Music is Hard for Old People.
[I'm apparently in passive boycott of politics today. Sorry.]
I have wrestled for some years with the unavoidable truth: I find most of today's music odious. It's a familiar pattern: I hit my thirties, and that damn popular music started to bother me. Thanks to the consolidation of the recording industry, all the decent bands were driven underground, which meant fragmentation. Finding decent bands was more work than this old man wanted to go through. I had my Tom Waits, VU, my jazz. Good enough.
But then I got an iPod, and I decided to step tentatively back into the music fray. And I found ... I mostly didn't like what was out there. But mainly, it's because it's wildly overproduced and overcommercial. It seems to be sliding backward into the hooks and tropes of past epochs, but with less verve, more slickness, and far less kick-assity.
I don't delude myself that it was different in previous epochs. The 80s, when I came to music, was a terrible barren wasteland. Out of the muck rose a few post-punk bands, a few cool bands from across the pond (U2, Pogues), but mostly it was really terrible. I guess in all epoches, about 1% of the music is worth a damn, and everything else is terrible. But as youth, we have no discrimination. We don't understand that Duran Duran is a repackaged admixture of cliched melodies and bad hair. We haven't heard those repackaged admixtures three hundred and forty two thousand times yet, so we fall prey. But then we age, and the young bands come out with their music with lyrics about lovelorn days and we think, Good Lord, kid, you've been alive less time than some of the beers in the back of my fridge, and your caterwauling is simplistic and your "emotion" was something you picked up by listening to decent bands. Harder then to fall prey.
Anyway, I assume there is good music out there, and I would love to stumble across some of it. Any suggestions?