NOT A LOVE STORY
LOOK WHAT TAYLOR SWIFT MADE INFORMER DO. DESPITE MANY YEARS OF NON-DAD DECLARATIONS, MODERN MUSIC HAS FORCED HIS HAND ... AND NOW WE’VE GOT BAD BLOOD
If I were you, I wouldn’t bother with today’s rectangle. Informer is battling a fresh bout of flu and its ravages have sapped the strength, wit, insight and searing intelligence that you have come to know and love.
Still, this space isn’t going to fill itself, so I’ll cobble together something about, oh, music will do. To wit, Informer had the misfortune of hearing the new Taylor Swift single the other day. I immediately thought of my father.
As a lad, my musical choices went unappreciated by Dad, whose response to everything I brought home was: “This is the worst music, in the world, ever.”
The commas were the most important part of his statement, essential for fully conveying his disdain. Which he did. Often. No matter what new album I placed on our old HMV record player after ensuring the stylus was lint-free and the black vinyl freshly brushed, Dad remained unimpressed and ready with his commas.
The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks and my mighty and beloved Who were all paternally condemned, with Dad’s tone only becoming harder and sharper as I fell for the more challenging likes of Frank Zappa, Tom Waits and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis.
When punk arrived, there weren’t enough commas to be found.
Not that Dad was any judge – he liked Canadian country and western music, for pity’s sake – yet despite such shocking musical taste he had no qualms about passing judgment on mine.
This is why I vowed never to do the same if one day I had my own children and they brought new music home.
That my children are now grown delights me on a number of levels, but one of them definitely concerns the music we continue to share.
Because if I were a parent dealing with the so-called music being inflicted on youngsters today, I might scream like Roger Daltrey at the end of Won’t Get Fooled Again. One artist/band is the same as another. Pink sounds like Katy Perry sounds like Kesha sounds like Justin Bieber; Jay Z sounds like Kanye sounds like every finger-pointing twerp with his baseball hat on crooked, no command of English and careers founded on theft.
At a time when meagre talents like Ed Sheeran are embraced for their “genius”, music has never been more pathetic than it is today. Why? Because today’s music has become less important – to its makers and its cloth-eared audience – than the hype surrounding it.
Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do is a case in point.
All the talk has been around who she’s targeting, what this part of the video means, what that costume choice and colour signifies. This drivel has filled social media, online sites, TV chat shows, radio and so on for days. In fact, only one thing has been missing – the song. No one is talking about the actual song.
Well, Informer listened to the song and, despite my many years of non-Dad declarations, I have no choice but to say that it is the worst music, in the world, ever. What’s more, it is utterly symptomatic of its time.
Then again, I suppose it hardly matters that the music is unlistenable when no one is actually listening to it.
With that, I’ve made it to the end of one of the worst rectangles I’ve ever written. I’m going back to bed.
Apologies again, but you were warned.
“I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO SAY THAT IT IS THE WORST MUSIC, IN THE WORLD, EVER.”