Blog 1422: Psychedeliwha?

The revival of the revival is giving me headspins – and the way forward looks disconcertingly familiar…

I thought I was just going to a sold-out concert. It turned out to be the latest clue in a chain of evidence that all points to one thing: that I have no idea, and no hope of getting any idea, of what the hell reaches people.

This psychedelic rock band (a band I enjoy on record, btw) played the most boring live show I’ve ever seen in a packed 2,000-capacity venue. And the crowd was loving every second. And I couldn’t work out why.

This isn’t even the revival. It’s the revival of the revival – and right on cue: 20 years after the revival of the music of 20 years prior. The kids aren’t just lifting grandpa’s hand-me-downs from dad’s wardrobe – they’re lifting outfits wholesale.

Musically, they did things that would terrify me. And I don’t mean “terrify” for their edginess or alien nature – quite the opposite: playing chord progressions you thought were cool when you’d only been playing guitar for two years; sounding exactly like yr influences, without even trying to change up, twist, or in any way disguise your theft; serving it up with no evident effort – no stage show, outfits, or even between-song banter; and absolutely no dynamic modulation (all songs served at an old-person respectable volume – I took out my earplugs – with no volume change from one song to the next).

And. The kids. Loved. It.

This isn’t even the revival. It’s the revival of the revival – and right on cue: 20 years after the revival of the music of 20 years prior. The kids aren’t just lifting grandpa’s hand-me-downs from dad’s wardrobe – they’re lifting outfits wholesale.

I’d accept I’m the old guy in the room, except I’m not even doing that right: I’m complaining that the music wasn’t loud enough; I’m annoyed that the kids onstage weren’t anything I didn’t recognise, understand, or leave behind 20 years ago. But then, that’s just it: so many things I “left behind” or skipped over in the creation of my own music, because I deemed them not interesting enough for audiences, seem to be exactly what reaches people – and meanwhile, mine doesn’t. So what do I know? The only thing that makes sense to me about what I don’t get is that I don’t get why I don’t get it.

Le, as the kids say (or so I’m told), Sigh.

Meanwhile: did someone say “‘New’ Star Wars?

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