February 15, 2012

And The Cradle...Doesn't Rock

There are two kinds of people in life - David Lee Roth people and Sammy Hagar people. No musical issue since Yoko Ono's very existence has so divided fans. Me, despite the fact that I know the Roth years produced more critically solid material, I've always liked Sammy Hagar.

So, when A Different Kind of Truth dropped - Van Halen's first album in 14 years and first with David Lee Roth in 28 years - I picked it up. Then I hurriedly downloaded the latest from Chickenfoot, the post-Van Halen supergroup consisting of Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony along with Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and guitar superstar Joe Satriani.

What I got is proof that I'm old.

A Different Kind of Truth is the better of the two albums. It's honestly a triumphant return to form from a once very lost band. It's fun, it's heavy, and it's musicianship is solid. Of course, the same can be said for Chickenfoot's latest. The problem with that is the sum of Chickenfoot's personnel doesn't live up to the potential they have as a band. What a conundrum - you expect a new album from Van Halen to suck while a supergroup like Chickenfoot should drop something brilliant, right? Just the opposite happened.

That said, I discovered that while one album was definitely better than another, neither of them really did anything for me. Apparently I'm not fifteen anymore. I guess high-kicking spandex-wearing lead singers don't do it for me anymore. Or lyrics about hot substitute teachers. Or three minute excuses for guitar solos.

The conclusion? I'm old. Sure, the music rocks but I don't care. The fact that something rocks doesn't make for a happy ending anymore. No, as I've gotten older my inner wannabe rockstar has upped the game. It has to rock and be interesting.

How have your musical tastes changed over the years?

Posted by Chris at February 15, 2012 7:26 AM

I'm sorry to say that my musical tastes haven't changed at all since I was in my teens/twenties. I still love the same stuff, or modern twists on that same genre.

Case in point: last night my 8 year old son and I were on our way to soccer practice and I hooked the iPod up and started playing some music. My son listened for a second and asked, "Mom, is this R.E.M. or the Decemberists?" It made me smile. Oh, and it was R.E.M..

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 15, 2012 8:05 AM

Since I don't have the time and resources to keep track of everyone who follows you or who you follow, I will ask if you are familiar with Daddy Scratches. He did a whole post on Van Halen and this album. He posted pictures of them in concert recently and I barely recognized DLR. He was in OVERALLS. Not a speck of spandex to be seen.

Posted by: MidLyfeMama at February 15, 2012 8:43 AM

As I read this, it occurred to me that I might be about to make the same comment I already made once, and it's true. In January of 2008 I commented here on your Wardrobe Malfunction post:

"Upon reading the Rolling Stone top 100 songs of 2007, and having it dawn on me that I only knew three and liked only one of the three I knew (Springsteen, BTW), I realized that I'm no longer hip. Furthermore, I realized that I do not care. I recently heard Douglas Coupland postulate that once you hit 25 or so, you have your box of vinyl, and those are pretty much the ones you'll listen to for life. It took me nearly a decade longer than that, but I think I've finally hit it. I'm just going to go live in the world of late 60's British Invasion and punk, 70's pop, motown and disco, 80's big hair, metal and electronica, and 90's grunge and goth... maybe a peppering of emo from the early 2000's. The next generation can take all the rest of this crap they're generating today... I gladly surrender it.

Oh, and get off my lawn."

Does that mean that I've been reading too long, or that we're BOTH now too damned old? :)

Posted by: Martin at February 15, 2012 8:50 AM

One way my tastes have changed is that I used to be a HUGE Van Halen fan (DLR, not the Red Rocker) and now, not so much. Granted, I was 14 and now I'm 40. Every once in a while, though, I still like to listen to their early stuff. I think the biggest change to my musical tastes, though, is that I find I can't listen to bands like Pink Floyd anymore because they are too depressing. I used to love them and I liked indulging in "rainy day" music. Now, with 2 little ones, a busy house and a job, I don't have time to be depressed! At least not self-indulgently! ;)

Posted by: akofaolain at February 15, 2012 9:47 AM

Hey man, I'm just glad your tastes HAVE changed. I know to many people living out their high school years with music.

I like complex tunes, but also I'm just a sucker for new rock with a kickin' lead singer. Back in the day, I just wanted it loud and fast.

Posted by: Brad at February 15, 2012 10:32 AM

What's really weird about this is that last night I listened to Alice in Chains' latest from 2009, 'Black Gives Way to Blue', and thought, "I wonder if Chris has heard this?". I found out about it because I was in the process of replacing some of the old Alice in Chains stuff that I've since lost. So, to answer your question, my tastes haven't moved much in a couple decades.

It's pretty good, BTW. It's no Dirt, but it's also lacking Layne Staley's signature screech. A lot of really catchy guitar riffs, though.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at February 15, 2012 12:00 PM

Oh DLR all the way. The 'new' VH doesn't do it for me either, but I still turn up the radio *yes RADIO or crank the ipod when Running with the Devil or any of those first VH tunes come around.

Posted by: Ames at February 15, 2012 12:04 PM

My tastes have broadened considerably, but I still loves me some sleezy 80s metal. I stumbled into this earlier today. The juxtaposition of DLR as crazy front man and DLR as border collie trainer is kind of mind blowing.


Posted by: COD at February 15, 2012 12:13 PM

My musical taste has changed little, but my lyrical taste has changed more. I love listening to old Warrant records about girls and booze and sex and all that, but I don't really want to hear a bunch of 40-50 year olds singin' like they get a one night stand every night. So I love the new records from old favorites like Night Ranger, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Beggars and Thieves, and yes, Warrant, whose lyrics are still rock n' roll, but more in a vein I can relate to as a mother of 4 with a full time job and an unemployed husband. Key tracks: "When We Were Beautiful" (Bon Jovi), "Found Forever" (Warrant), and "Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)" (Night Ranger).

Posted by: Brooke at February 15, 2012 1:26 PM

proof that there are at least THREE types of people in the world, i don't even like van halen no matter who fronts them :)

Posted by: kati at February 15, 2012 4:55 PM

I feel like my musical taste is fluid. I admit, as much as I claim to be a musician and culturally sophisticated, if it's got a great beat and a catchy hook, it's got me. Even if that means the lyrics are dumb, the melody non-existent, or it has had the life auto-tuned out of it (see Ke$ha). I enjoy music today that I would have either scoffed at or never considered 15-20 years ago. What's cool, tho, is how I've started reconnecting with music I loved back in the day now that I'm singing lead vocals with a "cover" band.

Posted by: kate at February 15, 2012 6:55 PM

Or does the cradle Rock??


Posted by: Tera at February 16, 2012 4:33 AM

My musical tastes have grown in the fact that I am now much more open to different genres then when I was younger- much more into pop music. That being said...if you are blaring Cher at me_ I will still probably leave and find solace somewhere else.

And that being- I am such a Sammy Hagar in VH person it's not even funny. Was there VH before Sammy? (Just kidding I know there was but I love Sammy).

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