Featured, Music, Pop Culture

Forget Miley: How to Talk to Your Children About Their Shitty Taste in Music

104 Comments 29 August 2013

mileyrobin Forget Miley: How to Talk to Your Children About Their Shitty Taste in Music pop culture music featured  twerking Robin Thicke MTV VMAs Miley Cyrus Marvin Gaye how to talk to your sons about Robin Thicke how to talk to your daughters about Miley Cyrus Got to Give It Up featured Blurred Lines

There has been an abundance of articles circulating the web on how to talk to your daughters about Miley Cyrus or how to talk to your sons about Robin Thicke after their shocking performance of Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” at MTV’s VMAs, but the greater conversation still appears unspoken: have you talked to your children about their shitty, shitty taste in music yet? Or more importantly, have you talked to yourself about how you could let you children have such shitty taste in music?

While everyone is ranting and raving about Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s best impression of LeeLoo and Beetlejuice doing softcore porn, we should really be asking ourselves as a society how we’ve let such incredibly bad music seep into our homes.

Why do your children listen to knock-offs of Marvin Gaye? Why don’t they just listen to Marvin Gaye? Don’t you have Marvin Gaye records lying around, for crying out loud? Marvin Gaye sang about sex, but in a sexy way. Not in a rapey way. For example: while Marvin Gaye sings lines such as “You can love me when you want to, babe // This is such a groovy party, baby” in “Got to Give It Up”, a song that Thicke acknowledged being inspired by and caused him to preemptively sue the Gaye family re: copyright infringement allegations , Thicke  sings “You the hottest bitch in the place“. Since this is a blog post about shitty taste in music and not about feminism, I will ignore the fact that this is an incredibly offensive lyric and zero in on the fact that “you the hottest bitch in the place” is just plain ol’ incorrect English. Instead of worrying about your children watching scantily clad women being dry humped by men who could be their father, you should be more concerned about your children dropping verbs from their sentences.

Aside from the lyrics, I’m not even sure there is a single instrument other than one keyboard in “Blurred Lines” (as semi-proved by the VMA performance; I’m not sure MTV knows what a musical instrument even looks like anymore). Remember when songs were played by a band with several talented musicians? Remember when middle class or impoverished kids got together and sang in a garage and they would mail their tape demos to label execs and sometimes, just sometimes, that label exec would get all excited and phone the kids in Detroit or Minneapolis or some other cold-ass place and say, “You’re going to be stars, kids!”? Remember when musicians weren’t solely children of famous people?

If you’re worried about your kids twerking, then teach them the “Electric Slide”. That’s what I did when I was 12. The Electric Slide is shitty music too, but at least it’s 18 completely asexual dance moves. Hell, teach your kids the “Macarena” for fuck’s sake. I’d have way more respect for your 13 year-old if I saw them being the lone nerd doing the “Macarena” at a school dance. They’ll even learn Spanish in the process.

If my kids ask me why I’m so sensitive about this issue, I will tell them it’s because shitty music comes from people who have money and who constantly stroke each other’s big fat egos. I will tell them that, sadly, the art industries are run by people with neither style nor class, who care more for shock value that ultimately makes them more money. People who make shitty music don’t care about grammar or about using instruments, and they prefer to knock-off or sample all the great work that has come before them.

It’s time to take away our children’s TVs, iPhones, iPads and all the other shit they shouldn’t have and force them to listen to music prior to 1999. We should take our children on record buying trips. We should read Keith Richards’ autobiography before bedtime (with some censoring). We should show them what a cassette tape looks like and tell them that if they make a really cool mixtape, they’ll make someone fall in love with them. We should force them to listen to the uncut versions of “Stairway to Heaven”, “American Pie” and “Free Bird” because they should be subjected to the same 20 minutes of radio monotony that we had to. If my daughter wants to look like Stevie Nicks, I’d proudly buy her a shawl and moon-shaped tambourine. If my son wants a poster of Frank Zappa crapping on the toilet, I would buy it and frame it over his bed. If my children end up hating me for taking away their top 40 diarrhea, I would tell them it’s for their own good because I don’t want them growing up to be like Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke simply because they’re shitty, shitty artists.



pixel Forget Miley: How to Talk to Your Children About Their Shitty Taste in Music pop culture music featured  twerking Robin Thicke MTV VMAs Miley Cyrus Marvin Gaye how to talk to your sons about Robin Thicke how to talk to your daughters about Miley Cyrus Got to Give It Up featured Blurred Lines

Your Comments

104 Comments so far

  1. r370dd says:

    YES. Thank you!

