Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Day The Music Died

I’m wondering if I have fallen out of love with music.

Or, to be precise, new music. The discovery of it. The giving a go of new bands. The trying something new. I seem to have become as locked into the music of my formative years as my parents were when I was a kid.

Why does that happen?

When I was a teenager (though I came to record buying late) I was an avid music consumer. I would buy a batch of records every week. Singles, EPs, LPs, picture discs, I couldn’t get enough. I can remember going to a record shop in Birmingham and spending so much money that the shop assistant was kind enough to not ring the amount up on the till to save me from embarrassment. I must have blown an entire week’s wages in one go on rare records and collectibles. That seems so obscenely hedonistic now.

In no time at all I had built up an impressive collection of literally hundreds and hundreds of records (which I still own). They took over my entire bedroom. All of them boxed, alphabetized and inventorized. It was a collection that I lavished love and time on. And each weekend I’d carefully load up my turntable with my latest acquisitions, carefully wiping the dust off them with the special cloth I had bought for this purpose and savouring each hiss and pop of the needle swinging itself into the opening groove.

It was my life.

And then somehow, in the nineties, my expenditure dropped off, my interest waned and was pulled elsewhere. I moved on and got into other things. Books, computers, gadgetry, travel. The fact that the nineties were an awful decade for decent music only hastened me out of the scene.

And now, here in 2009, I’m somehow completely on the outside of it all. On the outside looking in but unsure of where the door is or if I even have enough interest to want to open it and step inside. A few new bands have caught my ear – The Doves, The Editors – but I haven’t gone as fanatically overboard on them as I did when All About Eve arrived on the music scene in 1985 or when Kate Bush released “Hounds Of Love” in the same year.

The passion for new music has left me.

My MP3 player is proof of this. The majority of its contents have been sucked from my CD collection and I’d say that 90% of that is from the eighties. I’ve become trapped in my very own time warp.

I’m no longer “down with the kids”. I’m looking at them and frowning at the infernal noise they listen to and dare to call music – much the same way, I suspect, as when my father just couldn’t appreciate the blisteringly fierce music of The Jam’s “Funeral Pyre” and dismissed it as tuneless rubbish. At the time his music of choice was Buddy Holly and Marty Robbins.

Is this the fate that has now befallen me?

Worryingly, checking my MP3 player this morning, I can’t fail to notice that “El Paso” is already on there...

*Sigh* It’ll be “Rave On” next.

And not in a cool way either.


31 comments:

Mark said...

Same here - except I was never quite as obsessed as you seemed to have been.

But I think this is good - it is so uncool to be one of those Dad's who tries to be trendy.

I sort of gave up after Prefab Sprout's second album and haven't moved on since.

PS I have a Matt Munro CD too - I play it in the car if the boys whinge on!

Steve said...

Mark: "hot dog, jumping frog...!" Using my old timer music as a punishment is a great idea. For severe punishments I could even roll out some Cilla Black...

Löst Jimmy said...

Steve I am most definitely in a musical timewarp, indeed genre-er, ahem warp? trap!

I am content in my little warp, it is safe here and besides there is just too much stuff to keep up with - and I am not talking about all that remix rubbish and pop idol (yawn) bollocks...oh now I am ranting, I didn't want to rant

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: you've probably hit on an important point: the important thing is contentment not containment. I might be in a bubble but it's a happy bubble.

Inchy said...

Steve, what you need to do is get a younger brother-in-law, preferably one that goes to more gigs than a music critic for The Metro.
I myself have access to one of these young people, and let me tell you, they're great for keeping you on your toes as far as new music is concerned.

"Have you heard a band called Cold Fusion?"
Or . .
"Do you want to go and see Penelope's Shed at King Tut's on Friday night?"

Myself and Student Boy will be off to see Placebo next week, although that's my choice as he considers them to be very mainstream.

Bloody kids.

Steve said...

Inchy: I was thinking I could let my kids have that honour. And then the eldest watched Cliff Richard on The One Show last night and admitted he quite liked the music. There is no hope for me.

missbehaving said...

I was never a huge music fan like you obviously were but I did once know what was going on,and looked forward to buying new stuff at the weekend, now, I think I've bought maybe 3 cds in the last decade.
The stuff on my ipod is SO lame I'm not even going to name names.
My kids clearly know I am totally out of it as one of them, watching 'Music Station' yelled out, 'Mum, have you evr heard of Jon Bon Jovi?'
I suppose time and money feed the desire and when kids come along you suddenly have neither.
I remember seeing a photo of my dad, he was with his friends, wearing drainpipes in a room surrounded by records, and I thought, 'where the Hell did that guy go', I grew up with 'turn that bloody racket down'.;)

Suburbia said...

