Yes, fine. You of the ironic, derogatory t-shirt that reads “Your favorite band sucks,” you nailed it. My favorite band does suck. Not only that, but they’ve faded into irrelevancy. The nineties were a long time ago.
Ah, the nineties. I miss the comfort of feeling sad. We were the generation that took the sentiment of The Beatles’ “I want to hold your hand” and adapted it to the arguably more direct Reznor lyric “I want to f*** you like an animal.” Ours was the decade where condoms kicked in again (thanks a lot, 80s AIDS), and where ironic cynicism never took a night off (ruining every episode of “Little House on the Prairie” we ever watched, while simultaneous elevating “Schoolhouse Rock” to the status of neo-chic). Our parents had the JFK assassination, with Walter Cronkite holding the nation’s hand through the national crisis. We had Kurt Cobain’s suicide, with MTV’s Kurt Loder playing the role of babysitter to the nation’s self-indulgent youth. You could count the pixels in your internet porn. It was a different time then.
Why is it that your musical tastes get stuck in the era in which you were thirteen? Is there something about the nature of music and puberty that inextricably links them to that culminating moment when your hand finally found its way under a shirt? But I digress.
The nineties progressed thunderously into the next decade, the name of which remains in dispute even still. The Two Thousands? The Zeros? The Naughts? I personally prefer “The Naughts” because it reflects a nothingness or absence of something, and that something is growth.
I don’t think music has grown in this decade. I think the apparatus surrounding music has. The digital music file hasn’t just become legit, it’s swept retail infrastructure away, bringing iTunes to every computer in America, and forcing many-a Virgin Music Store executive to contemplate the sweet release of a quick death.
But the music hasn’t grown. The Black Eyed Peas? They’re basically A Tribe Called Quest. Owl City? Someone just dug up the Gin Blossoms. And Kanye West is basically Suzeanne Vega in a suit.
No growth this decade, just a long tail from the nineties. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.