I don’t listen to modern music anymore. These days, when I’m in the car or on the bike, the radio is tuned in to one of the Pandora stations I created for myself. My tastes run toward the blues, alternative country, and 1960s and early 70s rock -n- roll instead of the hip hop stuff popular in 2020. I stopped listening to local radio when they got rid of the classic rock station. The only time I tune in is when the weather turns bad, and I need to know if there is a tornado or snowstorm on the way.
I don’t listen to modern music anymore. When Rooster and I hung around the house during our self-imposed quarantine, the soundtrack for our adventure came from one of the CDs in our collection or Pink Floyd videos on UTube. We spent whole evenings watching old music documentaries such as The Last Waltz. This movie, directed by Martin Scorsese, became a tribute to the final concert of The Band. At night when we spent time on the patio, we listened to one of our Pandora stations.
Does that make me old?
As a child of the sixties, I grew up on a mix of old-time rock-n-roll. Music, as varied as Greenwich Village folk to Motown, became the soundtrack of my formative years. The Beatles and the Mamas and Papas competed with the country and western popular with my mother’s generation on every car radio driving down the street. A good time as a teenager in a small town on a Saturday night always included cruising with the radio turned up loud. The dial would always be tuned in to one of the top 40s stations unless you were lucky enough to have an eight-track tape player. For a couple of bucks, a good time could be had by all.
I tuned out the disco music of the 70s, opting for the sounds of The Allman brothers instead. I tuned back in during the 80s and 90s, but I lost interest in popular music as we moved into a new century.
The reasons why I don’t listen to modern music.
There were three reasons for my shift in musical preference. Firstly, the evolution of the cellular phone gave me a wide range of musical options in the palm of my hand. I wasn’t stuck with the local radio station force-feeding me the music industry’s top 40 hits. Secondly, the music being made recently seems overproduced and uninspired. Thirdly, I realized I now had a choice about the music I listened to over my radio.
The big question I ask myself these days is, does my choice in music make me old? I remember the older generation describing the music I listened to as a teen as nothing but noise. The Beatles shook up America with their British Invasion. They showed up on the Ed Sulivan Show with their long hair and electric guitars and changed music forever. Now, their music has become today’s classics.
Maybe I just have better taste
Maybe it’s not a case of old age but a superior taste that keeps me away from modern music. A while ago, Rooster and I were driving in our Chevy Spark with one of our seventeen-year-old granddaughters. (We have four granddaughters born in the same year. Two in the group are twins.) One of our Pandora radio stations played over the car radio. She asked us for our playlist because all the music in her generation sucked.
Her statement led me to believe maybe it’s not my age but a discerning ear that keeps me away from modern music. I don’t detest the sound of Hip Hop. The music simply fails to hold my interest when I have the choice of listening to something else.
Problem with the arts these days
The arts these days are filled with people afraid to take a risk. It’s rare to walk into a movie theatre and see a picture that isn’t a remake of a classic or a television series. Art and music are made according to what is selling these days. It’s hard to find a story written by a new author in bookstores. (If you can indeed find a brick and mortar bookstore in 2020.) The industries which control what we see, hear, read, and watch worry about the bottom line. They won’t take a risk on the unknown factor, which turns the mainstream into art.
The void of originality and creativity leaves the door wide open for Indie artists to walk in and steal center stage. I’ve read many Indie books that told a great story. I’ve heard music from Indie bands that sounded intriguing. The graffiti painted on the side of buildings is often better than the paintings hung in art galleries. Art will always exist because of the need inside of the artist to create. To journey down dark pathways where no one ever walked before. They take the road less traveled and come up with something fresh and new.
I don’t listen to modern music anymore because my ear longs for something else. A sound that tells a story and can touch my heart. I’ve heard it said music is emotion put into sound. I don’t remember who said it, but they spoke the truth. The problem with today’s music is it has no soul.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
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