I often find myself thinking, what kind of music will my generation be remembered for? There has been no Punk rock or Rave style underground musical uprising, nor has there been the birth of a fresh new mainstream genre. It is easy for me to point out that nearly all the mainstream music that has come and gone since the new millennium has belonged to a pop-based genre, but I think most generations have had that. However this is not the kind of music that has stood the test of time, good music stands out and is remembered … eventually.
Every generation has had music that reflects the political and cultural situations of their time. We all know the way the free-spirited movement of the 60’s was reflected in such music as that of Jimi Hendrix and The Mamas & the Papas. The UK’s economic situation during the 70’s, shadowed by the threat of nuclear war, saw Punk-Rock burst onto the scene with the Sex pistols and The Clash. Every generation of people since the 1950’s has had music they can relate too.
Then there is my generation, those born in the 90’s, who would have come into musical awareness in the early to mid-2000’s. After looking through my CD collection and thinking back on the music that I have really embraced, I think our generation belongs to the “we’ve got nothing to sing about but we’re gonna sing anyway” generation. The music that stood out was full of musicians that don’t have any major political or moral standing. There’s not a lot of musicians that take themselves completely seriously; Blink 182 and The Rakes to name a few.
Now I’m not saying there has not been any great, memorable music over the past decade or so. Musicians have sang beautifully about personal feelings of love and loss but there has not been a band, a song or a genre of music that captures the feeling of the time in music.
Some of the most successful bands of this millennium, the Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age and the Artic Monkeys have had no major injustices or people’s rights to fight for and represent. Despite all of them making good, popular music I think there lyrics show the situation of our generation.
“And over there there’s broken bones. There’s only music, so that there’s new ringtones”. Artic Monkeys “We get some rules to follow. That and this These and those, No one knows. We get these pills to swallow, How they stick In your throat”. Queens of the Stone Age.
Yes there have been bands that stand for more, The Flobots – Fight with Tools stood against many things in US politics including the war in Iraq. Serj Tankian through both his band System of a Down and his solo career has become known as somewhat of a political activist. However you do have to go out of your way to find more bands that have put there opinions into music and made it popular.
So for me, through fashion, lyrics and general attitude towards music, bands of my generation have reflected a “who gives a fuck” attitude. A content yet bored generation of people, The Rakes, The Young Knives and The Drums nonchalant Indi music perfectly captures this.