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Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 2:17 pm
by Leon Parker
I still check what I call new old music that been recorded that has not found my ears yet. New music as in what youngsters are up today I have not brought any. The last new stuff I brought was Mowax and Ninja Tune stuff back in the 1990's.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 3:33 pm
by Nigel w
I suppose when it comes to songs, the 33 years old cut-off point is fairly logical. By then 'new music' is probably being made by kids who are 12-15 years younger than you and why would you want to listen to them singing about the things you used to do but can't any more because you've got a wife and kids and a mortgage and have to get up in the morning to go to your very-important-high-powered executive job ?

That's probably why a lot uf us around that age - including the achitect of this forum himself - got into world music in the 1980s; it offered a different and more 'exotic' option than listening to the next generation of rock'n'rollers recycling what we'd already discovered 20 years earlier and had 'grown out' of. I remember having this very convesation with Charlie in the 1990s and we were both convinced that rock/pop music had grown boring and repetitious and that was why we had to seek our musical thrills elsewhere. In retrospect, I can now see that it was probably us who had changed more fundamentally than the music.

The point about 'does anyone still listen to the records Neil Young is making in his dotage' is interesting and I do. That's about the audience growing old with artists and finding those artists reflecting our own changing concerns. So it can be quite fascinating hearing the best writers - Young and Dylan and James Taylor and Cohen etc - sing about mortality and your kids leaving home and the stuff that's happening in our own post-50 lives rather than what we were doing 30 or 40 years ago.

I remember Kate and Anna McGarrigle writing some wonderful songs in this vein in the 1990s. There was one song (think it was on an album called Matapedia circa 1996/7) which was about going to the school of one of their kids for a memoirial service or something for four young kids killed needlessly in a stupid, drunken teenage car crash. It was like the Shangri-Las' Leader Of The Pack, only seen through the eyes of the parents rather than the teenagers. That seemed quite a profound subject to me at the time ; although on the other hand I can't imagine the song appealing to anyone who was 16 ...

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 10:03 am
by will vine
Nigel w wrote: So it can be quite fascinating hearing the best writers - Young and Dylan and James Taylor and Cohen etc - sing about mortality and your kids leaving home and the stuff that's happening in our own post-50 lives rather than what we were doing 30 or 40 years ago.


Agreed. Not sure I want to suggest we assemble a definitive list of such songs but I'd nominate Joni Mitchell's Chinese Cafe amongst the best in this category. I play it often. Other recommendations?

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 6:39 am
by will vine
Maybe 33 should be the end off all of it. Maybe we should've put away childish things by then. Those of us who failed to live fast and die young ought not to be clinging on to the wreckage.

We have some kind of tv package here at home that lets you see all kinds of old nonsense from way back and here's a film of the Cropredy Festival of, I think, 2012....the 45th anniversary of Fairport Convention. One look at the physical state of the band and the crowd and I just can't help thinking, Dear God, Let it go! The audience, now pasty-faced, fat, bald, and grey are rooted to picnic chairs, fretful as to whether they've set the tv to record Countryfile while they're away paying homage. They wear funny hats and sing along when bidden. For all the world it looks like a care home entertainment. I don't hold any of that against them. I see myself in all of them. I am all those things (except the bit about Countryfile obviously) and as physically unsuited to RocknRoll as to ice dancing or ballet.

Now, as I look forward to this year's Rhythms of the World festival, I stumble across the pen portraits of the performers, almost all refreshingly? new to me and I see a lot of acts described as NU-soul, folktronica, alt-rock, blitz metal, nu-folk, beats & rap, and jazzrockfusion. I know that if I go there I'll see myself reflected in the faces of all the old crones wandering around from stage to stage browsing the attractions as distractedly as they might in a shopping mall or at a car boot sale, not entirely sure why they are there.