    • Terra Firma says:

      Thanks for this article. The truthi is there is always really bad music and really good music. There is lousy jazz and classsical. Sadly today music has become a vegas act, which is what we were against back “in the day’
      My kids are grown but I did give them a lot of different music to listen to and they gave me theirs. It helped me keep current and they both have a wide range of tastes from Ella Fitzgerald to Daft Punk. But yes, expose kids to real music, let them develop their taste. I do miss musicians on stage and I do worry about how extreme the sex has gone in videos. Not because I am a prude but what expectations does it set up for girls when they start dating. What will the kids be expecting? A lot of popular music has become souless. But then again, think back on some of the stupid songs from the 60s and 70s (gypsies tramps and thieves anyone?) It just felt more harmless because it wasn’t going out to millions of kids on T.V. and on the computer. We didn’t have the kind of access kids have now so the sexual stereotypes permeate their lives and sets up a standard I hope they don’t try to hit.

  2. binky says:

    What did your parents say about the pop music of your youth??

    • troydivision says:

      I think that’s why the name of the blog is “hipstercrite.” However, there is good music in the universe currently. You just need to know where to find it.

    • iloveREALMUSIC says:

      what the articles author is trying to say is the “music” today is not music. its shit. shitty, shitty shit. real music has real musicians playing real instruments. the no talent brats on stage today have zero fucking talent. they shouldnt even be on stage. if all was right in the world, they wouldnt be. but thats the society we live in now. the talentless get rich and the talented are forgotten. so sad.

      • mee says:

        “you call that MUSIC???” said my grandfather. in the 20s. which means he was talking about jazz.

        • Fiddleferret says:

          If you think Louis Armstrong didn’t play music, then I’m sorry, but you’re grandfather was wrong. Music taste changes from era to era and although the stuff being performed today is technically called music it is not very musical at all. I preferred it when musicians played music… Not artists that can’t sing in tune without autotune, can’t remember the lines to your own songs so you lip-sync (Ella Fitzgerald gets a pass at forgetting lines cause she kicked the Mack the Knife’s butt anyway with awesome scat singing),and dressing like a sleaze cause your “music” alone won’t get people to pay you attention. All that being said, musical tastes change. Some people hated Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. Some people hated jazz when it came out but then again lots of people liked jazz. However,I think we can all agree the stuff being pumped out now is horrendous. As if the music wasn’t questionable enough to make me not want to listen, the blatant sexuality and incredible crudeness with no regard to taste at all many of these artists promote leaves a terrible taste in my mouth.

          • owlsnvodka says:

            very nice comment. I can’t agree more. I think another defining factor in what makes something truly ‘music’ is the ‘shelf life’ or how long it stays relevant. Miles Davis is still considered a legend…Led Zeppelin are still kings of rock n roll.

            …Fast forward 20-30 years, do you think people will look at Robin Thicke or Miley Cyrus as great musicians or will they be completely forgotten? I think the answer would be ‘Miley who?’

        • James says:

          There is a big difference between music making stylistic shifts that older people have a tough time dealing with and music being completely undermined by commercial motivations and subordinated to image and shock value. There is plenty of great music today that stodgy old folks will say is terrible for the same reasons their parents hated their music. This is not the next step in that great line of music that pisses off parents, it’s a new line that started when record labels became publicly traded companies and stopped caring about having artists on their rosters who could have long careers in favor of easily marketable faces singing over heavily streamlined cookie-cutter music which they can sell a ton of quickly and then discard. Remember “call me maybe”? That was a year ago, where is Carly Rae now? Can she even play a concert today? If you think complaining about these totally disposable non-artist products of the collapse of the music industry are just today’s Beatles or god forbid today’s Louis Armstrong you’re missing the point by about a country mile.

