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VanderGraafKommandöh View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Music: family rivalry & rebelry
    Posted: May 04 2008 at 15:55
I find myself often thinking about this subject matter and therefore I felt it was time to elucidate some more about it in written form.  Do feel free to give feedback but it is not essential and I do not mind if I receive no replies whatsoever.  However, do bear with me here, as there are no questions to be answered, just some observations on my part.  If somehow else has experienced similar, then it would indeed be very pleasing to hear from you.

Anyhow, to the point of this web blog post.

Even though I have a quite varied music taste and I have music from many genres in my collection, I can still trace my musical lineage back to my parents music tastes.  I will fully acknowledge their tastes as influential on me, from the Rolling Stones and the British Blues boom, through to forays into more progressive music, such as The Moody Blues and Barclay James Harvest.  I can even remember the first full prog track I heard Yours is No Disgrace by Yes, from their The Yes Album.  However, I only ever heard it on a cassette tape and mostly whilst travelling on a car journey with noisy siblings.  It was also on a mix tape, rather than being on The Yes Album.

Anyhow, I digress from the above wittering and will now get to the point of this web blog post.

I find myself now still liking much of my parents music taste but I never delve into it and play anything in their collection.  The question I keep asking is, why?  A lot of what they listen to does not appeal to me (because their tastes have "matured") but much of I still can appreciate.  So why do I never take anything from their collection and play it?  I feel as if I am rebelling against them, or maybe it is some form of elitism.

As a slight aside, the same phenomenon happens in regards to my two elder siblings.  The eldest is a Pink Floyd and Mike Oldfield fan (as well as many others), yet I have had no desire to ever purchase music by either of them, even though I inherently do not dislike either artist.  Indeed, I actually enjoy much of Pink Floyd's music.  I have never even borrowed any of these albums.  Again, why?  Maybe there is some form of rivalry going on here, because I cannot really justify why this is the case.  Why do brothers and sisters, parents and uncles and aunts have such rivalries?  My siblings have good music tastes, yet we do not really share our music collections.

My middle older sibling has a closer taste in music to myself and generally prefers jazz and blues and really does not listen to much progressive rock.  His music tastes are lighter than my own.  Yet again, I like much of what I hear of his music, but when he brings albums round for me to listen to, I never really touch them, let alone play them.  I have lent some of my albums to him and he has listened to many of them, so this apparent "rivalry" is not reciprocal.

So in conclusion, I am therefore a bit confused at this apparent philosophical gesture on my part.  I am having difficulty understanding why I do not really share my families music tastes, when I actually do not mind most of it.  Will this attitude change when and if they go?  Will I suddenly have a craving to want to listen to their music?

Personally, I believe it is just because I try to be as individualistic as possible and this extends to my family as well.  I guess some inferiority complex dictates that I must be different to not only the majority of people (I am extending this not to just my music taste) but also to my family.

Comments are welcome.


Edited by James - May 05 2008 at 11:22
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 16:15
My only observation is that my father has been a huge influence on my taste in music. I started listening (seriously) to music quite late and thus I lacked a clear direction and defined taste. I think that fact made me very influenced by the thing played at home. Melodic power/prog metal, Neo-Prog, AOR (mainly Toto, late Kansas and Journey), Deep Purple and Rainbow was constantly playing, and my father was an active musician when he was younger, which perhaps was what I needed to pick up the bass guitar.

That passion for music was contagious and I still listen to a lot of those things he played. But I've never been passionate about anything but DP and Purple. I took those influences and developed them. I quickly knew more Kansas and Rush than my father did and constantly delved deeper into progressive territory, which represent my PERSONAL development and taste. I moved off in a tangent way, so to speak.

I do think that, at least for some of us, our parents' and siblings' tastes are important in building the musical ground you will have as an individual. But I've never experienced that rivalry you're talking about, James Smile. Only great fun in being able to enjoy things together and discuss it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 16:21
Maybe rivalry is the incorrect term to use.  We do not envy each others tastes.  My middle brother is the one who tries to get me into the music he likes and I know for sure sure that I will like it, because he knows my tastes, but I simply very rarely, listen to much he lends me and it just sits on the table until he reclaims it.  So it is not a rivalry really.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 16:28
That is something that I've experienced with friends. We all try to get each other interested in our own musical tastes, but the result is "sure, very nice, but not really for me..." I dislike very little of what they send/lend me, I even like some of it, but never enough to be seriously interested. And that might be a way of defending our individualities.

One of my closest friend once stated: "Yes, I really, really like Rush. But it's no fun since they are your favourites". Odd, but an example from reality.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 16:36
Thanks for the feedback, Linus, it is much appreciated.  Maybe I am looking to much into this and it's a more common phenomenon than I first suspected.

As I stated before, I do not believe it is a rivalry, because I really have nothing to rival about.  I try not to be elitist.  I like what I like after all, whether they are popular or completely unheard of.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 17:20
Hm. My own experience with this:

Parental influences:

My dad doesn't really listen to music, except casually and rarely. He's not really been any influence at all. I usually don't mind the 80s stuff he'll rarely play, but I've never really been struck by it enough to go and hunt it down.

