Thursday, August 11, 2005

Coldplay... what I didn't know

Post dedicated to C.M.

I got this e-mail the other day from a friend I've known since my days at Saint Mary's University. She checked out my blog and wrote to me to say, "Coldplay is one of your favorite groups?" (Clearly, she read my profile. ) "Man, you make me feel old!"

We had a bit of an exchange during which she said that she didn't think that Coldplay was music that grown ups listened to. She herself prefers Jazz, the equivalent of CBC radio where she lives, and Michael Buble.

I like Michael Buble too, just not as much as Coldplay.

It's funny, really. I kind of stumbled upon them one day while I was at a big bookstore having coffee with a friend. I heard them playing over the store sound system and asked the barrista who they were, after deciding that I quite liked them. He told me... Coldplay.

"They sound a bit like Keane," I said to him.

I had been introduced to Keane a few weeks prior by my young English cousin who was over visiting. As we travelled from one end of Alberta to the other in my little car, he and his iPod were in charge of music and I was in charge of driving. (Safer, I thought, than having him drive on the wrong side of the road!)

During those two weeks I came to some decisions. I definitely didn't like the Killers, and was really never sure about Snow Patrol (or was it Ski Patrol? I forget...) and I was enchanted by the voice of a woman who sounded a bit gospel-y and I imagined her to be a big, African-American woman with tons of soul. I was told that I was a bit off the mark... She was a very young, fair English girl by the name of Joss Stone.

No matter. I still liked her.

But of all the music on that little white iPod, Keane was definitely my favorite. I knew they only had one album out, so when I heard this other group in the coffee shop, I was curious as to who they were.

I immediately bought two albums and thanks to the aforementioned young English music aficionado, I also now have the third. They usually accompany me in the car wherever I go, punctuated by moments of Latin music, and yes.... even a bit of Joss Stone and others.

But I must say, this recent e-mail from my college friend threw me for a bit of a loop...

Coldplay isn't music that grown ups listen to? Hhhmmm.... What, are they, like, the Backstreet Boys or something?

I just liked the music.

I didn't realize I was too "old" or "grown up" for them! No one told me that!

This got me thinking about what it means to be "too grown up" for things...

As I sit here writing this, I’m wearing the new low rise jeans (with slightly flared legs) I bought for this year’s Calgary Stampede. Sadly, I lack the boyish figure of those who wear them best, but I thought, “What the hell… You need an updated look, girl!” Besides, at some point, I stopped obsessing about my body and started enjoying my hour glass figure. (A sign of maturity, perhaps?)

My friend who thought I was too old for Coldplay will probably be gasping with dismay as she read that last part. “Women our age shouldn't -- mustn't -- wear things like that! You’ll be mutton dressed up like lamb!”

But I’m not so sure…. I mean… I wouldn’t have bought them unless I liked them. And I do… And, all modesty aside… they look pretty damned fine, too, I must say.

Another friend just celebrated her 44th birthday by succumbing to a 2-year dance with a younger man. Consequently, she now has a lover who’s eleven years her junior. Is she too grown up to be with a man in his early 30s? Apparently neither of them (both otherwise unattached, consenting adults who know exactly where they stand with each other) seems to think so.

"Half your age, plus seven." Isn’t that the rule?

But what’s the rule about music… or clothes?

If anyone has an answer, let me know. Until then, I’m just going to keep listening to music I like and occasionally buy clothes that might fit the category of “trendy”, rather than “classic”.

As for my dear college friend who shall remain namelessly dismayed... don't worry.... "I will try to fix you."


CM said...

Sigh. Now I feel even older. But I wouldn't say the "mutton dressed as lamb" comment. I'd just say you were brave. And that I'm not. And that I'm a horribly restrained and sheltered person with relatively strong opinions which I should probably keep to myself. There are no rules on these things, only the ones you make for yourself. My rule is, I only listen to music I like, and I only wear clothes that I can feel comfortable in when in public. And I never go on road trips with young people who are in charge of the music. :-)

Arrogant Polyglot said...

Here's a taste of what you'll find on my iPod:

:everything Madonna:
:everything Cher:
:Ace of Base:
:everything ABBA:
:CĂ©line Dion:
:Dead or Alive:
:Mandy Moore:
:Moulin Rouge:
:Tracy Champman:
:Suzanne Vega:
:almost everything Whitney Houston:

An initial peek at this list would probably say this guy is either a total fag or is stuck in 1994! Answer: all of the above! And I don't give a rat's ass. I am 30 years old and I don't let my music somehow characterize my generational provenance.

