Having had a rock/metal ear growing up, I have naturally tortured everyone around me with music that was described as “just noise”.
And I didn’t get it. To me, I could pick out the melodic intricacies and deep, meaningful lyrics from the thrash and thumps. And I don’t even think I listened to that heavy of metal – it spanned (over time and not limited to) from Guns N Roses to Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Queensryche, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Disturbed, Vai, Dream Theater, KoRn, Tool, Staind, Rush… Leading to the more recent – Muse, System of a Down etc…
And what has become of this? The heaviest music I listen now is Modest Mouse and maybe, The Shins (well, they are on Sub-Pop). As great bands as they are, that’s a sad boiling-down-to point. My choice of music selection runs on a day to day basic, pending mood – and this usually fits within:
- Erykah Badu/Common/India Arie
- Iron & Wine/Band of Horses/Josh Pyke/Jose Gonzaléz
- Zero 7/Imogen Heap-Frou Frou/Bob Marley
- Peter Gabriel/Neil Young/Paul McCartney
- Modest Mouse/The Shins/Powderfinger
And then there are the one off dance/hip-hop songs – usually reserved for weekends.
I have come to realise and accept that the threshold for music volume and wrist-slitting lyrics decreases with age – which is tied to the amount of energy one has. I think, when you’re young, you’re blessed with unlimited energy – since the only thing you have to focus on is to not get an F on a test. You didn’t have to worry about credit card payments, biological clocks, idiot bosses, breakups, deadlines and how far 50 bucks would take you in the supermarket.
You had all this energy to burn – which one could willingly and efficiently dispose listening to loud, angry music. Now, at this wonderful and blessed age, all I want to do when I get home, is slide into bed with the stale of idiocy and mediocrity washed off, one lone candle lit, and “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine playing softly.
How beautifully ironic that you understand your parents only when you’ve grown up.