February 19

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Music preferences are one of the most obvious things that change as you get older. I don’t think anyone still likes all the music they were into growing up. Your tastes naturally change as you learn and grow. In the late 90s I was really into the newer wave of punk music, not enough to get tattoos or dye my hair, but enough that almost every CD I owned consisted of power chords, choppy rhythms and lyrics about skateboards. My tastes have changed a lot since then, as has my understanding and appreciation of creativity and musicianship, so you can find me now listening to a lot of modern folk-type music like The Civil Wars, The Lumineers. I still like a lot of rock music, and really most styles of music (except most country), but I guess I prefer to be more contemplative while I listen to music rather than looking for sheer volume. Also, for pretty much my whole life, most of the music I listened to was Christian. Didn’t much matter the style of music, or if it was any good for that matter, so long as it was Christian. In fact, most of my wardrobe in high school was made up of Christian band t-shirts I’d accumulated from music festivals and the local Christian bookstore. But now, for the first time in my entire life, I do not have the local Christian radio station on the presets in my car. Ever since I’ve been able to drive that station has occupied preset #1, so it was pretty momentous for me when I changed that preset to a different station. I’m not saying I’ve lost the faith or that all Christian music is bad, just most of it. Chalk it up to me getting older, but when 90% of the music played started to sound like bubble-gum, auto-tuned, shallow, sentimental (in a bad way), saccharine, self-involved, vaguely-techno-electronica-dance music, I decided that’s where me and the Christian radio station would part ways. There’s Christian music I love, they just don’t play it on the radio. Musical preferences are kind of an enigma to me. Someone can be a die-hard fan of an artist or genre, then turn their back in disgust wondering how they could have ever like that type of music in the first place. We like the music we like (obviously), and it’s hard for us to understand why anyone else would’t like it. I’ve had this discussion with plenty of country music fans in particular. We can usually agree on Johnny Cash, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go. One of my cousins went from being total country fan one year, then the next year abandoning it for goth rock, which as I look back, is hilarious to me. I also think a lot about what they world will be like when I’m old. There’s a lot wrapped up in that, but specifically I wonder what the “oldies” radio stations will play. Those stations play the music that was popular during the time our current elderly generation was growing up. So does that mean eventually nursing homes will start playing Jay-Z and Lady Gaga? Will we have to continue to deal with the likes of Justin Bieber and Maroon 5 and Ke-dollarsign-ha in our old age? Though I have to admit I can’t wait until I hear Kris-Kross and Alanis Morrisette on the oldies station. It seems to me that as people get older, there’s a certain point where you stop accepting new music that comes out. Wherever that line is, once it’s drawn you don’t like any other music that’s ever produced after that. I wonder where that line will be for me.

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