Monday, May 4, 2009

Rant #1: Today's Music

I was born in 1957, right in the middle of the first era of rock and roll. We are talking about Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry, and all the rest.

Fast foward. I just turned 52. My wife and I are raising a son in the current era of rock and roll (if that is what you want to call it). This era's musical heroes: 50 Cent, T.I., Coldplay, Pink ...

Get the picture? I cannot stomach today's music, if that is what you want to call it. There are no melodies, nothing to sing along to, and well, to me, the music is crap (get it c-rap=crap).

Yes, I guess I am an old fuddy duddy, but how can you compare the trash around today with what we heard when we were kids?

My son listens to all different types of music, but like most kids today, he leans toward what is currently popular, meaning rap and what I like to call yelling and screaming music. These "artists" complain about everything under the sun, but do they really know what suffering is?

Yes, I know there were probably similar complaints when Elvis became popular, and when the Beatles came on the scene. Certainly, our parents turned their noses at the Rolling Stones and any music with drug references.

But c'mon--you could chide those artists' appearance, but could you really argue that their music was unlistenable?

I know what my son is listening to, but it is very hard to police. He is 13, and this is what kids are listening to. I can't really argue with him, because he also listens to the aforementioned Beatles, and a lot of 1960s and 1970s artists.

And, by the way, while I am ranting, wasn't it more fun--and more artistic--to sing about the "act" rather than say it right out loud, and do it so vulgarly?

Everyone knows what the songs are about, and have been about for generations. But to come out and say it--well, that is just not very artistic, is it?

I blame both the artists and record companies for allowing this trash to rear its ugly head, but we as a society have to take the blame too, because we allow this garbage into our homes.

Believe me, I am not for standing over artists, telling them what to say, and threatening lawsuits and other actions. It is just that the artists of other generations, with less artistic freedom, got their point across in a much more elevated fashion.

Is there any music out there today, being created by younger artists, that is listenable?

(By the way, I don't want to make this another music blog, this is just a subject that I would like to address here--other subjects will follow, I promise!)


  1. You've got 20 years on me and I can't say that I disagree.

    To me the problem with music (and most other forms of entertainment and media) is greed. If they find out that music will sell better if it has profanity, less talent, or an accordion, so be it. Most people will buy up whatever's presented to them as being "it", so I only partly blame the masses for a lack of taste in eating this stuff up. There was a time when those responsible for entertainment content (producers, artists, companies) held themselves to a certain standard in terms of content. That's long gone in the chase for the almighty dollar, which is sad.

    There's still good music out there. There's ALWAYS good music out there. It's just harder to find, and not usually the stuff that gets crammed down everyone's throats on radio and TV.

  2. I bought a lot of new popular music up through 2000. It became to hard to find good "new" music.
    So I found myself buying more and more Gospel music. Today I only buy Gospel, folk and older music. Most new music is trash. We do not let it into our home.

  3. Yes, I would have to agree with that. I feel the standards have fallen, and people will gravitate toward what they are fed, because it is easier to do this than to search out things.

    I also blame radio, but that is another rant that I plan on doing in the future.

  4. I do see a lot of people moving away from rock and pop to other music. I can't see myself doing it, but you never know.

  5. Heya Larry - thanks for your new blog. Although I love the music of the 50's and 60's and earlier(you have great taste) music in most genres, I think this post is pretty unfair. There is always good music, and lots of current music is good. I don't see characterizing current music as trash as being any more valid then parents in the 50's calling Elvis trash. The chase for the almighty dollar has always been there. It's nothing new. I'm looking forward to your next post, even though I disagree with you here:).

  6. Bobb:
    Perhaps I didn't say it the way I wanted to, but the music being pushed to the kids today is pretty much garbage. I am sure there is good stuff to be found, but when you take a look at the popular tunes, you see a lot of recycled stuff and a lot of rap, which has been heralded as an art form but is garbage, pure and simple. Again, there is a lot of music out there that has validity, but you won't hear it on the radio, and you probably won't see it on a 13 year old's iPod.

  7. I don't mean to be harsh here but i still disagree.

    There has always been recycled music. All music builds on previous musical tradition. I don't like most rap, but rap is not "garbage pure and simple". Check out the Yazoo Roots of Rap CD's. It's true that most of todays best music isn't played on the radio, but that's true of 50's and 60's music as well. Most of the great music from your newsgroups isn't played on the radio either.

  8. Dear Bobb:
    You are right to a point, but I don't think rap--or at least the current version of this genre--is any great shakes. If you want to hear the real good stuff, listen to James Brown, or any of the black DJs that popularized "rapping" on their radio shows in the 1950s.

    And don't worry about being too harsh--this is a place to get down and dirty (no curse words thoug), so fire away if you disagree!



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