The Old Fart Musical Creed

This morning I was watching the Today Show for a rare, brief moment and some rap group (do they still call them rap groups? Is that hopelessly out of date?) that I’ve never heard of is singing some song I’ve never heard of and – shockingly – there are people in the audience screaming and clapping and singing along. Every word.

And all I can think is, how is possible for them to be so familiar with these bands that I don’t know? Just like I wonder how the spoiled skanky girls on My Super Sweet 16 can get all excited about the bands their daddies book for their parties. I mean REM, sure. ACDC, totally. But Saosin? Hellogoodbye? Huh? Wha? Who?

That’s it, my musical knowledge is officially stunted.

(And this is on my mind only partly because yesterday Kristen made me watch some You Tube video to prove to me that I knew some song from the 90s about put yo hand on yo hip or some other f*cking nonsense which meant nothing to me because I’m old and farty and OKAY KRISTEN I DON’T KNOW THE SONG ALREADY.)

The first sign was about ten years ago when I saw some talentless nobody on late night TV singing some annoying song about a genie in a bottle and I thought to myself, well that’s the last time we’ll ever hear from her.

Then, about three years ago I was on a message board, when someone typed in FERGIE IS DATING JOSH DUHAMEL! and I was shocked, shocked that an American TV actor could land the Dutchess of York.

And so now it is time for me to accept and embrace my musical lameness.

Okay so I do get a little squeamish when the “oldies” station in NY that played Chubby Checker when I was a kid is now playing U2 and the Police. But otherwise, I accept that I’m pushing 40 and that my time has come to hand the cool music torch over to the younguns with the time, energy, and inclination to listen to bands new enough to cite Green Day as an influence.

And so, allow me to be the first to sign the Old Fart Musical Creed:

I accept that the world of hip music has passed me by.

I accept that I only have heard of 11 of the top 20 mp3 artists – and one of them is the Beatles.

(Even if I don’t entirely accept that the Beatles are only number 20 and that Madonna rates just above Hannah Montana)

I accept that what to me is atonal, to someone else is brilliant.

I accept that I cannot name one song by 50 Cent.

I accept that I cannot bring myself to call him “Fitty” Cent and instead say “Fifty.”

I accept that when a friend tells me she’s going to the VMAs, I’m not in the least bit envious.

I accept that even while I tap my feet to a house music mix playing at a party, I’m really hoping the next cd will be MTV Class of ’83.

I accept that mohawked college kids wearing torn Clash shirts eye me suspiciously even as I think, I rocked that look the first time around, you wannabees.

I accept that kids today scare me when they dance.

I accept that when I dance, I scare the kids today.

I accept that it’s pretty lame I when that Killers song comes on Guitar Hero III and I jump up and yell, “Hey wait, I know this!”

I accept Avril Lavigne wears too much eye makeup and there is nothing I can do about it.

If you’re with me, sign your name at the bottom, forward it to ten people, and Bill Gates will send you $10,000. It’s true. It happened to a friend of mine.


75 thoughts on “The Old Fart Musical Creed”

  1. oh dear, I only recognized 8 of the top 20, and could only sing along with songs by 3 of them. And the fergie thing? Yeah, me too.But I’m still convinced I’m 29.Again.

  2. Delurking to sign this one. The only thing saving me from absolute shame is my husband. He has somehow managed to keep up with music trends. I ride his cool coattails.Marci

  3. My sixteen year-old daughter had some rap-crap cranked on the car radio yesterday and I said something that I swore I’d never, ever say to my kids. Something that my best friend’s grandmother used to say about our music in the eighties.“This shit sounds like they’re banging a dead snake on a piano!”Yep, I said it. Am old.Signing the petition: Procrastamom

  4. Signed!This is so funny and so true! I did indeed forward this to ten other old fart friends of mine. I can’t wait for my $10,000. Maybe with the money, I’ll buy one of those iPod things the kids are all raving about.

