A little too loud
by Craig Constantine

"If I could change the future, I'd change the past instead." -Boingo 1984-1995

Years ago a rash of T-shirts bearing the slogan, "If its too loud, you're too old," appeared upon teenage backs. Although I didn't own one, I must admit that at the time I subscribed to the ideal. Today, as I recline in my leather desk chair wondering why I don't always hear the phone ringing, I find myself writing more cynical music reviews than I used to.

A lot has changed since my father and his friends instilled in me the wisdom that Pink Floyd cannot be played too loudly. The Police -- remember them? -- have been disbanded for nearly ten years! By the way, the four-CD Police boxed set is outstanding. I suppose I simply must face the fact that monolithic groups such as the Stones, the Beatles and Pink Floyd are very old groups. Of course there are new groups appearing on the scene, but I'm curious to see just how long the music of Nirvana and Hootie and the Blowfish remains popular. (See, there's that cynicism again...)

Things are changing for sure, and I smell an evil wind. Being somewhere near Generation X, I fear that I may be among the last to secretly hoard the classic rock selections. Is it possible that the rock 'n' roll that was hear to stay is going? Is it just my imagination, or are musical styles evolving more rapidly than they did when I was younger? Will any of the music of this century be lovingly memorized the way, say, Haydn's trumpet concertos are today?

Perhaps my fears are just the first ugly rearings of the head of a midlife-crisis, making a stress-induced early entrance. As a friend pointed out months ago, I too need a cheat-sheet when I go the music store or watch the Grammys these days. But, when I'm more calm I realize that music is music. Every lover of whatever type of music you'd care to dream up latches on to some quality of the music and takes it to heart. What makes me tap my foot to rock 'n' roll is the same thing that makes mosh-pits go round.

I suppose I must learn to deal with change. I had always secretly hoped to be able to keep up with music forever. But I have fallen behind. I secretly loath Live, Nirvana, Tori Amos and many others that my friends love. I suppose what really matters is that there are many different types of music; "to each his own," as the saying goes.

And hey, that's awful loud. Could you turn it down a little?

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