The poet and philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” To ensure that future generations don’t forget the triumphs and tragedies of pop music’s past, we host another Soundcheck Smackdown over the musical legacies of baby boomers and Generation X. Joining us in studio are Jeff Gordinier, editor at large at Details magazine and author of “X Saves the World,” and music critic Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor at Rolling Stone and author of “In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work.
I freely admit that I don’t know enough about music, my own generation’s much less any other’s, to argue about who’s is better. I just no what I dig. And I do dig the Beatles and Stones etc. But it is true, I think, what Jeff argues in this exchange. Much of this music has been so overplayed that it has lost its power.
Anyhoo… I enjoyed listening to someone who could take on a Boomer (two in fact, if you count the DJ host who freely jibbed and jabbed at Jeff’s points) on this subject.
As per usual, the Boomer, DeCurtis, seemed smug and condescenting, his attitude througout implying that it was a pointless argument because clearly Boomer music is better and always will be. When Jeff pushed his points, Decurtis back-pedaled into the position that it wasn’t really a generationly argument blah blah blah. Which I find to be a common tactic of Boomers. They seem to think this will effectively end the opposing GenXer’s argument, and while that may have worked in the past, now that GenXer’s are older, adults, and much more versed in making their points, we’re not as liketly back down in such circumstances. I don’t, anyway. Although I wished I could be a good-natured about it as Jeff.
Perhaps one of the funnier moments was when an email from a Gen Yer came in, expressing the wish that she had music as cool as her parents. And on that point Jeff and Anthony pretty much had to agree that too much of Millennial music is, well, crap. Sorry, dudes.