Last week, we had some discussion about the Millennial generation and their current state. You know, I like Millennials. Overall, I think they’re good kids with a great destiny. More often than not, you will find that I generally say nice things about them, with few exceptions.
The Baby Boomers? Sorry, guys, but as a Gen-Xer, I’m too steeped in John Hughes movies to give you a pass on much. There is at least one glowing exception to that, however. Your generation consistently produced excellent musicians and wonderful genres and you had the good taste to help them flourish. Although there are outstanding Millennial musicians, the tastes of that generation in general are fairly bad.
Let’s give some love to the Boomers. You young people like hip-hop? Invented by Boomers like Grandmaster Flash (b. 1958). How about heavy metal? Mostly carried forward by Boomers like Led Zeppelin (Plant, b. 1948, Jones, b. 1946, and Bonham, b. 1948; though Jimmy Page is techically Silent Generation, b. 1944). Then there’s Punk Rock, ushered in by Boomers such as The Ramones.
Additionally, the Boomers produced the artists that all Gen-Xers grew up worshipping on MTV. None of us could imagine a world in which the late, great Boomers such as David Bowie, Prince, or Michael Jackson had never lived.
Oh, and thanks for raising us and all. I guess we shouldn’t be complete ingrates now that you’ve gotten up there in years.
Gen-X? Our only new, major genres were perversions of what the Boomers had created in the form of Gangsta Rap and Rap-Rock. Ugh. I’m sure some of you will say, “What about grunge, you asshole?” Sorry, I don’t consider grunge to be a musical genre. Both Alice in Chains and Nirvana are considered grunge, both arose out of the Seattle musical scene in the late-80s/early 90’s, and they sound nothing alike. AIC is closer to metal and Nirvana is punk. Feel free to make your best argument telling me I’m wrong, I don’t care. Grunge was a subculture, not a genre.
Then there’s the poor Millennials. I guess you have that music that uses that “womp womp womp womp” sound, but I think that was invented way earlier too. I’m trying to throw you a bone here. Work with me.
The greatest musical force of the past century was the Silent Generation (b. 1925-1944), which has nearly faded away completely with the recent passing of Chuck Berry. The sheer musical power that this generation produced was of extraordinary magnitude and may never be equaled. Thank them for Rock N’ Roll, Funk, and Soul among others. They also get partial credit for Heavy Metal. This generation encompasses everyone from Elvis to James Brown to Jerry Lee Lewis to Dio to Johnny Cash. Say what you want about their politics in their old age, but these elderly folks rocked it ever day of their lives. They deserve our respect.
Really, the name Silent has to be a misnomer when you look at this generation’s musical accomplishments. What do you expect though? They grew up with Sinatra, Big Band, R&B, and the like. The lesson is that if you want better music to start coming out, get your kids and grandchildren listening to better music. Turn off that Radio Disney shit and we’ll have a shot at producing some true artists.
To participate, please share a song with a YouTube link in the comments. It will be added to the embedded playlist. All songs should fit one of the below themes:
- “Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation”: The best music of your generation.
- “When You Comin’ Home, Son?”: Music that speaks to generational differences….and similarities…and how we relate to each other.
- “Snowflake Serenade”: Any of that newfangled stuff the youngsters are listening to, with their tight jeans and Facebooks or SnapperChat or whatever the hell it is.
- “I Learned It By Watching You!”: Musical styles that were created by one generation, faded, and then were revived by a later one.
- “We Didn’t Start the Fire”: Songs that defined generations either in general or during certain eras.
Dedications for my youthful but aging cohorts.
pfluffy: For you, some Black Angels. Psychedelic music was invented by the Silent generation and this band has almost managed to resurrect and perfect it.
zoomwsu: Who can forget Gen-X’s great Swing Revival of the 90’s? Well, I tried when I was living through it. But it was impossible.
westvirginiarebel: I had wanted this Millennial band to make it a lot bigger when they appeared a few years ago. They came closer to Nirvana with this one song than Courtney Love ever did. Could have led to a grunge revival. Wasn’t meant to be.
Santino: Greatest Millennial act out there, in my opinion. I’m with you on this one.
Grendel: Unfortunately, this doesn’t count as a #4 since the band members are in the same generation as the original glam rockers, but it’s impossible not to love how perfectly they capture the essence of it all.
Zurvan: Here’s a song by a Millennial band that beautifully captures the style of Eric Clapton.
mashav: We’re close in age, so you get one from one of my most worn-out albums from the grunge era. It’s even more appropriate since it is supposedly about another grunge era musician who was pretty famous but far from immortal.
Would you like a dedication next week? It’s easy. All you have to do is add a song this week. You get what you give.