Oh, and I hate Cold Play. Gimme back my Wild Boys (Thaks Duran Duran!)

CM said...

Thanks polyglot. I thought I was the only one with Erasure on my iPod. Feeling ever so slightly younger now, and comforted by not being the only one who doesn't give Coldplay any airtime.

Ab said...

Never go on road trips with young people in charge of the music? You don't know what you're missing!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sarah. I had no idea you had started this up. Where DO you find the time?

I had never heard that one's taste in music was related to one's maturity. Hmmm.

My favourite music includes Tommy Dorsey, Green Day, the (old-time) Beach Boys, and Rachmaninoff. Oh, and I quite enjoy the Backstreet Boys. And me! I play a mean tune or two myself (music is so cool, one might just as well join in).

I have always worn what makes me comfortable, with just a nod to fashion - sufficient not to embarrass totally anyone I happen to be with.

Oh, and younger men are definitely where it's at.

I can't imagine what "too" grown up might be. "Grown up" itself is, to me, an either-or, toggle-like thing. One is or one isn't. It has to do with acknowledging and embracing one's responsibilities, and pretty much nothing more. Certainly doesn't curtail my enjoyment of whatever takes my fancy.

I'm thinking that one is alive or not alive. A mature person takes care of business, but otherwise joins in and partakes of whatever is on offer, whenever one gets the chance, just like any other interested party - kid or octogenarian.

Bast said...

Too grown up? Hmmm. I've always felt the opposite - not grown up enough. I guess I would be too grown up if I ever bought a brand new car, or bought a house. Or dated. I kinda live in my own little twilight zone, don't I?

Zoe said...

Chronological age is no indicator of emotional age. :)

Leaving aside my somewhat eccentric taste in music and even more eccentric taste in clothes(imagine cecilia bertoli(sp)next to fred eaglesmith, alison krause rubbing shoulders with ...yes, I confess, neil diamond's johnathan seagull soundtrack), there's something to be said about this whole grown-up thing. Being grown up has cache when you're not, and being not-grownup has cache when you are. And only you can really decide which side you're on.

In my book the whole grown-up concept is mostly used as an indicator of social conformity. Children (traditionally the not-grown-ups) have no idea of what is or isn't socially acceptable and are slowly indoctrinated as they "grow up". Depending on the effectiveness of the brainwashing they either successfully become grown-ups, or not. Some never make it, or only progess part of the way along the road. Can value judgements be placed on being grown-up? Depending on which category you fall into, either camp frequently thinks the other is a waste of space.

Then there are the ones who join the grown ups, decide it's all bunkum and jump ship. Or more accurately, haul out their own ship. Which is probably where I come in. Never have been good at colouring between the lines but appreciate that someone has to keep the crayons in order (it just won't be me)

Emz said...

Ah damn! I've just replied to this Sarah, but did it on my own blog thingy, never mind, U'll just have to go check out my profile and reply on there...


The Anarchist said...

Your thoughts have generated some interesting comments, Sarah.

But really, if anyone out there is so concerned with the "appropriate-ness" of their music choice, are they really being true to their own tastes? Do they really like the music or are they more interested in making a statement, venturing into unknown territory, or in some cases, conforming to their perception of what society demands?

I understand that musicians often write or produce music with the attention of attracting a certain demographic.

I also understand that music speaks to a person's soul. The disconnect between these two ideas is that music that speaks to your soul is not necessarily what any given musician intended. Not to mention the fact that music doesn't necessarily stop resonating with a person when they hit the 25-34 age bracket!!

I fell in love with Moussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" when I as 13. I saw a woman perform the entire suite on piano in my school gym. I'm sure I didn't move (I'm not even sure that I remembered to breathe!) while I sat there in awe.

Was I the "right" age to like that music?

Probably not, but did I even think to ask that question?

No, why would I? What can I say - I've always been a very independent (or was that stubborn?) person.

Music speaks to my soul. I much prefer to stand by my own tastes and preferences. I don't even know what I'm *supposed* to like these days and quite frankly, I'm happy that way.