Monday, September 19, 2011

You Call That Sh-t Music? [or I'm Turning into My Parents]

The good news is that I'm carpooling to work now.  It's uncharacteristically green of me, I know.  One does what one can (especially when it saves lots of gas).  When your Hyundai doesn't do that much better on gas than your land yacht Lincoln, you realize maybe you should have researched further.

The other good news is that I'm carpooling with a real sweetheart (who's sort of my niece-in-law, twice removed).  I'd be hard-pressed to find a single flaw with this arrangement.

And of course when I say I'd be hard-pressed to find a single flaw, there is one single flaw.  Just a tiny one that, if anyone else were typing, wouldn't amount to an anthole.  I'm speaking, of course, about the choice of radio station and (alleged) music.

This was inevitable.  She's twenty-one and I'm... not.  Let's just say I'm more than twice her age.  Her boyfriend, my nephew-in-law (twice removed), has pretty good taste in music, having gotten at least some of it from me.  He does love the guitar players, being one himself.  His dalliances into the thrashy stuff can be forgiven.  In fact, I can forgive most stuff.

Except what I have been hearing from the HOT HITS station.

To call this stuff music is a grievous error, punishable by death. Even if it's on quietly in the background, it agitates me.  We have an occasional third carpool member who's older than me by a few years.  I sometimes watch his eyeballs look at each other and spin like slot machines when the stereo is on.  He is way too polite to verbalize his feelings.  I, however,  have no such impediment.  He dares not talk too loudly because some of his music sounds like someone strangling a saxophone.

Every generation tortures the previous generation with its choice of music; it's probably written into the genetic code (somewhere past the serial killer gene).  I can't bear to think back to what I did to my parents (although I picked up Joe Cocker from my folks and traded them the Allman Brothers and Little Feat).  The intro to Hendrix must've come as a bit of a shock, though.

"Turn that down - that's not music" was a constant refrain.  And now that I have uttered those very words, I realize how horrible they sound.

Your honor, I have a few things to say in my defense:
  • When we played a song, it required a certain number of musicians to perform, not dancers.
  • We used to carry around a dumb piece of equipment called a drummer, as opposed to the dumb piece of equipment called a drum machine.  Subtle but substantive.
  • Hats - not hair extensions.
  • The only person who stood with his arms crossed, trying to look intimidating, and randomly said `HEY' was the road manager.
  • We were generically off-pitch and proud.  Autotune?
  • No headset mics, unless you want to hear me cursing at the band between songs.
  • Backup singers, not backup dancers.

I don't remember the source of this but it is said that a song is no good if it can't be reduced to a piano or acoustic guitar with voice and sound great (what, no beat box?).

Being late to the party (or chronically never arriving), I just realized this is what `the kids today' are listening to.  It's really sad that they have to refer to this as their music.  This probably explains why my nephews like to listen to a lot of the stuff I do.. they tell me there's nothing there for them in recent music.  We shall never see another Led Zeppelin.  Or Frank Zappa, for that matter.

Sadly, the phrase `lonely as a guitar player at a rap concert' comes to mind.

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