How a popular sound improved the way a generation creates and consumes music
I read this, this fawning article about EDM written by an 18 year old, and I scoffed and scoffed hard and then felt like a jerk about it all day. It’s gazey-eyed idealistic teenage writing and I laughed out loud reading it, and that’s my moment of death. This was the moment I realized that I am a man marked for death, 27 years old ready to spend the next 3 years scared of turning 30, sputtering bitter drool on a nice doofy kid living out the most exciting time of their life, that time of your life when your music means everything to you, and having the gall to share that enthusiasm with the rest of the world, and I laughed. I laughed, and now I see the path ahead clearer than ever before: every year, I am going to get older, I am going to scoff more and more at kids who dare to love music the way I used to, and then I’m done. I see that path, and all I can do is shrug and keep walking with my head down, pretending that I’m not getting any older.
I feel this way because for the past, four years? Five? I’ve thought of myself as someone who respects teenagers, cares about them, cares about music that is designed for teenagers and gets mad as a dad when they aren’t treated with respect. So here is an actual teenager talking about for real modern music for teenagers and I’m laughing. Laughing at lines like: “The prominent DJs seem to be living in one incessant party, with frequent commutes, usually on private planes. When we reach adulthood at age 21, it is our goal to join this party.” That’s a ridiculous line, but coming from an 18 year old I understand - you haven’t seen much of the world yet, dreams are impossibly huge, and you want to live in the world of the music you love. I get that, I’ve been there. And if you’re a kid listening to EDM, you want tolive in that party! I get it!
The thing is, the party doesn’t exist, James, and you’ll never join it, especially not when you turn 21, because when you hit that age adult shit starts to become real, the part of adulthood you never think about as a teenager because you’re having such a fun time that it is impossible to conceive. If there is a party, you probably will not have the time or the means to join it. But fuck, if you do join that party, that mythical EDM party in the sky, holy shit! Good for you! That’s amazing! Pop some molly, throw your hands in the air and FEEL THE MUSIC. You’ll have realized that dream.
But fuck, don’t listen to me anyway. When I was 18 I started writing about music, and it was worse than yours but just as enthusiastic. I loved music with a zeal I physically can’t muster now, but it wasn’t pop music. It was classic rock, the Flaming Lips, Britpop. The music kids my age loved at the time - emo, Southern hip hop, R&B - I scoffed at. I scoffed at it, and I lost the chance to commune with my generation at the most critical time. And I’ll never ever get that chance again.
And you have that. You have for real communal music with people your age, making memories that will keep you warm when you’re old and sad like we all will be. That is great. Good for you. I can poke fun at your doofy teenage writing as much as I like, but you’ll always have that over me. I wish we could trade places.
I am posting this for no other reason than public humiliation, because I feel stupid as hell about this, and I never want to forget how stupid I am. Thanks friends
the fight of the century is about to begin
last modified 1999-06-25 03:08:25
With all the heat Anita Sarkeesian gets for her Tropes series, you’d think it was a new topic, but Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert had a discussion on a similar theme when they were talking about the influx of slasher movies on their show in 1980.
34 years later and this is STILL relevant