When it comes to punk and indie music in this country I find that ultimately most fans of the genre(s) fall into two categories: the up-to-the-minute, “have you heard this?” set and the hopelessly nostalgic. These two aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive; people tend to start out their music listening lives as the former and end up as the latter. But it seems inevitable that even the most open minded music fan predominantly slips into one of these categories. I, for example, try to stay abreast of anything new that comes out– even while complaining that there’ll never be another Fugazi (there won’t be.)
I realize the inherent fruitlessness in this attitude. I can’t let go of the past because for many– for me– music was always a lifestyle, not a pastime. It’s how we define ourselves for such a large part of our life, and it creates an impossible measuring stick for what’s to come. But I’m from a generation that was cynical of the Strokes, while the generation after me was inspired by them. I spent my high school days listening to punk and post-hardcore bands, while most high school kids nowadays will scoff and associate music like that with My Chemical Romance. My standards of what’s “good” or “important” don’t mean anything to them, but in ten years time all you’ll hear are complaints that “there’s nothing like Animal Collective anymore.” And the cycle perpetuates itself.