Why do art, literature and music matter less to me now that I'm middle aged?
Items tagged music
As parents, we all want our children to learn new skills, but sometimes a little learning is a dangerous thing. As a friend once said, “you spend ages trying to get your kids to talk, and once they do, you wish they’d shut up”. At the moment, one skill my daughter has unfortunately learned is the ability to make Spotify repeat the same song forever.
The invented lyrics in the soundtrack to my weird inner world
Of all the celebrity deaths in 2016 that might have provoked me to write a few words, it feels somehow incongruous that it should be Rick Parfitt from Status Quo.
For a long time, I’ve been intrigued by the phenomenon whereby a certain kind of music fan (myself included) professes disdain for the mainstream, and doesn’t want to be seen to like anything too popular. Once upon a time Oasis were a thrilling new band. Is it a coincidence that the point where I went off them is around the time that they became the biggest band in the country? For many people, a similar story could be told about Coldplay. When something is too popular, it must be rubbish, in the eyes and ears of the contrarian.
Somehow, the penny has never dropped for me with The Boss. Plenty of people whose musical taste I respect rave about what a genius he is, so I feel like I should like him too. I’ve tried to like him, but for some reason, things have never quite clicked, and it feels like somehow I’m failing in my duties as a middle-aged music fan. I know that some music is an acquired taste - maybe I need to get used to it, the same way that people need to get used to the taste of beer or wine. But he’s hardly difficult listening, so why doesn’t he do it for me?
In the last year or so, I've started getting into running, and while I definitely wouldn't call myself a proper runner, I'm improving.
I’ve always been suspicious of people who can afford to be bohemian. In light of the recent spat between Chris Bryant and James Blunt about people in the arts from privileged backgrounds, I was reminded of this suspicion.
I’ve never understood why people think Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On is a masterpiece. It’s reached the sacred cow status of an all-time classic, sitting up there with Sgt Pepper, Citizen Kane, and War and Peace. It has been established as one of the greatest records of of all time - an album that only a contrarian could dislike.
I like cover versions. At least I do when they're doing something interesting with the song. I don't really see the point of recording straight copies of songs - it would be like a tribute band making an album. I could lose days on a site like Second Hand Songs, and I'm not alone in this - I've just found out that the BBC have put a list together as well.