Sunday, July 30, 2017

New music genres you haven't heard of because you're old

One advantage to having a teenager is they remind you how out of touch you are musically. This is important, because it deflects your attention away from obsessing about the new belt hole you have had to start using. 

If you are like me, you grew up in a time when a music genre explained its effect on you right there in its name. Rock made you rock. Swing made you swing. I defy anybody to tell me what action I should take while listening to a new genre called “vaporwave.” 

It sounds like a brand of public restroom hand dryer. It is, according to the Internet, a style which pays ironic homage to 1980s elevator music and smooth jazz, and employs a “satirical take on consumer capitalism.” 

It also brings in “cyberpunk tropes,” which is something I frankly thought we had eradicated worldwide back in the ‘60’s. Vaporwave is apparently a variant of “chillwave,” which is not to be confused with “coldwave,” itself a French variant of post-punk. 

Are we rocking yet? 

You have probably heard of “house” music, but now there is something called “witch house,” which is “occult-themed dark electronic music.” It takes hip hop riffs, then “chops” and “screws” them until you have something resembling the situation in Congress. 

Witch house also involves “ethereal, indiscernible vocals,” which has personally always been something I try to seek out in the music I don’t listen to. 

My college-aged daughter, home for a few days, wanted me to know about “pirate metal,” which until now I had always thought of as swords. But as she puts it, pirate metal music is like metal, but “way more jolly.” 

“Nerdcore” is a genre of hip hop which uses themes “considered to be of interest to nerds,” like “Star Wars,” role-playing games, science and so on. This then spun off into the less humble  “geeksta rap,” which like gangsta rap involves braggadocio about one’s prowess with computers. 

At this point you will think I am making all this up, because you are a normal human being. I am not.

Sadly, I do not even have time to get into “aquacrunk,” “trip hop” or “dubstazz.” All are actual music genres and not, as you might suspect, unfinished books by Dr. Seuss. 

My wife suggests a new genre herself, “geezerpop,” which I support. It would involve homages to early Donny and Marie overlaid with some Pink Floyd riffs. If I can just get the recording arm of the AARP behind it, we’re golden. 


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