  5. ROFLOLI am SO WITH you.I am motivated to buy concert tickets…for Stevie Wonder.Old Fart Status? I think so.Okay Fergie I know, and want to know how? YOU KNOW HER TOO, as the adorable little blonde girl Stacey on Kids, Incorporated (Sat a.m. like ninety thousand years ago).Also.Today. This morning. Catholic School. Next to sanctuary, around the corner from Perpetual Adoration. Priest in the Hall.Cell phone rings. Mom next to me panics and answers it super fast. Not so fast though because I hear her ringtone.And me? I shout, “OMG the VIOLENT FEMMES! Dude I LOVE BLISTER IN THE SUN!”And 45 Catholics turned to stare me down.That’s it. I sealed my Going to Hell status. It wasn’t far since everyone is convinced I eat the heads off bats after the whole Red Ribbon Week SUCKS incident.Am off now to practice my dance from the YouTube instruction video for Soulja Boy.Julie< HREF="" REL="nofollow">Using My Words<>

  6. I promise your musical cool will come back when your kids become teenagers. You will have no choice really. I still can’t tolerate Soulja boy, but I did go to a Fallout Boy concert. And I liked it. It works both ways too. Pre-Pubescent One is now stealing all our old CD’s to upload to his iPod. He’s was all…”Who is this Pink Floyd and why I haven’t I heard of them before? They’re BRILLIANT!!” Husband was all…”Dude, they’re like, in their 60’s now.” He didn’t care though. So sometimes I listen to his Soulja Boy and sometimes he listens to my goofy 80’s pretty boy Eurodance techno pop and Husband’s metalhead reefer addict 70’s redneck stuff. It’s all good.

  7. haha Marci! my husband does that with me 🙂 i tend to keep up JUST enough but i often wonder how long i will hold out. i am barely bridging that gap between knowing the ‘oldies’ (though i was never a ‘classic rock’ fan) and all the new stuff. a random love of ‘fitty’ cent (hysterical spelling) and other new music helps keep me up to date. that and the local ‘top 40’ station that plays the ‘hottest’ 10 songs in constant rotation – listen to that station for an hour and you are all caughtup.

  8. I have to say, I’m laughing here just a bit. Ok, a lot. 🙂Isn’t there something about admitting you have a problem and then doing the steps….oh wait, that doesn’t work with music. Sorry.

  9. Sign me right up for that one. I scored 14 on the top mp3s, but if you ask me to name a song by all of those 14, then I would have to lower my score to … 5.

  10. We are on that same wavelength again — except wait until you’re pushing 50 instead of 40! And, hey, I beat you — I knew 12 of the top 20! ;

  11. You crack me up. I’m apparently not as old as I thought. Even though I have NEVER known the names to any songs or artists, I still knew some of the stuff you were talking about. I guess I rock. Who knew?

  12. I hear you, Liz. I was listening to the classic rock station the other day and they played Billy Idol. HUH?

  13. You didn’t know recognize Chris Brown and T-Pain from the Today Show, Liz? Man, you’ve lost all your street cred. Just kidding. I caught some of that this morning. Had no idea who they were either.Want to see something REALLY scary? Go to the Billboard 100 List and see how many of the artists’ names you even recognize!We’re old, man. Want to go see The Cure in concert next month?

  14. I’m 27.And I totally can sign this. sigh.But I bet I can sing the lyrics to every Laurie Berkner song ever made!Beat that teeny-boppers!

  15. I always think that, when I see the boys w/the mohawks, or the girls with the CBGB’s t-shirts… Been there, done that.

  16. (sob) OMG it’s all true! I’ve never felt so old in my life! I just thought the oldies station had suddenly changed to a cool format when they started playing Flock of Seagulls and U2…

  17. Ah! Isn’t it fun when the music you thought was so <> relevant <> 25 years ago is now on a Burger King commercial?

  18. I never thought these words would spill from my brain but “thank God I have teenagers” because I know what’s hip in music. Both of my teens have very different musical tastes, so I’m at least well versed in pretty much everything hip and cool right now. But I still think of the 80’s as the greatest musical decade since the 40’s.

  19. Well, I am only marginally less lame than you,as I knew 13. But yes, very scary. And so what. Kids still rediscover the Beatles and the Who and the Eagles and a whole bunch of other music that would really date me if I named it.I am certain that some of the lame shit currently on the top 20 has no such future.

