Talking 'Bout My Generation

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Music is a huge part of this generation, that much is certain. However, most people think we only target the hottest hippest songs, whichever genre we may prefer. In fact, I would say we have a pretty strong appreciation for the classics of all kinds, whether it be classic rock songs, folk tunes, and other "music of our parents." Its all surprisingly big. If you don't believe me, play any Journey song at a party with 20-somethings; they'll go nuts for sure. Phil Collins, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Billy Joel, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Johnny Cash. Believe it or not, we like it all and more.
Nostalgia plays a huge role for us, I think. We grew up listening to the music of our parents before we were able to discover our own music and our own expression, and that exposure at such a young age certainly influences our taste and makes an overall impact on our lives. Its not always about what new song is blasting on the radio or bumping in the club. Check out any millennial's ipod. You'll certainly find a plethora of songs there that you never even expected. A good male friend of mine even has a "Barbie Girl" techno remix amid his collection of cold war kids, kanye west, and early 90's compilation cds. For us, its all about diversity and choice, a mixture of the old and new, the eclectic and the expected.

So what sparked this rant? Well, while hanging out with my usual gang, something just clicked. We started the evening with the traditional Texas Hold'Em Tournament (to which I spanked 5 guys in 20 minutes, a boast-worthy victory indeed), then graduated to a rousing game of beer pong on the millennial hand-crafted table in the middle of the living room. But somewhere between games of Beer Pong, as alternating tunes from Guitar Hero provided our soundtrack, and a rousing porch-side political debate, something shifted. Matt, a law student friend of mine, who is interestingly enough a gifted self-taught pianist, began banging out some familiar tunes on the piano. Slowly but surely we all gravitated to the back wall, where the white and black keys were in full fury with "Piano Man." And before we even knew what had happened, we all started to sing.
These aren't nerdy guys. These aren't weird guys. They're just your everyday beer-drinking, sports-watching dudes. And they had a sing-along. Without skipping a beat or with the slightest hesitation, we sang. Not one song, but many songs...flipping furiously through the pages of the classic rock "fake" book, exclaiming, "can you do this one?" and "oh man, this song is great! play that one!"

My Millenial Friends engaging in another impromptu sing-a-long at our Halloween party.

These are the things research will never show you. These are things that the mountains of statistics can never indicate or even imply. Just when you think you've got this audience all figured out, we'll surprise you in the most interesting of ways. That is what makes this generation so great.

posted by Megan Anhalt at 10:24 AM


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