I'm so in love with my generation, that I once wrote either Time or Newsweek - can't remember which it was - an impassioned letter to tell them off about their Gen-X cover story. It was right when "Reality Bites" had come out, and the article featured numerous quotes from 30-something Gen-Xers decrying the film. We don't float checks for pizza, one person said.
Um... Fuck yeah we floated checks for pizza. Those of us in the HEART of Gen-X anyway. I was 23 years old, and I wrote in decrying the fact that their article only quoted the leading edge of the generation - I mean, come on, if you were born in the 60s, are you really going to lay claim? And how on earth do you do a cover story on Gen-X in 1994 and not talk to ANYONE in their 20s? Bullshit, that's what that was.
But as much as I hold my generation in my heart, there was one important area in which I was lacking. When Rolling Stone called Kurt Cobain the "spokesman of a generation" and Nirvana the "flagship band" of Generation X in 1992, I was like, What? Who? Oh, them?
I mean, their music rocks, of course. It simply wasn't what I was listening to on the radio. So it wasn't speaking to me at the time. If I remember correctly, I was really rather pissy about it. Please forgive me, I was 21.
Cut to 2010. It's Weezer's "Heart Songs" that has driven me to finally rectify this deficiency in my music experience. I am crazy in love with "Heart Songs," which starts to really rock when it gets to this bit:
Back in 1991, I wasn't havin' any fun
'Til my roommate said, "Come on and put a brand new record on"
Had a baby on it, he was naked on it
Then I heard the chords that broke the chains I had upon me
I also recently watched an interview with B.o.B where he talks about loving to just sit down, do nothing, and listen to music. I know people do this, but I usually listen to music while doing something else: Cooking, cleaning, driving, dancing, writing, etc. Thinking about just listening to an album always makes me think of somebody's basement in the 70s, with people just chilling out and spinning records.
Suddenly, I realized. I should just download the album - which I did not even know was called "Nevermind" - in iTunes and listen to it from beginning to end. This would be an excellent exercise in music appreciation, one that was long overdue.
Well, first off, I apparently cannot simply sit and listen to music. I did manage not to multitask while listening to "Nevermind" for the first time, but I ended up pacing my living room, moving to the music, and tossing a paperweight in my hands, which in a completely unrelated anecdote, I have kept for years because I saw it used as an amusing prop in an episode of Power Rangers.
So, pacing my apartment, listening to Nevermind by Nirvana - The first thing that hits is big song after big song in massive waves of awesome. Like, wow, all these are from one album. And they totally rock.
Out of the songs I'd never heard before, I particularly like "Breed" and "Something in the Way." And "Territorial Pissings" made me laugh out loud.
Is "Nevermind" a great album? Yes, it is. Voice of my generation? Well, not for me personally, but there's no denying its power. I had to resist the urge to download "Bleach" and "In Utero" immediately - iTunes makes buying music so, so dangerously easy.
All in all, a successful and pleasing music foray. Important Gen-X album: Check. Listening without multi-tasking: Check.
Now, if you'll excuse me, a friend just gave me some Keb' Mo' to check out. I am nothing if not diverse in my love of music.