Wisdom is supposed to come with age, but so do some hard truths.
Yes, the body squeaks a lot more, hangovers last longer, and going to bed after 10 p.m. seems like a foreign concept, but lately I’ve noticed some harsh realities.
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Does any of the following strike too close to home?
- The music playing in the grocery store seems to be a lot cooler. When I was stocking the shelves in high school, the rule was only light, harmless, and, if possible, instrumental music should be played in the store. When I went to get dinner the other afternoon, I heard the Smiths How long is it now playing in the product section. It sent me to the liquor store where I heard Come as you are Nirvana, which depressed me so much that I had to buy a second bottle of vodka. Enduring a five-hour Air Canada delay at Boston’s Logan Airport on Thursday, I found myself humming along to the sound of MGMT Kids who was playing in the terminal.
- Teenagers tell me the greatest song of the 1980s is actually Break my stride by Matthew Wilder. While I’ve always considered this a one-hit oddity from 1983, it’s been resurrected for Gen Z as the soundtrack to countless TikTok dances. Not only did it have over 40 million views on YouTube, but it was also streamed nearly 300 million views on Spotifylargely because TikTok got young people involved in the song.
- I’m both thrilled and annoyed that Kate Bush Run up that hill is a great success due to its use in a scene of stranger things 4. I love that this masterpiece is now being enjoyed by a new generation 37 years later while simultaneously thinking, “Damn kids! This is MY generation’s song! And now you’re going to ruin it in the magnet !
- You remember a time when “going viral” meant coming home from school with chickenpox.
- Are you confused when someone points out to you that Lollapalooza’s first tour took place 31 years ago and was conceived as an alternative festival? Check this year’s poster to see how things have changed.
- I tense up every time a younger person refers to their record collection as “vinyl”.
- Meanwhile, the insistence that cassettes are back in style is driving me crazy. Anyone who fetishizes cassettes today wasn’t around when it was the only thing we had if we wanted to take our music with us. They’ve never encountered a tape jam, a melt mark on the dash, or a stomping on the floor of your friend’s car.
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- Paul McCartney turns 80 this month. Stevie Nicks is sort of 74 years old. Heck, at 57, Eddie Vedder is now eligible for senior discounts.
- As of this year, Kurt Cobain has been dead longer than he was alive.
- You decide to prove to yourself that you’re still hip when it comes to new music only to give up after a few days because the music was obviously so much better when you were younger.
- Your children laugh at you when you tell them that you were waiting in line all night to buy concert tickets. If you really want to make them laugh, tell them about the times you waited until a record store opened at midnight to be the first to own a hot new album.
- Remember when all concert tickets were stamped with “No cameras or recording devices?”
- Learn more about gigs: Do you look at the PA systems bands are currently using and wonder where all the speakers have gone?
- Somewhere in the house is a box of DVDs containing compilations of music videos from your favorite bands. Bonus points if you can substitute “VHS tapes” for “DVD”.
- Speaking of which, do there seem to be more people with canes and walkers at the concerts you attend? And are you relieved when everyone finally sits down to watch the show?
- When did the techno from your college years start to be called “EDM?”
- These flights where the air hostesses (they were “air hostesses” then) played the same film for the whole plane. And let’s not even talk about those weird non-electric stethoscope-style headphones that everyone had to use. (Sidebar: You could also smoke on airplanes. And yes, smoke inevitably drifted all over the cabin, so there really was no point in having rows of smokers.)
- A bit of you died when Radio Shack stopped publishing their annual catalog in 2011.
- You saw a movie at the mall, then bought the soundtrack at HMV on the way out. (Another box: is the original Superior gun really released 36 years ago? Yes. Yes, he did. And where are you, Kelly McGillis?)
- Anyone else so excited about the comes back from CREAM magazine that I am? Hello boy !
- You called a radio station to request a song, then (if successful) waited for it to air.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go screaming on clouds.
Alan Cross is a broadcaster with Q107 and 102.1 the Edge and a commentator for Global News.
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