They were the Bands that Defined Your Generation

Crows gone heavyOr so claimed the television advertisement. A catchy line for sure, spoken over top of some random stage shots of a band I didn’t recognize to a tune I certainly couldn’t recall.

“Who is it?” my mind darts, dashing, desperate to know who these bands are that defined my generation. The announcer continued…

“For one amazing night only…Maroon 5…” a pause while a piece of some song’s chorus plays, “and Counting Crows.”

I began to laugh inside, that trademark laugh, two parts sarcasm, one part cynicism, sprinkled with a little disgust and served with a heavy side of disappointment.

So these are the guys that defined my generation, eh? Though I can’t be sure if they’re talking about my generation or the one after, as Maroon 5 is a relatively new band considering that the Counting Crows have been around since the early 90s. But to be honest, both of these bands are horrible, right?

I mean, I was madly in love with the Counting Crows. Their first record, August and Everything After, is one of the best records of all time in my opinion, and the second and third (the third being a compilation of their first two from live performances where the songs were all played with new arrangements and wonderfully better) records were great as well. The lead singer quit the band because of the disillusionment of being a rockstar, instead choosing to work as a bartender until he decided to get back into music making.

Except that he forgot how to make music, and every record since then has been mediocre and more so with each release. And then you have “Accidentally in Love”, from the Shrek soundtrack, which is easily the sing-songiest piece of pointless pop in existence. Maybe that was a little harsh.

Also, right after deciding that he would come back to music, that somehow he could live with the shoe-goo that the music industry is, the Counting Crows began showing up in Coke ads…

But even with all of that reality facing us, can we not, as 20 – 30 somethings, realize that our generation should not sit back idly while the media defines us, what our music is, what our fashion sense was like?

Surely Nirvana or Pearl Jam or even Limp Bizkit would be more akin to “defining our generation” than these guys. But sure enough, when our children look back on the cliches of what is meant to be alive between 1990 – 2010 as a young and up-and-coming, they won’t think dirty bootleg jeans or Iron & Wine, they’ll have been told by big company Internet archives (personal blogs won’t exist by then, and the Internet will only be about 150 sites, all owned by Google, Amazon and Fox) that living in our day was all about Maroon 5, feeling good while drinking Pepsi, and that we all dressed like American Eagle meets American Outfitter ads.

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