I’m not sure how many of you out there were aware of this, but the new Taylor Swift CD came out today. I figured something was cookin’ with ol’ Taylor, because she made the cover of People and Parade Magazine over the weekend. My 21-year-old assistant at work ran out over her lunch hour to pick up a copy today. When I talked to her in the afternoon, she said that she had listened to the first 4 or 5 tracks and really liked it.
That’s probably as close to it as I’ll get.
OK, before you send me into un-hip-land, let me explain. I don’t like her type of music, and I’m not supposed to. I don’t fit the demographic. If I were to go into Best Buy and purchase it, the person at the checkout stand would naturally assume that I was buying it for my daughter. If I told them that I was buying it for myself, they would probably get the creeps and look outside to see if I got into a beat-up van.
It’s so hard, at my age, to get into new music these days, because the musical landscape is so different. For one thing, music is so disposable. If a new track comes out, any person with internet access can download it to their computer the minute it’s released. When I was Amanda’s (my assistant) age, I would have to hear about a new album coming out on the radio or in a trade magazine THEN go to the store and buy it. If I was lucky, they would have a lot of copies in stock. If I got there late, they could be sold out already and I would have to wait for another shipment or go to another store. Chances are, I would like one or two cuts once I got it home then find that the rest of it was pretty lame (case in point: any Eric Clapton album from the 70’s or 80’s…sorry Slowhand fans). When I was in high school, I would have to wait until we went somewhere like Bloomington or Peoria to buy a new album…they didn’t sell albums in Minonk.
Sometimes we would get turned on to new music just by being in the record store and hearing what they were playing. I can distinctly remember my buddy Stosh and I going to see my brother at college one weekend, and on Saturday we went record shopping. We were at Crow’s Nest in Joliet and the album they were playing was GREAT. When we asked what it was, the guy said, “It’s the new Kansas album.” The tune we were listening to was “Carry On Wayward Son.” Stosh picked up a copy, and probably was the only person in Minonk to have it for about a month before everyone else caught on.
Instant downloads have really killed radio, too. Because when a new tune was being played on the radio that I liked, and I had to wait to go to Bloomington or Peoria to buy it, I would stay GLUED to the radio just for a chance to hear it. I remember being a big Robin Trower fan when I was in high school, and FM radio was playing “Caledonia” from his new “Long Misty Days” album. I had the radio on in the car, in my room, and all night while I was asleep, just waiting for a chance to hear that song. When it finally came on, I savored it.
Time to confess…there is a lot of new music that I like, and my kids are turning me on to most of it, because I can’t listen to WBNQ full-time just to catch one or two good songs. I’m a big fan of power pop, so it wasn’t that big of a deal for me to take the kids to see the Jonas Brothers a couple of years ago. They had an opening band named “Rooney” that was actually pretty good. I found their CD at the pawn shop and listen to it quite a bit. And speaking of the Jonas Brothers, I’m not a big fan…but if you get a chance to see them performing The Beatles’ “Drive My Car” at the McCartney tribute from the White House, it kicks ass. Plus my daughter, Carly, has gotten me into more Green Day and a little bit of Fall Out Boy.
So check out some new power pop and let me know what you think. You may be pleasantly surprised. Or let me know what you think of the new Taylor Swift CD. I just can’t bring myself to go into Best Buy and purchase it and tell them it’s for me.