Get Lucky is everywhere- causing the kids to dance and the old people to turn up the radios in their hover-rounds and move whatever still works.
Call it house or electronic or just very polished and cool dance music– it has that rare “everyone likes” quality. Cool lemonade on a hot day…it’s just what we need in troubled times. Bubbling feel-good funk is infused with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers getting sucked into this electronic vortex of clean production.
Daft Punk are quirky arty anti-stars- they are true to their vision. This brings in the hipsters and breaks the ice with alternative rockers.
Daft Punk wear those crazy helmets and have no problem translating to the world of animation. Gamers, geeks and nerds can relate.
The techno- freaks in the clubs were already fans and have no reason to abandon their robot heroes.
Even a stodgy old rock n’ roll blogger like myself is able to get infected by these disco man/machine divas of sophisticated swag.
That must tell you something.
I encourage all classic rock fans to give up their preconceived ideas on funk , disco and electronic music and just give in to this one. You are going to be bombarded by it from everywhere anyway so why not just enjoy it? It took a few listens to wear me down, (O.K, more than a few) but it’s got me now.
And for those few die-hards (Ok, more than a few) that will argue Styx “Mr Roboto” as the ultimate rock music techno hit of all time. It is time to abandon all hope and find an 8-track player to install for your camaro ride to hell. It is over for you. You are now officially the burnt toast of a former generation.
Join everyone else and just let go- that is what music can do at its best. What is the worse that can happen?
Listening to “Snow” on the iPod got my brain working .The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been around a long time. The catalog of albums show growth as artists and human beings. This is the exception rather than the rule.
Case in point and coming to a hockey rink or basketball arena near you is the “Midwest Rock N’ Roll Express” featuring R.E.O Speedwagon, STYX and Ted Nugent. I don’t know the exact line-up of each band, but I would guess you are going to get Kevin Cronin from R.E.O, Tommy Shaw from STYX and Terrible Ted himself at a minimum. As rock fans we sometimes don’t want the artists to mature and evolve. We want to hear Cat Scratch Fever and Come Sail Away over and over again. “Roll with the Changes” is a great song and I want to hear it in the cave but I’m not sure I want to hear it without Gary Richrath playing it. The original versions of these bands used to fill stadiums and now it takes all three of them to ¾ fill a hockey rink. This is stardom being sent down to the minors to live off the glory days. This is Spinal Tap in real life. The ugly side of nostalgia; there will not be many young people at these shows. You never want to see your heroes eating day old egg salad sandwiches at the bowling alley late at night when once they were gods. But there you go….get your tickets now or wait ‘till next year when you can catch them opening up for a puppet show at the county fair.
I am quite aware of the irony of me, a nobody, taking shots at these guys when I am not qualified to scare wildebeests out of the bush so Ted can take a shot with his machine gun and opening for a puppet show at the fair would qualify as my best day of the year!
Warning! Nostalgia is coming up from the depths to sink your little ship of happiness. Nostalgia will rob you of great new experience happening all around you. Nostalgia will stop your brain from firing and creating new pathways as you learn and evolve…nostalgia is killing you! There is only one cure- new stuff for the brain.
I know this is rich coming from a guy that runs a blog about digging up good songs from everywhere. But the key here is: we dig them up and polish them off while trying to keep them in perspective; organizing these artifacts in line with their place in music history and go rescue some more. We don’t dwell on them and live with them…there is a reason that the past is gone and if you try to live there, you will diminish yourself to the point of an unfunny joke. Yes, nostalgia is that bad.
I can’t even listen to “classic rock” radio…Could you please play “Stairway” and “Freebird” again my brain is not numb; if I hear “Come Sail Away” or in fact anything else from Styx again…I am pretty sure with a good lawyer that I cannot be held responsible for the ensuing panic attack that will hit me. Why would you choose to live with this stuff and just stay there? The brain is not stretching and creating new things…it is stuck in dangerous limbo and suffocating on stale air. Get on that bus and head to the Church basement for a bingo game…it is over…you are done! (O.K, getting on a bus and attending a rousing bingo game is an upgrade for ‘Mr Classic Rock”)
So I strongly encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and find something different to tackle; I don’t care what it is. And when I say listen; I mean really get in to the depths of what they are saying and who they are saying it to, let the sound wash over you. Fall in love with a new band or genre…really listen.
And if you do this…magic might happen. The magic of understanding and really enjoying something that was unknown before. Now you are not just sampling something for the sake of exploration. You have added something new- you have forced the brain to change and grow. This does not mean that the old favorites will be replaced; the opposite happens as there is more variety to help frame them and place them in perspective. I did this a few years ago with Hip-Hop as I listened and listened ‘till I found something that would stick and gain traction in my rock n roll conscious. I discovered GZA from Wu-Tang and was blown away by the lyrical assassin. The beat is wrapped around the words and the words are something I did not expect- they are intelligent and insightful and relevant. The music is open to interpretation and can be enjoyed by people from all walks and ages and situations.
And this goes the other way as well. The 15 year old can learn a lot from ditching Mac Miller for a day and cranking up a little Led Zeppelin.