Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Kids Aren't Alright

While many of the friends that i banged heads with in my earlier years have grown up and grown sensible, some of us refuse to wield to the pull of music that isn't likely to damage your brain cells and prematurely destroy your hearing. In another joint posting, my fellow blogger Cody and i disagree on the merits of the music of today.

A recent phenomenon in the college is that my students have began wearing T-shirts of bands that, when they were in their pomp, the students themselves were still just learning to walk.
Nirvana and Ramones seem the most popular but there is a fair sprinkling of the likes of Pearl Jam, Guns 'N Roses, Sex Pistols, Soundgarden and Carter USM which only confirms two of my beliefs.
One is that music peaked in the late 80's and early 90's with the likes of Nirvana and Guns N Roses and secondly that if the music being churned out today was a dog, it would be kinder to put it out of its whimpering misery.
Bland could not begin to describe the state of music today and it is telling that the most eagerly anticipated album of not only this year but of the past few years, is a band that last charted in 1994 with a cover of a Rolling Stones song.
In the UK, boy band Take That split up in 1996 and came back 9 years later to top the charts with their first two singles as if they had never been away but in truth they had very little competition from the groups that had stepped into the void they left in that decade. The charts are dominated by bands following the Simon Cowell formulae of good looking singers belting out saccharine covered ballads who are tucked up in bed by 10pm.
Gone are the days when you would have to lock up your daughters when a rock band came to town, far from an evening of whiskey and debauchery in the back of the bands trailer, it would be an evening of chaperoned scrabble and a friendly hug.
Despite the best efforts of bands like Green Day who put out arguably their best album a few years ago and the constantly excellent Kaiser Chiefs and Fratellis, the charts are just full of similar acts singing similar songs and bands like REM and the Stones that are just going through the paces to keep their bank balance topped up.
Music has a history of bursting out from a mind numbing dip with new, rebellious music to inspire the youth and get the blood flowing. Punk in the 70s, alternative rock and grunge of the late 80s and early 90s so we must be due a doozy of a new musical genre to belatedly shake us out of the slumber that has fallen across the ears of non-pubescent music lovers everywhere who can only repeat the wise lyrics of King Kurt when he said 'Here we are now, Entertain us'.

Cody at It is What It Is blog is putting forward the opposite view that when it comes to music, we have never had it so good.


effay said...

I'm with you on this one Lucy.

Natsthename said...

Charts? Who needs charts?

I may not know any of the "hot" music, but I don't care (I only cared when I was a teen.) Teeny bop pop will always exist, appealing to screaming girls and the lowest common denominator. Choose to ignore it, and you will find a plethora of indie artists, existing to appeal to music lovers everywhere!

Noah "Nog" M. said...

The fundamental problem with the current generation of musicians is that they haven't all committed suicide yet.

Just look at Britney Spears. When's she going to do herself in?

The movement of technology shouldn't be downplayed. It affects what gets made and listened to and what doesn't make it at all.


Annie said...

i have recently returned to my musical childhood roots. listening to lots of funk and soul...and added hip hop to my listening list as well.
there is so much great, conscious hip hop out there. jil scott is a favorite.

i found myself feeling bored with a lot of rock out there. old and new. so, it's back to where i began as a kid in san francisco, listening to KDIA 'lucky 13' in oakland.

Lucy said...

Consider it ignored nats.

My guess would be Nog that to be successful you need the financial backing of a large record company who in turn are going to play it safe with their investment which is why we are inundated with cutesy and bland.

I am always keen to dip into other genres outside of the guitar heavy music that dominates my CD collection Annie but there just doesn't seem anything that grips my attention enough and i end up taking small bits of everything else to go with my large chunk of guitar noise.

Cody Bones said...

Try Kayne

Lucy said...

Google says Did you mean: kanye

Annie said...

i almost said it lucy, but left it to the blog owner. :)

Anonymous said...

Lucy you have a choice. Stay with your own era of music and what you know and what you like or be one of those embarassing older people trying to be cool and be down with the youth so to speak.

Anonymous said...

I agree Lucy. Punk was very liberating. I still have my Stranglers, Clash etc vinyls.

Don said...

Tool. Acroma. Black Label Society. Prong. Chevelle. Trapt. Taproot. Rob Zombie. Shinedown. Sevendust. Rammstein. Ra. Oleander. Seether. Deftones. Slipknot. Breaking Banjamin. Saliva. Drowning Pool.

The list goes on. I don't know from charts, obvii.

one of those embarassing older people trying

If I like what I'm hearing then anyone young or old who thinks of me that way can crawl over here and kiss my ass.

Lucy, there's no shortage of heavy guitar music being made but I think it's under the radar of the people whose avocation is in trying to control the bigger playlists.

Cody Bones said...

I need spellcheck installed in my brain

wombat said...

i totally agree, lucy. as i posted on cody's blog, never before has music been so instantaneously obtained -- nor so instantaneously discarded! major labels are somewhat to blame, as well as radio and the economy. but the good bands, the good songs, they're just not there anymore.

Nate Peele said...

Music peaked in the late 80s or early 90s? I was in college then and I remember listening mostly to classic rock at the time--music from before I was born. What do I remember about late 80s and early 90s music?

1. New Kids on the Block, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson.
2. A different hair metal power ballad topping the charts every week.
3. Rock was dead as a doornail.