My mum was responsible for my introduction to ELP [even if I like almost all of it, when she only really likes the softer songs and Fanfare] (labelling it 'intellectual rock music' and lending/donating to me her Works Live and Fanfare anthology albums), and consequently prog rock. She also introduced me to the brilliant 10cc. I don't mind some of the older and more artsy things she plays (such as Van Morrison or Peter Gabriel), even if we disagree on the specifics. What's interesting is that she really dislikes some of my musical tastes [to a lesser extent, vice versa, though in my case it's usually apathy rather than dislike], especially Maneige's 'Les Aventures...', lots of Yes and anything heavier by Crimson. I'll occasionally check something she's mentioned or recommended, and usually won't love it, but won't mind it either.

I think the difference really was that I've been much more interested in the heavier and experimental forms of progressive music, and have developed a lot independently and with recommendations from others. I go for atmospheres, musicianship and textures, where my mum goes for songs.

The interesting difference, really, is comparison with my sister, who's more into modern indie/emo/metal music (and got into music a couple of years before I did, even if I'm a couple of years older), though open to just about anything. She's expressed interest in Steve Hackett's guitar on Shadow Of The Hierophant, and admired a couple of Mahavishnu Orchestra solos, but that's it. I don't mind a couple of the things she plays (though rarely enough to check them out, I'm probably lacking Led Zep and Hendrix collections mainly because she likes them), even if some others really annoy me. The biggest difference, really, is listening style. She'll only listen to things she likes, and often skips tracks partway through, so atmospheric intros or contrast are really lost on her. Probably our single biggest overlap is on Rush, which she likes, but doesn't really know at all.

Both my uncles on my mum's side (one's a drummer/musician) also listen/listened to Genesis and Yes (though they're both more diverse listeners than me), and I've discovered a couple of interesting things from them (Simon and Garfunkel, ELO and Genesis when younger, now things like Renaissance, The Who and The Primitives). I tend to agree with a lot of their tastes rather than my sister's, for some reason, but I think that the difference is just that 70s/80s rock is generally more my thing that recent music.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 17:26
The interesting difference, really, is comparison with my sister, who's more into modern indie/emo/metal music (and got into music a couple of years before I did, even if I'm a couple of years older),

Probably our single biggest overlap is on Rush, which she likes, but doesn't really know at all.

Spooky. Exactly the same for me and my sister.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 17:30
Hard to draw any conclusion from one example though. But still fairly interesting considering that our families have at least a comparable background in music. My mother has always been more into artsy pop/rock.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 20:15
I forgot to mention that I discovered one of my cousins like some noisy stuff like Sunn 0))), Melt-Banana and Boris and that was a nice surprise.

My mother's brother (therefore my Uncle), was into Pink Floyd and other prog back in the 1970s, whilst my father's younger sister used to like Yes and now seems to like Prince and other bizarre stuff. Wacko


Edited by James - May 04 2008 at 20:17
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2008 at 22:35
You know, this probably is the need of all human beings to set its own symbolic self in order to build its personality. In order to do that many people choose the opposite side or choose not to follow some steps followed by parents, friends or relatives.

For example, me and my brother were raised listening to prog rock, blues, classical music, jazz, pop rock, among other kinds of music, coming mostly from my father, who was a genuine audiophile guy (was because he don't have time to listen to anything right now and, to top that, the hi-fi stereo is f**ked up). I followed many steps of my father and like prog rock, classical music and jazz (although i don't have any  jazz or classical cd) wile my bother listen to rap, hip hop and brazillian funk (some kind of rap created here). 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 02:54
I've experienced something similar, but opposite. My father was a huge influence on my taste and got me into a lot of classic rock, heavy metal, and even some of the more popular prog bands (Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull). But, in the last couple years I've done my own exploring, and have tried to recommend him some similar prog bands from the 70s that he'd never listened to (KC, Heavier Genesis, etc.), and he said it was boring and didn't "rock" enough - in spite of him frequently listening to Pink Floyd and others. So, then I whipped out some stuff by The Mars Volta, and he admitted some was pretty good (some was still boring), but he never asked to listen to any of it again; much in the same way James was referring to.
 
Unhappy


Edited by Sckxyss - May 05 2008 at 02:55
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 11:00
King Crimson not rocking enough? Shocked
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 11:20
My dad was a significant influence on my music tastes. He played a lot of Jean-Michel Jarre, Supertramp, Vangelis, Mike OIdfield and Pink Floyd in the car and at home when I was a little kid. I especially loved Supertramp (and still do) but dig those other bands as well. Notably Supertramp got me more interested in music and my music teacher in 5th grade introduced me to King Crimson and Genesis (he's a progfan as well), before getting me into Gentle Giant, Yes, ELP and even those more obscure and harder bands to acquire (VDGG, Henry Cow, Can, Gnidrolog). I can greatfully thank my dad and my music teacher for getting into prog and music in general.
 
