We watched Zodiac this weekend, and I want to write a discussion about that, but time is kinda tight lately, and I’ll have more time after this weekend, so it’ll wait until next week. Until then, I want to briefly touch on something troubling that arose recently.
Weird Al Yankovic put out his thirteenth (thirteenth? Jeebus) album Alpocalypse recently, and, like all his albums, it contains a polka medley skewering various popular songs of the period. The lyrics aren’t altered, but doing Jamie Foxx’s “Alcohol” in polka form is entertaining enough. It used to be that I knew all the songs on each of these medleys; I thought I kept up with popular music pretty well. Then I heard the medley on Alpocalypse (titled “Polka Face,” can you tell where that came from?) and it hit me:
I didn’t know half of these goddamn songs.
I know I’ve gradually let myself slip away from current music over the past few years. Frankly, nothing’s really piqued my interest lately (with a couple of exceptions), and I end up falling back on music from my youth (or just saying fuck it and listening to podcasts). I would still keep my ear out for popular songs (usually with disdain, especially Ke$ha – I mean, what the fuck is that shit?), but would just care less. But I didn’t know how much less until “Polka Face” showed me how out of the loop I had been.
Now, I know some of those songs. And a couple of them are songs I was aware of, but didn’t know based solely on the lyrics. The others? “Replay” by Iyaz? “Down” by Jay Sean? Lady Antebellum? Are these real things? I’m wondering if someone with unlimited resources is just making shit up and pulling a lot of strings to gaslight me. IT’S WORKING, GUYS.
Have I reached a point where I’ve officially cast off from the dock of popular music, never to return again? At 31, have I finally lost touch with the kids? Am I no longer relevant? AM I NO LONGER COOL?
Or does the music of today just suck so bad I want no part of it? Thoughts?
Sadly, I experienced this exact thing back with Running with Scissors.
When you’re young and trying to understand where you fit in the world, you’re so obsessed with defining yourself that you pay a lot of attention to things that you later automatically filter out because you have already rejected them from your self-conception.
And upon reflection, I realize that pretty much all the music I actually DID enjoy when I was young actually deeply and unrepentantly sucked. Now imagine the stuff I didn’t like.