More Music Related Questions

I haven’t been on this blog for a while and was just reading your comments to the post “The State of Popular Music”. It brought to my mind something slightly tangential but which I have thought about a lot over the past few years.

My question has to do with how ones musical creativity, genius, whatever you want to call it, is impacted by age. My observation is that most artists put out increasingly vapid music as they get older. Take, for example, Springsteen. I love Springsteen but, if I am honest, his last couple of albums sucked. Same thing with U2. I am not a huge Stones fan but it seems to me that this happened to them as well. Unless I am mistaken, one of the reasons the Beatles called it a day was because they didn’t feel they were putting together good music while recording an album post Abby Road.

First, what is it about getting older that seems to stifle the ability of artists to write really good music? Is it a matter of losing the passion and drive that comes with youth? Do they just get tired? Riches making them lazy?

Secondly, does this lack of creativity, genius, drive, etc. which increases with age happen outside of songwriting? What I’m really getting at is will it happen to us? If so, how do you avoid it? Or should it even be avoided (what’s wrong with living of the truly great work you did decades ago)?

This is just one of the many things I think about as I approach 30.

Also, I concede there are exceptions to this (i.e. Clint Eastwood) but I think I am on to something here.

Lastly, Merry Christmas Dudes!

New Post

Hey guys, feel free to keep the conversation about the Beatles going below. Don’t want to break up the party prematurely.

I’m starting a new post because Marci and I just bought a new keyboard. We are looking for songs we can both learn so I wanted to get some ideas from you guys. Can you think of any good songs that feature both piano and guitar or piano and bass?

The state of popular music

Emeline and I were just having a discussion and I thought I would pose a question to all of you. Two questions, actually:

1 – Will there ever be another band that rivals the Beatles in both popular/critical reception and sheer songwriting genius?

2 – What currently-recording band would you say is the greatest (realizing that great can have many different connotations)?

Clearly, Stephen Jenkins is the greatest lyricist of our time, but I don’t think anyone will ever reach the height of both popularity and talent that The Beatles did. I think this for various reasons – mostly because our nearly unlimited access to new and different types of music leaves us with short attention spans. I hear lots of great bands (like Arcade Fire) who make waves for a short time but the popular consciousness moves on too quickly for them to make the same impression on our culture as the Beatles did.

I also think that our unprecedented access to music, while strengthening the overall scene and giving a stage to hordes of great talent that would have gone otherwise undiscovered, also lessens the impact of truly great acts. It’s like the peaks and troughs have gotten less intense. Again, I feel this is because there are infinitely more options for experiencing music. It’s virtually impossible to command the attention of the masses on the scale of The Beatles because the masses can be more fragmented now – you no longer rely on the one or two radio stations in town to provide you access to music.

Just had to post this too because it’s awesome

It’s almost like they’re rushing, on the edge of breaking out into chaos at any moment but somehow manage to hold it together. Awesome.

There’s also some rad stutter-like fills from Bonham where it feels almost like he’s dropping the beat or turning it around, but it just stays right in the groove. It’s around 3:10 and on.

I think the guitar solo starts out a little sloppy actually, but he pulls it together in the end and starts melting some faces.