I’ll be the first to admit to not having the most open of minds when it comes to music.  But I won’t be the first to claim that 99% of what’s out there is absolutely unlistenable.  Un. Listenable.  But that’s alright, since it’s become fairly easy to avoid the unlistenable shit – turn off the radio.  What becomes tricky is finding the good shit.  More importantly, the new good shit.

Now, if I wasn’t so fucking picky, it’s a short click away to Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, or some other new music site and I’d just eat everything up.  Thing is, I still find myself doing the former but fail to do the latter – mainly because I tend to puke at most of what’s being shoved in my face as new and sexy.

But because the hunt is often better than the spoils, I keep fishing.  Because I keep believing in that 1% that doesn’t blow.  Only thing is, lately the hunt for the 1% is starting to grow weary.  And worrisome.

Worrisome, why?  Because I have a crippling Peter Pan complex and that complex forces me to acknowledge that the vast majority of the music I’m searching for is probably made by kids who were born in the ’90s.  I don’t dislike kids born in the ’90s, but I will get to this later.

This past weekend, I went to a concert in Brooklyn, and for whatever reason, made it into the venue before the opening band even got on.  I almost always never make it for opening bands.  I mean, who’s got time for that bullshit.  I think the last opening band I made was The Kills, when they opened for Primal Scream.  I didn’t know The Kills then, but I was glad I showed up for their show.  That was an example of trying out a new band, and having it pay off.  Since then, it’s been shit show after shit show with opening bands.  Fuck opening bands.

So after giving opening bands a miss for so long, I was a bit weirded out by the prospect of actually having to watch one.  I scrammed to the bar, grabbed a couple of PBRs and came back right when the opening band were taking the stage.  I did my usual scan of the stage.  Rubbish vintage guitars.  Those shit instruments that would never stay in turn, but these douchebags continue to play because they think it makes them big and clever.  A two-tiered keyboard with a collection of a dozen effect pedals on the floor.  Maracas.  Oh shit, this was going to suck.  Hard.

The keyboard player started playing a single chord in perfect time.  One guitar player joins in on the same note purposefully.  Same thing with the bass player.  And the drummer pound the floor tom in the exact same time.  Everyone’s hitting the exact same beat with the same note.  And the band kept at this for a good five minutes.  The action was broken up infrequently by the singer mumbling and moaning into the mic, while the guitar player turned his right hand into a complete blur playing one note.  At the end of five minutes, splash cymbal, end.  Kids in the front row roar with approval.  And I realized that this band just played an entire song with one note.  And some kids in the crowd actually went bananas over them.

I try to track with this band for the rest of their set.  I’m really fucking trying here.  Each song was the same fucking routine.  Drummer with no ability vary a rhythm, or throw in a break.  The singer who’d mumble into the mic in a monotone until he decided it was timely to rev a single note on his guitar at 20,000rpm.  The bass player who’s run on the one note, then reach down, and ever so slightly twist a knob on one of his pedals, as if it made a lick of difference in the din.  And the keyboard player who was getting so psyched that he was fractions of an inch from pounding his head right into the keyboard in front of him as he head-banged through everything.  (The night would end in disappointment for me, as he cleverly missed his keys with his forehead.)

And the perplexing bit was you could tell that these guys genuinely thought they were playing shit that really mattered.  They thought that their loud single-noted performance was high fucking art.  They threw in single-noted raging guitar riffs in specific portions of their songs, as if it just needed to be played right there and then – not a second sooner, not a second later.  They tweaked the knobs on their pedals, as if twisting it from 2 o’clock to 3 o’clock would make the song go from great to greatest.  And the keyboard player getting way too psyched over one note – mind-boggling.

What the fuck were this band and their fans listening to that I was missing?  I keep thinking that maybe I’ve missed something out of this whole performance.  Maybe I shouldn’t write them off so quickly.  Maybe I’m the asshole ’cause I can’t figure what the fuck was going on here.  But at the end of the half-hour, I’d given up.  Who the fuck were these guys anyway?  Who gives a shit.  Like I said earlier: life’s too short.  I’d decided that this band was completely shite.  I don’t give a fuck if I was the only schmuck in the venue who decided that they were shite.  They were shite.  They were awful and tedious.

And this is when my Peter Pan complex kicked in hard.  Maybe I don’t get this shit because I’m growing old.  God, that scares the hell outta me.  I mean, early on I knew the difference between growing up and growing old.  (And my fear of the latter is what tends to annoy the shit out of my wife – ask her sometime)  Maybe me not getting why these kids on stage were getting cheered for their monotone cacophony is because I’m starting to turn in my own dad who hated – and still hates – everything I listen to.

But then, it got a little more fucked up in my head.  I started thinking, “These are sorts of assholes who are supposed to be forming the new sounds I’m constantly looking for?”  Could anything be more depressing.  These pretentious products of helicopter parenting who spend more time on their stupid Bieber-like hair than learning how to put four chords together, because they genuinely believe that their carefully-orchestrated discord is their art.  I started to think that for every one of these stupid bands, there are probably a hundred more just like them.  And by the law of averages, there are probably a hundred other bands out there who are shittier than them… but believe that the musical abortions they’re playing in their parents’ garage actually sounds manna from heaven.  Holy fucking shit.  Is it any wonder that I put more faith in the likes of Frank Black, Kim Deal, Bobby Gillespie, Jim and William Reid, and God knows any other band from yesteryear who may still be trying to put out new stuff.  It’s not like I can only listen to the old shit.  I clearly don’t.  But if this band and their reception are anything to go by, the new stuff’s fucked.

That, and I really, really don’t wanna grow old.