Friday, May 3, 2013

Appetite for Dysfunction

I’m kind of over emo music. A bunch of years ago that’s pretty much all I listened to – Fiona Apple and Dashboard Confessional were at the top of the list because the lyrics just seemed so powerful. In recent years I’ve looked back on a lot of that music and realize the lyrics were given power through the inflections of the tone a lot of the time, though not all (I still find poetic beauty in almost all of Fiona Apple’s songs). And there’s nothing wrong with evoking a deep inner feeling through music of any sort be it instrument or vocally supplied. I’m just ready to mix up the suicide music now for something a little lighter.

But I don’t know what you crazy kids listen to these days.

None of the current pop music interests me much. You won’t find any Ke$ha (My inner grammar & spelling teacher dies a little inside every time I see her name written out.), Justin Beiber, Katy Perry, One Direction or the Jonas Brothers on my iPod. They’re still relevant, right? Wait, iPods aren’t even relevant? Damn.

Anyway I’d love to update my music with something fresh but there are so few bands/singers who really seem to capture emotion through their words. Lyrics used to be a lot fuller but it seems not so much anymore.

Okay to be fair, yes, I did listen to a lot of New Kids on the Block when I was a teenager. Yeah I own it. But when I think back I am fully aware of how thin most of the lyrics are. There were a few that were richer but overall any band that says the words ‘girl’ and ‘oh’ as much as they do on one album isn’t going to be winning many songwriting contests. But they sure were cute.

But I’m not fifteen anymore and to say a fifteen year old is cute would just be creepy unless I meant it in a maternal way. And we all know how maternal I’m not so I guess I finally fall into the place my parents and grandparents warned me about.

Those kids and their music today, I just don’t get it.

Of course when I reminisce on the music that really shaped my life, the music I would go back to and listen to time and again to evoke a feeling, a time and place of when the world was awesome because my days could be spent listening, I’m not exactly drawn to pop artists.

Give me some Appetite for Destruction, Whitesnake, Ride the Lightning, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Godsmack (“Stress”, best song ever), Lit, Limp Bizkit, Staind (everything on Dysfunction), Foo Fighters.

And I can safely say that anytime I was listening to any of these bands I’m sure (if she was around) my mom would have been saying she just didn’t get it. I guess that’s how the generational thing works right? But I grew tired of the same old stories, the same old songs so I dipped my toes in the broody waters of emo.

But the whining. Oh my goodness the CONSTANT whining is enough to make me want to poke a hot dagger into my speaker. But that shit is expensive to replace so instead I find myself changing the channel or forwarding the track to something more my speed.

Of course, these days my speed seems to be artists like Melissa Ferrick, Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews Band. All amazing lyricists and songwriters but a bit mellower musically speaking. But every once in a while I’ll let my Pandora shuffle through 90’s Alternative Radio to let my mind wrap around a song with a little more meat on its bones.

May’s Month of Music
Just Like I Am – Landon Pigg (iTunes first track)
4th of July – Soundgarden (Pandora first track)


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I still love G-n-R, and the new version of AIC still does it for me. Godsmack rocks. Big fan of Limp Bizkit, and now that they are back together, might even hit a show. Could not stand Staind or Whitesnake. Weezer still gets played on my ipod. May I humbly suggest 20 Miles and Dirty Dishes by a band called Deer Tick, as good songs, with good lyrics. The Shins are also pretty decent.

#1Nana said...

I was listening to the radio as I drove into town this morning and head Teenage Dream by Katy Perry and was admiring her word choices. There was something about the line " my skin tight jeans be your teenage dream tonight..." Oh, wait...maybe not

Kathe W. said...

love the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, any music that has visual lyrics...

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yeah I'm also still a big fan of G-n-R but just the first 2 albums, UYI I&II never hooked me even back then. Godsmack is one of the bands I've seen live the most times in my life. There's something so connected about their music, especially live. I know people called them an AiC rip-off band but I disagree. Influence doesn't mean same.

