Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Got a Back Beat, You Can't Lose It

After writing my last post about the current decade, I felt the need to clarify my brief comment about middle-age people angering me by questioning my music taste. Getting the good ol’ “Why are you listening to that?” actually never prompted me to start listening to music of “my time”, for I try to listen to music not according to era but according to quality. But this has not always been the case. Way back in the day, after I finally opened up to bands that weren’t the Beatles, I still was hesitant to listen to anything post 70s. Being the ignorant 14-year-old I was, I stayed away from the “current” music which, to me, consisted of Avril Lavigne and P. Diddy (as I believe he was known at the time). It was so easy to be a teenage curmudgeon and say that music just isn’t like what it used to be.

However, college has been an about face for me as I’ve more or less stopped listening to my old friends such as Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix in search of newer, lesser known artists. But as I’ve recently started going back again and dusting off the old MP3s, I must publicly reaffirm my convictions: the late 60s/early 70s are about as good as it will ever get for rock and roll.

It may seem odd to post this after heavily praising the work of current artists. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be plenty of goodness to go around. But 40 years ago seemed to be an aligning of the stars for so many gifted individuals. The year 1969 alone gave us Tommy, Abbey Road, Let It Bleed, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, The Band, The Velvet Underground and Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Aaaaah! So many great albums! And all of them seem to come out just a heartbeat after the previous masterpiece!

So going back to the purpose of this post, it’s partly because I feel like I’m in the minority in being quite passionate about both old and new rock music. People I’ve met generally fall in one camp or the other. Well I want the Beatles and Radiohead playing at the pearly gates when I get there.

Another reason why this is relevant is that it seems like music critics focus on the present too much to be more in line with the journalistic side of their profession. It certainly makes sense. If you want readers, you write something people haven’t already read all about. However, this is my blog and I’ll write about the 60s if I want too!

P.S. This little family tree is highly amusing and seems to fill in some of the gaps between my last two posts.

*Last week's subheading was from Wilco’s "Kingpin."

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