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The blog is a series of ideas, some short thoughts some are more like essays. Others are just tips. 

  • jones-allen

Why do Gen Zs like "retro" music?

Updated: May 1

Why do the tattooed ones stare and listen in wonder? I asked a 19 year old why he likes Dad-music? He took a long pause for thought and simply said "because it's good."

What was the thought that went into that insight. It has melody, inventiveness and a different rhythm.  Does a backbeat trump the doof! doof !doof! doof! of house music? Ohh Yess!! said he.

I am not saying they all like it, but there is a large minority that do. I read a meme recently that said when you are born into the age of Beatles and Led Zepplin, it is hard to be happy with Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

But why is it better?  In an age where anyone can record a song in their bedroom why don’t we see great songs in giant multiples of what was once only possible in a recording studio.  You do not even need to play an instrument: just get Ableton or Garageband and lay tracks together, using your choice of a hundred different drum beats, drum sets, guitars, horns etc etc.  In fact, you could be a 21st century Glenn Miller without hiring a single musician.

Well actually it’s now a less competitive but more diversified market. You do not need to convince a DJ that he will sell more advertising by playing your song or get a company to stump up the payola to make him play your song against his better judgement.

You simply use social media and get yourself a small but satisfying following. To get a following, you need to be very good or different, so most people choose different:; hence the diversity. 

Just look at metal.  We now have Black Metal, Post-metal, your choice of Alterative or Nu metal, D e A t h metal, Progressive metal, Symphonic Metal, Glam metal, Battle metal, Gothic metal, Industrial metal, Metalcore, Power metal, Sludge, Anarcho-punk, Black gaze, First Wave Black, folk acid, and of course, Thrash, but for pity’s sake do not use the term thrash in front of an aficionado of Crossover Thrash.

Dad music is better because there were a lot of musicians doing one thing.  Inventing new beats and melodies within a couple of genres. They did not study music at university. They spent 10 000 hours with their instruments developing virtuosity and came together with great producers in a brainstorm.

If you want to see some of this music live, played by rock virtuoso’s, I recommend you try the Bull and Bush in Baulkham Hills this Saturday night (4 May) where the Headliners are playing from 8.30 pm.  I’ll see you there.   

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