Have to say I'm not drawn to The Shins, have heard them and just don't feel it. But I'll check out Deer Tick, thanks for the suggestion!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

hahaha! Exactly, I just don't understand!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Funny Kathe, wait until you read my Tuesday post because 2 of those 3 bands are on my unloved list. But this is what I love about music, everyone is drawn to what they are drawn to for reasons we probably can't even define for ourselves.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

You're so right about your mother "not getting it"; not sure if it's generational as much as what was popular during your most influential growing years.

Head banger, heavy metal, rap - all leave me cold; give me some folky-singer-songwriter stuff anyday - something that "says something" (and that I can understand the words.) :-)

Love you, Mum

Jak Cryton said...

Oh baby, Music! My cup of tea. While I wouldn't say my taste has changed since my teens, it has definitely grown more eclectic.

I still listen to my NIN/Filter/Stabbing Westward/The Prodigy and some others as they usually directly inspire my writing (NIN especially). Deftones, Weezer, Foo Fighters, Gravity Kills I grew up with them all and I am still a listener.

A few years ago, while dating an ex, I was exposed to XM satellite radio haha.

I could recommend a few, and see how you take to them?

Mumford & Sons, Shiny Toy Guns, XX, Sleigh Bells, and Vampire Weekend

Other bands I've liked for some time (some may be obscure to most; more so the last listed): The White Stripes, Death Cab for Cutie, Imagine Dragon, How to Destroy Angels, Matthew Good and/or Matthew Good Band, Frightened Rabbit.

If checking them out, let me know what you think! Some of them I feel have very deep lyrical value.

I will spare you too overly emo bands (Though XX kind of depresses me for some reason hahaha)

Do you ever make playlists for your projects?

Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

Rob-bear said...

OK. Have yer fun. When you shift over to Dvorjak, Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach, let me know — I'll come listen with you.

Yes, I am in my 60s. Why do you ask?

Speaking of that, the story is told about a dog who played the piano. His playing of Vivaldi was excellent, his Handel was good, but his Bach was worse than his bite.

Good bye!

Blessings and Bear hugs!
Bears Noting
Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

But I think that makes it generational - your grandparents weren't sure of your parent's music, parent's of yours, you of ours, us of this current generation. I think mostly I go back to these records because they're familiar and comforting of a time and place. And I DO think the lyrics say something, sometimes something very powerful.

For example:

This is my life
Its not what it was before
All these feelings I've shared
And these are my dreams
That I'd never lived before
Somebody shake me
'Cause I
I must be sleeping

Now that we're here,
It's so far away
All the struggle we thought was in vain
All the mistakes,
One life contained
They all finally start to go away
Now that we're here it's so far away
And I feel like I can face the day, and I can forgive
And I'm not ashamed to be the person that I am today

These are my words
That I've never said before
I think I'm doing okay
And this is the smile
That I've never shown before

Somebody shake me 'cause I
I must be sleeping


I'm so afraid of waking
Please don't shake me
Afraid of waking
Please don't shake me

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yeah I'm considering how I want to work with the May music posts, so far so good, but I think I'm glad for only doing 17 posts this month. Music can be inspirational but I don't want to tell all the stories in one 30 day period :-)

NIN & Stabbing Westward - 2 bands I like but could never listen to while writing. NIN primarily because its such zone out music for me that I'd end up staring at my screen with no words for hours.

I have some playlists but try not to listen to lyrical music while writing fiction because the mood of the song infiltrates my words and then the piece reads like a bi-polar mess! Of course that would be very "me" so maybe I should...

I'll check out the others, always love to discover new music! Thanks!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

After working at Victoria's Secret for almost 3 years and listening to classical for 50+ hours every week of that time I got so burned out on classical that I just can't listen anymore. Kind of sad but I guess it was over saturation. That happens sometimes with even some of my favorite popular music so its not surprising. Perhaps at some point I'll go back to it and find beauty again but music associations are very strong for me and that was a pretty dark time in my life I'd rather not revisit.

Heehee. Punny ;-)

Launna said...

I have my own kind of music style, I am sure my parents wondered what I listened to as a teenager... disco was in when I was growing up, let's say I am sure my parents were not impressed... oh well, each generation has their own music, I pick a song here and there from each era. Lately I have been loving Adele, I know sad and emotional... lol, that's me:)

Linda Myers said...

I confess I'm into the oldies - 60s to 80s - but I am an oldie myself, so I guess that makes sense.