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Monday, January 24, 2011

On Feeling Old

TMcD's music post is as good an opportunity as any to open this topic. I rarely listen to new music, as I think we've discussed before. Going even further, I've come to the conclusion that "music" is something young people "do." In the sense that when I was young(er), I used to "get into bands." Now, it's difficult to imagine the energy or interest in, say, listening to the same record over and over again . . . at least, to a record that is new to me. I still do this, on the iPod, of course, with music that I once obsessed over. But I can't remember the last "new to me" record that was thus--probably The Soft Bulletin?

I have been feeling old lately. Partly this is chronological--none of us are getting any younger, as they say. Partly it's having a child--nothing like a toddler to make you feel old, except, probably, an older child. But that will come, I guess. Partly it's work. Having a lot of responsibility at work has its upside, but also its burdens, obviously. There is certainly less opportunity to pass the buck. And one can only hold and carry so many bucks.

So chronology, parenthood, work . . . and probably the weather. Not that it's THAT cold here, but I think that one feels older in the winter than in warmer months.


At 9:58 AM, Blogger fronesis said...

You left out technology and the changing music business as legitimate reasons why you don't get into music any longer. Fewer bands make real ALBUMS, and it's harder to have the time and space to listen to albums as albums.

But it clearly can't just be age: witness TMcD.

I'm right there with you, though. VERY rare that I am actually "into" something new. I discovered the Drive By Truckers after they'd already made their best music, but I was really into them. Since then: I played the Avett Brothers album a million times and still love it. Right now I'm almost consciously trying to get into the new(ish) Arcade Fire.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

3, I've known you for 20 years and you've always been old. You were born to curmudgeon.

That said, we all give stuff up as we get older, raise kids, etc. Just different stuff. Me, I gave up playing soccer (which I had done 2-3 days a week prior to Lang), going to the gym, watching most sports on TV, watching most anything on TV, going to movies, renting movies, going to bars/clubs, seeing bands live, etc. I also read much less than I used to, although the internet has filled the hole that once would have gone more to newspapers and magazines. But listening to music is easy, and I can do it while I watch my girls. It's also relatively cheap, since I rarely need to buy anything--I just let people know that for Xmas, b-day, anniversaries, etc., I don't really want anything save a book or a good CD.

The other advantage of new music is that it gives me something non-political to geek over. As you know, I'm not a talented guy with a bunch of hobbies. I don't golf or play music or build stuff or garden or work on cars. Doing nothing but politics would drive me crazy, though, and music is a great mental break that's not really a mental abdication, because I can still think about the object of my geekdom, even if in amateurish ways.

And yet, if you look at my lists, you'll rarely see anything truly "new." I don't like rap, or pop, or radio country. Most of the stuff on this year's list involves bands or acts I've been listening to for the better part of a decade. J.T. Earle is the only person on the list whose album was a first time purchase (actually a gift)--and I heard him play in grad school 15 years ago, and own a ton of his dad's records. Age gets all of us, but it's nice to hold onto an interest here or there to remind us of who we are and where we've been.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Hey, 3, FWIW, I think you'd really love the Black Keys. Just saying.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger Number Three said...

Frances likes them! (The Black Keys.)

At 11:45 AM, Blogger fronesis said...

I would just like to affirm that 3 *has* always been old, and I know this because I am the same way.


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