The music of your youth vs. the music of your now. : LUSENET : Xeney : One Thread

How have your musical tastes changed? Do you listen to your old favorites and cringe? Or were you always cool?

Do you still listen to music aimed at young people, or does it go right over your head? At what age did you stop being cool, music-wise? Do you ever feel like you're headed down a long and lonely road to the land of Adult Contemporary, or are you still keeping it real, yo?

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001


George is 12 years older than me and wasn't overly impressed by the 80s with a few exceptions. Therefore, i tend to cringe when i get all excited over some 80s new wave pop thing on the radio because he laughs at me. Otherwise, i don't really care. I loved Duran Duran and i recently heard all 5 original members are getting together to record a new album and may GO ON TOUR. I am shameless with my excitement. I saw the recent band with Simon, Nick, and three guys i didnt know - since Simon was my favorite, i didn't mind but it wasn't the same, so i'm looking forward to this reunion.

My tastes have changed in that i now love country music. Big time. As for younger music... I hem and haw, but the truth of the matter is that i really enjoy listening to Britney Spears, as much as it shames me to admit it. And though i am not a Boy Band fan, i do like a handful of songs by Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

I always had cool taste in music, and I still do. Meaning that when I was in 9th grade I had nothing but contempt for Duran Duran. Blech. There are no skeletons in my musical closet, except maybe The Police and a brief crush on Billy Idol. I still like all the stuff I liked when I was 12 -- Rolling Stones, Blondie... And I like a lot of new stuff -- Radiohead, for one, some hip hop. But I also think there is a lot of garbage out there right now that I hate at 31 that would hate just as much if I were 12.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

I tend to listen to a lot less music, period. The other big difference is that in my youth I felt it was important to be up on the latest music, and now I don't.

I think popular music's gotten more diffuse, which makes it harder to keep track of. When I was young there was AM stuff like Bobby Sherman and FM things like Crosby Stills & Nash. Things were straight or hip. My friends and I knew nothing of music by any black performers. Country music was a weird niche

I like some stuff from now and don't listen to much from my youth. I think I'm the only person I know who's in her 40s and is completely tired of the Beatles. They're fine, I just don't want to hear any of their music for about 20 years. Some of my old favorites have held up, some make me cringe. I've been stuck in the 80s for quite a while now.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

Oh yeah, and after reading your entry I have to add: Lyrics to most songs are awful if you just read them. The music of my youth, the music of now. It's gotta have the music with it. All the talk of "the poetry of rock" always made me snicker derisively.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

Mmmmm. I know I'm older than most of you here, but I'm just not getting the "bad music = hip" equation. Okay, I'm sorry, that was a cheap shot.

Anyway, I pretty much stopped listening to pop music (that being anything you could hear on the radio in Sacramento) in the early 70's. It wasn't because I started thinking, "Wow, this music is getting really bad" or anything, I just lost interest in it. The music just wasn't "speaking to me", as they say.

I do think it's entirely possible that I've missed a lot of stuff that I would've liked if I'd heard it, but I just couldn't sit and listen to radio noise long enough to pick out the gems. Not when I could play Yuseff Lateef, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Mozart, Bach or Sibelius anytime I wanted.

As far as still liking what I liked when I was a kid, I'd have to say I do, for the most part. Granted, some of that fondness is pure nostalgia, and has nothing to do with the quality of the music. But I'd still put most of the Beatles, Doors, Stones, Cream, Simon & Garfunkle, John Sebastian and even (my junior high boss band) Beach Boys music up against the best of what's coming out today. Good music is timeless. It may sound dated as styles change, but if it was any good at all, it'll never sound corny. Well, okay, maybe a little corny.

But seriously, don't ever think you're becoming un-cool just because you're musical tastes have matured. "Music aimed at young people" is, by the very definition of the audience, usually shallow and immature. Not always, of course, but it's the exceptions that prove the rule.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

Yes, but I'd hate to think that I'm deep and mature. Aren't those just synonyms for boring and old?

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

I still like a lot of what's current. I was a teenager in the late '70s and early '80s, and music from those eras has a certain nostalgiac appeal, but a lot of it sounds dated to me now. I have plenty of CDs that can take me back to my youth, but I rarely play them.

But when I listen to what's new, I find I really like about 25 percent of it, really hate about 25 percent of it, and find the rest to be listenable but not compelling ... which is pretty much what I've thought about current music at any point in my life.

