

Even if you have different taste in music than I do, broaden your mind before you judge. I'm always rediscovering bands I wrote off as an arrogant youngster, feeling they had nothing to say. But how wrong I was, in so many cases.

To those older than I, the harsher or darker sound than the music you "grew up with" is just how it had to be in context. There was a Cold War, recessions, riots, pessimism, a general revulsion by the minority toward the growing laissez-fair of a materialist majority. There needed to be passion in the music to wake up huge nations of people doped out on Western success and Disco oblivion. Harsh, angsty bands - punk, grunge - needed to happen or we'd all be living in some Aldous Huxley reality taking our Soma every day. It doesn't invalidate the great bands of the past, it adds to them, just for a different crowd and in a different time.

To those younger than I, a lot of music today sucks and you don't even know it, but then that has always been the case. Don't go for fads unless you just don't care, which to me seems the saddest philosophy of all. If that's true, listen to fucking country music or something else to pass your empty years. Otherwise, recognize how great artists set the stage for the artists of today, and why there is a reason almost all bands worth anything cite the same small set of bands as seminal influences growing up. I won't even list them because by now you know my tastes.

Don't take art - or life, which art reflects in its sometimes capricious mirror - for granted. And think for yourself. And care.

1 comment:

Raelha said...

I think your taste in music changes slightly as you get older. I know mine had. Maybe I should say, it refines itself. You value other aspects of the music/lyrics maybe, raw power stops having such a hold and you prefer the more subtle. I'm not saying you let go of what was important, it just balances itself out a bit more.

Also, I had crap taste in music, mostly, until the age of about 15 and I can't really say it was brilliant until I escaped to university and spent a year or two there, learning to think for myself properly. So although I do despair when the majority of my students, and my niece drown themselves in the pap that's around today - there's always soulless, mind-numbing music around though, as well as the great stuff, whatever the era - I remind myself of my own case and hold out hope that they'll refine their own taste, with a little shove from me, here and there. One of my students - who recently posted a Michael Buble video on FB - told me he'd had Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye on his MP3 player ever since I'd played it in class.

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