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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Help the Aged

Reading through the most recent issue of Alternative Press, I came across a quote in a review that really struck me:

Fire, Blood, Water's tracks burst with the kind of fuzzbombs and jangly riffs found on your parents' old Replacements and R.E.M. records, but feel as fresh and innovative as the latest iPod jam.
Your parents' old Replacements and R.E.M. records? I couldn't believe it at first, but then it sunk in: those who grooved to Let It Be and Murmur when they first came out are old enough to have teenagers. I'm curious what kinds of conversations parents like these have with their kids about music. But, there is a stumbling block that often rears its head.

For some reason, a lot of children resist a lot of things that their parents were into when they were their age. What is newer/closer in age to younger people is often more appealing than something older. This definitely applies to music. There are exceptions (like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Who, etc. in the case of music), but a lot of older stuff is often seen as past its relevance point by a younger generation because it's, well, "old."

In my eyes, it's pretty amazing to go back through your parents' record collection and give certain stuff another listen. In my case, I've never sunk my teeth into the big band music that my father likes, but I've always liked other stuff my parents played for me when I was younger. Growing up, I identified with the Top 40 music of the '80s a little more, but I didn't dismiss older music because it was older. I still fancy those Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Diamond and John Denver hits, among other stuff. In those cases, those songs get better with age and they are often introductions to the original albums they came from.

There are definitely differences between the musical generations, but the approaches haven't really changed. There are people that have to play/listen/write music and/or there are people that want to become famous because of music. There's always a sense of rebellion in some form or another; it's a part of human nature. It's important to understand that it's always going to be there. In other words, those that sang along and identified with the Replacements' "Kids Don't Follow" back in '82 can still identify with it now. Maybe their kids can identify with it too.

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