(My) old age and new music

I am 65. I have been listening to, and loving, music since about 1959, and I have always enjoyed the fact that rock (for want of a better, more inclusive term) constantly reinvents itself. I have always been excited by finding out what is just around the corner.

Until now. About five years ago, I found that I was becoming less and less interested in new music. I don’t know why, and what has changed in me, but while I still love the music I have enjoyed since 1959, current stuff seems to me to be either a re-hash of what has gone before, or a weaker version of it. I am disappointed in myself, because it must be a symptom of getting old - and that is a shame.

Or it could be that you’re hearing a lot of really bad music. I tend not to listen to music stations on the radio because since forever they seem to play the same few songs over and over and over, but that’s another story. My point is, the few times I’ve heard today’s “hits” I find myself cringing and how inane they sound, or how manufactured and packaged as opposed to performed, if that makes any sense.

I’d like to think that there are talented people making amazing music today but they’re not commercial enough, whatever that means. But do make space for me on your geezer bench, because I agree, and I’m still a youthful 62!

Make another seat on the geezer’s bench for this 62-year old. I am still interested in new music, for which I thank Amazon’s sampling capability, because I would never have heard the new songs I like on any of the local radio stations (all owned by Clear Channel and playing extremely formulaic programming). That being said, there have been periods when I can’t find much of anything I like at all, but thankfully those dry spells have always resolved themselves when something new and clever comes along.

I’d highly recommend digging deep in Amazon music (or another similar source that allows sampling) and see if something doesn’t capture your fancy. It’s worth the work. There are few pleasure better than discovering new music that you truly enjoy.

Do me a favor: Listen to Fleet Foxes and Magnetic Fields 69 love songs. You may just not be aware of some great stuff because of the distribution systems breaking down for it.

I pay for Spotify and love their “Discover Weekly” playlist they put together each week. I have learned of a lot of new (and old) bands this way.

And I also recommend 69 Love Songs. Great album.

Make room for one more on the geezer bench. The quote above nails it perfectly for me. When I hear things like the commercials on Spotify, no matter what the musical style, my first impression is that it does not sound like a musical performance, it sounds like a technical product. Brian Eno comments on this phenomenon.

By the way, I did listen to some of the Magnetic Fields music, and while it is not at the heart of my usual tastes, I did like it as fresh, original, organic music.

I’m 64. I like to think of myself as open-mined about new music, on the other hand I wouldn’t dream of seeking out any popular top-40 artists like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bieber, etc.

But… there is a lot of great stuff out there. I mostly listen to down-tempo somewhat-electronic of the last 20 years: Air, Thievery Corporation, Groove Armada, Gramatik, etc.

My favourite groups right now are Daft Punk, Royksopp and Vampire Weekend. Here are some samples:

Air - La Femme D’Argent
Thievery Corporation - Amerimacka
Groove Armada - At The River
Daft Punk - Veridis Quo
Röyksopp - Röyksopp’s Night Out
Vampire Weekend - Unbelievers

Hope some of these are new to you and that you like them too.

It’s not you.

Science has shown that radio pop music is (This was about 6 years ago btw) more homogenous than in any period since the 50’s.

So don’t listen to people who tell you it’s you and that every generation does it. I was also fine right up til past The Darkness. Then autotune caught on. Bands died away (again pop radio). It’s not you.

And the ones who say every decade was 90% crap by using number one hits are misguided. Give me a random top 40 from a month in 1965-1979 and I’ll find at least 8 stone-cold classics. The same cannot be said from 2005-2015. But I find it a failing of radio pop.

But as others I’m sure have said…you have to look for it to find good new music.

I’m 59, and I quit listening to pop music just about the time that U2 came in.

Like the OP, I was OK with all the new music, right up until I was about 65 (which was in 2003). After that, everything completely went to hell. There was a lot of really good music through the 80s, and quite a bit of OK stiff after that, up to the first few years of the millennium. Since then, nothing but absolute crap.

Same for movies. I haven’t sat through a whole movie since about 2005, but during the decade or two before, I really enjoyed watching movies.

There are vast countries of new music that aren’t on commercial radio or Top-40 lists. Whatever faults are there, they are not an excuse to not find new music you like.

If understanding the lyrics takes backseat to the music for you, try some Brazil. Marisa Monte is sublime.

I’m 65, and have just been discovering twenty one pilots.

The music they play at my gym is so forgettable that I’m constantly surprised that these groups have fans.

We should probably have a “Recommend some music for geezers” thread…

I think my kids are getting tired of me asking them “So, whatcha listening to?” Just today, my daughter replied with “Much too busy to listen, let alone find new music-- try Spotify.”

I’ve had good luck looking up some of my old favorites on iTunes (“Hey, I searched for Crowded House, and Neil Finn has a new album. Let’s try Norah Jones – whoa, she’s done a few albums with a jazz/blues group, and there are funky remixes, too!”)

So I’ve got some tasty new-yet-classic ‘tunage’ now! Oh, and Shawn Colvin did an album with Steve Earle! So screw the top 100, there’s still great music being made by hand.

I think you meant to say ‘ain’t that a shame’.

While I’m just a young whippersnapper at 54, I would recommend getting Bandcamp.com. Full of independent artists that reject the notion they need to sound like everyone else in order to make music. My personal favorites are Marian Call, Scott Barkan, The Doubleclicks, and Seth Boyer. But every style and type of music is there.

You listen to the “Enzso” album back around 1996?

Is this gong to become a weekly thing? There’s tons of great music being made. Dig a little past radio airplay. Maybe expand your tastes bit.

I think Norah Jones just released a new album. But check out what she’s done with her sister, Anoushka Shankar. Then check out Anoushka’s solo stuff.

Spotify and the other streaming services have to have “if you like, check out…” features.

Shouldn’t be too hard to find cool radio stations that steam their music.

K364 had some great suggestions.

Plug some names into Pandora and see what it suggests.

If you find new bands/artists you like, see what festivals they play and check out the artists there.

It’s really not hard to find great music. The internet makes it easier than ever. I can’t keep up with all the great new music.

Yup. I have many playlists of Anna Carolina, Gal Costa. Very nice, and the Portuguese language is so beautiful, it’s another instrument.

Pandora has some pretty extensive playlists of nice Brazilian music. Oh, Pandora also has Congolese artists, like Mpongo Love and Mbelia Bel.