Sunday, March 4, 2012

If You're Going To Be A Hater, Be Accurate!

So, as we all know by now, Davy Jones died last week. I was technically born too late to have one of those famed crushes on him (He was born the year before my father was), but I kind of did anyway because he was just so darned adorable.

Though it's cliche as heck, Davy's passing has prompted me to dig out my Monkees albums.

This morning, I put in Headquarters and pressed play. I told the CD player (Yeah, I'm old school enough to listen to things on CD. Used to have this album on LP too, but it now lives with my dad since I don't have an LP player anymore. ::sniffles::) to play track 11 first. That's an odd little piece called "Zilch" that I've never felt I fully understood but have always loved. The kiddo listened to it with some interest.

(Here's a video of it someone made. Couldn't find anything with the actual Monkees in the video.)

Then the next track, "No Time", came on and I started dancing along with the opening chords.

"Ugh!" my child exclaimed. "Eighties music!"

This was distressing enough that I stopped dancing to stare at him. "This isn't eighties music. There is nothing at all eighties about this song."

He begged to differ. "No, this is definitely eighties music."

"This album came out in the late sixties. SIXTIES. I hear a lot of Beatles, a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis, and hint of Elvis, but nothing at all from anything later than the sixties."

"Still, I don't like it."

::Sigh:: I don't mind that he doesn't like everything I listen to, but I don't think it's asking too much to want him to have valid complaints. If he'd dismissed the track with, "Mom, this is just the Monkees trying to be the Beatles. If you want to hear the Beatles, listen to the Beatles," I would have been proud as punch. Heck, even something about the chords being cheesy to show he was hearing the actual music he was dissing would have been fine. But dismissing music based on the decade you think it came from, and then not even being right about that? Well, that just makes you look stupid.

I know all kids do this kind of thing, but all in all, I'm thinking I need to rewatch School of Rock and use it to form a homeschool lesson plan for 20th Century Music Studies next year.

(Eighties? Really? What the heck has my child been smoking?)


Self Rescuing Princess Society said...

A coupe of years ago, one of the morning show guys at a SF radio station interviewed a bunch of middle school kids about music. He asked what bands they liked and listed some different groups. One of the bands he spent a lot of time on was The Cure, and the kids all agreed that they were "so awesome" and "stuff."

Then he played "Friday I'm in Love" (without telling them it was The Cure) and asked them what they thought. To a one, the kids said it was too pop-y and cliché and "stuff."

I wonder what it is in human nature that makes us use music genres as self-indentity?

Melody Daggerhart said...

I love "Zilch"! ^_^ I always interpreted it like this.

The world "zilch" means "nothing". The recording starts with one person saying something that makes little sense, even though it sounds polite and formal. Then another, and another, and another. The last one even sounds political. "It isn't my intention that the people are intending ..."

It's difficult to make sense of them individually, but now they're all talking at the same time. Then, they start to fall apart, confusing even themselves. In the end they all conclude: "Zilch". In other words, "nothing". All that fancy political polite talk ... means nothing. It's not real or genuine, and it's too noisy since everyone is talking and no one is listening.

What did you get out of it? Zilch.

As for the decade thing ... so true. There really needs to be more appreciation of what came before now. Without it we wouldn't be here.

David Greenwood said...

I am a bit spoiled because the first band that caught my ear seriously was Queen. If your musical tastes are anchored by Queen, then you instantly appreciate a ton of genres. Furthermore I immediately realized that a band can play whatever the hell genres they want next to each other and still be awesome.

A year or two later, everyone I knew was "a metal kid" or "a punk" or "a raver" or "a rapper". I'm lucky, I suppose.

Kevin C. said...

Yikes.. I could peg that as 60s music by the first 10 seconds, and yeah definitely influenced by Jerry Lee Lewis or Buddy Holly. I actually think that song sounds less Beatles like than most Monkees songs. (Autocorrect thought I was typing minored! )

On the other hand, I really don't know Classical music at all. I couldn't tell Bach from Mozart. At best I might be able to classify it by whether it sounds like a soundtrack from Looney Tunes or not.

I never really understood the music genre as identity thing, though I guess it is no stranger than sports team as identity. Either way I'd rather have the human impulses behind it channeled into that than tribal warfare.