I might just stay home and listen to my old 33's.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 8:51 am
by AndyM
Personally, I love Countryfile.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 9:36 am
by DavidM
..I know that if I go there I'll see myself reflected in the faces of all the old crones wandering around from stage to stage browsing the attractions as distractedly as they might in a shopping mall or at a car boot sale, not entirely sure why they are there.


That's beautifully put, Will.

I'm sorry to hear that you've given up ice dancing.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:53 am
by NormanD
Same quote as David quoted.

Most people, if not all of them, are like this at festivals. Some will have bought programmes and gone through the timetable with a highlighter, left during the encore of one to get there early for the next on their list. Rarely are they musical risk-takers. Kate Rusby's next - let's get down there! I've also seen, on some music sites, complaints about those groups of people who book together and set up camp in front of the main stage - in camping chairs, of course, maybe under parasols - even facing away from the stage for those less agreeable acts. I've read this criticism most often abut the annual Cropreddy Fairport bash. Your point proven, Will.

But I'd sooner they sat there, obscuring the view, rather than dance about in their flappy baggy festival shorts or, worse, skimpy ones. Their wives and lady friends often sit there with their Kindles. A wise move.

The 'shopping opportunities' are exhausted within about one hour. That great Indian cotton shirt won't last two washes; you know it, but still buy. That hat might be useful again next year. The cd will get played on the way home in the car, then get lost in the pile. Your necessary diet will now be well and truly fucked for the next week, plus the grease will haunt you for days after.

Hey! Let's have fun
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnBA02MWqwQ (Except you'll be standing in a field waiting to hear Kate Rusby, and never here anything as inspiring as this).

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:56 am
by Adam Blake
will vine wrote:here's a film of the Cropredy Festival of, I think, 2012....the 45th anniversary of Fairport Convention. One look at the physical state of the band and the crowd and I just can't help thinking, Dear God, Let it go! The audience, now pasty-faced, fat, bald, and grey are rooted to picnic chairs, fretful as to whether they've set the tv to record Countryfile while they're away paying homage. They wear funny hats and sing along when bidden. For all the world it looks like a care home entertainment. .


Last time I saw Fairport Convention was in about 1998 and I walked out on them. I never thought that day would come, but it did.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 1:53 pm
by AndyM
I've never been to a festival. Even when young and carefree, I put great store by a good strong flush.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 2:34 pm
by Pete Fowler
I relate closely to Nigel’s post, though we diverged on conclusions. I, too, had many conversations with Charlie in the late 70s and 80s about the dullness of the new music; and we both realised it was largely and simply because we were older. I knew I was finished as a rock writer during Punk (when I was 33!) because my interviews, at the time, with John Lydon, McClaren and co – for Radio Piccadilly in Manchester – centred on my central thesis that 1977 might be 1964. ‘Watching the Clash tonight in Hulme’ (I’m quoting from something I’ve just found), ‘was exactly the same as watching The Who at the Railway in Wealdstone....’

Well, it might have been; but it was no longer my generation, it was theirs. They saw me as a relic; and they were right in one crucial respect – I might see the importance of their intervention, but I could never feel it as a teenager. And since the last path I ever wanted to tread was as an academic theorist on rock and its successors, there was no future (an appropriate phrase) for me as a rock writer.

Charlie actually felt the same, he largely gave up on the writing. But he and Nigel headed for the ‘exotic’ whereas I never did. I wanted music that reflected my experiences of living here at my age. It’s one of those things that’s always made me tentative on this forum: that I had not taken Charlie’s route.

Of course, there are other writing avenues; and there are those I’ve admired over the years, from Paul Oliver, my Art teacher at school to those like Peter Guralnick, Greil Marcus and Barney Hoskins. But I never had a clue, with four kids here, as to how such people sustained themselves. (Well, I know that one, Oliver, simply disappeared from the family home for months at a time).

But these, like me, seemed to have largely stopped listening to new young music in their middle or late 30s. (My ‘33’ stretched to about Live Aid time when I was 41).

