Category: Music and that

Old and Grumpy in my Twenties: MUSIC

Old and Grumpy in my Twenties: MUSIC

I think I’m just an old man about music now.

I’ve never had an unusually broad music taste, but I always figured I was open to hearing something new.

It’s become cripplingly apparent that this is not the case.

I found myself saying something my Dad used to say to me (and still would, I don’t doubt, were I still living with him) the other day as I listened to my Spotify Discover playlist.

For reference, Discover is a kind of cool feature of Spotify where it takes a look at what you’ve been listening to all week and compiles a playlist of tunes it thinks you will like based off of it. It’s designed, going by its name, to get you to discover new artists. It’s so far been ineffective with me.

(as a side note, A-Punk by Vampire Weekend seems to be on it every single week and I HATE A-PUNK BY VAMPIRE WEEKEND. It was a barely passable song before it got jammed up my arse every week, now it makes me want to stand on every butterfly on earth)

Yeah, the Discover thing hasn’t worked for me so far, and this week I found myself saying something my Dad used to say to me.

‘Music these days.’

But like, with disgust. You know the way. With a sigh.

This isn’t a strictly Gav’s Dad thing. It’s actually a boring stereotype of fatherhood, tucked away behind the couch-potato, remote-hogging, golf-mad, lager gorilla you’ll see on most father’s day cards. Nobody makes music like the music your Dad used to listen to.

So yeah, ‘music these days…’ I muttered, clicking the skip button on my Discover from the first track, right through to the end (though I did stop on Can’t Stand Me Now by The Libertines because you can bet your wage on me singing along to that one). I said these words and immediately realised something about myself.

I’ve aged out of music.

Ugh, man it stings. It hurts that I’ve become one of those people that only likes the music I like and that’s the way it is.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how I’m in an abusive relationship with the Foo Fighters (this whole post is basically a sequel to that one). I stand by most of what I said because Sonic Highways was ninety percent audible CHUNDER, but I’m approaching the new album with a touch more sensitivity than I had done previously.

Why?

Well because it must be fucking murder to be a famous rock act, it really must.

It develops violently into a lose-lose-lose-lose situation. Once any band gets past the part that’s clearly their peak, what are they supposed to do?

Keep releasing the same type of music with diminishing returns and become a parody? God forbid AC/DC discover a fifth chord, right? Bon Jovi, I’m certain, have been releasing the same song every two years for a while now. The Offspring, my first love, keep putting albums out and they just aren’t changing at all! The Royal Blood are going to end up in this camp if they don’t consider adding a new member or two. Their sound was getting tedious towards the end of ONE ALBUM.

Or, these bands could just pack in writing and tour the hits. Oh, but then they’re lazy, aren’t they? Just in it for the money! Can’t be arsed writing any new material and just cashing in on the old shit – oh hello, Libertines! What are you doing here? Oh, I see you brought the Rolling Stones too!

And then there’s the dreaded option three. Change the sound. Oh, fuck, the rain of blood if a band dare change their sound! This is where the Foo Fighters found themselves around the release of Sonic Highways. They fucked it. Paramore did well. They popped their sound up a lot and the album kind of rules as a result. Then there’s what Fall Out Boy have done to themselves since they reformed – listened to that new song of theirs? Really. Don’t. The list goes on. Green Day evolved their sound and then actually back-pedalled to their old one again. Blink were growing up nicely until they split, Neighbourhoods was a mess, and thankfully they’re now getting their shit together again (all they had to do was replace a member).

Are there any other options for a band? Please, let me know. The only way to get it done right appears to be changing your sound in a way that keeps the old fans while bringing in new ones. Turn the ear to pop, but not too much! Easy, right?

Because of all this crap, I find myself in a musical rut. I get angry at bands for releasing music that changes and get bored of ones that churn out the same shit over and over again. At the same time, I’m stubborn about new bands unless they sound roughly like any of the thirty bands I rotate on my Spotify.

I am an old man at twenty-nine years old. They don’t make music like they did in my day (what, ten years ago) and they never will. All these bands these days are just stealing their sound and melodies and moves from the bands of my day.

I hate myself. I do.

I plan to make a change. I want to welcome new music into me. I want to try to like music again. But in my defence, sometimes bands make it fucking hard to like them. I feel like most of them come with some bullshit aesthetic they’re trying to sell. Ask my pal Jamie, who’s been to several gigs with me where I turned off my ears because the support act looked like wankers. If you walk on stage and have touched your hair four times before you’ve even sung a word, I WON’T LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC.

It’s a sad state of affairs where run-down indie acts to full-blown rock stars are more into how they look than Ellie Goulding, of whom I’ve watched full performances where she’s wearing jeans and a tee-shirt.

(Yes, I fucking love Ellie Goulding. Fight me.)

Past all of this, all these rambling thoughts which basically amounts to abuse of acts much more successful than I can hope to be with a guitar in my hand, one thought shines brighter than the rest.

The thought that I’m not just in an abusive relationship with the Foo Fighters, I’m in an abusive relationship with all music that I listen to.

And here’s the dirty plot twist: I’M THE ABUSER.

Change your sound? ABUSE. Keep your sound the same? ABUSE. Don’t make new music? ABUSE.

I’m a terrible fan, really. I’m sorry to all musicians. I endeavour to try harder. I will give the new Foo Fighters record more of a chance. I’ll try to embrace changes and appreciate where they’ve kept their sound the same.

I might even listen to that Fall Out Boy song a- no, I won’t. Fuck that song. Honestly.

Oh, and immune to all this banter, are Queens of the Stone Age. They released a new song this week and I’ve hardly stopped listening to it. It’s a serial killer, to be fair, but I think they could’ve farted into a microphone and I’d adore it. So it doesn’t matter. I live under that sweaty thumb, and I’m quite happy there.

It’s Gavin.