Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Missing Kurt Cobain

I’m catching up on my podcasts and just today got around to listening to NPR’s All Songs Considered.

Sometimes I get some good stuff.  Sometimes-not so much.

Today was a ‘not so much’ kind of day and also an ‘I need to quite listening ‘cuz it’s starting to piss me off’ day.

They were defining ‘music of a generation’-Baby Boomers, X’ers, Y’s, etc.  I immediately perked up when they mention X’ers, because I are one and I love to listen to anything that deals with me no matter how remote the connection because well, I am my favorite subject.

I wouldn’t have a personal blog otherwise would I?

Anyhoo, I was eager to hear what defined my generation.

Are you ready? 

Ahem.

Nirvana.

Do what?!

Nirvana was the undisputed choice between the 33 and 35 year old music critics that were represented.

I looked up ‘grunge’ at Wikipedia.  Even there it says Nirvana and Pearl Jam define my generation.

Huh?

Let’s review:

I am 39 years old, which means I was born in 1968.  I graduated high school in 1986 and college in 1990.  My formative years were smack dab in the middle of the 80’s and I pretty well define Generation X. 

That being said, the above mentioned artists aren't on my radar for defining my generation.

The one cassette I wore plumb out was Born in the USA. The Joshua Tree carried me through college, Purple Rain is iconic, and I swear to all that is holy I refuse to be embarrassed by my total and utter devotion to Huey Lewis and the News and Bon Jovi.

…and yes, I loved me some Journey. 

That’s the stuff I remember when I think of my formative years. 

I missed Kurt Cobain completely.

When Kurt Cobain died I was utterly unaffected. Pearl Jam means nothing to me.

Ouch!  Jesus that hurt!  Quit throwing stones at me, dammit!  (Rubbing my arm vigorously where the rock hit me.)

I’m sorry OK?  But the whole grunge scene blew completely past me.

Am I a bad person?  Did I miss the meaning of my generation because I didn’t walk around depressed and suicidal and, and, and

…angry?

That’s it!

I forgot to be angry.  I know we were the first generation that expected to be less successful than our parents, but it never occurred to me to get pissed about it.

I was too busy shuttling my toddlers to day care before and after work to get angry.  I was listening to Mad About the Mouse and Disney soundtracks in my white mini van’s cassette player.

I guess when I graduated college and Big Daddy and I bought our first house and had our first baby I ceased to be a member of my own generation.  Did I drop out?  Did I get left behind? 

How did that happen?

I didn’t get annoyed at NPR because of the choice they made; I was annoyed that their number one pick was a ‘cool’ band that had nothing whatsoever to do with an entire decade of Generation X. This is substantial because Gen X spans less than 20 years.

I felt left out of my own generation.

I felt old, yes. But I suddenly felt old within my own generation.

Is that even possible?

Everyone is entitled to listen to what makes them happy and brings them joy.  If it makes you think-more so the better.  Isn’t the music of your generation supposed to transport you back to that time? 

What were you doing?  What were you wearing?  Who were you with?  Were you in love?  Were you fighting with your folks? Were you contemplating your future?  And for the love of God, did you have good hair?

I guess I didn’t use music as an angry release. I used it for escape, and fantasy, and healing.

It's been several hours since I quit listening, and I’m still a little angry.

Maybe I’ll download some Nirvana and Kurt can help me understand why.

7 comments:

molly b. said...

You're not left out of your own generation; you're left out of somebody else's. I have a feeling you're part of Generation Jones, like I am. I never got Nirvana either. To this day I have no idea what "Smells Like Teen Spirit" sounds like unless somebody tells me it's on.

Check out Generation Jones. It will make you feel better, I swear.

Sugar Britches said...

Thanks, Molly.

The article made a lot of interesting points. Thanks for recommending it. I'm about five years behind. ... or ahead depending how you look at it!

Sandy said...

I gotta agree....

Nirvana is no where near our generation definition. More like Madonna, Wham, Prince and the great hair bands like BonJovi, Def Leppard and Twisted Sister.
NPR definitely screwed that poll up when they had 33-35 year olds trying to define a generation outside their own.

Midtown Miscreant said...

Although Im sure this comment will piss of some flannel wearing hipster in Portland or Seattle, Nirvana was probably the most overhyped band ever. I'd say you were dead on with Bruce and Prince as defining the 80's. Then again Ive got 10 years on you so what do I know. The best album to come out of the 80's in my opinion, was Boomtown by David and David. Ive still got that cd in my rotation. Good post.

Sugar Britches said...

Hiya, Sandy. I love having another local Mom blogger stop by. Thanks for the comment. I almost feel like I'm committing sacrilege when speaking out about the grunge movement. The post said it all. I just missed it somehow.

As for you Mr. Midtown...Big Daddy turned me on to your blog. He grew up in KC and loves to read your stuff. I'll definitely check out Boomtown!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jason said...

Well, I'm in that age group and Nirvana was a defining band for me. While I was into Springsteen and hair metal Nirvana really tapped into the feelings of wandering aggression and misplaced hopes.

I guess this is just one of those things that one person will completely agree and someone else will say "um...who?"

Sugar Britches said...

You are so right, Jason.

I know I listen to a lot of stuff that makes people go, "mmm".

sitemeter