A Question About National Shared Music

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A Question About National Shared Music

Postby sfboy » Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:45 am

This board has so many people that are really into music that I thought I'd put this out there.

The MF discussion got me to thinking (again) about our shared pop musical heritage. When I was a kid (I'm 45 now) it seems like there were songs that everyone knew and could sing along with--the Beatles and Aretha Franklin and Simon and Garfunkel from the 60's, loads of disco songs and the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and the Bee Gees and the Commodores and ABBA and Diana Ross and James Taylor from the 70's, Journey and Madonna and George Michael and Whitney Houston and MJ from the 80's. I don't even like a lot of these artists, but I know their songs and, given the right mood, would have no problem belting out their songs around a campfire with a guitar that's barely in tune. And I'm sure that you can all fill in other artists that I've forgotten (Stevie Wonder, Elvis, etc). But here is my question.

Are there songs like that anymore? If so, what are they? Mabye I'm wrong and people in their 40's when i was in my teens didn't know those songs. Also, maybe there are songs now that a lot of people do know but I'm just out of it. I don't know a lot of people in their 20's so I don't really have a good idea. But it seems to me that there aren't songs like that anymore. It's probably just another example of me showing my age, and please let me know if it is. I'll actually feel better if that's the case. Because I actually feel really sad that we don't have that anymore.

Thoughts?

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Postby keith from ny » Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:45 am

Our older boy (currently 28 ) is much more attached to the music he grew up with like Nirvana and early NIN and Radiohead than anything on the radio now, and he also loves a lot of the music from my generation (Beatles, Hendrix, Zeppelin) which he discovered with very little encouragement from me. Thankfully he's outgrown his youthful obsession with gangsta rap. The younger one (now 25) loves the same early bands and also likes a lot of the contemporary alt-country and folk music I listen to such as Patty, Eilen Jewell, Over the Rhine and Cowboy Junkies. He's also really into jam-band music like Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and the Derek Trucks Band. They are both of the opinion that the music of the 60s and early 70s was generally much superior to today's, and strangely enough they listen to "classic rock" a lot more than I do, never being one myself for wallowing in nostalgia.

Our 22-year-old daughter has always enjoyed whatever idiotic pop was on Top 40 radio and could probably sing a lot of the stuff that's been popular in recent years (although she doesn't seem very attached to it). Her new boyfriend has excellent taste in music, however, and I think he's starting to bring her around. Image
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Postby marybeth » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:24 pm

I know my girls (ages 17 and 20) share a nostalgia with their peers for some of the songs of their younger years-- groups like Nirvana, Destiny's Child, & artists like Justin Timberlake, Eminem or even ones they are a bit ashamed of having listened to, like Britney Spears or Back Street Boys. I also think from looking around last.fm that many people in their 20's do listen to artists like Bob Dylan or groups like Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Stones, etc. But music is way more fragmented than it was in our day, so I think there are less unifying songs perhaps than there were....
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Postby sfboy » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:06 pm

I have some Italian friends living here in SF. At their parties, usually someone brings a guitar and they all sing. Even if they all don't know all the words, they can pretty much sing along to most of the songs, at least partially. That's what got me to thinking about this topic. Keith, what you wrote about your kids and their musical tastes was interesting. So my question is, if they all went to a clambake, or a sleepover, or camping, and someone was playing the guitar, what would they sing? Maybe I'm wrong, but I think they'd just sing older songs. I don't know why, but that makes me kind of sad. On the one hand, it's great that there is so much more musical variety out there now than in previous decades. When I was in my teens, there were very few female singer songwriters to listen to, for example. Now there are tons. So we have way more variety, but, as Marybeth said, we've lost some shared music, or at least it seems that way to me.

Sorry, this is really appropo of absolutely nothing. But it's nice to have a place to voice it.

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Postby Little_Kites » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:39 pm

First, I should preface by saying there are probably many many people on this board that no more about music than I do. Anyway

I think it seems like there are no people out there (and maybe I'm completely wrong here) that everyone knows regardless of their age. Like Elvis for example, I wasn't alive when Elvis was popular but I still know who Elvis is. You know what I mean.

Also I'm sure the way music made, sold, and marketed to people has changed. Maybe what people wanted to listen to then isn't what people want to listen to today????

But also I know 19 year olds who know a lot about 60s/70s music even though they were not alive to hear it when it was actually being made. So I'm not sure how if age is reliable. ???
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Postby LimeTwister » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:25 pm

There are sooooo many different ways to get music now, and I think that is what is changing people's recognition of songs.

But if you listen to top 40, you're going to know most of the songs that people (my generation) talk about.
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