A commercial came on TV the other day between the kids’ shows, underscored by some song talking about ‘whips’ and ‘nae naes’….whatever in the hell those might happen to be.
I focused on the song for a minute before thinking that I may have already slipped into that ‘old people’ phase of my life where the music of the ‘kids these days’ simply doesn’t appeal to me, and on some level I think it’s the worst think that has happened to humanity since the black death.
The more I mused on that though, the more I realized that it wasn’t that I hate today’s music, its that I have a very low interest in ANY music.
Let that sink in, and hear me out.
My relationship with music throughout my life has been a strange one. A ‘I could take it or leave it’ one. Both of my parents are incredibly musically inclined. My father can pick up any stringed instrument and teach himself to play it in no time. With no formal training, he is skilled on everything from the cello to the banjo, and can sight-read and write music.
But, none of that ever rubbed off on me.
As a result, I could never create, or perform it. Music never factored in as a major part of my life. Where my friends during my teenage years were both discovering classics from our parents’ times, and frothing over the latest and greatest, I simply didn’t care.
My brother-in-law is incredibly musically gifted, but hates to ride in the car with me because I either forget to, or don’t bother to turn on the radio, even on very long road trips. Other times, my wife has turned the radio on in the car and it’ll be an hour before I even realize it.
I can’t tell you who the current a-listers are, nor could I really give you a lot of information on who they might have been when I was younger. More often than not, I’ll be chastised by my wife for not knowing a classic piece of music beyond a single line or its hook.
I don’t stream music on my phone, I’ve never owned an iPod, I think I have an empty iTunes account somewhere, and you can count the number of CDs I’ve ever owned in incredibly short order.
I have specific SONGS that I like, and I’ll listen to them for a while, until they get stale, then I’ll not bother to look for something new until it happens along somewhere. I don’t follow bands, I don’t buy albums, I don’t own an instrument beyond the kazoo that I had to take away from the boys. (Santa screwed that up, big-time.)
I’ve got a classical music station as one of my presets in the car, and I’ll tune into that for a while every now and again, but more often than not….I forget to.
I’m happier with silence than I am with music. Silence lets me ponder, wonder, and think. Some people can do that with music, I can’t. I focus too much on the lyrics, and when they’re stupid, I can’t help but lose all focus on what I’m doing to verbally berate the song.
Take this gem from The Killers:
“Somebody told me you had a boyfriend that looked like a girlfriend I had in February of last year.”
WHAT? Really? What in the hell does that even mean? Why would you say that? What are you even…..shut up.
As a result, music often fails to relax me, but will catch my attention and put my brain where I didn’t really want it to go in the first place, as a result, I’d rather not listen to it at all. If I have to choose, I’ll listen to classical music when I can. It isn’t for any particular appreciation for the culture of it, but a simple happiness that there aren’t lyrics. When I was a kid, my father was listening to Bolero by Ravel in the car. I asked him “What is this song about?” His response, “Anything you want it to be, you can make up a story in your head that fits the music.” And I did, and still like when music doesn’t tell me what to think about, especially when it does it in a nonsensical fashion.
I realize I’m in a very tiny minority. I understand the draw that making and listening to music has on people. It simply doesn’t have that for me. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the art, it just doesn’t do anything for ME.
Some people can look at a painting hanging on the wall of an art museum and be moved to tears by it. Others would look at the same painting and not see anything more than the drop cloth of a messy house painter. The same with music. It speaks to some. It moves, and inspires others. To me, it says nothing I want to hear most of the time.
This is just another realization that I’ve come to that demonstrates my disassociation with art.
Or….hell. Maybe I’m kidding myself its just that I’m old.
(*To me. Music simply isn’t that important to me. Sorry for the jerk title.)