Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The day Clay blew my mind... Musing about music

So... The other day my cousin Clay posted an idea on his Facebook page which immediately caused him to lose his favored cousin status. It was something along the lines of "Let's destroy all music created before 1990."

That blew my mind. My first thought was what about The Beatles? closely followed by U2? Mozart? Beethoven? Beastie Boys? Carole King? James Taylor? "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones? Aretha Franklin? Heart? The list goes on... you get the idea.

Clay later explained that he feels that we often get to stuck in the past when it comes to music, that we often keep listening to the same old things - because that is what we feel comfortable with - rather than giving new music a try.

I sort of understand where he's coming from. I do find myself enjoying music that I grew up with at home (The Beatles, Chicago (pre-Peter Cetera), Doobie Brothers, Eagles, James Taylor, Carole King... thanks, Dad)and from my teens and early 20s more than most of the new releases I hear today. But I find myself sticking to "music for Generation X" stations more than pop music stations or KLSU. And, I think my heart would break if I didn't get to hear "The Ode to Joy" on occasion.

Maybe I'm not giving music made in this new decade and century enough of a chance. I do like some new music - after hearing my sibling rave about them and then seeing them as an opening act for U2, I find I do like Muse quite a bit. I think Jack White is a genius and am willing to give any of his projects a try whether it's The White Stripes, The Raconteurs or The Dead Weather. On the other hand, Ke$ha is complete crap and I'm not that crazy about Lady Gaga (don't stone me, okay?).

What do you think? Should music have an expiration date? Should I (we) be more open to new music?


  1. Cuzzin' ClayJuly 7, 2010 at 12:27 AM

    Ooh ooh! A post inspired by me! sweeet.

    I've continued to take heat from friends on this topic these last few days. And though I still stand by the idea, people have made some good points. The best being, what about little known music made pre-1990. I certainly don't claim to be familiar with all music ever made. In fact, my continuing obsession with the Gorillaz has gotten me thinking about purchasing some or all of the old Blur records. Blur, a super-main stream success from the 90's, was a band I paid little attention to. And in ten years, they'll certainly fall in the next clump of 30 year old music I'll want to destroy. But, I worry if I start making exceptions and addenda I'll lose sight of the main point. So, I need to get crackin' on Blur!

    The same people arguing with me bring up a similar point to you. The fact that music today sucks. Well, that's a pretty ridiculous statement if you ask me. in the 70's, 80's and 90's there was just as much crap floating around as there is now. The main differences today, in my opinion, are all positive. With the internet, we have access to a zillion times more unsigned/undiscovered music. In addition, affordable recording equipment has allowed more and more musicians to create original music. The trick is to look in the right places.

    Join me in rejecting mainstream radio. College radios nation wide try hard to find undiscovered bands. Look for local stations near you and tune in. Additionally, a number of awesome radio stations stream via the internet for FREE! My favorite radio station 88.9 KXLU offers free streaming radio on their site kxlu.com as well as their very own iPhone Ap. And I haven't even mentioned Pandora yet!

    The bottom line is, with every new day, there's more and more music to discover. Just in the last couple months I've stumbled across a number of bands that kick so much ass I can't control myself. Including "The Evangenitals" and "Man at Arms"

    In conclusion, let's grow as people. Let's grow as music lovers. Let's grow as a community. Embrace change, creativity and exploration. And if you don't want to destroy your Depeche Mode "Violator" album, at least consider putting it down for a month or two. It's not going anywhere. Unfortunately.

  2. Btw, Cuzzin' Clay, of course you're restored to favored cousin status. But next time give a girl a little warning before dropping a bomb like that, okay? lol

    PS - Surprisingly enough, Violator was never my favorite Depeche Mode album. That award goes to Music for the Masses(although I'm not sure why - maybe because it was my first?). And, having many of my early musical preferences influenced primarily by hand-me-downs from your sister (and mother of the cutest baby in the world), I always preferred The Cure to DM.

  3. Katie, Violator was their most mainstream album. That is reason enough not to favor it. Of course when I was introduced to MFTM I might have also been listening to the occasional Debbie Gibson on WFMF, so I can't completely hate bowheads who decided that Violator was their favorite new album.

    I love how much musical influence I have had on others :) For that you can actually thank our parents for moving us in 1986 to a house across the street from a kid who wanted to grow up to be Robert Smith.

  4. Yes Katie - I think you should be open to more new music - might I suggest listening to that Justin Be-something or other kid. :P