My brother likes country, and some hard rock. Other than that, he's very close minded. My mother is very causual to music as well.
 
Im not very updated on the rest of my family's music tastes otherwise.
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 16:38
Originally posted by James James wrote:

King Crimson not rocking enough? Shocked
 
Yeah, I think it was more a matter of him not giving it a chance, since it was music I was recommending him rather than that which he discovered on his own.


Edited by Sckxyss - May 05 2008 at 16:58
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 17:23

It seems to me that my dad tones down his prog and classic rock when it comes around to my mom. On the other hand, my mom listens to disposable pop and watches American Idol and such and that influence clearly struck me, at least as a child. She raised me listening to the expected 'girly' music: Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears...horrors.

My sister and I had nearly the same tastes until a few years ago but now I enjoy tormenting her with what I love and she hates. I guess that's where the musical rivarly comes in. Although occasionally I try to pick out what she would like from my albums, wishing she could connect somewhere.
 
Thankfully my parents put me in piano lessons at a very young age, so I've always liked classical and orchestral. Also, I'll admit that my dad's vinyl records standing proudly, gathering dust in my basement made me feel a little more at ease taking a dive into prog (My discoveries haven't really brought my dad and I closer together, weirdly enough). But it's not like I've totally abandoned the pop impression I was brought up on. I find I'm always immediately attracted to strongly melodic and piano-based music.
 
I think that the psychological side to it is that when you're young and vulnerable, you take in whatever surroundings and establish basic musical tastes. Then come teenage rebellion, or whenever your rebellion takes place, you feel more of a need to differentiate. You branch off moderately. So while staying parallel to what you know, you are finding an unfamiliar common ground. (Please excuse the massive oxymoron.)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 19:49

My Dad  (now 78) was as musically open minded as anyone could be as a young man...  He embraced the Pacific Jazz (koonitz Baker et al) bunch in the 50s,  he caught on to The Beatles and Dylan in the 60s but in the 70s he fell into a musical purgatory of Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand,  Kenny Rogers and John Denver... The 80s found him listening to almost no music at all and the 90s he came back to life via Paul Simons Graceland and started listening to Clifton Chenier and that kind of zydeco stuff.... Today at 78 he has been re-living the music of his wartime experience which included Sammy Kaye and some of the big bands, Sinatra and Crosby.   You can go back!

http://bakullama.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 21:15
Thankyou for the input, everybody.  I think it is an age thing too.  I am 27 years young (or old) and so I suspect my tastes will mature, in so much as I will most likely want to hear melody over avant-gardeness.  Also, the more I explore, the less interesting stuff becomes in many respects, because it is treading familiar ground.  That is why Battles were such a welcome surprise, because they were doing something different, the same with the Math Rock of Ahleuchatistas and Upsilon Acrux.  They also have melody, unlike a lot of the stuff I listen to (like Ovary Lodge, for example).

I just hope that I do not plunge into easy listening territory.  I went to University with a guy who used to be into metal, like Metallica and in his final year, I asked him how he was and whether he was still listening to metal and suchlike and to my horror, he was liking pop music.  I guess people do change.

I have also read that Colin Moulding from the band XTC not only has stopped composing music, but has also pretty much stopped listening to it as well.  I guess people burn out.

Because of my recent mood and life experiences, music recently has not had the affect it used to have and even my beloved Van der Graaf Generator does not seem to appeal in the same way as it used to and that is not due to saturation on my part, because I have consciously decided not to play them that often, so I did not get sick of them.

I am sure I will rekindle my love of them properly soon but at the moment, it seems I listen to new stuff once or twice, put it on the backburner and then find something else I've not heard.  I find it extremely difficult to play an album more than a certain amount of times in a week.


Edited by James - May 05 2008 at 21:17
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 21:54
My dad (and mom to a lesser extent) used to be into a lot of good stuff, mostly Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, Yes, Focus, etc.  Now they are typical, only-purchase-greatest-hits-cd type parents which is kind of annoying, as I always tell them it's better to not have their music dictated by the masses, but of course taking advice from someone a generation younger is basically an insult so now I don't even say much.  My brother listens to crap, like 99% of teenagers.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 22:05
Yes, the amount of Best Of..., Greatest Hits type albums my parents have is shocking!  Most of them are cheap supermarket buys and some of them are even mislabelled.  They bought a Creedance Clearwater Revival album the other week and it turned out to be a covers band. LOL  They have since brought a proper Best Of..., but still, that's parents for you.

My father gets annoyed with my mother as well, because he buys a CD for her and she never plays it.  Then when he puts her CD on for her, she wanders upstairs and sits on the computer all night.  So basically he rarely puts on CDs for her now.

I also never want to sell any of my CDs but I do know people do, yourself included, Mike.  I guess when I'm older I'll change my mind and decide some awful dissonant avant-prog I liked when I was 27, is just not for me at ages 60.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2008 at 22:10
I have to say it's weird to like an artist but to not listen to them by rebelling against your brother.
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