And, like Nigel again, I love hearing what the still-creative ones of my generation do; and nothing grabbed me more than the ‘death’ songs of Dylan on ‘Time Out Of Mind’. As I was in and out of hospitals, major heart ops, these resonated like crazy.

Nothing to me is sadder than those of my age pumping iron and running marathons and prancing around on a stage duplicating exactly the sounds of their teenage years

But nothing to me is more exhilirating than watching my 11 year old Granddaughter standing here at the side of this desk, guitar in hand, me fiddling with Garage Band, her singing, beautifully, into the mike; and amazing me with songs she’s somehow written that send a shiver down the old man’s spine.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 3:54 pm
by Adam Blake
That's nice, Pete.

I didn't know Charlie very well but I had a couple of very memorable conversations with him. One of them was about that moment in the 80s when he and I, in our separate ways, turned away from the pop/rock mainstream. He pursued what came to be known as World music. I pursued jazz and blues. It wasn't a conscious decision on my part, and I still loved then what I always loved and still love now: basically the whole rock'n'roll THING from 1955 to about 1980, but I wanted to hear music that came from the heart and that was made by people who knew what they were doing. The stupid experimentalism of cack handed amateurs armed with some half-baked "post-rock" manifesto they had picked up from Ian Penman or Paul Morley's pontifications in NME seemed so pathetic compared to Muddy Waters or Duke Ellington.

Anyway, I spent the morning listening to old Rod Stewart and the Faces records so I am just getting more entrenched, I am afraid. It'll be T.Rex or Eddie Cochran next. I can feel it.

My daughter occasionally takes pity on me and turns me on to something new. Over the last couple of years I can honestly say I really like Bonobo, Tame Impala and Nubya Garcia - all of which are down to her. Thank goodness for kids!

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:38 pm
by AndyM
Adam Blake wrote: I still loved then what I always loved and still love now: basically the whole rock'n'roll THING from 1955 to about 1980, but I wanted to hear music that came from the heart and that was made by people who knew what they were doing. The stupid experimentalism of cack handed amateurs armed with some half-baked "post-rock" manifesto they had picked up from Ian Penman or Paul Morley's pontifications in NME seemed so pathetic compared to Muddy Waters or Duke Ellington.


In defence of the early 80s (oh why do I even try!?!), the stuff you berate here was by no means the whole story. There were screeds of wonderful pop records (providing you weren't synth-phobic), from ABC to Culture Club to New Order to Eurythmics, black pop was chucking up all sorts of post-disco gems, hip-hop was redefining boundaries, and (for those still needing to suckle on the teat of white blokes with guitars) The Smiths were revving up in the wings.

Having said that, it was also the period when I began exploring less mainstream genres too, but I think that's more to do with getting older and having a little bit more money than anything intrinsic in the music.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 5:33 pm
by Adam Blake
AndyM wrote:In defence of the early 80s (oh why do I even try!?!), the stuff you berate here was by no means the whole story.



I know that, Andy. I was there, y'know! I chose the extremes of Duke Ellington versus the likes of PiL-camp followers to illustrate a point. I personally don't like synths and drum machines so the actual physical sound of Pop in that era turned me off. Also, the Thatcherite zeitgeist was a long, long way from The Shangri-La's... That said, there were lots of exceptions and I had a lot of fun. But rock'n'roll was all over bar the shouting (and there was a LOT of shouting). (Occasionally, the ghost of rock'n'roll sticks its head up and gesticulates rudely from the battlements.....)

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 6:42 pm
by AndyM
Personally I have never cared for the blanket usage of "rock'n'roll". Too sweeping and worst of all too American. (The inbuilt urge to pronounce it 'rawk' gives me hives!!) I prefer to reserve it purely for the 50s era for which it was originally coined.

Re: 33 is the end?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 7:56 pm
by Adam Blake
Fair enough. Personally, I spring out of bed every morning shouting: "Let there be RAWK!!"

(It's true I have been single for awhile now...)