Showing posts with label east village. Show all posts
Showing posts with label east village. Show all posts

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rediscovering My Rock & Roll Roots

They say that everything popular gets recycled, and over my relatively short 30 years on this Earth, I've seen evidence of that. As I've gotten older I've become increasingly aware of the possibility that I could become an old fogey. I've been seeing some signs of it already: my plummeting disinterest in popular culture combined with my constant fascination with "intellectual" things like science and philosophy. It's not that these things aren't or cannot be cool, it's just that they aren't typically associated with things that "cool" people do. But "cool" is an extremely relative term, impossible to pinpoint. I think today because of the internet, it is easier than ever to stay "cool" so to speak, by knowing what's going on. Therefore I don't think that my generation as it gets older, will follow in the footsteps of previous generations that quickly shed their youthful coolness in favor of old fogey-dom once they settled down and had kids.

Back in the early 2000s there was a cultural explosion of a rediscovery of the old school and seemingly forgotten garage and indie rock that had been bubbling under the surface for so many years. It was in response to the nauseous commercial rock and rap metal that seemed to be hammering the final nail into the coffin of traditional rock. Grunge had run its course and devolved into the whiny alternative and anger metal that so permeated everyday life. At this time, I felt like an outcast not quite being able to identify with the culture around me. But when garage rock came back into style along with a renewed interest in 70s rock and punk, I found a bandwagon I could jump on. I had already been into many 60s and 70s rock acts like The Doors and The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, and so the culture around me seemed to be mirroring my interests. It was in a sense, perfect timing.

I remember the summer of 2002 quite vividly working part time at my sister's store on first street in the East Village. The hipster culture was exploding around me. Everyone cool looked like a 70s rock star or an Andy Warhol groupie. I grew my hair out long for the first time in my life because I remember at the time wanting to look just like Jimmy Page. I had discovered rock and roll and it seemed there was no going back. (If only I had actually learned how to play guitar back then instead of waiting years later.) But now a decade later this discovery seems to have faded a bit and I've been somewhat rediscovering my rock and roll roots, perhaps in an embarrassing attempt to stay "cool". But nonetheless, if Iggy Pop and Jimmy Page can still rock on while in their sixties, I think I can too considering I'm only half their age.

Pop culture doesn't entirely disinterest me, just parts of it. The Gangnam Style K-pop phenomenon of last year I feel like I saw from the perspective of a 45 year old dad whose teenage daughter forces him to listen to it on TV - that is to say, I took one glance at it, and then kept reading the newspaper. I've gotten into newer musical acts like The Black Keys and LDC Soundsystem, but it seems my heart belongs to 60s and 70s rock and roll. It's funny how I should so strongly identify with the music of my parent's generation, but even my mom and dad weren't cool enough at that time to listen to the popular music of the day. I've discovered that every decade has music I could like; every decade had its "cool". And although musically I'm very nostalgic, I do prefer the times we are living in. I wouldn't really want to go back to any of these bygone eras, not permanently at least.

The past remains alive in the music it produced, as will the music of today for future generations. So as I enter my thirties I enter a new era in which being "cool" never fades - it just gets cooler. Now you can be cooler in your thirties and forties than you were whilst a teenager - as long as you got your shit together. So for me rediscovering my rock and roll roots is in a sense, rediscovering cool. There's nothing wrong with being into nerdy and scholarly things like science and philosophy while simultaneously staying threaded to all the other cool things our free society has allowed us to produce.

They're both worth fighting for.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer 2011

We are in the midst of a sweltering typically New York City heat wave. Temperatures are in the high 90s and the humidity is not much lower. So far summer has been nothing but work. Last weekend I slept in and didn't even go out. I was just too damn tired. I realize now what a stupid decision that was. Summer will be over before I know it, and I should spend every free day I have out enjoying life and the outdoors even if it is by myself.

Work is still sucking my life and time away. I have money now so I can't complain, but it seems that I have no time to spend it. It's such a catch 22: last summer I was unemployed and had little money, but I had all the time in the world to hang out and enjoy my life. This summer I have plenty of spending money but I'm working like a dog, and it seems like I have no time to spend it, let alone enjoy it.

Weekends seem to disappear over night. Before I know it, it's Monday morning and time to go to work. I even have to work on the weekend sometimes. It is such a horrible wager to make. Be broke, or be busy all the time.

I'm going to Washington D.C. in the end of August, I'll take a flight over to Oregon after that. Something to look forward to but not much. I need to get out more, but my job pretty much ruins the possibility of doing anything on the weekday. I remember back when I used to be a security guard and I worked 40 hours a week. This was the summer of 2005. I remember that summer as been a particularly fun summer mostly because I discovered this bar called Lit in the East Village and it was a particularly good spot for easy hook ups. But I can't remember what I did on work nights. I assume I mostly went home, I think a few nights I went out or hung out in friend's houses. I smoked a lot of pot back then so memory is a bit hazy.

It's mid-summer and so far the fun has yet to begun.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Change is the only thing that's constant

I'm starting to learn that many good writers write daily, sometimes for hours. I've noticed that I make usually about a half dozen entries on this blog a month. Maybe I should be writing more. After all the more I write the better I will become at it. Great writers also read a lot also. I read a lot on the internet. I read a lot of news, but a great deal of my knowledge lately has come from watching videos on YouTube that explain concepts of science and philosophy and economics. This is very typical of the young today who can't even deal with the cliff notes anymore and have resorted to watching and listening to videos instead of actually reading about any of it. It is a pattern that a friend advised me to not get comfortable with.

Spelling is not an issue anymore thanks to the spell check mechanism. But spell check cannot make you a exceptional writer. I hate the laziness that comes and goes in me. I don't even have to get off my couch to do what I am doing now, and still I find an excuse to be lazy and not do it. Remember when you had to actually go out to obtain knowledge about a subject, to the library in the freezing cold? Those days are long gone and with it, that energy one had to have.

I did keep a written journal for years at a time and wrote several notebooks worth of events, documenting various stages of my life from high school to as recently as a few months ago. I still have one that I stopped writing in and for some reason I guess I stopped, maybe because of this blog. But in my notebooks I would write much more personal things regarding my personal life, and on this blog I've chosen for it to not be about my silly mundane day-to-day problems. My old journals I burned and destroyed years ago so no one could read them. I guess I wish I could have saved them until now, they'd be fascinating to read.

I really wish I was writing about my experiences hanging out with metal heads in high school in the 90s. It was a great era and subculture to document since a lot has changed in New York in the past ten years, and also because the heavy metal culture that existed back then has significantly waned. Change is the only thing that's constant. And that's never more true than in the secular metropolis.

High school was tough. I had a really hard time fitting in. Even among my own clique I was kind of the outcast. It took me a really long time to find myself, and to find my place. I'm still kind of looking but I'm a lot more focused now. I really wish back then I had the knowledge I have now, or at least (since saying that has become so cliche) I wish that I was as passionate about the same subjects back then as I am now (namely atheism and philosophy). I was always into atheism pretty much, but never had the passion to really dig deep into the philosophy behind it and religion. Also, I wish I had payed attention to more of the cultural changes over the years as they evolved slowly instead being shocked by seemingly abrupt changes that were really just the result of years my neglect towards them.


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