Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remember when... truly affected our lives? Most won't. If you were born in the 90s and grew up with (c)rap, pop, or hip-hop, then you can probably only recall music that spews music only about love, sex, or, in the case of (c)rap "music," murder, abuse, and money.

I, in turn, grew up when rock-n-roll talked about more than just love, although love was certainly a repeating theme. I mean, how many couples adopted REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling" as their official song? (Forgive Kevin's Cronin's mullet. It was actually popular at one time.) And if you wanted to feel heartache, despite the song's faster beat through the body of it, there was always something like Styx's "Don't Let It End."

In terms of songs that didn't talk about love, you had bands like Saga, singing about, of all things, a gambling addiction in "Wind Him Up." They also had a song about growing up and facing the realities of adulthood in "Goodbye Once Upon a Time." (That was my interpretation of the song. According to Wiki, Michael Sadler wrote it about his late father; something I can see in the song, as well.) Rush was also notorious for addressing sociological issues, and was still doing it come the 90s with songs like "You Bet Your Life" and "Nobody's Hero." In fact, when I bought their album, Counterparts, "Nobody's Hero" shook me like no other song in quite some time.

Of course, if you wanted utter nonsense, but still fun rock-n-roll, "The Seven Seas of Rhye" fit nicely. And most of the time, I had no idea what Yes was singing about, but their music was utterly amazing. Even when they briefly split, a song like "Order of the Universe" had my jaw scraping along the floor with the level of talent tucked into its workings. (It should be noted that, since I was a late bloomer in so many aspects of life, Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe was he very first concert I ever went to see. Also, my idea of the order of the universe was, "ham on rye, light mayo, no cheese.") "Order of the Universe" was my favorite song on the album, and you have to listen carefully, but there is a most amazing guitar-playing that kicks in at 6:45 on the video I linked. It doesn't last long,

Pink Floyd, Yes, Queen, Saga, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Night Ranger...These were some of my favorite bands, and listening to them brings me back to a time when I was quite troubled, but also surrounded by great friends. Some of the music I listened to was heavily basted in love and the consequences thereof, while other parts were simply about life, or aspects of life. It seems like today's musicians are only concerned about relationships. The only new performer coming close is Chris Daughtry, and...

Well, before Becky and I were truly involved, she went to her first concert, which was Daughtry. His song, "September," takes me back to those "good old days." Me, Bryan, Terence, and Rick wandering the town of Wantagh, nothing to do but dwell on the fantasies churning in our heads.

Yeah...I miss those days when I was young and fit...and my greatest concern was whether or not I had enough money to fill up the tank so we could go for aimless cruises, blasting the music we loved so much.

I remember when...Do you?

Be well, and DFTBA.


Raistlin said...

Bon Iver
Real Estate
The Mountain Goats
Neutral Milk Hotel
The Magnetic Fields
Broken Social Scene
The Middle East
Arcade Fire
Kanye (Like him as a person or not, he's one of the most socially conscious rappers ever)
Marilyn Manson (Again, like him or not, but he certainly doesn't make vapid music)
LCD Soundsystem

Good, intelligent music isn't gone. It's just a bit harder to find.

Zeb The Troll said...

I respectfully disagree ... with both of you.

Raistlin's right that good, intelligent music isn't gone, but I don't think you have to look that hard to find it either.



I was going to provide examples then realized everything I was coming up with was pre 2000. That doesn't change my stance, though. I know I've heard new stuff that I've really liked that wasn't about relationships, but, as you may have guessed, my main radio station is talk radio, so I've not kept up with who's singing what in probably 15 years. Someone else can probably provide recent mainstream examples of songs that aren't "ooh I love EWE" or "bebe dun leave meh!"

Some bands that I can think of off the top of my head that are more recent than most of your examples, however, are Metallica, Matchbox20, They Might Be Giants, Skid Row, Pearl Jam, The Meat Puppets, and Godsmack.

arguskos said...

Caro Emerald.
Parov Stelar.
Gipsy Kings.

That's in five seconds based on a brief scan of my current playlist. Yeah, not buying this one, Rob. :P

If your only point was "rap is kinda pointless" then you'd ge no argument here, except oh wait, Bubba Sparks likes to rap about raising his kids right and atoning for past mistakes, so guess we have to generalize that further. I will say that like 99% of pop and rap are pretty vapid, but there is a TON of moving and powerful music out there. Also, with the power of the Internet, you can hear all the old classics and learn from those too.

So, yes, I DO remember when. It was five minutes ago.

"Blue" said...

OMG! Yes! I went to one of their concerts! I was on the side that Rick Wakeman was at. Gods. That man can PLAY that keyboard.