So, yea, I read the Onion AV Club a lot. Unlike other media outlets I think they do, mostly, a good job on writing about music. I’d actually like a little more depth on the record reviews, but otherwise, I think they hit on a lot of great topics. Recently Steve Hayden and Noel Murray posted a conversational article on people and music discovery. This article was specifically about how Mr. Hayden often finds himself in the über terrible conversation with his peers (only in their 30’s, my age group) who aren’t going out and discovering new music. They use the typical excuse one always hear, “Music today just isn’t as good as it was when I was younger”. This is total bullshit. Music today is so much better than it was when I was growing up. It’s also so much easier to find and acquire. The real reason people stop searching out music as they get older is they often allow themselves to get boring. I’ll give you an example of the opposite.
I used to work in an office. I had a cubicle and responsibilities and a job to do for a shitty corporation. I used to work with this guy named Mike. Mike was a pretty average guy over all. Nothing too spectacularly out of the ordinary about his life. He got married, traveled a bit, then, eventually ended up working alongside me. Over the course of time that I knew him, about four years, he and his wife had their first child and then, right before I left, they had their second. Pretty typical, American dream style household, no? The reason I never wanted to strangle new father Mike and one of the reasons I liked him was that he remained a multidimensional human being. Oh sure, he extolled upon me stories of his kids and his families new interactions. He usually reserved for me the stories in which he was the victim of some bodily function or flailing limb from his child to his family jewels, which I appreciated. But Mike, he kept true to himself, always talking about new bands he was hearing. We shared CD’s with each other and he turned me on to some great bands. I think this was all both beneficial to his sanity and to his kids. Those boys are going to grow up with a father that is more in touch with a greater, more creative world and thus their analytical skills and appreciation for the world will increase.
Most people, they have kids and they resign themselves, whether they know it or not, to full service of these kids. They forget though, that their personality and identity can be so important and often that sacrifice in full breeds really dumb, boring, shitty children who grow up voting Democrat and living a middle of the road life. Either that or people just get old and stuck in shitty jobs and fall into the routine and stop fighting for the self. That shit is actually less excusable to me (shocking for me to say I know). Yes, life in the capitalist system is a series of unending mazes where we are constantly grasping at that large junk of cheese swinging above us, our reach only long enough to get a small piece. And that’s my point. We give up so much of what we love the minute we step outside of our educational stranglehold already, why give up everything we love?
Me, I love new music as I hope this blog indicates. Frankly, I don’t listen to much music made before I was born, and I don’t listen to a lot of music that’s more than 15 years old at this point. Even to that end, while I still love Unrest and Lifetime and Fugazi, I am much more interested in Fucked Up, The Red Dons or Young Widows, because that shit is happening now, while I live and breathe. My past musical life is awesome, no doubt, I’ve seen some great bands and heard some great records and these serve as a litmus to everything that comes after it. But even my top ten records of all time list has an entry from 2007. That means, to me anyway, I still think there’s a shot for some newbie to come along and fuck up everything I think I know. I want my top ten to constantly evolve and in a few years I will once again reconsider this list.
Music is awesome. It’s always awesome. Technology has made it so that bands can make clearer, more cutting, beautiful albums. Also, artists have so much inspiration to draw from. Making music is now like time travel, you can see so much of the past, the present and the future in the artists today. I’m just as excited about the crazy visuals in Die Antwoord video’s as I am in the awesome concepts of Fucked Up and the amazing music of Pygmy Lush and Des Ark. All of this shit gives me heart palpitations, makes me quest out into the world and want to fuck shit up in my own right. Music drives me to learn new things, explore new cultures and constantly re-evaluate what I think, what I know and who I am. Without this constant evolution, I would die, turn into another member of the walking dead that feasts upon youth with fear and turns it’s back on its neighbors. I’ve seen the sick shell humanity can turn into. It lines the vein like Highways that shoot out from Washington DC into spy centers manned by my fellow brothers and sisters who die slowly in cookie cutter houses that line suburban streets. No thanks, I’ll take the party music of Too Many Daves, I’ll wait impatiently until Diane and Katy make a new Trophy Wife album, I keep going to see local bands in Albuquerque that are so unusual and amazing to my ears. You can keep your music of old if that’s all your going to listen to. If you don’t have an ongoing narrative with music and sound and art, then I hardly suspect you really want anything more than dull entertainment.