As I’ve gotten older, I find myself with more time to listen to music than when I was younger. Part of this is due to the advent of portable music players, the evolution of digital files, and the technology that allows music to be played on computers. The stability of a job provides the disposable income for concerts, an excessive catalog of music, and multiple playing options.
The afore mentioned job also allows me time to listen to music. When I am in my office, music is constantly playing. The sanctuary of my truck is also a musical haven. The drive to work, the drive home, and the many miles that I drive weekly all afford another level of listening. This is also the opportunity that I have to expose my children to music that is in fact played with instruments and songs written by genuine artists.
When I was younger and finding my musical way, I would delve into an album or artist and listen with relentless pursuit. I would listen to songs, albums, and said artist almost exclusively until the next sonic epiphany. These neurotic bouts of musical exclusivity could last days, weeks, or even months. Looking back, it seems that the level of musical monogamy did indeed lend itself to my lifelong love affair with music. As fleeting as some of those love fests might have been, they allowed a wide range of music to enter my live and much like all past loves, left a mark.
At times, I revert back to the halcyon days of my formative years and roll the windows down and embarrass my kids with a litany of musical gems while singing and doing the obligatory air guitar or drums. While my musical tastes have expanded, I still have a passion for the music of my youth. The bombastic guitars and drums of Metallica always make my musical pants go crazy. The southern drawl of Tom Petty makes me smile and remember old friends and good times. Springsteen is still “The Boss” and makes me appreciate the importance of lyrics.
As I discover new music, I do not seem to be searching for an exact musical type whereas before, I would strictly be looking for alternative music, heavy metal, or some other genre specific music that I heard on some commercial driven radio station. I’ve come to appreciate the country landscape to some degree and am a huge fan of the burgeoning Texas music scene. I actively pursue the independent artists and do not subject myself to the pandering of FM pop stations. By the time the artists I like make it to the radio, I am on to the next thing.
While each generation has their musical sins, looking back, I feel like I was in the sweet spot of music. Old enough to appreciate the contributions of Dylan, Hendrix, and others of their ilk, young enough to have grown up with Tom Petty, Springsteen, Journey, Foreigner, Fleetwood Mac, and all the other great artists, and fortunate enough to be part of the musical revolution that brought Pearl Jam, The Beastie Boys, Nirvana, and a myriad of other artist who changed the musical landscape of my generation.
The classic rock of yesterday is now ancient and the music of my childhood is now played on the oldies station. While it makes me feel a little older, I do not begrudge the process. I am just glad that I was part of it.
Great music awaits!