Friday, December 04, 2009

#201: Music, the Fabric of Our Lives

I'll admit that I don't listen to as much as I used to do back in the 1990s and early 2000s. They don't make songs like that anymore. It seems like most bands or artists out there are in it for the money, not for the music. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't believe I am. Or they use their music to complain about the world (I'm talking to you, Green Day!) and I am just not on board with that. I can complain about Darfur and Afghanistan in my own way, thank you. I don't need you to song to me about it. I listened to the radio all the time in the late '90s and early 2000s because when I worked at Baker, the college installed three TVs that aired music videos all day long and I loved the songs they played. There are a lot of songs that I don't hear very often unless I just happen to catch them when my local alternative radio station plays them during the Nineties at Noon. Unfortunately they rarely play Sarah McLachlan or Shawn Colvin but when they do...well, they rarely do.

The first song I remember listening to on a modern rock station (and not one from the eighties) was Live's Lightning Crashes and it was with that I stuck with modern rock stations because after that song was Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band. While Live never became close to my favorite bands, I still enjoy hearing their stuff on the radio. Soon, a couple woman singers would make me wait for their songs on the radio: Sarah MacLachlan (with Adia) and Shawn Colvin (with Sunny Came Home). Fun fact: Colvin is the original Taylor Swift as Ol' Dirty Bastard (of the Wu-Tang Clan) interrupted her while she was accepting her Grammy Award in 1998. He, however, was complaining about losing to Puff Daddy. Ol' Dirty Bastard would die of a drug overdose in 2004.

There are bands out there that I loved in the nineties that I am actually glad are not around today because I hear their music now and I just smile and shake my head and wonder what what I was smoking that day that got me to like that song and/or band. A good example of this is Sugar Ray. While I loved the songs Fly and Every Morning, among others, they are a true product of the nineties and we just need to keep them there. I'm sure there are other bands that I don't feel a loss for but I can't think of them right now. Which is sad considering I just discussed this earlier last week.

I feel that one of the greatest songs ever written and performed is Outside by Staind (the version featuring Fred Durst). I don't know what it is about that song, if it's the lyrics or the way it's sung or if it just came out at the perfect time but it is utter genius despite Durst being a complete douchebag outside of that song. The song, done live during the 1999 Family Values Tour, came out in 2001 when I was at my height of ghost hunting and legend tripping and that song fit well with the abandoned houses, dilapidated churches and cemeteries I was traipsing around it. Outside, while not my number one song (that spot is held by Dave Matthews Band's Don't Drink the Water), it is currently at number three after Viva La Vida by Coldplay.

I think every generation thinks it's music is the best and I'm no different. I will be playing music from the nineties until I can't figure out how to work my radio and embarrassing my children along the way. But the best thing about music is that it's popularity is cyclical. Nineties music was popular and it will be popular again just like every other song and band out there. Come, 2018 or so, we will once again be rocking out to Sugar Ray, Marcy Playground and Eve 6.

I'm just hoping we can gloss over that horrible boy band era...