When I was young, I had good taste in music. Of course good is a subjective term, but I’ll say that OK Computer meant a lot to me and I liked Modest Mouse before “Float On” came out.
Liking music was a currency in cool in high school and college, but before the age of illegal downloads, it was also a class system. Since music on the radio sucked (obviously) to find real music, you had to buy music. As a youth, I devoted a significant portion of my allowance to new CDs. Each $16 CD (including taxes and the like) was a risk: What if I didn’t like the new Weezer album?
Nowadays, there are other ways to be cool. You could, for example, write a novel and live in a sometimes bug infested apartment. But more to the point, the older we get, the more opportunities there are to define oneself. As a teen, music was a way for me to know about the world outside of my parents’ help. Now as a pseudo adult, I need that sense of individuality less because I am more of an individual.
And all this is an excuse to say lately, I’ve been quite bad about finding new music. I’m not just cheap. Most music can be obtained for free with a little research. But I’m lazy: I’m too lazy to read music blogs and too lazy download tracks. Even getting the new tracks on my iPod seems like a lot of work lately.
In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying light music. There’s a coffee shop I go to that seems to play exclusively Sheryl Crow, John Mayer and Tracy Chapman. And I don’t mind. They have good coffee and sometimes you just want a fast car.
This one goes out to JK, who introduced me to Wilco and the small pleasures of making my way downtown.