Saturday, 15 January 2011

And all the kids these days have stupid haircuts, too

The aging process is relentless, isn't it? One minute you're youthful and carefree, then without a moment's notice you're slumped in a bath chair, waving your walking stick at passers-by and ranting uncontrollably.

This was brought home to me in no uncertain terms on Thursday evening by the wonderful sound of BBC Radio 1.

For those of you who are not residents of this sceptred isle, I should explain that Radio 1 is a national radio station that caters for all that is hip, and indeed happening, musically. All of the presenters have wilfully interesting facial hair.

I do not normally listen to Radio 1.

However, on Thursday I learned that a band I like very much were releasing the debut single from their new album and it was going to get its first radio play on the afore-mentioned station at 7pm that very night. Imagine my excitement, if you can. If your imagination doesn't stretch that far, let me help you.

I was excited.

So on the way home from work I pointed my car radio's dial to the unfamiliar-reaches of 97.7 FM. Alright, in reality I did no such thing - what I actually did was to press the button marked '1' which had been set by the people in the showroom when I picked up my car two years ago, but you get the point.

As I sped along the darkened stretches of the M6 I received a swift and brutal education into how I am an old fart who has no place listening to this modern-music-that's-meant-for-the-kids, daddy-o. I was a little early, so was getting the end of the previous presenter's show. Someone was singing a song, a merry enough ditty, but I didn't quite catch the words due to the Biblical quantities of auto-tune being employed. There was barely a hint of human endeavour at play. It can only be a short time, I thought to myself, before we get Stephen Hawking on Glee.

I drove on. Presenter A handed over to presenter B, a man with a name that escapes me but probably began with the letter Z. There was banter about this latter presenter's up-and-coming 'gig', which seemed to consist of lots of people going to watch him play a succession of records in a room. Intense.

Then I was treated to some R&B. I have no problem with R. R is fine, really. I'm actually quite fond of B. But it does seem that by pushing them together these days we end up with a confection that would have Marvyn Gaye revolving in his grave at something north of 45 RPM. I blame the '&'. I suppose it made a nice change to be listening to it on a halfway-decent stereo system. The only time I hear this stuff normally is when it's being played on a crappy speaker attached to a mobile phone, itself being wielded with menace by some pimply herbert who wouldn't know Compton even if the number 12 bus he was on went there instead of Yardley Wood.

Each to their own. Because then we had something called Dubstep.

I'd heard of the genre itself, even caught snatches of it out of the windows of souped-up Ford Fiestas driven by young gentlemen wearing trousers whose crotches seem, for some baffling reason, to start at knee-level. But I'd never heard an entire song. If indeed 'song' is the right phrase to be used for something resembling R2D2 having a moment of tenderness with a fax machine in an office cupboard.

At this point I had to switch off the radio as I'd arrived home. Never before have I felt so blessed. But I reflected and remembered. I listened to myself. And I recalled my own father being baffled by Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads back in nineteen-hundred-and-frozen-to-death.

Young people. Ignore me, for I am old and know nothing. It's not you, it's me. And believe me - in 25 years or so, it'll be you, too.

Just do me a favour will you? Pull your bloody trousers up.

1 comment:

Brandy Rose said...

I can't get into dubstep. And I never understood the pants. Whats worse is now the "boys" wear those skinny jeans...with the crotch nearly to their knees...I just don't get it...

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