This week I found out who these guys are:
I had both never heard of them and had never heard the song that made them “famous”. My initial reaction was a certain pride in not knowing who these teen pop stars are. After all, doesn’t it demonstrate that I listen to music of a higher quality and that my brain is busy storing other, more important bits of information?
And then I realized that it may mean those things but it also means I’ve become an adult. There was a time (most of high school) when I could identify every song and musical artist played on the radio (Z 95.3!) Not because I liked all those songs and artists but because I listened to the radio constantly. My friends listened to that same radio station constantly. We talked about those songs and those musicians. We read glossy magazines telling us about the lives of the Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, and N Sync, even if I never owned a single CD by any of them. Back then I honestly didn’t understand how you could not at least recognize popular music. It plays everywhere! Now, I have to correct that opinion – it plays everywhere that teenagers go. I do still listen to the radio at home but I keep it pretty focused on CBC Radio 2 these days. Somewhere in the last nine years I’ve grown up and, without making any real conscious effort, I’ve moved into a realm where pop music has not followed.
This is all not to say that I don’t try and keep up with new music. I’m not a huge music buff but one of the reasons I do enjoy listening to the radio is that it introduces me to artists I might not know. It keeps me abreast with who’s coming out with a new album, who’s performing. It would be too easy to say music these days isn’t as good as when I was young. Yes, there’s lots of crumby music being played on radio stations now. There was lots of crumby music being played on radio stations in the late 90s and early 2000s when I was in high school. (See above mentioned boy bands.) I guess my point is that I’ve reached a settled stage in my life where I know what kind of music I like.
And for those who have heard the band pictured at the beginning of this post and fear for the musical future of the world, last weekend a girl in grade 6, when I asked her what kind of music she listened to, answered, “Johnny Cash.” There is always hope.