When I was 20-something, the bitter, out-of-touch old fogeys who had grown up with Benny Goodman and other big jazz bands would listen to the Amazing, Wonderful pop music of the ’60s, growl dyspeptically, and say, “That’s not music! You call that music? They only know three chords!”
What goes around, comes around. This afternoon I checked out an assortment of tracks — some on SoundCloud, some on other websites — and I failed to find a single track that showed, in my quite well educated opinion, the slightest trace of musical talent.
Three chords would be a huge improvement. The music being promulgated by today’s swinging young people is flat-out garbage. (Just to be clear: I’m using the word “swinging” in an ironic sense here, to indicate that I myself am seriously out of touch.) There’s no melody at all. The obsessive repetition of ideas that were dull to begin with is beyond stultifying. It’s just noise. And that’s the part that isn’t just noise. There is also, by design, quite a lot of noise.
What’s to be done? Should I submit to a massive re-education effort? Download a bunch of dance mixes and rap and buy a subwoofer for my car? Or should I stroll quietly into the sunset humming the catchy, memorable melodies recorded so many years ago by Simon & Garfunkel?
I hope I have the good grace not to complain about it. (Oops … that’s exactly what I’m doing.) Nor would it be useful to try to educate these artists. They’re not going to pay any attention to me, that’s for sure. They know what they’re doing. Or at least, I’m guessing they must know what they’re doing. Whatever it is. If they didn’t know what they were doing, don’t you think at least some of them would have the honesty and humility to admit it? Maybe ask for lessons or something?
Listen, darling — they’re playing our song! Thumpa-thumpa-thumpa-thumpa gxxxxpfflggqqxxxhgtttphhgxxx….
I 100% identify with this. Although I hadn’t been born yet when the music I like was created, I grew up in a musical home, so I’ve been absorbing my love for that type of music in those early stages.
This is why I can’t blame the taste of other people. Music taste is just another type of chemical reaction in the brain, and if people’s brains have been “trained” in a specific way for years while growing up, then I don’t think there’s much to do about it at a later stage.
So IMHO, the best way is to “stroll quietly into the sunset humming the catchy, memorable melodies recorded so many years ago by Simon & Garfunkel” 🙂
Besides, there is a large amount of people that do like 60s & 70s music, even youngsters (like me) who got exposed to such music, possibly via the internet. So not all is lost.
To stubbornly conditioned ears, anything new in music has always been called noise. But after all, what is music but organized noises?
-Edgard Varese (1962)