by Robert Waltz
Not for the faint of art.
I... don't really do nostalgia.
Not on a regular basis, anyway, and not tied to songs. Which is not to say that I don't sometimes miss some aspects of the past; it's just that I use music differently, I suppose.
Sure, there are songs from my younger days that can trigger memories, both pleasant and not so pleasant. But I also enjoy some newer music, and some older music that I somehow missed along the way. Music, to me, is music: I don't care much about what "decade" it was made in (except insofar as my mental metadata about a song usually includes what year it was released), and while songs have a genre, that's often secondary to me. As long as it's a good song -- subjectively and/or objectively -- I generally want to hear it again.
In other words, unlike I suspect most people, I'm not trapped in any one period of popular music, or any one type. I've been known to create mix tapes, back when mix tapes were a thing, with folk songs back to back with heavy metal. Or punk followed by glam rock. From vastly different time periods. For example.
Now, obviously, I'm often drawn to familiar music like just about anyone, but, again, that's not usually because of any associations it has, but because I simply consider it quality music.
I hope I'm never one of those "all music these days sucks" types. Sure, there's a lot of music out there that is utter crap, but I distinctly recall that this has always been the case. It's just that no one ever plays the crap music from when I was a kid anymore... because it's crap. They still play the new music that's crap because it's new, so I understand why people might draw that conclusion. (It's the same way with books.) Admittedly, I haven't really been keeping up with new music, lately, but every once in a while I'll hear one at the taphouse or something and, curious, I use the handy "Hey Google, what song is playing?" feature on my phone, and often, it'll be something from the last decade... or maybe from the sixties.
And can I just say, that shit is sorcery -- the music recognition search thing. It picks up like three measures of the music and comes back with song, artist, album, year, label, producer, lyrics, and pretty much anything else I'd want to know.
Perhaps that's why I don't often wax nostalgic: apart from certain political and epidemiological problems going on in the US right now, I feel like I'm living in "the good old days." Like I said, yeah, there are things from the past that I miss: my parents, old friends, cats, being able to travel, that sort of thing. But damn if technology isn't pretty fucking awesome right now. Like, if I want to hear a song? Comes right up on my phone and I Bluetooth it to a high-quality speaker.