Help! I Lost My Taste In Music

I used to know about music.  And I’m not talking about Top 40 hits or the crap that Ryan Seacrest counts down on Sunday mornings.

I knew about real music– indie and underground stuff. I followed my favorite bands, and on a few occasions, I stalked a few of my favorites. (Hi, Lyle Lovett, is that restraining order still in place?)  I used to have opinions and passions and bootlegs.  There was a time when I could tell you exactly where Michael Stipe was at any given moment or where Michelle Shocked was playing next.

Hey, hipsters, this is Michael Stipe, and he'll always be relevant.

Hey, hipsters, this is Michael Stipe, and he’ll always be relevant.
Image credit: wikipedia

It seems like only yesterday, but actually? It was about two decades ago.

Now, I don’t turn my nose up at the Grammy’s because they are so commercial.  No way!  First of all, I fall asleep before they really get started and then I rely on them to inform me about these great “new” bands.  Like Mumford & Sons.  All these months I thought “Mumford & Sons” was just a nickname for the Lumineers.  Turns out, those are two different bands.

Holy shit.

I’m old.

One of my friends told me I had to download the song “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore to be in the know. The first time I played it, Simon was in the car and by the end, he was merrily singing along. It’s disconcerting to hear your 2-year old singing, “this is fucking awesome.”

The last full album I bought downloaded was Bob Dylan’s Blood On the Tracks, because my tape (which I purchased in 1991 from Half Price Books on Central Expressway in Dallas) broke.  Ya’ll, that music came out when I was 18 months old.  You try running a few miles to If You See Her, Say Hello followed by Thift Shop.  I’m telling you, it will fuck your shit up.

I couldn’t pick a Radiohead song out of a prison line-up.  As for the Flaming Lips? Honestly, I thought it was an STD. 

This sucks, but I am too far behind to catch up now.  It’s like all those TV shows I know I’ll never see– Lost, Honey Boo Boo, West Wing, The Simpsons, Cops. 

This one snuck up on me.  I was still thinking of myself as someone who cared about music and kept up with it.  Now, I’m having flashbacks to being a little kid in the backseat writhing in pain as my dad made us listen to country music.  (Incidentally, I blame the country music of the 70’s and 80’s for my morose disposition and my morbid obsession with abandonment– George Jones, I’m looking at you!) 

This is how we become our parents– now it’s Sadie and Simon’s turn to cringe as Mama rolls up in the mini-van rocking out to Sting and Seal….and on the days when Mama feels edgy, they’ll get a slice of Maroon 5 or Kid Rock.

OHMYGOD, the poor dears.

Hypothetically, if a 39.5-year-old lady with zero free time and lackluster taste wanted to educate herself about the latest trends in music, where should she start?  You know me, I have an open mind.


57 thoughts on “Help! I Lost My Taste In Music

  1. Now that there’s a country station in New York, I don’t know anything about any music that’s not country. It’s the only thing I took from my years in the south. I love me some George Strait.

    No West Wing? I think you are due for a 7 season marathon ASAP. Seriously. It is life affirming. I’ll watch your kids.

  2. If I hadn’t laughed so hard at your flaming lips/STD line, I might not comment to a post that compared music to those awful TV shows (none of which I have seen either). But I can’t resist. Sound City Players is full of people you might already know, the National has some amazing songs, and I just love Mumford & Sons. I’m not immersed the way I used to be (in all genres), but it’s worth having your toe in the pool.

  3. You’re 39.5? Me too. (6/8/73). Let’s see, where to begin? There’s too much to cover in the comments section of this blog post. We’ll have to have a one-on-one heart-to-heart music talk sometime on Skype or Google Hangouts. I’ll get you back on track (not w/ current pop trash either – I purposefully don’t know anything about that shit). All is not lost. . .

    • Ok, good, because I have the desire to get back on the path, but I’m pretty far in the ditch. 7/21/73…..Cohorts. We probably grew up on the same TV– Sanford & Sons, Good Times, Love Boat, Guiding Light. But then again, you were on the west coast so you were probably organic gardening and composting while I was frying my brain and sipping Tang.

  4. LOL. I know about Macklemore because of an interview I heard with him on …NPR. So, don’t feel bad, you could be a hell of a lot older. Like me. Check out KXT radio … streams live on the web. It’s a great mix of new indie stuff, local music, and classics.

  5. Nearly all of the music I’ve discovered in the past three or four years has been through the podcast All Songs Considered, from (of course) NPR. About 35 or 45 minutes of music, sometimes more, delivered to you every week. They cover just about everything, with an emphasis on what we called “alternative music” back in the ’90s.

  6. Every now and then the man to whom I think I am still married downloads something from amazon and it ends up on my Kindle automatically. A current fave of his and of his students is a band called Freelance Whales. I haven’t decided what I think of it because he likes music with far more banjo than I do. My latest find is Imelda May. And, dang, do I love her gumption!

  7. The beauty of music right now is that there is lots out there that’s mellow AND still hip. Bon Iver, for instance. Fleet Foxes. The National as mentioned above. Eighties synths? Beach House, Metric, Stars (a little Canadian content for you). The possibilities are virtually infinite. It’s just a great time to be a music fan.

  8. I so relate. Totally with Carinn on The National. Love Love Love them. I just downloaded an LP by Admiral Fallow called Tree Bursts in Snow which I can’t stop playing. Of course, we don’t always like the same music, but we’ll always have the Housemartins.

  9. Hahahaha! I FEEL YOU!!! I was the same way…until my oldest turned about 12.
    Suddenly I know all about dubstep (I even have some Skrillex on my workout playlist)…and I have had “Thrift Shop” on my iPod for awhile. I am in the know because music is very important to him and we share an iTunes account. It’s one of the perks of having a preteen! 🙂 –Lisa

  10. OMG, you had me at REM.

    I was in love with Michael Stipe and was convinced it didn’t matter he played for the other team. He would be mine, dammit. He would be mine.

    I still have Pop Song ’89 on my favorites playlist and Try Not to Breathe on my mellow playlist. And really, what was better than Fall On Me? You Are the Everything? The One I Love? Don’t Go Back to Rockville? Hairshirt?

    Okay. Done geeking out. Man, I was obsessed.

    Time to go make a new playlist called “I was sort of cool in the early 90s”

  11. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. Its pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  12. I have one of those pseudo-hipster daughters who listens and watches things long before anyone else has ever heard of them. So, Mumford & Sons have been in our house for the last 3 or 4 years. I am just now starting to hear their names on TV and the radio.

    Once she graduates and moves out next year, I will be lost in the world of pop culture.

  13. As of late I have been pretty much sick to my stomach when I think of music. I have completely lost my hip groove (punk with some Nick Drake thrown in) over here. I know nothing. I am afraid to turn on the radio- well. That’s if I even knew how to turn it on (I can’t figure it out in the car). I don’t listen to diddly squat and am avoiding Thrift Shop or Thrift Store and Harlem Shake purely out of principle. I am so far gone there is no going back. Unless it’s Dutch techno. Maybe I should give that a try?

  14. Pingback: I’m Not In 7th Grade Anymore: Time to Say Goodbye To Whitney Houston | Outlaw Mama

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