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rant

2000s Music: What Will It Be Remembered For?

By music, opinion, sarcasm

I’ve probably delved a little bit into this subject before, but I’ve actually done some deep thinking about it this time. Every decade since the 1950s has had a few things it’s remembered for musically. But what will people be thinking when they look back in ten or twenty years on the music of the 2000s? (As a side note, does that sound weird to anyone else, saying “2000s,” or is it just me?)

Here’s what I’ve been able to gather just by my own humble listening observations. In the early 2000s, you had post-grunge bands start to emerge, such as Three Days Grace and Nickelback. They’re doing well now, but manufactured pop (some of the stuff being played on Top 40 stations such as Richmond’s Q94 is getting almost unlistenable, cheesy and awful lately) has become more commonplace. I can think of two prime examples of annoying, manufactured pop becoming more center-stage.

The first example is Gwen Stefani. She used to be the lead singer of No Doubt in the 1990s and early 2000s. I really liked No Doubt. A few years ago when she started her solo career, she (in my opinion) regressed severely into the teen/bubblegum pop sinkhole (For a thorough definition of the word “sinkhole” in this context, try and force yourself to get through the duration of her song, “Hollaback Girl”).

Second example? Avril Lavigne. She made her debut in the early 2000s as a refreshing alternative pop rock artist with a unique sound. She, too, has now fallen into the hole (Compare her 2002 song “Complicated” with last year’s “Girlfriend” for clarification).

Punk pop groups (I like some, but others drive me up the wall) such as The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Quietdrive, and Simple Plan (Is it just me or do all the lead singers of these bands have the exact same high pitch, whiny voices?), also surfaced a lot more throughout the decade.

The urban scene has also seen unprecedented mainstream growth, and with more varieties. There is a clear difference between the urban sound of even the late 1990s and today. There’s a lot more electronic influence and instruments, as well as voice synthesizers  and a lot of resampling.

Singer-songwriters have made a big comeback, too. James Blunt, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer have seen great success in their careers. Their mellow, voice-driven tracks are refreshing in a sea of otherwise manufactured music. I’ll get to that in a minute. Other successful singer-songwriters like Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat have really brought us back to earth in the same respect, as well.

1990s favorites such as The Gin Blossoms, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Collective Soul have made attempts throughout the 2000s to put out new singles and have, for the most part, failed. They just don’t have the musical charisma they had in the late ’90s. Don’t get me wrong, these were some of my favorite artists in the mid 1990s, but they just don’t make the same kind of music anymore. I bet that will change throughout the next decade, because it seems as if trends skip a decade and come back.

Emo music (I’m cringing) will be another thing the decade is remembered for. Evanescence started the trend in the early 2000s, and the movement has grown in recent years. They’re not as bad as some other emo-type bands, but they’re still a little to dark and “I-hate-my-life” for my tastes.

So where do we stand? We’re in the midst of a small 1980s revival, strangely enough in urban music, with the use of ’80s sound effects and keyboards. What’s old is new again. It’s only natural. How much more can we really do technology-wise, without having them all sound manufactured and computer-generated, anyway? There’s been a trend of ’80s music being resampled and artists making successful comebacks, such as INXS, Duran Duran, and The Cars (reincarnated as The New Cars).

It will be really interesting to see where things go as we head into the next decade. It was even more interesting to see the musical soundscape evolve throughout this decade. I was so young in the 1990s that deciphering the music of that decade is more like just digging around in the past. This was right before my eyes, and I find it pretty fascinating.

The Game Of Love: My Take On Dating, Relationships, And The Game Of It All

By Uncategorized

Truth be told, I have not been in all that many relationships, just a few here and there, nothing serious and nothing lasting more than three months. Why? Lately I’m just too busy for a girlfriend, but from my last relationship (two years ago) and back, I was never committed to anything really, including having a relationship. That’s the complete opposite now, but ironically I just wouldn’t have time for a girlfriend now (assuming someone even happened to come along). I really don’t care anymore, because my time will come. Now while I couldn’t speak much from a perspective of being in a relationship, I’ve been around so many people and listened to so many countless stories about friends and their relationships, I could probably write a book on it one day.

