Day 218: I Might Not Understand Music.

I feel like Motley Crue, Ratt, and Metallica were the last decent bands. Is that pretty much the same as my grandpa claiming the whole world went to shit after Woody Guthrie died?  I’ve tried so hard. I feel like I’m supposed to like Mumford and Sons and Wilco and all that other stuff, but honestly, it just sounds like people telling long boring stories about growing up in the midwest while someone hits a banjo with a can of beans. I’ve seen bands like that live, and they all seem like they’re practicing for a different show at a later date.

I don’t want to be stuck in 1985-1992, but there’s nothing drawing me out. I’m looking at the top music on iTunes and I don’t even know who the artists are. Who’s Matt Kearney? I’ve never heard of him so I listened to a song and it sounded like some innocent cheery stuff they would play at rehab to prevent cravings and suicides.  So I tried Bon Iver and thought  Elliot Smith had come back to life and been lobotomized.  Am I looking at the wrong chart? Ok, let’s try the alternative charts. “The Horrors” is the top artist. Never heard of them, but I listened to 20 seconds of their most popular song and it sounded like Morrissey having an orgasm on top of a Pixar soundtrack. The second most popular is a band called “Drugstore.” Never heard of them either, but 20 seconds in and I totally get it: Someone gave Stevie Nicks a pan flute and put her in a hot teepee with 15 Native American Drummers and a random dude with a dulcimer. If that’s ACTUALLY what it was, I would of course buy it and bathe in it. But it’s not, so it feels meaningless and random. Hey I could be wrong about these artists, but if I don’t hear real, honest stuff or at least an explosion or the revving of a motorcycle in the first 20 seconds, you’ve lost me.

Oh, and I don’t even know what rap or hip hop is. Rap just sounds like a toddler with a speech impediment yelling over a Flock of Seagulls song. I don’t really listen to hip hop unless I’m stuck in an urban Chuck E. Cheese, but from what I can tell it was all recorded with the wrong equipment by people they dragged in off the street. Did you guys just get a bunch of drunk people to hit stuff along to the beat of a fuzzy bass?

There’s two modern bands I enjoy, The New Pornographers (good, fun original pop music), and I think there are a couple of tolerable songs by Arcade Fire (even though the name makes me want to set Williamsburg on fire). Maybe I’m missing something, but anything else makes me feel like I’m stuck listening to a college student read their poetry. I get what they’re trying to do but I’m bored because it’s too self conscious. I think modern angst is forced and embarrassing. Yea, I know you’re depressed. Everyone is these days, I get it. Because of that, I just want to hear from people who are having a guilt-free good time.

I hope it’s just all because I’m getting old and don’t have time to adjust my tastes. Because if it’s not, we’re all in trouble. Does jazz even exist anymore? Just so you don’t think I’m all negative, there are some other recent bands I like (Mastodon, System of a Down). Unfortunately, the other people who like them belong in a Monster Energy drink commercial. Remember, this is all just my opinion and I’m probably wrong. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’ll be here with my Cinderella Pandora station.

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Paul says:

Jazz still exists. But now more people play it than listen to it.

Donna says:

Well, I can't make up my mind if that was a depressing read or relatively good. Depressing because I long ago gave up trying to figure out the new venues of music and if anything I've gone back to the old blues of the old timers, not anything I listened to growing up but seems to appeal to me in my search for gritty music and real musicians. So it seems by reading this, maybe I really am doomed to be like mother in the fact she could never get past her generation of music…

Relatively good because I'm not alone! Well, we might have different eras of music but the fact is I am not the only one that finds it hard to move on…

Then I realize that most of my problem is I am simply to lazy to go and search for new things that I might like. But I do have an ace in the hole. My husband is an audio nut so I just let him expose me to new music. Or better yet, my son who loves his mama enough to search for those gritty tunes dear to my heart, will say, "heard this?" I get this euphoric look on my face as I say send it to my playlist! My daughter who still has a music dominated life, used to be a good source to hear some radical new tunes that I actually liked and yes, send it to my playlist. Unfortunately, she went from punk rock to old time country (not this new stuff, I mean back to the roots man!) which sometimes hits a chord and I still say, "send it to my playlist". So does that mean I just hate all the new music or just too lazy to search it out? Maybe I am my mother…

Sara says:

Not sure if you've heard of him, but I just recently started listening to Bosley….bosleymusic.net. He's kind of an awesome disaster

Holly says:

Man, I miss the hair bands of the '80s!

Molly says:

Sounds like you may be a Fleetwood Mac fan, if so, check out The Belle Brigade. Similar harmonies and a guilt free good time. But I hear ya. I have a play list that I listen to most of the time called "70s/80s" and it makes me very happy. I'm a fan of Vampire Weekend too, but they are very poppy, may not be for a hard rocker like yourself (same with Belle Brigade, now that I think about it…)

Mike says:

Although I'm constantly listening to new music, I wholeheartedly agree – where did rock that was rock go? A couple recent choice pics: the XX, Metric, Muse, Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Gogol Bordello. None of them really grab me the same way though. And none of that is making the top 10 on iTunes.

Emily says:

I'm with you on both new pornographers and arcade fire. for the record, I don't know who matt kearney is either and I like it that way.

Melanie says:

I am pretty impressed with Metric and Sally Seltmann. But I find myself listening mostly to The Cure and old stuff like Nina Simone. I'm 36 going on 90. Git off my lawn.