Whatever happened to having a favorite band?
It seems like, these days, nobody even cares about music. I seem to remember a day, long ago, when people would travel for hours just to see their preferred band in concert.
There are still a few fans of old-school bands who will travel across the country to see legends like Tom Petty or Stevie Nicks. For the most part, though, people just listen to whatever trash comes on the radio, and when it’s off the radio, it’s gone for good.
Has fandom finally died? Has everyone lost the drive to pursue one single band as far as possible?
Back in the mid-90s, my sister was the biggest fan of Third Eye Blind imaginable. She had all their albums, every available B-side and even music from Majik Alex, an obscure band started by Third Eye Blind’s guitarist, Tony Fredianelli. She saw them multiple times in Lawrence and Kansas City. She even has one of Stephen Jenkins’ guitar picks.
I found this equal parts weird and inspiring. To rabidly follow one single band from their debut in 1997 to their heyday around 2000, to whatever the heck they’re doing now, is a sign of passion, if nothing else.
This obsession lasted through her high school and college days. Though my experience with high school students is now limited to “I’ll have a six-inch Spicy Italian on wheat,” most students at Fort Hays that I’ve spoken to have no such interest.
People like immediately contemporary things such as Adele and Fun. What happens when these bands fall off the popular grid? Nothing. Casual fans move on to whatever has replaced these bands on the pop radio stations.
What’s worse is that currently popular music is completely devoid of merit. In Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” words that are not “we found love in a hopeless place” are a mere 43 percent of the song.
That’s right. The chorus comprises nearly 60 percent of the total unique words in the song. Incredible.
“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People is even worse. The two lines in the chorus repeat eight frigging times, including a maddening four in a row at the end, leaving a mere 30 percent of the song left over for the verses. What the heck?
This is not to mention the fact that a lot of modern music is about totally inappropriate stuff, like how cool it is to be up in the club, binge-drinking, and ogling and/or harassing girls in the process.
I know that I sound like an old man. But I really just want these terrible bands to get off my lawn. I can only request that people look back at the time when music was good.
Listen to some Genesis or Goo Goo Dolls. Or Queensryche. I’m not saying you should stop listening to popular stuff, mostly because you just won’t. But try to find something you like and stick to it. Fans are too rare these days.