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So, in what I consider a fairly weak year for music, three albums have stood out for me so far:
The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig! Lazarus! Dig!
The Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
So, the thing is, The Hold Steady's members are in their 30s, the Bad Seeds are entering their 50s and Dave Berman passed 40 last year.
Also, aren't the TV on the Radio members now entering their 30s? Anthony is in his 30s while working with Hercules and Love Affair. Hell, Randy Newman has been getting critical acclaim (which I don't really share, but still).
No offense to Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend, but I don't think their albums are as good as the older dudes' albums.
Now, I'm only 24, so I doubt I'm rebelling against these young whipersnappers taking the new mantel of rock and roll, but has anyone noticed a trend the past few years of older people who rock? It seems like the rule is changing from all your stuff past 30 is crap to all your stuff before 30 is a warm-up.
I disagree that it's a weak year. I think this year's #10 will be easily one of the strongest #10s of the decade. It's an incredibly deep year, there just isn't that one spectacular album.
I don't think it's the musicians getting older so much as fewer of the great bands are breaking up, flaming out, or killing themselves with drugs.
In previous generations of music there's been a high correlation between great music and self destructive lifestyles. Today, the great bands are actually living to see 30.
Newer bands seems to be a little older than how they used to be. People become stunned when they hear a 21 year old is the lead singer for Fleet Foxes or Alex from Artic Monkeys was only 19 when they released their debut. A lot of reviews now will talk about how a band's youth is there worst enemy when in the 60s it was perfectly normal to see a 14 year old write their own songs and play their own instruments while people just accepted the fact they were good. Youth in music nowadays is often equated with manufactured pop music, the kind where they go hog wild on their precious vocoder or appear in every issue of Teen Beat.
People appreciate certain bands for not selling out or for going back to their roots so than a big comeback is embraced especially if they've made a significant cult following. 40 tends to be looked down updown if a band stays together for a while. Singer songwriters can shell out singles or acclaim well into their 50s. That's thanks to people like Leonard Cohen who started off in his mid 30s. So I don't think 30 was looked down upon even in the 60s but now it's only the beginning
I think barely anything sounds fresh anymore and that's the reason people are drawn into what's tried and true. We need a game changer in a major way.