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previous: Psycho Bass Guy This is not a usual topic for amp b... -- 11/17/1999 5:34 AM View Thread

Re: Signs of Aging?

11/17/1999 8:49 AM
J. Crow
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Re: Signs of Aging?
Psycho, I both agree and disagree with you. (If the webmaster says "take this outside," I will respect that.). I would hardly call you an old fogey. You seem to have a reasonably level view of things and an open mind.  
 
I don't believe that it's a function of getting "old" that makes people naturally dislike the next generation's music. Hell, not only music; their values, ethics, fashion, politics, parenting techniques, and everything else seem to come under fire. And isn't it funny that every single 20th century generation claims to have started a sexual and musical revolution, saying that every subsequent generation owes them thanks? So why is that so?  
 
First of all, let's separate the men/women from the boys/girls here. Every generation has its innovators, and it also has the flocks of imitators that follow. So, how well do the re-inventors or imitators do? "Woo-hoo-hoo, it's all been done before." But some do it or reinvent it better than others. The key point is: if you're not one of the ultra-rare creative elite of your day, then whom do you follow? And how do you follow an act like that? How high do you set your sights? Perhaps the "sights" are lower in the late 90's than they used to be...perhaps not.  
 
Take the 1960's. The acknowledged creative giants of the day included The Doors, The Beatles, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and many others. They made music that may never be equalled in terms of innovation and sheer timelessness. By VERY stark comparison, relatively primitive forms of music flourished at the same time. Such as "garage" rock. Given the sheer genius of the Beatles, why would anyone in their right mind have liked "You Really Got Me?" Much less bought the album? What about Jan and Dean or hotrod/beach groups?  
 
OK, back to the '90's. The alt-rock revolution (arguably) caught public flame with Nirvana's "Nevermind." If you don't think that this is one great hard-rock/punk album, you need to check your head. Any idiot can hear echoes of the Kinks and The Sex Pistols in its choruses. Was it 100% original? Hell no. Did it set a new benchmark for rock music? Yes, it did.  
 
OK, jump back a bit. Where did Eddie Van Halen and Eric Johnson get their inspiration? You can argue the point, but basically it was Hendrix, right? Well, so, did they improve on the original patent or not? I would have to say, like them or not, YES they did.  
 
Here's where I agree with you Psycho: did the generation following Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails take their new and beloved brand of rock to new and original heights? So far, I would have to say: not really. I cite examples ranging from Creed to Orgy to Korn. They may think they kick ass, and their fans may agree. But I disagree.  
 
If all a kid has as "inspiration" is their Cranberries albums, they are doomed to set their phasers on "suck." And oddly enough, in this age of super-easy-to-get information, kids' exposure to music and art is more narrow than ever. You can blame whoever you want, from MTV to parents to public schools to the NRA.  
 
Today, any good looking moron who can play a powerchord and program a drum machine has a chance of putting out a gold record. Is that what pisses you off? It stings the hardworking folk to see a no-talent shithead succeed. Some might call it class-resentment, but I think it's a little more complex in our context. Some people object to an artist being marketed solely on the basis of their image and not their actual merit, and some consumers eat it up like it was ice cream.  
 
But is that unique to the late 1990's? Ever heard of The Monkees? There has always existed a demand for music that "sucks," and there always will.  
 
Which brings me back to the point of this wonderful BBS. There has always existed a demand for amps that suck, and there always will. OK, that's a ham-handed segue, but it's the best I can do, child of the 1990's that I am.  
 
JC