This article originally appeared as the intro to my August newsletter. I was pretty happy with how it turned out and wanted it here on my blog for prosperity.
If you don’t know, I have a newsletter called Downbeat.fm. It’s a monthly newsletter and playlist that I put together and have been doing for almost two years. I’d love for you to check it out and subscribe.
August of 2021 is a milestone moment in my life – I’ve turned 40. I don’t necessarily feel old, even though all my friends all make old jokes about me (even the few who are older than me).
The only time I really feel old is when I think about things in context.
For example, Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten recently turned 30 years old as did Metallica’s self-titled album. Nirvana’s Nevermind and Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion I/II will turn 30 in September. All of those two albums were monumental and foundational in my musical awakening and education. Those albums would set me on the never-ending path of discovery of new music – my music. Not what my parents listened to – which definitely set the early stages of my music taste and where I would build from. I still love The Beatles, Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, Motown, all the stuff I grew up listening to with my parents. But when I discovered these albums and 92.3 K-Rock, the New York rock radio station, my eyes – my ears – were opened.
These bands opened me up to grunge and metal which would carry me through high school and early college and beyond.
All the music you loved at sixteen, you’ll grow out of…Lorde, Stoned at the Nail Salon
While Lorde really isn’t what I listen to normally, she has a song called Stoned at the Nail Salon (Apple Music / Spotify) which has a line that says “all the music you loved at sixteen, you’ll grow out of”. I don’t necessarily think that’s true.
Lorde is 24 years old, and not that far removed from 16. Lorde wasn’t even born when I turned 16 (which happens to be 24 years ago ), and I think she has a lot of life to live and things to experience and grow from.
Do I still listen to the music I did when I was 16? Yes. Regularly? Probably, not. I was 16 in 1997. A year I hold in high esteem for music (OK Computer, The Colour and the Shape, S.C.I.E.N.C.E., and so much more). These albums and bands shaped my high school years, and are what I continually build on top of as my exploration of music continues.
I have a 90s alternative and grunge playlist (Apple Music / Spotify) that does get regular play in our house. Other bands like Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Marilyn Manson, and more that I listened to often at 16 years old? Not as much, but they will always hold a special place in my heart.