Now I’m no expert on anything of course and I’m generally one of those people who knows a little about a lot rather than a lot about a little, but I just wanted to share some of my personal observations about how it seems guys and girls interact, and how relationships work out (or don’t). I see and hear the same things again, and again, and again, and for that reason could probably predict how long most of my friends will remain in their respective relationships. It’s no skill, it’s just picking up on the same patterns between everyone and making the connections. Nothing’s straightforward when it comes to relationships, in fact it’s all just one big game. I’m just the guy on the sidelines making informed commentary based on how the same plays were made repetitively. Here’s what I’ve observed thus far (hang on, I’ve had all of this inside me for a good while, it’s gonna be quite a ride):

  • Girls, despite how bad they talk about them in the end, love guys who treat them badly. There’s no way around this one. They gravitate towards them. Even if you’re a girl who says you like “nice guys,” you’ll probably date a couple that seem nice and end up treating you like dirt. Why? At least by observing some female friends of mine, they all seem to have one common objective with this type of guy: “See if he likes me enough to change his ways just for me.” There’s something girls love about this. I’ll never quite get it. All I know is I’ll hear repeatedly from friends who are girls about how wonderful some guy is and then a week or two later I’ll hear about what a jerk he is or how he wronged her in some way.
  • Availability, or lack thereof, is huge. Whether you’re a guy or girl, we all want what we can’t have. Isn’t it ironic how we adore the ones that ignore us, ignore the ones who adore us, love the ones that hurt us, and hurt the ones that love us? If someone’s not available or doesn’t want a relationship with you, you want them all the more. I’ve learned personally that if you’re always around, it’s just completely undesirable to a girl. I guess it’s just the thrill of the hunt or something. It all goes back to the stupid game.
  • It really is all one big game. I’ve mentioned this a couple times already, but it really is nothing more than a game. I’ve never been good at any sport outside of bowling and mini-golf, (If they ever form an Olympic Putt-Putt Team, sign me up, maybe I’ll make something of my life, but I digress) but it seems just like with any real sport, you just have to learn the rules, practice at it, and you’ll end up winning.
  • Girls think it hurts less to sugarcoat things. Guys, we’ve probably all been struck down at some point (I have plenty), and we’ve all heard the excuses (these are ones I’ve personally heard): “Oh I just don’t want a relationship right now.” (And the next week she’s in a relationship) “You’re a great guy and are so fun to be around, but I don’t see you like that.” (Because she prefers the type of scumbag guys you might pick up at the Waffle House at 3:00 AM to someone that will actually treat her well) “It’s not you, it’s me.” (Yeah usually this is a bunch of crap) Let me tell you this, I’ve heard everything in the book, and girls, it hurts a whole lot less just to be straightforward, honest, and frank to our faces rather than say all these things that may have some truth to them but are not the way you feel. Just give it to us straight so we can move on with our lives rather than be all hung up on you because we’re not sure why you think we’re such “great guys” but yet you don’t want to have anything to do with us.
  • It’s every man for himself, winner take all, and survival of the fittest. Girls like a guy who is strong both physically and in his pursuit of them. I’ve lost out plenty of times because I’ve never been that competitive and I don’t particularly like conflict, so I just back down. But sometimes you have to man up and go out and get what you want. Sometimes it’s the only way.
  • Take a number and wait in line. “Now serving #716!” Just like going to the DMV or the deli counter at Ukrop’s, you’re probably just a number to whatever girl you’re after. This used to bother me, but I’m over it now. You’ve gotta get over it. I’ve felt intimidated in the past by the “pro league” girls who’ve been playing the game for a while. You can’t let this intimidate you, because if it does, it will show and you’ve probably squashed your chances with that girl. Play the game inwardly as if you’re just another one in line to date her, but outwardly show her you’re the only one and the best choice.
  • Stop complaining and start changing. I’ve seen many people, mainly male friends, be unhappy with their dating scenarios and change themselves in order to bring about the results they want. Focus on finding patterns. If you see that things don’t work out over and over again, there’s almost always a common factor. Identify it, then work on changing that particular trait. Whether you’re too annoying, talk people’s ears off (guilty as charged), or think you could be in better shape, identify problem areas and make small changes. They will go a long, long way. I’ve tried a few of these and they really do make a big difference.

So there you have it. It’s on the table, take it or leave it. None of this is to say I know any more than anyone else, I’ve just really payed close attention to friends’ relationships and situations and honed in on the patterns therein. I will follow up to this with more posts in the future. This is just the beginning. Anyway, hope you enjoyed and were at least entertained!