I rant you risten

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

livin' in the 90s, a double disc

Joe Republic, Paul Weller, Afghan wigs, Verve pipe, Candle Box, Bucketheads, Baby D, PM Dawn, Jon Secada, Everclear, Better than Ezra, Sound Garden, Tony Toni Tone, Dishwalla, Sophie B Hawkins, Rage Against the Machine, Black Sheep, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Natalie Merchant and the 10,000 maniacs, Marcy Playground, Deep Blue Something, Stabbing Westward, Gabrielle, Tonic, the Ghetto Boys, Stone Temple Pilots, East17, Groove Theory, Charles and Eddie, Poe, Gin Blossoms, Fuel, Big Mountain, Zoe Ball, Collective Soul, Ugly Kid Joe, Soul Asylum, Del Amitri, Spin Doctors, and many many more.. do you remember their music?

Sometime ago, I was talking to my little cousin about music. I found out he was into Evanescence, Fall Out Boy, Talking back to Tuesday, and other mainstream emopunk whatever you want to call it junk. I asked him about Jimi Hendrix, and he told me he wasn’t interested. His disinterest invited me to launch into a full monologue explaining the influence Jimi Hendrix had on my life and many many other listeners over the past 4 decades. I offered to lend him my copy of Electric Ladyland (in hindsight, I should have lent him the “ultimate experience” compilation for him to get the gist of it before wanting to cocoon himself in Hendrix). He still refused, claiming he liked his music and couldn’t get into the oldies. I know what you're thinking, I should've drop kicked him right there and then for such balsphemy, but he's young and misguided. I pleaded with him to at least humor me and borrow a cd to give it a listen, after which I was sure he’d change his ways – he still refused. Cursing his narrowminded viewpoint but not before contemplating breaking his arms, I decided it would be best if I left him with his confined opinion until he took a corner onto a dark alley.

My little sister took said relative to a Panic at the Disco concert recently because she knew he liked them. The band started covering Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead and my sister tried to explain to our cousin that this music was what defined her generation and the best of the 90s. In a similar pretentious fashion, he brushed her off as he did me, and when she got upset, he told her of our incident regarding Hendrix. He thought we “were pushing our music” onto him, when all we were doing is just trying to get him to listen to music from the past that would actually mold his taste. He’s a good kid and will come around someday. I’m giving him another year of college to discover great music on his own, after that, I will take matters into my own hands.

Why is it that people get caught in pockets or time warps of music? How come a lot of us get stuck in a decade and refuse to extricate ourselves out? You become content with your music collection and then get to a point that you don’t want to search for anything new. Memories of those days amalgamate with the music of that time and you end up forever reshuffling your cds, reminiscing. A prime example: after being totally let down by the hip-hop of today, one of the lads still thinks it’s 1993.

What’s happening with today’s listener? As we get older, the next crop of young’uns just can’t seem to grasp the sounds that defined our adolescent years, while we can’t accept theirs. Or is this how we distinguish ourselves from today’s listener, because they can’t see how that music affected us, we are a little patronizing of their taste. Are we now resigned to becoming the targets of late night commercials regarding a 6 cd compilation giving you the best of the Alternative 90s? Cause let me tell you, I’m about a phone call away from ordering that cd, really.. I remember laughing at my older sister when she ordered romance of the 80 and 90s, a 6 disc compilation, because she needed Peter Cetera, Foreigner, and Cyndi Lauper again – but a little “time after time” does sound agreeable right about now. Does that mean that I’ve now become a dated listener?

Or will this music all die down for another 10 years until the band reunites, their music is kicked about our cobwebbed memory and all of a sudden people have started listening to Crowded House again. Hey, It’s only natural..

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Update Man

My friends just had a baby.. Instead of me mourning the end of normal conversations with them forever, I was appointed the update man yesterday. During her labor, everyone was calling to find out the play by play, so they decided “hey, call br, he’s the agreed update man”. How did I get so lucky to be appointed this valuable position, read on dear reader, read on …

Phone call at 7AM morning: We’re in labor, let everyone at work know, I’ll keep you posted.
A half asleep me scratching his nuts and thinking about whether he needs to shave for work or not…
Me: right, well, good luck.

If someone informed me earlier that those four words signaled my acceptance on update man status, I would’ve not answered my phone. (as a side note: I work with the new father, so everyone at the office was turning to me for information). Getting to the office, I got inundated with phone calls, questions, and remarks on the delivery. To which my answer to all of this was: they’re in labor and that’s all I know, but I’ll keep you posted.

Phone call at 3PM: the baby has not assumed the birthing position, if it doesn’t work out then we’re going for a c-section.
Me: right, well, good luck.

Three text messages, two phone calls, and six emails later, I’d managed to update everyone on what’s happening. Then the fit really hits the shan. The people I notified spread the news that I am the update guy (a job I was doing my best to keep hidden) so I ended up getting a couple of more texts, some emails and a few callbacks on my office phone to take care of.

Text message at 5:30PM: nothing yet.
Me: does this qualify for keeping everyone informed?

Random people now start calling: hey what’s the news?
Me: nothing yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Phone call at 6:45PM: she’s going in for a c-section..
My text message to everyone: they’re going in for a hail Caesar, shotgun formation.

7 twenty something, the baby is finally born and welcomed to this world, very healthy and well endowed. The overjoyed father calls the update man to spread the good news, and no one picks up. I spent all of yesterday keeping people updated with banal news on the labor session, and when the real news emerges, I have my phone on silent. I failed my only objective, which was to notify everyone of the birth, leaving a bunch of people sans information about the little guy. The good news: My failure means that I’ll never be update man again..