It took me years to realize with just how much concentrated vigor I hate classic rock. My reasons for hating it are somewhat complicated and extend beyond the fact that our culture is hyper-saturated with it - It's played in stores, at restaurants and bars, at jobs, in the car on family road trips (despite the overwhelming prevalence of pedophilia, hard drugs and other transgressive content suggested by the lyrics).
But far more than all of this, it just strikes me as a terrific waste of talent. Take a sample of any of even the second and third tier bands, and one thing you will notice is just how well everyone sings, how well everyone plays their instruments and how inventive some of it is. And yet, there is something missing. There's some enduring vacuity that can't be easily justfied nor denied. It's as if the good times these people are having are costing themselves and us enormously. A surplus of talent and a lack of substance, I guess is the short of it.
Even those bands I still like I can't actually listen to all that much. Certain songs by Led Zepplin are more pleasant to my ears than others, but if I have to hear Robert Plant's ever-delayed come-sneeze one more time, I'll chop my thumb off. I like Freddy Mercury's attitude and persona more than his actual music with Queen.
I've never liked The Beatles. Not even when I tried my hardest.
Perhaps what I hear that I dislike more than anything else is the music industry capitalizing on youthful naivety, and the old men ever reminiscing about the wild oats they could only afford by getting signed.
What I find myself listening to these days, strangely, is what would have been called 'indie' ten years ago but which is now most certainly just regular old radio alternative (alternative to what? I don't know).
I never thought I would become this boring, but here I am. Perhaps what I find so fascinating about this type of music, with all its twinkling, droning naivety, is that rather than focusing on a sort of exhausted youth culture which has been picked up by the industry like a vulnerable runaway, you suspect that the artists really are truly childlike and naive underneath all of their snobbery and basicness.
We live in an age of childlike/ish enthusiasms, rages, sorrows and expectations. It is frightening, but it can also be endearing when dosed out by some electro-folk, dreamy sounding band that genuinely believe in the vapid romantic encounters they sing about. There's something weirdly sweet about it.
I have little patience for old rockers who visited India in the 60's and 70's and suggest, even remotely, even ironically or distantly, that they got a glimpse of something bigger or became kind of enlightened.
I do admit that I have a soft spot for some of the old proggy, medieval minstrel on acid sounding stuff from the 60's and 70's like King Crimson, though I don't think that could rightly be called classic rock, as it has sort of become NEET music and isn't played on the radio much unless some poor 7-11 worker requests it late at night.
But ultimately, all of the music I find myself wandering into now is for lack of something as big and bombastic as a Rock version of Wagner (and no, I'm not talking shitty Viking Metal). People will probably tell me that what I'm describing exists, but I don't know anyone who comes anywhere near having the balls to (looks both ways) suggest music.