Monday, March 4, 2019

What A Drag It Is Getting Old

It was a slow process but I started noticing it about 15 years ago, which means it might have started before but it’s only within the past couple of years that I was eventually completely disconnected with what’s hip musically.

I was always very aware of what was going on both in the mainstream and in the underground. I was a voracious listener of everything. I literally would spend all of my time listening to every record in every genre. Of course, I had my preferences but I had my thumb on the pulse of it all.

I am forty now, so perhaps the shift began when I started accumulating adult responsibilities and had to be a lot more discerning in my listening habits for a simple reason of time. In any case, I remember clearly making a conscious effort to stay hip to the new wave of guitar bands from the early naughties. I went out of my way to go check out those bands in concert because they were touted as the future of rock and roll. Turns out they actually were.

So I bought the albums and went to the shows. The Yeah Yeah Yeah, the Vines, the Libertines, The White Stripes (who I never actually saw live, but loved the records)… That was the last movement I could identify with. But then at the same time I was still listening to music from my parent’s generation which I realise is pretty lame. The same week I saw the Strokes I also saw the Stones and King Crimson and to me there was no comparison. While one was a promising young band, the others were legends and they were legends for a reason. Even with several decades past their supposed prime, the elders wiped the floor with the young snot-nosed promises.

Of course now the Strokes are considered classic rock by the kids of today who weren’t even born. It’s the perpetual motion of time, the wheel that never stops turning. But that was when I realised the new stuff wasn’t as interesting to me as what I grew up with, or the stuff that was new when I was younger. Eventually I stopped listening altogether and now I mostly stick to what I know.

Every once in a while I’ll discover a new band, maybe as an opening act or on a car ride with the radio on. But the ones that appeal to me the most are the ones that sound like stuff I’m familiar with. There is probably some very exciting young band playing some fresh take on rock and roll in a little club driving all the sixteen year-olds wild. But that’s no longer my scene. I am now an old fart, re-evaluating things like Foreigner and Seals & Croft, Yacht Rock, Dad Rock, Soft Rock, all the shit I used to hate as a kid and thinking… Well it’s pretty good after all isn’t it? I’ve become an old fart. Don’t make fun of me. It’ll happen to you, too.

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