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If You Can’t Keep Up with New Music, Don’t Feel Too Bad

Our sweet spot for music are those crucial years between the time you enter high school and when you leave college. That’s when you have the most time, effort and desire to immerse yourself in music, which you then use as a way of projecting your identity to the rest of the world.

But then life starts to get in the way. Relationships. Kids. Mortgages. Jobs. It gets harder and harder to keep up with things the way you did. And it’s funny how new music doesn’t sound as good as it did in the good old days.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. It’s totally normal. Everyone goes through it.  But even if you can’t keep up with what the kids are into, you can still follow most of your favourite bands from back in the day. And you should never, every feel guilty about that. This is from Salon:

This year, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by making the pilgrimage to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to see Toad the Wet Sprocket. As a kid who grew up in the ’90s (and as someone predisposed to loving sentimental songs with jangly guitars), the band was always a prominent part of my life’s soundtrack. When I started discovering popular music in junior high, the mysterious, artsy videos for “All I Want” and “Walk On the Ocean” were all over MTV. Alternative radio played the heck out of “Something’s Always Wrong” and “Good Intentions,” while one of my favorite episodes of “My So-Called Life” used the turbulent “Fall Down” to represent the character Rayanne Graff’s sobriety slip. Both 1994′s “Dulcinea” and 1997′s “Coil” were BMG Record Club purchases that followed me from late high school all the way through Toad the Wet Sprocket’s breakup and on to my first adult full-time job; I still have distinct memories of listening to those albums in my office, high above a busy street in St. Louis.

While I was at that job, I met my husband, and one of the first shows I attended after we started circling around each other was a Toad the Wet Sprocket headlining gig, after they had reunited. (As he is an even bigger Toad fan, I bought him a sticker for his car as a wooing gesture.) In short, I’m exactly the type of fan vocalist Glen Phillips refers to in a recent interview, when asked about who’s coming to see the band these days: “A lot of people who liked us way back when we mixed with some new generations, which is great to see. The good thing about Toad was we were never fashionable, so the only reason to be into us was because the songs affected you.”

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38532 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “If You Can’t Keep Up with New Music, Don’t Feel Too Bad

  • I have shifted my thinking on this in recent years. I feel like there was a pattern of generational “I don’t get the music these kids are listening to these days” but there will be a change soon. If you go far enough back this kind of thing disappears. It’s only happened since the teen became a force in pop culture. In the last few generations we’ve had that kind of disconnect as people reach middle age. The difference that is happening now is that the last few generations are way more connected. Gen X to Millennials have lived in a connected world since their youth or for their entire lives. It’s a lot easier to know what the newest generation is up to since we have the internet. I’m not saying that old people will stay hip forever but the generations that weren’t concerned about current trends always disregarded current pop culture as garbage. it’s a different world. you can’t shock us with your music. We’ve lived though punk. So the cycle of the older generations not getting it will end. (at least for us cool people)


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