Thursday, 4 August 2011
Rambling (Rant) Rose
I feel like I might be the last of a dying breed.
While most of my peers will claim to be music lovers, and some do go to gigs and rave about bands, I seem to be the only one who isn't content with accepting what is placed down in front of me.
When I hear a band I don't just take them at face value.
I want to know how they tick.
What it was that took them from picking up instruments to finally reaching my ears.
Who influenced them, and who influenced that band to.
I have a compulsion to get right back to the root of it all.
This curiosity is now an ingrained habit, but it's not a bad one.
This need to get to the root has introduced me to many bands that I may never have known existed.
Take the Rolling Stones for instance.
Listening to them, and then reading about their influences set me on a path that took me to Buddy Holly, then Chuck Berry, and from Chuck I went to Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters and from there I ended up listening to Robert Johnson.
(You can get a complete recordings compilation from 1936 of his work for about three quid in Fopp).
Now how many sixteen year old guys, or girls, do you think are listening to The Devils Blues in 2011 as I am right now.
I find this whole deconstruction of influences from what I hear hugely enjoyable.
It's all part of having some musical appreciation.
From listening to the music to researching the bands histories on the internet makes me feel part of a rich seam of musical history.
It's a great shame that very few others of my age are doing the same though.
Here's where this turns into a bit of a rant.
To be blunt about it their lack of interest in anything apart from what is in the here and now does my head in.
Ask a hundred random teenagers who Woody Guthrie is and they would answer the question with another and that would be 'who?'
That's just wrong on so many levels.
They can listen to the Gaslight Anthem name check Joe Strummer as 'Woody' but never ask themselves why Woody, or from there discover Strummers appreciation of Guthrie.
It's difficult to express what I feel about this without coming across like an old man stuck in a young man's body, but where is the musical appreciation now?
I feel like the last man standing of my generation.
If this is a brave new world then I'll stay on the outside of the city walls looking in thank you very much.
Most people I know would rather listen to Lady GaGa, Li'l Wayne and Eminem than say Creedence Clearwater Revival, and while that is up to them I wonder why they can't find just twenty minutes in a day to give something else a go.
The ignorance of the past is mind boggling.
If musical knowledge was measured in a similar fashion to an IQ test then the results would match a retarded brain dead chimps.
My peers, in the main, think that everything started with Nirvana. That every single current guitar band sprung from the loins of Kobain.
Now where does that come from?
Of course they are influenced by Nirvana, but likewise Nirvana were influenced by everyone from Bowie to The Vaselines, from The Smears to The Meat Puppets.
It angers me that most of those around me are unaware of this.
It's as if they are looking at the world through a crack in a door and the door I'm looking through is at least a quarter open.
The only person I personally know who has similar tastes in music to me is my dad, or should I say I have similar tastes to him.
A big rambling mess of music is there to be sampled and I'm jumping headlong into it while my peers aren't even dipping a toe in to check the temperature.
Now this is where I can get a bit more serious because after reading all that take it a step further and consider the attitude that my peers have about music and transplant it onto daily life.
Scary thought isn't it?
There is no history. Nothing to be learned from the past.
Is it any wonder that I can sometimes feel that my generation is fucked and I'm trapped with them as they rush headlong into an uncertain future that doesn't look too bright.
I could be accused of being a stroppy teen moaning about no one liking the music that I do, but wouldn't that be missing the point, and arrogantly rude to discount my opinion due to my tender years.
If I was to tell you that I know people of sixteen, seventeen and eighteen who don't know who the prime minister is would that shock you?
What if I was to say that certain people I know are oblivious to the phone hacking scandal?
I am being serious here.
Amy Winehouse dies and twats tweet, while the news that a deluded maniac has gone ape shit barely causes a ripple.
I live in a world where Kate Price/Jordan is a celebrity and Woodie Guthrie doesn't exist.
Now there is something very wrong about that.
When did this dismissal of the past start to take root. Or has it always been this way?