Sometimes (more like ALL the time) I feel like I was born in the wrong decade and am growing up in the wrong time in history. Well, as far as music goes. There are things I am thankful for. I love being able to wear pants, offensive band shirts, a lot of makeup, and straightening my hair. The technology is great, too. But it’s not at the same time. With all the iPods (not trashing iPods, because I think they’re great… to an extent), it’s harder for people to just listen to stuff on the radio like, even as recent as the Nineties. iPods are selfish. You see an ad on the TV about some shitty new artist and it says “Available on iTunes”. Not the radio. iTunes. Back in the day, it used to be that whatever came out, came out. Everyone knew a few songs they heard on the radio, and then they’d go out and buy the record. People were exploring new music by going to certain clubs and bars and trading records and tapes. None of that now. Any asshole can come up with a song and then it’ll get on MTV. Anything that’s catchy. It’s always been like that, but this is just getting out of hand.
I like music from so many different movements and eras, that I can’t quite think of what time period I’d most enjoy living in.
Possibly the Nineties, since that seems the easiest, but I was alreadyliving in the Nineties (b. 1992). Sometimes I wish I lived in the late Sixties when all the folk and hard rock stuff was popular. Sometimes I wish I lived in the early Seventies when people decided the hippie movement was too soft and needed something heavier. Aaaand sometimes I wish I lived in the early Eighties when heavy metal was getting serious. Of course, I’m talking about living in the US, and I’m ignoring all the political issues and wars.
But sometimes I think, would I even like the same music I like now, if I lived in the time period where those genres and bands were flourishing? Would I *really* like to live in San Francisco in the early Eighties where the Bay Area thrash metal bands were gaining success? As much as I love that music now, I’m not sure I would have dug that whole scene. Maybe I would have thought it was dangerous and violent and would be scared to walk past a metal club. Of course this is without prior knowledge of how important this scene would become in music history.
Another time period I have always thought about living in would be the late Sixties. Not because of that flower power weirdness, but because some of the greatest rock bands ever came out of that era. You got Crosby, Stills & Nash, Cream, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Zeppelin, etc. Those are a few different genres of music, but would I have still loved all of them?
Since everything was pretty new, I wonder if I would just attach myself to one type of music because I thought the scene was safe, or if I’d still be open-minded. Hell, maybe I would have had the same attitude then as I do now, which is that everything sucks and I want something old school. The CSN crowd were hippies and such, and I don’t think I’d really dig the whole counter-culture, so I might not like CSN at all.
Then there’s the early Nineties… all those metal bands were still around and getting even bigger. Then comes “grunge”. Considering my uncle has been friends with Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney since the Eighties, I think I’d dig living in Seattle when “alternative” rock was starting to become popular. But this is mainly because I’d actually KNOW those bands instead of just knowing the music and the scene. There were the “big four” of grunge, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains (who I adore), and then the smaller bands like Mudhoney and Screaming Trees, both of which are ridiculously important to rock history.
I’m thankful that I’m a young girl in this period of time, but something still bothers me… the music. What has happened? I know I’m not with the times, and I never have been, but there has to be a heavy rock uprising again. It’s like people have gotten tired of the standard blues or rock track. There’s nothing special about computerized music. There’s nothing special about a little twat who got famous from YouTube. People need to earn respect from the public by playing their asses off in clubs for six years and then, possibly getting a record contract. People need to work. I’m so sick and tired of all these little kids getting famous from playing some shitty ass guitar song on YouTube and suddenly getting signed. I don’t care how talented they are. Work is what makes a band a band.
Or what about all those artists you read about where they were a little lanky kid who dug the guitar, but couldn’t get what they needed in his shitty white suburban neighborhood, so they decide to go down to the black part of town (“across the tracks”), go into some blues club and discover a big black magical guitar genius? I’ve heard the same story a million times, but it’s what makes good music. I’ve read that about Stephen Stills, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Duane Allman, and so on – and those are all damn fine guitar players.
What I do know, is that rock and roll is not a phase. A genre of music that has been around that long and has a billion and one different sub-genres is something special. Same goes for heavy metal. Heavy metal is still going strong. Doesn’t mean it’s any good, but it’s still a huge part of music today. I’m so glad people still appreciate the basic rock instruments. I’m also glad that bands and artists (some of which I actually don’t like) are still coming out with music, no matter how shit it is.
Van Halen just came out with a new album. It’s horrible, but it’s still VAN HALEN. Foo Fighters are still going strong, as much as I don’t like them, but I love Dave Grohl and I love that they’re playing rock. Metallica came out with a new album a few years ago, which is fantastic. So did Anthrax and Megadeth, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. And of course, BLACK SABBATH and ALICE IN CHAINS.
The problem is that a lot of those bands aren’t directed towards kids anymore. Other than the metal. Tom Petty? Your average kid does not listen to Tom Petty. Or Bruce Springsteen. They are in the “now” but not to the youth. Regardless, I am thankful for all those artists and bands that continue to put out music, be it good or horrible. It’s a step in the right direction.
“Long live rock and roll!” – ‘Overblown’ by Mudhoney