Keeping Time with Music

You know the old saying, “I am a product of my times”?  I have never felt this more acutely than when I listen to music.  A friend once told me how she had explained to a younger colleague that when you get to a certain point in your life you no longer listen to “new” music and only like the music of your past.  She was clearly exaggerating, because I know she listens to at least some new music.  However, I get her point.

My formative years were the 70’s and 80’s.  I love the music of that time period, not all of it, but what I liked then, I still like now.  Case in point, when I listen to KEXP and hear a song that I like (this is usually when I am running errands in the car) I try and remember the time of day and look it up on their playlist.  I get excited that there is a new song out that I really like.  I immediately click their link to buy on Amazon and put it on my wish list.  If it’s already on my wish list, then I set the priority to “High”.  (Yes, I have a very long wish list.)  Often I find that the “new” music that I am grooving to (highly technical 70’s term to mean “like”) is a song from the 80s or late 70s.  It is most likely that I had heard the song before, but forgotten it.  Sad that I had forgotten something that I had probably heard many times before and also that my heart seems to be pointing in the past and not the future.  Another sign of aging, I suppose.  (Sigh!)

I sometimes wonder if it is just me, or if everyone does this?  I do know of people that discard all things old and only try to live in the moment.  Is this something people do to help move things in a forward or new direction?  I can’t help thinking that possibly those people fear death.  To keep moving forward with newer and better things to try and outrun the inevitable.  (See the movie Moonstruck for more on this topic.)  That’s just my thoughts on the matter.

It’s not just the 70’s and 80’s, though, music of my peers.  I also have a fondness for music that my parent’s loved.  We drove everywhere in our old station wagon and my parents listened to classical music and music of the 40’s and 50’s.  The oldies station would occasionally throw in some 60’s music.  The span of music from my formative years is larger than the actual “formative years” were.  I know this is not just me, since I find that some music of today has a feel of a time past.  Those musicians must have their heart set to that time, at least for the moment of creating that piece music.

In 2004, I purchased the CD Brian Wilson Presents Smile.  When I first listened to it, I was disappointed to find that it sounded like an old Beach Boys record.  After more listens, I find that the beauty of it lies in the fact that it sounds like an old Beach Boys record.  I am drawn to music that sounds like it belongs to another age.  I love the band Tennis and the album Cape Dory.  The feel is very 60s.

There seems to be a 60s music revival going on.  Another favorite of mine is Best Coast’s “When I’m With You”.

There are many more 60s sounding new bands in my CD collection, not to mention the rest of the world of music.

I am eagerly awaiting the release of the CD from Broken Bells.  It has a quality that I thought was long past.  Can you guess?  The CD is called After the Disco and possibly no surprise now is the song I like sounds like a 70’s Bee Gees song.  Looking up the CD online brought me to this interview with them on NPR and you can hear this awesome (here I’ve mixed times with a 80’s/90’s term meaning really cool) song, “Holding On For Life.”

Broken Bells

The CD is due out on February 4, 2014.  I’m ready, are you?  I can hardly wait!

New music or old music, what is the flavor your heart desires?  What time is it for you?