Music in the Noughties


I dont often talk about music.  I try to avoid it in fact because, well, music reminds me how old I am.

Most of us have recollections of certain moments in our lives when an old song is played to us. It doesnt matter if its the Sex Pistols singing to the Queen, or Whitney Houston saving her love, we all have certain songs that connect with us in a moment of time.

I was a little surprised the other day with a couple of young girls who risked their lives by travelling with me in my cab. They were going “clubbing” in Weymouh and wanted the Radio on. There was little to listen to, but we settled on the thumping sounds of some drum n’ bass. Now I call in Drum n’ Bass because to me there are two types of Housey music. Drum n’ Bass, which sounds like someone going mental on a drum beat machine and can only be understood and appreciated by people with ADD, and Trance which means the same but much much much slower. There are no doubt a hundred different musical types in between, but quite honestly I cant tell the difference between one or the other.

Its not a skill, he is playing a record!

Anyhow, almost jokingly I suggested that Drum n’ Bass was only ever listened to in clubs, and people would never subject our ears to such an onslaught willingly if they werent flying faster than the Arian Rocket. Both the girls scoffed at me in the way only young people can do. They told me how they listen to it at home when theyre getting ready, or sometimes just because there is nothing on TV. Yes, they were suggesting that I was past it, that I had no concept of things today, and that I was better off “listening to Radio 4 grandad”.

Now the fact that I have over time grown to like Radio 4 reminded me that I may well be genuinely past it, and perhaps had no right to say anything about todays music, but then I thought, I’m turning into a grumpy old man, so why deny myself one of the few pleasures in life that grumpy old men have.

Ahhh the good old days

As I think back to the music around when I was young I start to cringe though. I was born in 71, which means I spent my important teen years in the grip of Stock, Aitkin and Waterman’s Rick Astley, Sonya and the entire cast of Neighbours, and from the states Alexander O’Neil and Curtis Steigers. Despite this terrible and frightening age (5 Star!!) I still think of the 80’s as a great musical time.

Ok, so I’m going to have a job proving this. Well first let me say that the early 80’s post punk era was filled with interesting musical styles all clashing with each other to make something dramatic and varied.

Take for example punk’s most obvious legacy. Two Tone came out from the energy and frustration of the late 70’s and mixed with the mellow party atmosphere of Bob Marley and other reggae superstars. Bands like The Specials and Madness danced their way into our hearts with poignant lyrics mixed with a sense of fun and style. Their rebellion was exemplified by the political stance these bands tended to take, often doing political concerts to promote their socialist ideals.

Perfect for the 2 Tone loving Chav

New Romantics took a different slant, advancing the ideas of costume and drama from the 70’s glam-rock bands like Queen, Bowie and T-Rex, bands like Culture Club and Adam and the Ants would shock us with their heavily made up look and colourful costumes. Scooping the headlines by flaunting their designs and occasionally their sexuality in public, they helped force us to accept a different world of expression.

Electropop developed into the nineties as house and later as drum n bass and twodub and god knows what else, but its start in the early 80’s came from a love hate relationship with Disco. Kraftwerk, OMD and New Order brought us a range of simple but interesting tunes with very little lyrical importance. As with Disco, electropop often had one riff as its central theme repeated over and over. As with Disco, it was not afraid to use electrical effects at every opportunity, but it also fought hard against disco, simplifying music to a single synthesiser and a drum beat machines. Even vocals were often monotone so as to keep the minimalism.

New Romantics or Regressed Pirates?

In 1985 Band Aid changed everything. Charity had finally come to the music industry, and whilst the ethics were passionate and valuable, from a musical perspective all these fascinating and different styles blended together in an effort to conform to the mainstream. And with Live Aid the following year, older acts such as Queen merged back into the muscial spectrum. The result was that in just two years, Pop would flood the marketplace once again and Kylie Minogue was number one.

I compare it to todays Drum n Bass/Trance mix. I sit outside nightclubs in my cab listening to songs that all sound the same, or even worse sound like faster Drum n Bass versions of the 80’s songs I used to love and I wonder why it is that things have changed so much.

So, I have created for myself a set of rules, my three pillars of musical crapness. Should a piece of music contain one of these three details it may be forgiven but only if it is exceptionally good. If it contains two however, then it should be consigned to the rubbish dump quicker than a sinclair c5.

1. Any music where the artist says “Ooooooooooo, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”, or “yeah…yeah…” or any other such derivative. (that takes care of almost every rap song created)

2. Any song where the artist has replaced the drum sound with a Clap sound. (sorry all noughties pop!)

3. Any song that uses that funny voice thing where the singers vocals are electronically messed around with. (Its just wrong)

Get the gun, are the dogs ready?

I am very tempted to suggest that anyone who chooses to rap to a song instead of having the ability to sing should have their voice box ripped out of them by a pack of hounds, but then that could be a little harsh.

Clearly I am getting older, clearly i am out of date, clearly I am not seeing what they see, but I just dont know if I’m wrong yet.

It is one of youths perogatives that they dont tell us why they believe they are right and we are wrong. Maybe they simply dont know why they are right, Maybe they simply cant be bothered to think of a reason, Maybe none of us can til were older.

Either way, I am still going to wait around for a few years and ask them. Im hoping they will have an idea. Im hoping they will be able to tell the difference between one artist to another. Im hoping they will have an explanation as to why miss dynamitee-hee was a good idea.

Chavs!!! I hate them

~ by eggplantinspace on December 14, 2009.

7 Responses to “Music in the Noughties”

  1. lmao hippity hop music? rofl Kermit the frog went into the music biz and I missed it???

    LD

  2. You like Hippity-Hop music !!

    PA

  3. Honey – I have to agree with Marco. The difference between your musical taste and mine is that I actually have some. 🙂 Love ya, Beeps!

    AC

  4. I truly have to agree with you bro. You are old and you never had taste for music. Bring on the chaos

    MA

  5. lmao I love this post, and the (new?) Eggspace! You rock baby! And yes… at the ripe old age of 29 (oh my god, I am such a dinosaur!!!) I too feel as though I am getting musically “past it” some days. As a child of the 80’s, I love the range and diversity of the music we were exposed to. While I think it’s still out there, some days it feels like … See Morewe only get served a very narrow selection. And “doof doof” music can be ok… at times… but I’m a sucker for a good melody and well… a song that requires talent and artistry to construct. I’ll take that any day, week, year, hour, minute and second over a “doof doof” song.

    LD

  6. Hi, I came across your blog while seraching for articles related to stereotypes. After reading your piece on stereotypes and racism (which I thought was good), I read this one, and just wanted to say that I, as a 21 year old, believe that drum and bass and rap and RNB is rubbish and I know I’m not the only one in my age group/generation who thinks so. Music has become way too commercialized and manufactured instead of created as an art form. Thought this might cheer you up!

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