The Times They Are A-Changin’

October 10, 2011 — by Aria Hooman

Aria Hooman

What do you think would happen if a famous mainstream musician like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, or Usher walked onto the Saratoga High campus? There would be complete and utter pandemonium. There is a chance that one student might even be seriously injured, getting run over by the massive hoard of crazy fans. I think that this is more or less indisputable.

However, have you ever stopped to consider why so many students would lose control at the sight of musicians like these? I believe that the answer is very simple - they are mainstream. And that is all. A majority of teenagers could care less about the creativity or skill of the artists they adore, but instead look toward their popularity. More interestingly, people don't realize that these musicians aren't even that talented. All people need to do nowadays to become the next Internet sensation is offer a record company a sizable amount of money. The next day they could be more famous (or infamous) than President Obama!

On top of a lack of talent, there is also a lack of effort. This is because for an artist to be heard today, they need to establish the flashiness of their music video and their ability to acquire followers on Twitter as their major priorities, far above the quality of music they use for their next record or tour.

Several years ago, I grew sick of caring more about an album than the person who wrote it (or, in Bieber’s case, “performed” it with a little help from his team of sound engineers). I began to search for new music, and I found it in an episode of “House.” It was a song called “Baba O’Reilly,” by The Who, and believe it or not it galvanized my interest in classic rock and most of the sub genres it consists of.

Very soon, I became a huge fan of the greatest bands of the 1960’s and 70’s. To this moment, and probably for the rest of my life, I will still love the creativity and work ethic of The Beatles, the raw talent, spontaneity, and unity of Led Zeppelin, the swagger and bluesy sound of The Rolling Stones, the guitar-driven power of AC/DC, the storytelling abilities of The Who, the superb vocals and perfect lead guitar of Cream, and the progressiveness of Pink Floyd. However, the one thing that I will always look up to from all of these bands is the meaning that they put into their music and how they utilized it to start a revolution.

Additionally, I have found a love for other musicians from varying times and styles, including Oasis, Coldplay, Bob Dylan, Eminem, U2, and Linkin Park. Therefore, I suppose I am a positive example of someone who has expanded their literacy in music and benefited greatly as a result.       

That is why I think it is crucial for teens to search around for different music. They may not only find a whole new genre or sub genre that intrigues them, but could potentially, over time, start a movement which changes the way individual artists and corporations view music and the way it should be written and produced.

It is not a difficult thing to accomplish at all, it simply requires one to keep their ears open, and, if it helps, a song-recognizing application.

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