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Prepare for a Shock: Today’s Teens React to the Indie Music of the Early 2000s

There comes a moment in our lives when we realize that we’re no longer young again. I don’t mean mentally, although can fool ourselves that we’ll always feel and think young regardless of the number of times the planet has spun around the sun. But there will be that time–trust me on this–you will say “Today’s music isn’t as good as…OHMYGOD! I’M OLD!”

No matter how much you want to believe that the music of your youth continues to be relevant and cool, it is constantly being replaced by newer, cooler and more relevant stuff–at least according to people who are actually young.

Baby Boomers are still coming to terms that their music can now be classified at “oldies.” Many Gen Xers can’t quite wrap their heads around the fact that Green Day’s Dookie album is as a distant now as the Beatle’ Abbey Road when it was released. And if you’re in your mid-to-late 20s–Gen Y–you’re about to receive the same nasty shock.

Noisey sent someone out to talk to British teens–members of Gen Z–about indie rock of the early 2000s. The responses were…well, you’ll see.

The weirdest thing about reaching your mid to late 20s is the slow dawning realisation that you are no longer that youthful. I’m sorry to break it to you dude, but there’s a whole generation out there who are old enough to drink and fuck, but who do not care and cannot remember loads of stuff you do, like pre-Justin Timberlake era MySpace and low-rise jeans and the Olsen twins. People are born and then they get older and the world keeps spinning: that’s just how it works.

To that end, if you were a teenager during the early to mid 2000s, there is a high chance you are well-versed in a bunch of indie tracks that now feel depressingly distant. You will remember a time when problematic boys in skinny jeans who play guitars didn’t make people wince. You will remember when one of your mates earnestly carved the words “gin and tea cups” into their arm with a Stanley knife from the art department. You will remember when Dev Hynes wasn’t a New York pop producer but the heavy-fringed lead singer of Test Icicles. You will remember when Preston from the Ordinary Boys walked off Never Mind the Buzzcocks in a cardigan made from sequins. You will remember when the indie subculture was an integral part of the teenage experience, rather than a genre for unwoke dads.

Keep reading.

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 37880 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Prepare for a Shock: Today’s Teens React to the Indie Music of the Early 2000s

  • I work with a bunch of Millennials. One couldn’t name a Led Zeppelin song. Another didn’t know who the Sex Pistols were.


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