Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Thing About Classic Rock Music

In my high school days one of the things about me was I primarily only listened to classic rock. I found it great to be hearing this incredible catalog of music from artists such as Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, The Eagles, the who, and many more that I probably could not list here. Yet, this brings up an issue with me because when I started to enter college, the well began to run dry. There was absolutely no new music for me to listen to from these classic rock acts because how many times can you listen to Stairway to Heaven. Oh yes, they would release acoustic versions, bootleg versions, demo versions, deluxe versions, but that just did not seem to fulfill my musical needs. 

In college, I began to listen to all the bands that I missed out on in high school. These included acts like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Nirvana. Now, do not get me wrong because I did listen to these bands while in high school. I did not completely ignore them. I remember going to see the Smashing Pumpkins in high school, but classic rock seemed to fill up much of my musical tastes. 

As soon as I finished college, I began to realize certain truths about what I was doing. These acts and even some of the newer ones had one thing going against them. Their time had passed them by. For some of these groups, for a brief period of time they could do no wrong, but that time was no more. Oh, bands like the Rolling Stones would come out with a new album and even have a hit here or there, but it was never the same. This is because musical tastes, musical sounds, musical times, all seem to change. Many of these groups do not change with them. You do get the outliers that do change with the times like a Radiohead and even the Rolling Stones in the early 1980s. Yet, it is never quite the same as when they were in their heyday. The songwriting was never quite as good as when they were in their heyday. The songs were less catchy, lower quality, or just plain boring. 

This leads into my next point, which is classic rock concerts. People spend hundreds of dollars each year to go see these groups break out their hits. The problem I was finding was that I found classic rock concerts completely boring And sometimes wondered about how much the fans at the shows truly love music on its own. I have heard all this before. Go ahead, break out your hits, then we can go to the parking lot. There was nothing new to get excited about at the shows. I almost looked at it in a way that these groups were basically cover bands of themselves. There was no anticipation and excitement for them to break out something new that you knew would be the first time that you heard it and it was really good. This is why I began to listen exclusively to new music. Oh, I would still occasionally listen to the classic rock and the 90s rock, but I began to seek out newer music that was on the cutting edge because it made me more excited about it. Now, do not get me wrong in the fact that this is not for everyone. Many people out there love to return to the past, their youth, or simply do not like newer music. 

This leads into my next point. The onset of EDM music across this country and its popularity everywhere has somehow turned me into a person that cannot embrace some of this newer music. Oh, I still find some gems here and there that are DJ remixes, but more times than not I am beginning to find that I really dislike artists like Skrillex. 

What are we to make of all this? For one, the age-old answer is that one undeniable truth: everything including music runs in cycles as we get older. You simply cannot escape this fact. The second thing to make of it is that I personally think EDM music pretty much sucks.

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