Listen to the Music

I read this blog on Matt Nathanson’s myspace page.  He was lamenting that we don’t have music like the 60’s.  He thinks music today lacks the depth of the music in the 60’s and that it doesn’t impact us today the way music did for people then.  He received several comments back, mostly it seemed from aging baby boomers, agreeing with him.

Sorry, Matt, but I couldn’t disagree more.  I have long felt the baby boomers were always more flashy and external in their dealings with the world.  Notice us!  We’re here!  Our way is the best!  Since other generations have come along, the baby boomers have lamented their lack of everything, character, depth, taste, you name it.

But I don’t think we lack any of that, we just go about things in a different way, and our way tends to be more introspective.  I’m Generation X.  We are not like the boomers.  Music is just as important to us, it is just more internal.  I think it’s appropriate that Kurt Cobain is held up as a sort of icon of our generation.  His internal struggles are the struggles of our generation. His pain is our pain.

I have recently become acquainted, through an online forum, with a whole lot of people born within the two years before and two years after me.  All of us, no matter what part of the country we’re in, no matter what we’re doing, are all struggling, mostly internally, with the demons the baby boomers loved to scream about.  We just don’t put it out there for everyone in the same way the boomers did.  We mull things over.  We ponder.  We observe.  Our movies are quieter.  Our books can be quite dark (and darkly funny).  Music speaks to us as individuals.

Matt comes from the generation after mine.  I have long observed them as being kind of like the baby boomers, but happier.  They are creative and amazing, and seem to be enjoying themselves.  Us X’ers are struggling with a generational creative angst, but we internalize it more.  I look at the generation after mine and want what they have, their spirit, their verve, their happiness.

Music means more to me than most things.  I listen to certain songs and I am transported to that creative energy wave where I feel connected to all things.  I hear certain lyrics and know that the poet who wrote it (that’s the extent of my poetic ability–Ha!) was speaking my words, only more eloquently and with a beautiful melody.  I have generated some of my best writing after hearing a song that took me to that energetic creative place.

So Matt, don’t underestimate the music of today.  It’s amazing.  I love it that we have avenues to access music outside the mainstream music industry.  Right now I live in Portland and the music vibe here is unbelievable.  We’re tuned in…just because we aren’t screaming it from the housetops like the baby boomers did doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us just as deeply.

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