Category Archives: Music

What is Classic Rock?

Today I watched an episode of Glee, in which the character of Rachel decides to sing a “classic rock” song, and then begins to sing One by U2. Ummmmmm…..what? Classic rock? I think not. Achtung Baby was released in 1991, which I know is 20 years ago, but does it fit into the classic rock genre?

All of this got me thinking – where is the line drawn as to when classic rock begins and ends? Or does it change with each passing generation?  Rachel mentions that she was born in 1994 (gulp, the year I graduated from high school), so is One a classic rock song for her generation, or should it just be in its own category, such as 90’s rock?

When I think of classic rock, I think of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, Van Halen, Journey, to name a few… and I do not think that will ever change. Yet, I do remember the first time I was listening to a “classic rock” station and heard a Pearl Jam song from the album Ten being played. I think I yelled at the radio, “this is grunge, not classic rock!” And then I suddenly felt old. The music that was released while I was in high school was now classic rock.

So I am just throwing this question to the void – is classic rock an ever-changing definition that can be used once a song turns 20? Or should it stay true to where it began: the classic rock bands of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s?

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What is Your Soundtrack?

If your life were a movie and you could create a soundtrack of your life until now, what would it be? Below is my soundtrack from youth to present, without going into any detail as to why these songs were picked. Let’s just say that I picked these songs based on memories, how the songs make me feel, and how the songs fit together if they were to be in an actual soundtrack. I love films and I love music, so why not have fun and pretend that my life is a movie, and that it deserves its own soundtrack?

So what is your soundtrack?

 

Joy to the World – Three Dog Night

Lollipop – Chordettes

Summer Nights – Grease

The Smashing Pumpkins – Mayonaise

Liz Phair – Shatter

The Verve – One Way to Go

Kissability – Sonic Youth

Promising Light – Iron and Wine

Beloved One – Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals


How We Listen to Music

I grew up during what I like to call the “Era of the Ever-Changing Music Format”. When I was young vinyl was actually played on a record player, including my Fisher Price record player (do they still make these?), instead of being used as wall art. My parents’ Panasonic record player introduced me to The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Creedence, and countless oldies, while my brother’s room was blaring with the teachings of Van Halen, The Sex Pistols, The Smiths, and many more. I received the beginning of my musical education through vinyl, and I will always contribute these learnings to my musical taste today.

Of course during and after vinyl there were 8-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs, and now mp3s. I made a million mixed tapes from 7th grade through high school, and I still will not let my Mom throw them away. They are my history. They are now (sadly) vintage. Then the CD came along. I made mixed CDs as well, but for some reason they did not mean as much to me, and today I still own my CDs but never seem to listen to them.

This is where the mp3s and iPod comes in, as well as my question: where and how do kids receive their musical education? I admit that I LOVE my iPod, and the fact that I do not have to buy an entire album because I like one song, BUT many many months may go by before I will listen to one album from beginning to end. This to me is very upsetting, and I am sure that kids these days hardly ever buy a CD or even an entire album on iTunes. Would you buy one album with the $10 iTunes gift card you got for Christmas, or would you try to find as many songs you love with that $10? I tend to go for the latter.

On February 18th Radiohead’s new album, “The King of Limbs“, was available as a digital download for $9.00, and the physical album will not be available until May. I am a big Radiohead fan, so I did not blink before buying it online. I listened to the entire album from beginning to end as soon as it was downloaded, but will I ever do that again? I always have my iPod on shuffle, or go to the playlists I have created instead of choosing one album and turning off the shuttle setting. If I do this, what do kids do?

I became curious about this when I joined in on a facebook discussion which asked to name the top albums you can listen to from beginning to end without skipping any songs. All of the albums I listed were either from my vinyl childhood (Rumours, Rubber Soul) or from my cassette and CD days (Siamese Dream, Ten, Urban Hymes). I did not list anything that I have purchased online. Perhaps it just has to do with the fact that they are my all-time favorite albums, and that I have listened to them over and over and over again, but I have found that I hear myself saying, “music these days is just crap” over and over and over again. I am now beginning to think that I say this because I haven’t given any new albums a chance. How many times did I have to listen to Ten from beginning to end before it became a favorite album?

My homework for this week will be to put away my iPod, find my CD collection, and turn off the shuffle setting (because I no longer have a CD player; only a computer to play CDs. How sad is that?).