• Does Rock music make you more civilised?

    Now I'm not talking about us old grungies who got into rock music when it was hip and cool and everyone had long hair. I'm talking about the young rock fan of 2014.

    It is every teenagers duty to become enamoured with music their parents hate. It's all part of the natural rebellion and carving of youths independence. In my day this was painfully easy. Even the rather inoffensive sounds of the Beatles would engender the desired pained expression and I had a seemingly endless collection of genres which would cause similar distress. Perhaps this is why I have such varied tastes today.

    Not so with today's teenagers. What do you do when your parents listen to pop and rock music already? We have Gansta Rap of course and Death Metal which even hardened rock loving parents would cringe at, and in the last decade the endless 'thump thump' music whose bass will penetrate the thickest of walls and double-glazing. Each era has it's 'commercial norm' and the overproduced 'thump thump' variety rules the roost currently. There are of course always a small selection of teenagers who don't rebel as thoroughly as others and pick the singer-songwriter genre, perhaps with a bit of swearing thrown in to raise the odd eyebrow.

    Well the following observation is as unscientific as it gets, and based on a couple of neighbours/friends with 2 teenage sons (now about 18-20 respectively). In each case the older brother is the more studious, the more sensible, the more pleasant and currently more productive. The younger brothers are jack-the-lads, drive like lunatics, make a lot of noise and seemingly do as little as possible. Now this is where it gets interesting! Both older brothers picked rock music as their genre of choice, admittedly of the very heavy variety (but they'll mellow as they get older), and the younger brothers play their thumping rap and club music at ear-shattering volumes wherever they go. An interesting parallel with possibly no significance whatsoever.

    I think it unlikely that the music itself affects character, certainly not judging by some of the rock fans from my youth. But then rock is no longer du jour. So perhaps rock is picked by the more introspective youth, whereas the mainstream will be more appealing to the kind of social animal who wants to party and to fit in with the norm. Rock certainly isn't dead as some proclaim - not if there is a place for it within young personalities. I'm hoping that if enough parents in our future generation will listen to mainstream dance music, their children will revert to something more musical. Or perhaps this is already happening...

    Would love to know if anyone else can back up my analogy... or more probably blow it out of the water..

    6 Comments

    • 1. Sep 11 2014 9:22PM by Dave McLaughlin

      Interesting blog, Doz! In my experience, the creative, independent, colourful types, most likely to shy away from the mainstream, with a preference for rock, blues, punk or reggae etc are generally more balanced, tolerant and free-thinking than most. In addition they often have a healthy social conscience, with a genuine interest in the wider world and making it a better, fairer place. Perhaps the wider influence of world music, past and present, gives us a wider, healthier aspect on life? Who knows?... :-)

    • 2. Sep 16 2014 4:22PM by Ian Foxon

      Twas ever that way I feel. Rock music; in all it's guises, is a musical expression requiring some depth of thought to appreciate. It's lyrical content always has political, emotional, spiritual context, and it's musical structures ar often far more complex than the 12 bar with backbeat atop which it all resides. Therefore it's no surprise it has always attracted those with at least a modicum of intelligence. Modern thumpy, thump type dance music is indeed the home of the brainless hooligan, much as was Disco in our youth ;)

    • 3. Sep 16 2014 6:27PM by Mark

      Let's face it, rock music is EXCITING! So much popular music just isn't.

    • 4. Sep 20 2014 3:40PM by Paul

      I think good rock music has a way of being rediscovered how ever well we feel we know it. There are songs I heard many years ago that I continually find somethng 'new' about, that effect me in a different way to when I first heard them. They still have the power to give me something more to think about. If it gets you thinking, rethinking............it's got to be civilised, yeah ?

    • 5. Sep 20 2014 3:55PM by Dave Warminger

      Does rock music make you civilised ?...hmm does alcohol make you a bad driver ? answer: NO you were an a**hole already and drinking just makes you worse.

      Most rock fans are i agree as described above inteligent, creative, sociable ect and drink moslty Ale, inoffensive largers or..err J.D &coke.

      Thumpy music types drink Jager bombs...i rest my case.

    • 6. Apr 3 2016 8:06PM by Rob Evenden

      I was fortunate enough to be introduced to rock music from an earlyish age (10) and was lucky enough to be listening to Pink Floyd, Genesis, Barclay James Harvest from the early days. Rock music has been with me for 45 years now and I would never part with it (though other stuff appears from time to time - folk music - Martyn Joseph, Show of Hands, etc) as it is music with meaning. I have never listened to the radio since dear old Tommy Vance departed, until just recently where through the internet I have been able to listen to rock music that I might not have happened upon. I wouldn't ever listen to the sort of crap that morons have pumped into their heads on such as Radio 1 or any of the other dross stations. So yes, I am civilised!

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