Friday, August 17, 2007

If it's too new, you're too old....


Yesterday we had kind of a cool impromptu outdoor show in a local Market Square parking lot on the East Side featuring none other than Jane's Addiction's, Porno for Pyro's & most recently Satellite Party's Perry Farrell. This was designed as a promotion for the show that night at The Pabst. Perry's outdoor antics were tremendously appreciated & I think it's pretty cool that an artist of that level of fame would go out on a limb & try something different & interesting

....that said...this is related...but at the same time unrelated....

As I walked through the crowd of about 200 people or so I ran into the owner/operator of one Milwaukee's finer record stores walking around with huge grin on his face video-taping everything he came in contact with. He came up to me & I said "Oh hey, how's it goin...pretty crazy show huh?" & he looked straight at me & said "Fuck yeah!...this is awesome....Perry's great....back from when music was still good" as he tapped me on the shoulder as if to imply that I must have been an advocate for this sub-par new fangled music he spoke of....

WHOAAH! dude...put the brakes the on dude! What the hell is that supposed to mean? Based upon this (and a few other) conversations, clearly, my record slinging friend has begun to go down the "I'm only listening to music from before year xyz"

This to me signifies that he is falling victim to the scary, unavoidable & reprehensible affliction that us people in the music industry called "Getting Older"

It's no strange coincidence that my record store guy made the claim that the period in which Jane's Addiction came to prominence was both the time period in whIch "music was still good" & also the time period in which he was between the ages of 19 to 25......

EVERY, i repeat EVERY generation goes through this. (That's why Milwaukee has 4 classic rock radio stations) For whatever reason, as many people get older, they stop having a desire to listen to new music. EVEN the proprietor of Milwaukee's house of new music in said record store has fallen victim to this. I myself never thought i'd think of Jane's Addiction as classic rock, however looking at the audience & listening to statements like that...it's clear that there's a major generational divide.

When your parents go to a concert what do they generally see? Probably something that was popular when they were in their teens & 20s, right? What about a movie? It would seem absurd to suggest that your parents wouldn't go see a new movie simply because they were getting older, right? Same thing with television....in fact as people get older they're need to watch things like current news coverage tends to increase.

Would somebody say to you... "turn this off....this is nothing but bad news...man, what i wouldn't give for some news from 1991"

while that may be an extreme & borderline absurd example, if you look at current TV shows, generally older people still watch new shows such as Law & Order, The Tonight show or even Extreme Makeover Home Edition...

So why should music fall victim to this affliction of turning our backs on all things current? Maybe it has something to do with the heavy emphasis we put on the music of our youth to define who we are as people. For many people, music is a much more engaging medium, for the time when we are younger & as younger people, it's a statement that belongs to us & not our parents....the downfall is once you become parental age.....what are you going to listen to? The answer is so often- music from when you were in your teens & 20s.....it's a perilous trap that almost exclusively leads to an unfounded bitterness about new music that really has less to do with what the music really is & more to do with the fact that it no longer belongs to your generation.

Although, i understand this phenomenon, i can't condone it, especially as somebody whose job it is, to bring new music to an audience that understands & appreciates it. Music is a vital part of our culture & communities. It's a reflection of our society & who we are as people. Of course in some cases, there is qualifiably bad music from every generation, but ultimately, eventually every generation past has also produced something that can be basically agreed upon as really great music. While this may not be an argument for why this generation is capable of making great....the other constant there is that the previous generation always looked forward to the younger generation & basically said "This new music is crap"....meaning that in 1988 when "Nothing's Shocking" came out....somebody who loved Black Sabbath in 1973 was standing at one of the splintered lineup Sabbath shows of the era pumping their fist & saying "Fuck yeah...this is back from when music was still good"

1 comment:

radars said...

This is a really funny and interesting post. Unfortunately, it's probably inevitable. I even find myself listening to more old stuffthan seeking new... soon comes the Depends.

Wanted to send you some tunes from a band I'm. It sounds like stuff fromback when nusic was good.... If you're interested shoot me an email at radarstothesky@gmail.com. You can erase this comment so it doesn'tseem like I'm trying to advertise on your page.

best,

Andrew