Reader Stephen writes:
“My conclusion is music made by 20-year-olds currently comes from a different cultural context I am no longer connected to, so it doesn’t resonate unless it sounds like something I already like (i.e. a garage rock band like Dehd). I can’t imagine getting into, like, hyperpop, but, again, I think it’s because it is responding to social and cultural phenomena I am simply not a part of.”
I think you have to think about it dialectically: it’s not just that cool young people who make cool unlistenable music are emerging out of a different context and responding to different cultural prompts than you (or me), it’s also that they are, to various levels of explicit intent, making music that you (and me) specifically will not like, so they will not be exposed to you (and me) and our fatally wack existences in their cool physical/ digital/ mind spaces. The hidden wholeness here is that by the fact of not “getting” the music we are participants in making it good and cool.
Haha, I appreciate when others share my weird fear of getting stuck listening to the same thing, this take is a kind thought 😂
I’m totally fine with aging (really life is getting better) and dgaf (probably actively avoid) what’s “cool.” What I do fear is becoming fixed and not giving new things a chance. (Frankly, this is not something I need to worry about 😉)
But maybe this is something to consider: when are you satisfied in your identity and preferences and can just settle deeper into them?
Is my love of newness culturally-acquired or personal? Does it disguise doubt or dissatisfaction with my tastes, an unknowing or resistance of the self? Is the quest for more music simply a reflection of our culture’s endless consumption, channeled to a medium I care about rather than material goods? Or is it a product of my changing in other ways: that my tastes are ever-shifting and need to be constantly re-found and re-formed through new sounds? Is it habitual or truly preferential? Does it not mean anything? Dunno but it’s interesting to consider, especially for a medium as visceral as music.
I have claimed exploration as part of my identity, but sometimes it’s tiring to always be taking in more information. I’m curious what it would look like to maintain a philosophy of openness without putting so much energy into seeking newness.