Sunday, May 22, 2016

Why You Need To Start A Band. Right Now.

Earlier tonight I was at a pub in the area where they had live music. It wasn't terrible (that may or may not be too generous a statement) but I took note of the fact that the band wasn't exactly young and only played classic rock, which isn't a bad thing, just not exactly what people around my age are typically looking to go see. (Regardless, me being the old soul that I am, I still knew the lyrics to almost every song and did indeed sing along with them. You may not mock me.)

With this in mind I came home and started looking for bands in the area, because I felt like I needed to see some good live stuff. First I took the line-up list for that pub in particular and Googled every one of them for this month. Some weren't too bad, some kind of sucked, and in one instance I audibly screeched an obscenity before closing the YouTube tab.

What every band had in common though was that they were all roughly between 35 and 60 years old and played classic rock with a little country here and there (and the Lord knows how I feel about country music).

But I was determined. And so proceeded to search for more bands. Bands in this area, bands in the city, bands in other cities. And every single one that I came across had these same attributes: older, classic rock, jazz, country, and not a single squeak of pop, punk, hip hop or alternative in sight.

I find this really disappointing, but not exactly surprising. Not too long ago, before the modernization to touch screens and vapid entertainment, kids more often than not formed bands. Without the distraction of Instagram and Twitter, people my age would discover what they really liked musically (not just whatever is on the Billboard) and would get together and make music.

The only bands you would see were high school or college groups and they didn't play pub-style classic-rock covers (really guys, a person can only take so much of Pour Some Sugar On Me).
They formed new genres of music and created original material that related well with people their age.

Bands starting out in college or earlier always have the advantage because the majority of music buyers are young and everyone wants music from people they can relate too. And how can you relate any better than with a band that is your age, singing about all the same angsty self-absorbed problems that you have? (It also doesn't hurt that 20 year old lead singers are usually cuter than 60 year old ones).

Let's take Nirvana for example.  Forming when Kurt Cobain was a mere 20 years old and Krist Novoselic was 22, the band went on to birth the entire genre of Grunge.
I think basically all the lyrics to Lithium had enough self-hate malaise to fuel every college kid in America, if not the world, which made them relatable.

The Ramones, essentially pioneers of Punk were just kids too. When the band started Johnny was 26, DeeDee was 23, Joey also 23, and Tommy was 25.

Their schtick was probably mostly that they literally walked around looking like how hormone-filled youngsters feel 99.999999999999% of the time.

But you don't see young Kurt Cobain's out at the bars anymore and you don't see young Ramones starting chaos for a bunch of fellow college kids in a music club.

You do however find a group of four 50-somethings named Mike, Dave, Ed, and Craig, in almost any bar at any given time, performing Free Bird three times in one set.


Therefore, the reason good music will die will be because all the possible little Kurt Cobain's out there, barely getting buy in college, were too busy with their selfie sticks to go out and change the world.

Kurt's famous suicide note ended with the Neil Young quote "It's better to burn out than to simply fade away." and I truly believe we could be suffering the latter fate here. We are simply fading away into electronic Millenial-Pop, pioneered by the guys auto-tuning Drake's #1 hits.

So to all the 20-somethings out there that have been looking for their destiny: maybe you can be the person to save the music world. Because no one else seems to be doing it.

And "hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go insane",


*Above: the Ramones looking like our young depressive raging souls

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