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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When We Were the . . . um, young adults?

I still don't like to refer to teenagers and college students coming out to punk and hardcore shows as "kids." A few years ago, I did a lengthy rant about this, and my opinion still stands. That said, when I encountered a title that fits perfectly for my next book, I made an exception.

My friend Kyle had a band called Hirudin and one of their songs was called "When We Were the Kids." The song was recorded but never released as Hirudin. The band broke up before they put it out. However, since two-thirds of Hirudin were in Snd On Snd and Snd On Snd played the song live, it made sense when they released the song on a split-7-inch with J Church. So, this great song did see the light of day, and I still really, really wanted to use the song's title for my second book. Besides, When We Were the Young Adults just doesn't sound right.

It's been years since I've heard the song, but basically, the lyrics touch on what it's like to be young and getting into music beyond what mainstream outlets play. Kyle and I had different experiences growing up around the Houston area in the '90s (he got to see Jawbreaker and Rancid play in tiny non-venues; I didn't). But just the basic idea of being young and new to the world of local and independent music is enough to justify using the title.

Not to be a teary-eyed, nostalgic thirty-year-old, but something I didn't have a lot of exposure to when I was a teenager was people my age being incredibly snooty about music in general. When you and your friends are just getting into bands you've never heard of, and you're not aware of terms like "hipster" and "scenester" or genres like no wave and grime, things seem new and really exciting. I wanted to revisit a time when you didn't know the difference between Pink Floyd circa Dark Side of the Moon and Pink Floyd circa A Momentary Lapse of Reason or when you didn't think of Stone Temple Pilots as a Pearl Jam knockoff. Basically, you were just forming your identity as a person and a music fan. Now that's interesting to me and worth exploring.

So, my "kid" stance stands. I do not understand why a member of Panic at the Disco would call a member of the band's audience a "kid" when he or she might be only two or three years younger than him. I don't believe that pop-punk, hardcore, post-hardcore, and emo plays only for a "kid" audience. I think of kids as people who have yet to reach adolescence, not people who have yet to know what A Love Supreme, Bowie's Berlin trilogy, and Minor Threat's Salad Days are. But with a great title like When We Were the Kids for a book, I just can't pass this up.

1 comment:

wkramseyiii said...

I'm pretty stoked on the concept of this book based upon this and your other posts.