Saturday, August 16, 2008

Nostalgia and Melancholy

I don't go to enough music shows. When I was in college, I went to a show almost every week. It was like church for me. Here, it's like twice a year, which is a little unacceptable. I'm out of the Sacto music loop, for good reason, but maybe it's time to get back into it.

I was listening to a recent Sound Opinions podcast in which Jim De Rogatis and Greg Kot discussed a new, interesting trend among the old guard of the alternative/indie rock bands. They were lamenting what they perceive to be the loss of the alternative ethos that blasted boomer bands for coming around again, playing nothing but the old stuff, because several alternative bands are on tour playing their classic albums from the 90s. The 14-yo me who was too young to go see Smashing Pumpkins when Gish was their only album, or Jane's Addiction at the first Lollapalooza, and would love the opportunity, no matter how sad and derivative, to see these bands performing the music that made me love music. Just like I wouldn't thumb my nose at watching Stevie Wonder sing everything in his catalog from the 60's and 70's, and leave "Part Time Lover" to the karaoke crowd and "What the Fuss" to the dusty record sleeve in someone's basement.

I suppose the fact that Built to Spill is on tour playing their opus, Perfect From Now On is slightly different, because BTS still makes good music that people like to listen to and because I have seen BTS several times, but I am bummed that I can't hit Slim's to see it anyway. In other nostalgia news, the Smoking Popes are also on tour, playing Slims in SF tonight. They, however, have a new album to support, which sounds exactly like "Destination Failure," which should have made them famous but didn't.

I've been playing music and listening to a lot of old stuff lately (old old stuff, and old as in "stuff I liked in college"), and wondering, as I gravitate back to exactly the same things I liked to do before grad school (and before college, mostly, as well), if living my current life isn't a big fat diversion from some other, more fulfilling calling. It would be so lame if I finally admitted that I should have studied music.

On the other hand, maybe I should just grow up.

Side note at the bottom of the post: The picture at the top of this post is a photo of my church in St. Louis. Pretty cool, no?

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