A View From The Tower

Music: Old VS New

October 28th, 2014 by Raven Garcia

I was recently involved in a debate on a Facebook group which a few of my friends are members of, and took fire for making a statement along the lines of “If it was recorded after 1990, chances are it sucks”.

Obviously I’m not implying that ALL music recorded after 1990 sucks, although this was how it was interpreted by most of the people on the group. I am simply of the view that although most things do improve over time, music (in general) is not one of them.

I say in general because it is not the case for every genre of music – take hip hop for example. There is some really good hip hop being produced at the moment, the whole genre having come full circle now that most rappers have grown up a bit and gotten over the fact that they aren’t actually gangsters that gun people down on a daily basis. Now you’ve got people like Action Bronson, who as well as being a rapper also happens to be a top chef. This guy replaces gun bars with food bars, and if that sounds just a little gimmicky, give him a listen and you’ll see what I mean. The dude raps about what he’s passionate about. Shit – Public Enemy did that.

That Flavor Flav’s one attracive fellow.

Of course, everybody’s taste is different, and when and where you were born is obviously going to affect your tastes in all things, music, food, fashion, you name it. Perhaps in that sense I am a bit of an anomaly. I was born in 1985, yet I’d say more than half the songs on my iPod were recorded well before then.

I’d say my music taste is fairly diverse, encompassing classic rock, metal, rap, prog, folk, soul, ska, punk and some classical – but if you had to pin me down, my favourite band is Led Zeppelin. As I said on the thread, I think that bands such as them and Deep Purple and Pink Floyd set the bar so high that nobody else is ever even going to come close. But that’s just my opinion.

I took some criticism for my views but I’m not moaning about it, I enjoy a good intelligent debate. It’s fair to say that the people on that group obviously know their shit (if you can look past the ones that are fixated on early Marillion and Peter Gabriel). Some very valid points were made – one member commented that every decade had its fair share of shit, another pointed out that “You don’t stop discovering new music when you grow old, you grow old when you stop discovering new music”. If this is the case then I need to discover some new music. I’m 30 in April and not ready to grow old just yet.

But where to even start? Let’s just list some of the bands that were cited as examples of good new music on that group. I’ll admit that I’ve not heard of a lot of them, but then that’s obviously because I’m a closed-minded music snob that only listens to stuff recorded before the blitz.

The Black Keys
London Grammar
Royal Blood
George Ezra
Half Moon Run
Ben Howard
Queens of the Stone Age
The Dead Ex’s
St James and The Apostles
Black Moth
Witch Charmer
Frank Turner
Fire Red Empress

George Ezra, he’s the bloke that did that “Budapest” song, isn’t he? It was alright, a bit indie for my tastes. Obviously I’ve heard of QOTSA and the Black Keys. In the end I reluctantly agreed to listen to a John Grant album, despite the fact that I know next to nothing about John Grant. (Wasn’t that one of the pseudonyms used by the killer from Silence Of The Lambs??) I’ll review it and post it up here if anybody’s interested.

So why am I writing this article? Because I value your opinions and input, I think. Do you think that the quality of music in general has got better, worse, or stayed pretty much the same over your lifetime?

And also, for those in the know – give me some recommendations. What should I be listening to at the moment? (Please note: this is not an opportunity to promote your mate’s shitty band).


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