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Of Interest: Pitchfork’s Why We Fight on Generation Gaps in Music

January 17, 2012

Link: “Why We Fight: Your Chemical Romance” (Pitchfork 1/13/2012)

A great read on Pitchfork last week from critic Nitsuh Abebe that draws a parallel between the mid 2000s MySpace bands (with My Chemical Romance as the prime example) and Skrillex. In both of these cases, MCR in 2006 and Skrillex in 2012, I feel like I was a couple years too old (in that if I encountered either of these things at a different time of my life, I could see myself being completely into them) for these bands/scenes, which only made the article more interesting to me. In particular, having discussed music with my students (who are now a decade and a half younger than me), I’ve seen many who exclusively listened to Myspace (or YouTube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and probably now places that I’m not remotely in tune with) bands with small but devoted followings. This isn’t new, of course: hardcore had (still has) scenes long before the internet, and I had friends whose bands had MP3.com pages (and I’m pretty sure I played on one or two of those recordings), and the idea of music habits being ingrained is one I’ve thought about while examining my own taste. When Abebe suggests that the kids who grew up on MySpace bands “might be carrying that frame of reference with them, Boomer-style, forever, no matter what kinds of music they liked, made, resented, or grew into in the future,” a lot of the other parallels he outlined made a lot more sense to me. It’s certainly an interesting lens to examine some of these distinctly 2010s sounding acts (Skrillex and Ke$ha in particular) with unexpected roots, or at least ones less apparent in their sounds).

It’s also the latest instance where I’ve found My Chemical Romance more interesting / compelling than I did the first time around. One of these days I’ll probably find myself listening to one of their records and kicking myself for waiting this long.

See also: Pitchfork’s Mark Richardson on the relationship between Tumblr and personal identity through music, SNL’s “You Can Do Anything” skit this past weekend.

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