Posted by: oceannah | November 12, 2012

Got Music?

Am I  getting old or is the music just crap?

It is possible that it’s just me.  That I’ve just reached that age where the music of my kid is so annoying and inane that I would rather have a root canal without anesthesia.  On the other hand it is also possible that the music is just not good.

Ok, I know ‘good’ is pretty darn subjective.

We have an agreement while driving that I get the radio controls on the out journey and my daughter gets them on the return journey.  It is balanced, and provides a window into the world of teen music. NOtice I did not say this was an easy arrangement.

It is pretty hard to believe that a child who cut her teeth (literally) at CSNY shows, Phil Lesh and Friends, Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Festival, and Dylan (albeit not some of his best shows).  This child who we’ve exposed to folk/rock/classical/ Spirituals/Jazz/old time mountain music, who sang in our homeschool chorus with the name “Songs of Peace, Freedom and Praise” could turn out to be a top 40’s teen.  A child who used to belt out Patsy Cline’s I Fall To Pieces… A teen running at top  speed in the opposite direction of dear old mom & dad…shocking news, not.

It is not that I object to the music per say…I just don’t see the point in pretty much any of it.  Most of it is run through electronic software to improve the quality and/or to add ‘supposed’ interest to otherwise boring music.  There, I said it, boring.  Yesterday Chris Brown was on the radio and the lyrics of the song contained 4 words…f.o.u.r.  Repeated over and over again with some, shall I be kind and  say, interesting electronics overdubbed.  Beiber’s Baby baby baby oh, oh…  and other current top 40 artists whose names I’d rather not know, with similarly shallow music.  One Direction gets a few points from me for having some songs with more than four words repetitively rehashed.

When I was a teen it was all about the lyrics, not just the sound.  Dylan’s Visions of Johanna was a favorite.  It is a long song with vast amounts of words, some polysyllabic, with almost no repeats.  I liked artists who had something to say.  It seems to me that today’s pop artists are merely engaged in the business of creating some sound and collecting a check.

The first music I have a recollection of intentionally listening to (as opposed to just background sound) was the music of my uncle.  Music that used to be called Country Western, the old school stuff…Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams.  I still like that music today.  Is there anyone cooler than Johnny Cash?  I detest the current ‘country’ music.  Probably for the same reason I don’t care for the top 40 stuff.  Seems to me that most current country music is on par with the pop stuff…mere sound passing as music.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree I’ve been told.  So I have some solace that my child’s musical house is built on a solid foundation of what I would term well crafted music.  Music that has something to say.





  1. I couldn’t agree more. And with Chris Brown’s abuse history, I turn the radio off when I hear him. I do like Aleisha Keyes and Beyonce, although some of Beyonce’s current stuff is also very repetitive.

    • Yeah, I hear that Sandi…music to abuse by, blech…

  2. I totally relate. I’m just like you. My older son, when he came into his own, and got an iPod and iTunes account, started collecting dance beats. He listened to a few good songs, Stevie Wonder’s (the first concert I ever went to) “Superstition,” and Michael Jackson’s (we didn’t fall for some of his music till after he died, unfortunately) “Black and White,” a couple of Springsteen and Tina Turner rock songs, but, mostly the dance electronic stuff. It was so repetitive I went out of my mind, and kidded him mercilessly mocking the repetitive nature. But, at least he wasn’t a hard core rap freak. And the pop stuff today would have also done me in. My other son started listening to my iPod and at 15, he would have said Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra where two of his top ten favorite artists. Today, though it’s very bad for the music industry, these kids all get free downloads of songs or remixed versions of songs. I used to battle about what they were spending a month downloading songs from iTunes, but, now they get everything for free. Good for us, bad for artists. Because my 17 year-old is composing his own music on Garage Band, his taste is very wide and there is usually something I like during one car trip. 🙂 Hang in there! – Kaye

    • blame it on the ipods hahah :O all this started w/ the pod

  3. Under the influence of I grew up listening to CSN, Joni Mitchell, the Stones, Dylan, and of course The Beatles, all of whom I still love. When I became a teenager I started listening to punk rock, which my parents thought was utterly without merit and insane, and which I still love. I don’t understand most current top 40 music either, but I understand your kid’s ability to hear good music where you only hear simplistic garbage. Consider that she’s keeping up with her own generation. Especially if she was home-schooled, the allure of the mainstream and understanding what kids her age are into is not just normal, it’s healthy. She’s going to have to run the world with these people eventually!

    • Agreed Sara, totally normal/age appropriate just hard on the mama 😉

  4. Ah, aren’t teenagers wonderful?
    But so glad you ended this way! Somedays KNOWING that is the only thing that keeps me going…

    • In general the teenagers I know are in fact pretty remarkable folks. Just can’t stand their music.

      • Funny story, we have a young (19) man living with us, he is doing an internship with our church…when he arrived I had my Pandora set to I think Jack Johnson station. It happened that a Dave Matthews song was playing…He told me later that he knew it would be a good year and we were an ok host family… But I don’t really like the teeny bop music…but in general I like a lot of types of music. None of mine are teens anymore!

      • ahhh….yes DMB is great too! Alas, my dd just got her CD of the latest One Direction. It’s not horrible, kinda cute if cloying 😉

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