I hate certain contemporary bands with a passion (Creed being one example), but then, there were always bands that I felt that way about.

Now, there are some entire genres that I find little good in, but that too has always been true.

So overall, I'd say that I'm still as current as I ever was.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2001

"Yes, but I'd hate to think that I'm deep and mature. Aren't those just synonyms for boring and old?" - Beth

When you put it that way, it sounds like it. Think of it as a more relative progression: "deeper" and "more mature". Life = Growth. You want boring? Try staying in the same place for years on end, listening to, watching and reading the same old stuff. THAT'S boring. Moving on is exciting.

What were your favorite cartoons when you were a kid? While it may be fun to watch 'em now for a few minutes and reminisce, do you really think you could still sit in front of a TV for hours on end watching them now? (Please don't say yes.) And does the idea that you can no longer sit in rapt fascination while you watch Scooby Doo & Friends make you feel "boring and old"?

I didn't think so.

-- Anonymous, May 20, 2001

I agree with MichaelH. Popular music has always been a mixed bag for me. Today doesn't seem significantly different from the days of my youth. There's plenty of new stuff I enjoy and plenty that I cannot stand.

As for what's "cool," this has long been a pet peeve of mine. I mean, are these lyrics by the Stones really that great?

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane
And I howled at my ma in the driving rain,
But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas!
But it's all right. I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash,
It's a gas! Gas! Gas!

Ha! I think not.

With that said, I don't think it's entirely valid to quote lyrics and say a song necessarily sucks (or doesn't) because of them. There's a lot more to a song than just lyrics.

As for the badwerds, the Rolling Stones' Starfucker probably has the word 'fucker' in it more than any other song, and it was done in the early '70s. The bigger difference between then and now is they're actually playing songs with badwerds in them on the radio.

-- Anonymous, May 20, 2001

I was born in a cross-fire hurricane And I howled at my ma in the driving rain, But it's all right now, in fact, it's a gas! But it's all right. I'm Jumpin' Jack Flash, It's a gas! Gas! Gas!

I dunno. I think using "cross-fire" as an adjective instead of a noun is original. And "howled at my ma in the driving rain" evokes a strong image.

I stopped paying attention to rock and roll when REM became popular. So much nasal irony! It just rubs me the wrong way.

-- Anonymous, May 20, 2001

Pop died for me when irony and dissonance became hip. Rock 'n' roll isn't the medium for irony, and if I want something that's tough to listen to there's always C-span. I don't think I listened to ear candy, but you tell me -- I was always partial to Bruce Springsteen, John Hiatt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ani Difranco (her first few albums), and I played the Cowboy Junkies' "Trinity Sessions" and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians' album until the grooves wore out. These days I track down obscure bands, looking for a fresh sound that doesn't drip with overprivileged suburban malaise (currently have "Megamix Vol. 1" by Lokassa et Soukous Stars running on my CD player.

-- Anonymous, May 21, 2001

When I was a child in the 70s, I was a square. I liked The Lawrence Welk Show and Burt Bacharach. In the 80s, my musical tastes leaned towards Cyndi Lauper (as opposed to Madonna) and Duran Duran, and I can't quite account for the years between 13 and 15. They were the worst, across the board.

From age 15 to my late teens, I listened only to punk music and went to a lot of shows with the same friends. My early 20s are a blur; there's not much there worth remembering, musically, though in my mid- 20s I got into progressive house/trance.

Now I am almost 28, and listen to big band swing, female cabaret singers like Patricia Barber, some New Wave, and, rarely, punk, viz. The Ramones and Sex Pistols (you can't sing along to Darby Crash. If you can, there's something wrong with you). For the most part I like progressive house, especially when I work.

As for shows, I saw The Cramps a few years ago, Duran Duran last year, which felt odd, and dressed to the nines for a Burt Bacharach concert in 1997. Hell, I went backstage to meet him.

To answer the question, I don't listen to music aimed at young people, though certain similar-aged people at my workplace do. They think that they're keepin' it real, yo, and I think that they look ridiculous. We are engineers and should listen to Kraftwerk.

I've always been inherently square, though I feel fortunate to have seen The Ramones, with Joey, and can tell you that my (so-called) punk years were the only *real* fun I've had.

Great. Now I get to ruminate on that all day.

-- Anonymous, May 21, 2001

Here's my WinAmp playlist if that gives you any clue:


-- Anonymous, May 21, 2001

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