Sunday, 25 March 2012

I have out grown you . . .

So, with my own mortality thrust into my face, see my last post, I have been reflecting on how things move on. Whilst this is definitely true as we grow older and things like our taste in clothes changes, well hopefully, it is not true for a lot of people in their music tastes. A lot of people like what they liked at a certain stage in their life and that is it.

My explanation for this has always been that because a lot of people are only really interested in Pop music, they equate music to fashion, and as their interest in the latest fashions, not just clothes, starts to fade so does their interest in listening to new music. I do not think any of us are immune to this frankly. People still listen to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Cure, Nirvana etc etc.Whilst it is definitely true they were fashionable at one stage, people who aren't interested in that sort of stuff still go back to them because the music has become part of them in a sense to which they define themselves. I wonder if that is because at some point all of the the above mentioned bands were in fact anti-fashion?

But what happens when you no longer have that connection to the music? What about when you need to pick up and leave because the relationship you have has grown stale? Stale like those old couples you see having dinner and only staring at each other across the table in some sort of can't be bothered , not much in common, I think I may actually resent you, but I am not sure I have given it that much thought,  type of way . . .

Some Music

So that song and indeed the mighty Zep encapsulate the point to me. I really loved that song and that album when I was abut 19 to about 30. It was full of all kinds of rural and mystical imagery. But the thing is I have lived in the city, actually the large cities since then. Over time the connection with the countryside has gone and while it is nice to hear the song again, when it comes up on shuffle, I shuffle past. Why would this be? The song clearly hasn't changed, so using my incredible powers of deduction I have to make the leap to the fact that I have changed.

I think it has to be the simplest answer really. It is because the things in your day-to-day life change. You get bored with yesterday's information after a while and look to new things. This doesn't mean having to listen to the latest top 40 by the way, but finding different music with the same sound. For example when I played this song, now a global number 1, to some people who had never heard it, they described it as sounding like a song from the 60s or 70s. Is that why it is so popular? Because it is a new song with an old sound?

Despite the afore-mentioned incredible powers of deduction I do not think that I am particularly special when it comes to this sort of thing. A lot of men, well if you pay any attention to the media, there are no real men like our fathers anymore, so men, tend to listen to a lot of very angry music when they are younger. over time this tends to fade as the anger goes. I know a lot of people who were into more guitar based heavier music at one stage in their late teens, that would laugh at it now.

I hasten to add, this is not me. You don't listen to Slayer for one summer and then move on. Nor do Tool and Opeth leave the place under your skin where they burrowed.

But if I was to listen to NWA or even to Eninem now it can sound a little stereotypical in the way it portrays anger and aggression, it sounds a bit like a parody to be honest.

I am not trying to suggest that it was not a real and powerful message at the time. It was. But I didn't grow up in the ghettos of LA or Detroit and so I never really related to the actual content of the music. I related to the machismo and the anger of the sentiment. I am older now and perhaps do not feel the need to show how tough I am to the outer world.  It is interesting this, the whole, 'I am tough, look at me' idea that a lot of young men have at some time. Not all do, I completely appreciate this. But a lot do. It is called testosterone and it does its job . . .

Whatever, the point is we outgrow music. We leave it behind. It just no longer speaks to us in the way that it used to.

The good thing is we find other things to replace it. Which I will talk about in my next post.

What have you left behind?

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