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05 March 2014

generational nostalgia and anti-trends [More:]

In chatting with a friend yesterday we were laughing about crazy nostalgia (sometimes anti-nostalgia). She's 23 so was waxing nostalgic about 90s bands that represent her "cradle music" - popular music that her parents listened to; Nirvana and Hootie and so on. These represent the same place for her as the Beatles do for me; music we may not entirely LIKE, like, but that represents a sort of background music to childhood and evokes happy times when we hear it.

In the same way we also laughed about some trends we saw, or could see being very dated. For me this was the late 80s/early 90s trend of wearing heavy dark brown matte lipstick (it looked good on absolutely no one) and for her it is the current (hopefully passe'?) "smoky eye" trend that makes celebrities like Kristen Stewart look creepy and sunken-eyed.

my personal anti-favorite though is the acres and acres of olive green, abstract jacquard (that looked kind of like puzzle pieces) berber wall-to-wall carpet that was Every. Where. when I was a tiny kid in the late 60s/early 70s. Like, not shag but this super cheap, short looped patterned stuff -- that's the best image I could find as thankfully 40 years on, it seems like no one is willing to admit having it in their house. In the early to mid 70s I remember it being as ubiquitous and hideous as dark brown faux-pine wall paneling, and it universally smelt like cat pee and cigarette smoke. I am relatively certain that at one time every finished basement and family room in the suburban U.S. had this stuff in it.

my dad claimed on FB that he has no recollection of the carpet of which I speak. I responded "dude mom, Babysitters 1 and 2 and Aunt So-and-So all had it in [respective houses]". His response "oh. guess I was too stoned to remember it, it sounds horrible". Oh indeed it was.

I also just noticed the other day on a house tour with a friend who's home shopping that the (mid 00s?) trend of heavily patterned granite countertops has not aged at all well.

It's weird how stuff that seems so "current" can become dated so quickly. Has anyone else noticed this? or perhaps I'm just Getting Old...
What puzzles me is that every time I go to a restaurant or supermarket, I hear music that is entirely from when I was growing up in the early 80s. Heard Madonna's Material Girl and Toto's Africa just yesterday. Is it really that popular? Was this some kind of golden age for music; I thought that kids automatically hated their parents' music.
posted by Melismata 05 March | 15:46
What puzzles me is that every time I go to a restaurant or supermarket, I hear music that is entirely from when I was growing up in the early 80s.

I've noticed this awhile back while grocery shopping at my local big box. I recall pushing my cart along, with my wife, when I suddenly realized I was listening to Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" And, then, they followed it up with some Ramones. It was...disconcerting.

It's all programmed and tested and trended to death, of course. 80's music reaches out to not just people my age (who were starting their adult lives, getting married, having kids in the 80's) for whom 80's music is part of their soundtrack, but also their children. As you's the background music of your childhood. So, it just makes good marketing sense to put the music in rotation.

I can't wait for the children of today's 20-somethings to start trotting-out pictures of their be-bearded and skinny-jeaned parents years down the road. They will laugh and wonder wtf were they thinking?
posted by Thorzdad 05 March | 16:19
What puzzles me is that every time I go to a restaurant or supermarket, I hear music that is entirely from when I was growing up in the early 80s.

yes and when I was a little kid in the 70's "elevator" music / grocery store MUZAK systems was all based on the stuff our parents listened to. Thus 50's and 60s lounge acts and pop stuff like Barry Manilow was huge.

tbh we are simply getting old. 80's is now "elevator music". Same goes for when I was a young thirtysomething and everything on public music systems was instrumental versions of roots rock from the 70s and so on.
posted by lonefrontranger 05 March | 17:23
We were in a fancy restaurant last week and while we were eating heard: Camper Van Beethoven, Generation X and The Replacements. If you'd told me that in 1985 or so, I'd have laughed at you.
posted by octothorpe 06 March | 22:33
The theme for this week's Photo Friday is Wheels. || Wes Anderson Movies....Can You Be Cool and Still Dislike Them?