  20. How’s this for one-upmanship? The only reason I know that it’s supposed to be pronounced “Fitty” is that I saw it on <>Judging Amy<>.

  21. I am with you (making dated “raise the roof” hand gestures).You are officially invited to my Old Fart Concert Series:1. Shows start early and on time2. There is no crappy opening band3. Your eardrums will not bleed4. Everyone has a comfy seat5. There is a dancing area so those who want to stand will not block the view of those whose feet hurt and who just want to sit in their comfy seats.6. The show ends early and on time.7. Parking is free.Please join me.

  22. I sign, and proudly. But look at this list! There is strength in numbers. We need to unionize. (I love what Bossy said.)And: banging a dead snake on the piano. Laughing here. Laughing.

  23. Um, yeah. I remember watching Lily Allen on SNL and thinking, she’ll never make it.Riiight.If it weren’t for my subscription to Star magazine, I’d be even more hopelessly out of date. I know what they look like, but I only listen to the Indigo Girls and early Gwen Stefani on my iPod.

  24. I refuse to surrender to musical lameness. I watch VH1’s Top 20 Countdown each week while nursing so I know what all the cool kids are listening to. Wait, are the cool kids still watching VH1?

  25. Ah, but my kids get nothing at home and in my car other than MY music. So, they think AC/DC and Motley Crue are the greatest. I’ve got 3 little metalheads! 🙂 I’m sure that’ll change once they get a bit farther into teenager-hood. For now, though, it’s cool that we can drop song references and they get it. Or that the eldest can sing along to what the older guys play when we works out. Even the Skynyrd! LOL

  26. Hell, I worked for a record company with all of those rap groups, and I still listened to circa 1991 mix tapes in my office instead of the latest CD by The Killers.Lame and proud of it.

  27. Here’s a tip that works for us, since we don’t really dig the radio music either, but we still want to keep up – I don’t know, something about not wanting to be “old” *grin* at our mid 20s.http://www.pandora.comSeriously, this and wandering through the MySpace music area intros us to all sorts of bands. Especially Pandora – you put in a song or group that you like, and they spit out a bunch of groups and songs that are in a similar vein. So like, I put in the Zeppelin, and I get Pearl Jam and Metallica, and some others I’ve never heard of, but are good.Oh…and /signed.~Jes

  28. Love this post…almost 19 years old here with an 18 month old (first baby) and I can sooooo relate to this post! I nearly dropped my laptop laughing at the mohawk wannabe punk comment. Thanks for the laugh this evening!

  29. So you weren’t jealous?I could have written the same blog – but not as funny. I don’t even try anymore – on the music front. However, I think that we are only a few short years from a new education on music. Don’t you remember how you loved it when one of your parents admitted to liking one of your favorite songs? That’s what’s coming. Be prepared.Hally

  30. um yeah…sign me up. You will semi fall back into the loop when the young uns come of age, but until then? forget itand I believe it’s Fiddy….

  31. Yep, I’ll sign it. Although Aaron would be more qualified to sign it. I try to listen to new music when I can, but he only listens to NPR. When a song from Maroon 5 or Fallout Boy is on the radio, I turn it up, and he has to ask, “What’s this?”But Fitty? 50 Cent is pronounced Fitty Cent? Really?(What really scares me is that 90’s radio stations are popping up where 80’s stations used to be. The 90’s are old now?)

  32. Loved this! There is nothing that makes you feel older than watching the VMA’s! I concede – I am an OLD FART.

  33. Oh yeah, I’m signing.The “Lucy” channel on XM Radio is where it’s at – the oldies station for the former alternative crowd.

  34. Sadly, I could have signed this manifesto at the age of 25 or so. I wonder if Bill Gates is listening to the oldie stations, also?……..

  35. O HOW I forgot how you used to make me laugh!!!It’s been so long since I was here visiting. I cannot wait to visit you as your children enter the teen years. I have every single lyric website saved to my favorites. I cannot understand why all the songs my boys buy on Itunes contain explicit lyrics and have to begin with the N word or the F bomb! Seriously….I’ll scratch some vinyl and you throw out some F bombs and we are on our way to a record deal.

