Humans, and music. The connection is primal. We dance, we sing, we feel emotions.

Those of us who witnessed the Chemical Brothers live, back in the 1990’s, also know that it’s possible to feel music. Physically. As a rumbling disturbance in the chest. As bands go, they were LOUD.

Richter-scale loud.

Are-the-Chemical-Brothers-loud-tonight-or-am-I-actually-having-a-heart-attack loud.

When we’re in our formative years, of course, we are particularly prone to connecting emotionally with our favourite music. Smarter people than me can explain this.

We hear, in music, a label given to certain emotions that we haven’t yet processed properly. Music helps us define the way we feel.

It also gives us something to identify with, and offers a kind of ‘group’ or ‘scene’ at a time when we’re figuring out who we are. So it helps us define who we are, too.

OK…I’m suggesting now that you go and find that smarter person, because my knowledge on this is thin, at best. But this connection with music in our younger years is seen when we get older, when many of us have a tendency to hark back to the music of our ‘own’ era.

Dismissive of modern music as a re-hash of what’s been before. Which a lot of it is. But that’s how music works, isn’t it?

“It’s just noise,” old people say, dismissively.*

Or, as an old university friend of mine says: “sound like a bag of spanners in a washing machine.”

I’m 41, and I make a point of dismissing most modern music in a balanced and nuanced way. I hear that it’s a re-hash of my favourite band circa 1994. I listen to those spanners going round in that washing machine. But I understand that I simply can’t connect to it emotionally.

It might be terrible, but it also means nothing to me.

I know what my emotions are.

I know who I am.

I’m a Stone Roses fan from the early 1990’s with the swagger of early Liam Gallagher and the quirky sensibility of Jarvis Cocker. It’s a very simple palette of feelings and emotions to work from, and it suits me just fine.

All this modern stuff?

It’s just noise.

*By old, I mean maybe 32, 33. So not old, but musically old. Ish. Y’know…culturally. Emotionally.

By Graham McLellan from London, UK (IMG_3358) [CC BY 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons



One thought on “Noise

  1. My husband is nearly 70 and still likes heavy metal. Yesterday, he complained that Pandora downloaded a bunch of music to his phone that he will “never” listen to. He said, “I swear, the title of one song was ‘Instant Earache.'” He was just kidding, of course. I said, “Pandora is just trying to get you to try newer versions of the stuff you already like.” I still doubt he will listen to it.

    Liked by 2 people

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