Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Top Ten

I often reflect on how little my musical tastes have changed since my mid-20s. So on the occasion of my 42nd birthday, I think it's time that I come up with a list of my all-time favorite bands and see how it compares with the list I might have made in the late '90s. So here goes! My all-time top ten favorite bands as of 3/5/13:

1. The Clash
2. AC/DC
3. Husker Du
4. Material Issue
5. Ramones
6. Replacements
7. Sex Pistols
8. Stiff Little Fingers
9. Buzzcocks
10. Undertones

So what does this tell me? That for the most part, my musical tastes have been stagnant for at least a decade and a half. This list would have been nearly identical in 1998. Generation X or The Boys would probably have been in there instead of Material Issue, who I didn't "discover" until 1999. But besides that, it's pretty much the same. Clearly, I've never really gotten past the '77 punk thing.

Okay, so perhaps "stagnant" isn't the right word. I prefer to see myself as a person who simply knows what he likes. I am not a "greener pastures" type. I tend to find the things that make me happy and stick with them. This is neither good nor bad - just something I've observed about myself. I crave comfort over adventure. I tend to focus more on enjoying where I'm at than I do on figuring out where I'm headed next. I live in the same town I was born in. I've had only one favorite baseball team since I was eight years old. Committing to one woman for the rest of my life was the easiest thing I've ever done.

What I'd like to do is make this list an annual tradition. It's not likely to change much, but it could be fun to see if it does. It's not that I'm closed-minded or afraid to try new things. I have, over my life, listened to just about every kind of music there is. I do try and check out what's new and "cool". But I've still yet to find anything I like better than punk rock. I suppose that's why I can do this kind of blog. I never grow "weary" of punk music. Will I be cranking "White Riot" when I'm 90 years old and shaking my cane at the no-good kids flying their spacecrafts over my lawn? I think so. I'll probably go through a "mature" phase in my late-'70s when I'll only listen to free jazz and computer simulations of ocean tides. But by age 85, I'll go back to punk. Maybe you will too. Meet me in the Old Country Buffet parking lot, and we'll jam to "No Time To Be 21"!

-L.R.

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