  36. Thank God Sinatra was on that list or I’d have been screwed. I’m not even going to tell you how few I recognized on that list…even fewer whose songs I would recognize if I heard it.The tip to keeping your musical cool to your kids…only play the oldies. That way you’ll know all the words and they’ll think you rock.At least until they discover MTV and get their own mp3 players.Sigh. It was a good run while it lasted…

  37. I’m signing your damn creed but I’m bitter. It hurts my soul a little to know that my kids are going to think of REM as golden oldies.

  38. THe next time we’re out, I’m making you do the DIP.Or DA DIP as it’s actually titled. I’m still shocked that you didn’t know it. Although, now that I think of it, I’m not sure why I’m so happy that I do. But really, what’s even more depressing is when you teach a COLLEGE music appreciation class and NOT ONE STUDENT knows Billy Joel.Seriously. They had to pick me up off the ground. And the huz keeps up with it all. I used to be hip until they all started sounding like SHIT.

  39. lol.I was just thinking the same thing two nights ago in my car when I was listening to my ipod and the most recent music on there was Fiona Apple’s new CD that was out a hundred years ago. I know NOTHING of what’s happening today.I used to be hip until they all started to sound THE SAME.Which, I think, makes me older and lamer than Kristen.

  40. Signing on for sure. It seems that every time I put on a CD of ‘my music’ for my kids to hear, I have to say, “Oh, yeah, this band isn’t together anymore”. Sigh.

  41. Liz, dahling, I am a whole decade younger than you and yet I too feel the need to sign my name. Which either means that you are a whole decade more in-touch than you think, or I am a whole decade lamer than I think. (Despite the fact that I did recently tell some damn kids to get off my lawn, I am hoping it’s the former.)

  42. P.S. You’re also hotter than I am. Does this have something to do with living in New York? Should I move?

  43. You beat me! I only recognized 7 of the top 20. Way to go—you’re hipper than you think you are! (or at least hipper than me, which is really not saying much)

  44. Consider me signed. I only knew 14 of the top 20 but I’m sure that’s because enough of us old farts are downloading mp3’s these days to skew the results.

  45. If you saw the songs I’ve loaded onto my iPod…you would weep. I’m hopelessly stuck in another musical dimension where “Common” merely suggests something that isn’t all that special, rather than the name of a musician.

  46. I realized my comment said I was almost 19…LOL…I hit the wrong key. I’m almost 39! Sorry…It was late and I have a concussion!

  47. Ah it’s okay, love, the only three modern musicians I listen to are Beck, Gorillaz, and MF Doom. The rest is old 70s-80s punk, hip hop and early 70s reggae

  48. I’m cracking up — mostly because the first time I heard that there’s a song by Fergie, I totally was like, the Duchess of York is a pop singer now? Huh. I am the lamest of the lame.

  49. What’s really scary is that as Thalia gets a little older, you’ll find yourself right back in the throes of pop music, except it wil probably be the decidedly lame kind (until she’s a little older, at least). If you don’t believe me, ask me to sing “Potential Breakup Song” by Disney Radio darlings Aly and AJ. Yeah, I know you’re probably like “Who???” but in a few years, I promise you and I will bobbin’ our heads together in unison, thanking God we’re not alone in teenybopper hell 🙂

  50. I’m a bit scared that I’m 36 and do know most of them. But I don’t like a lot of them, so I guess I can sign, too.

  51. Hysterical!My brain has been officially fried from Wiggles tunes. Hot potato, Hot potato…LOL…Procrastamom…I am filing that quote away for future use!Signed.

  52. You mentioned the oldies station in NY making you feel old, OMG, I thought I was alone. It’s always been my parents’ favorite station (other than when it vanished for a while), so I’m always subjected to it. They used to play songs from the 50s and 60s, but I’ve actually heard some Lisa Lisa and ohter 80s music. NOOOOOO. That is simply not right. Oh and I too have those thoughts about the Super Sweet 16 bands. Among other exclamations commonly uttered during the show, my husband is often subjected to me asking (loudly), “Who? Who the hell are they? Why is she excited over them?”

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