All About Eve and Kate Bushs “Hounds Of Love”? What a fab year!

I know I've said it before but I'm sure it's all to do with having young children, they take up so much time you don't notice what's going on around you and before you know it, you are compleltly out of touch!

Now where's that Blondie album got to.......

Vicky said...

You are not alone, my iPod has mainly 60's, 70's and 80's with a smattering of later stuff

The Sagittarian said...

oh, you'll be dancing like your Dad next.

Steve said...

MissBehaving: time and money are a big part of it and I have neither to devote to concentrated music buying at the moment! I also think that when you're a teen you feel so outcast and alone that you look to make connections with music and bands and so the music means more to you during those years... then you grow up and get a real life and the music takes more of a backseat.

Suburbia: I'm proud to say I have The Best Of Blondie on my MP3 player and give her a spin quite often!

Vicky: your iPod is like a fine wine cellar in my opinion!

Amanda: what do you mean: next...?

Selina Kingston said...

Music?? That's not music. It's just a lot of loud noise with no tune and no rhythm. It needs turning down or it will create brain rot. I mean what's wrong with a nice bit of Abba - pretty songs that mean something....

(Oh! My! God! - I have turned into my father!)

Steve said...

Selina: I feel it would be very uncharitable of me to point out that my grandfather used to love Abba. So I won't.

;-)

Gina said...

Tee hee! I think it comes to us all.

I'm not too bad because of my children. They play loads of new stuff and I do get to like it and my iPod is quite eclectic.

But what I intend to address next year and what makes me feel old, is the fact that I never go to concerts anymore (well, I went to Cold Play this year - but that says it all really, doesn't it????) Whenever I go over to Rol's blog he makes me feel old and lazy cos he is always going to stuff. So next year I am going to book tickets!

Steve said...

Gina: I think the last gig I went to was Hinge & Brackett at the Spa Centre.

I think I might just kill myself right now.

Gypsy said...

You think you've got problems Steve. Wait til the boys grow up and they want to go and see the latest and greatest in concert and are too young to go by themselves.

I am going to see....wait for it....Taylor Swift next February and it cost me nearly $300 for the honour (me and the two kids).

Stay in that time warp as long as you can. I promise you will thank me for that advice in say 10 or so years.

Steve said...

Gypsy: I had to Google Taylor Swift. I suppose I ought to be thankful that I'm "with it" enough to be able to Google anything.

KAZ said...

Mostly true of me as well - except I recorded my stuff.
It was marrying a jazz fan that finished it.

Steve said...

Kaz: death by improv. What a way to go (I think I'd bow out before the trombone solo)...

Joe Bloggs said...

Total sync postRed.
Max me sink; buy, buy Miss American Pie, Whisky, Chevy, long time ago etc
Hears wot I was lissen 2

Steve said...

Joe Bloggs: I'll take Don McLean over Madonna any day of the week... thus proving that I am indeed turning into my father...!

Rol said...

Music is a young man's obsession. You'll never love any band as much as the ones you listened to when you were a teenager.

But that doesn't stop me trying.

Steve said...

Rol: I think connecting with a band or a scene is certainly more important to you when you're younger... I feel less inclined to connect with anything now that I'm older.

French Fancy said...

I also was firmly rooted in the past and then somehow I caught a Killers track on tv and the rest is history. From that it was a short hop to Muse and Elbow and now my ears are open to quite a lot of current bands. Brandon Flowers and the boys are still my favourites though

Nota Bene said...

I blame the MP3 player...too easy to listen to any music you like...I have an ipod but still prefer to have all my CDs laid out before me...hope you've listened to Florence and the Machine...

Steve said...

FF: actually, I have heard of The Killers and have liked what I've heard of them so far. Maybe there's hope for me yet?

Nota Bene: Damn. Haven't even heard of them. Hopes dashed immediately.

Inchy said...

Cheer up Steve, here's some Lego!

http://io9.com/5412239/a-black-friday-guide-to-lego-space-toys-through-the-years/gallery/

Steve said...

Inchy: sir, you are a gent. The sad thing is I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I own most of the sets featured.

Inchy said...

I never doubted it for a second.

A Write Blog said...

I've found my musical taste has broadened as I have got older.

When I was young it had to fit into a particular profile; mostly heavy rock of one kind or another. Anything else was 'uncool' or whatever the phrase was then.

Now I don't care. If I like the sound of it I'll listen and and maybe even buy it.

So, on the one hand I like Abba now. On th other bands like the Killers.

Steve said...

AWB: I think certain groups themselves improve or "become cool" with age - ABBA being a case in point. Once they were the ultimate pop cheese but now even Bono sings their praises as musical geniuses!