I hate to even use the phrase “things are different now,” but it seems to arise often for people in my age range, people that were born pre-Internet, discovered their interests through tangible physical pursuits, and weren’t distracted by Snapchats, texts, Instagrams, Facebook and Twitter.
It was different, I just don’t want to be the old man scoffing in the corner about how things and how they might not always be for the better. For that reason, I will consider myself the middle age man doing pretty much the same thing.
A phrase I had heard from Walter Schreifels, formerly and currently of the band Quicksand, was that it was hard to even have a conversation with people nowadays because everyone was too busy staring at their phones. I think he called it bullshit.
When that band arrived, sometime in late 1989, early 1990, their notoriety grew through word of mouth, printed reviews of their live shows, and print advertising. There was no way to stream a demo of one of their first songs before deciding that they worth driving to Trenton, N.J. to see live.
I realize this is all common knowledge and more “Back in my day, things were different” talk, but it’s also interesting for me to juxtapose the ways in which I used to discover and digest new content versus the ways in which I currently discover and digest new content. I think the digital age is great, and I fully embrace it, but it’s also brought forth a lack of bewilderment that created hype or buzz for anything that was new and/or improved.
Back on that first drive to City Gardens to see Quicksand in July, 1990, I knew it was Walter, the guy from Gorilla Biscuits playing something that wasn’t quite New York hardcore. But I had no intuition that it would be a newfound form of anguish. And I had no idea it would impact me so deeply. I had to decide to make that discovery on my own instead of having it delivered in fifteen forms of media to one console inside my house.
I think I had to want it more.
And it scares me to think that a lack of want or need has desensitized me to new discoveries.