      • Stevie says:

        @ iloverealmusic. your right in some cases but not all. Troydivision’s got it right. “there is good music in the universe currently. You just need to know where to find it.”

  3. Julie says:

    Fixating on the grammar of one of the least problematic lyrics in blurred lines is culturally ignorant and prim. Harping on today’s “shitty music” and reminiscing about bygone eras of “quality” culture is a tired and useless trope.

    I’m sure your parents thought what you listened to was incomprehensible crap. Miley and Robin’s respective performance and music are offensive for complicated reasons, but that does not mean that young people should categorically be discouraged from exploring fresh, new music–culturally base or not. Let the kids have their thing.

    • GregWilliams says:

      What were once vices are now habits. This title of a Doobie Brothers lp from the mid 70s is a phrase also reflective of pop/youth culture from its very start, easily applied to Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis’ music, all the way thru The Beatles/Stones/Motown/Stax/Top 40/Album Rock/Disco/Urban/Hip-Hop, whatever genre you’d like to reference.
      The question I wish to pose is this: What vices do you want to see become habits?

    • Nick says:

      Yes, thank you. What could have been an insightful and hopeful call to action degenerated into a nostalgia pity party for the generationally cleft.

    • David says:

      “the least problematic lyrics in blurred lines…” Sheesh, I don’t know all the lyrics of the song, but if those were the least problematic, there’s something wrong.

      “fresh, new music” That’s the point of this post; it’s neither fresh nor new. He took a sample of Marvin Gaye, tweaked it a little then called it his own. It’s like going to a karaoke bar, and when the lyrics pop up on the screen, just singing your own words. If someone did that, and just called it ‘fresh’ people would call that out not as fresh but ‘theft.’

    • KTH says:

      Well, in the 30′s we had “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby”

  4. Alila says:


  5. rob says:

    my parents hated all my rock music but loved pink Floyd.

  6. Tara says:

    Kids who have parents that invested in them already know that Miley Cyrus and such are losers.

  7. Dan Jakubik says:

    Just another example of American culture going down the toilet. America has been on a decline since the 1990′s. Politically, economically, culturally and morally. I don’t mind the first two so much. We can’t be number one forever. We had a good long run at number one. I do mind greatly about the remaining two factors. The media and pop culture (media, video games, music and movies) are big culprits here. America has been on a big slide into liberalism that began in the 1990′s with “Political Correctness”.

  8. Josette says:

    It’s not about music anymore. It’s about sex.
    The greatest musicians of all time wore three piece suits and stood perfectly still while they sang. People still screamed, fainted and had orgasams at their concerts. It’s up to the parents to teach their children what good music really is. No one else is going to do it for you.

  9. Karen says:

    I think the movie The Graduate should be required viewing for teenagers, for the soundtrack alone.

    And while the Duran Duran of my youth was soundly mocked by Boomers, compared to whatever the hell *that* was on Sunday, it doesn’t seem so bad now, huh?

    I have, and always will, take issue with sampling. It can be done well, but mostly it’s not.

  10. Ivan Toblog says:

    First off, it’s not my place to judge others tastes… even my own children

    I can offer an opinion of a particular type of music or entertainment

    In fact I guess I’m obligated to express my opinion if it offends me and I don’t particularly care to hear it

    Beyond that, there’s not much I can say or do, other than be an example.

  11. Joseph Miner says:

    I’ve never skimmed through anything so boring in my life.

    Just because I like Miley and I love it when she twerks means I can’t like The Velvet Underground or CCR or Hot Chip? This sounds like a bunch of old geezers sitting on a porch saying “it just aint right, it’s wrong, I tell ya.”

    Pretty sure you rolled your EYES when your parents acted this way about your generation. Walt Whitman said “be curious, not judgmental.”

    Let’s approach everything with curiosity and not repeat the mistakes of our parents that have distanced us so far from them. Introduce your kids to the oldies, and let them enjoy their trashy music too.

    • binky says:

      Not old geezers, more young fogeys. What do you think the average age of the commenters is??! And how wide do you thing their musical interests are or how deep their knowledge of the history of pop music. Or how parochial it is, culturally and geographically.

      I blame Obamacare.

  12. Jenz says:

    I was so bored reading this article that I stayed long enough to post a windy comment. Because I’m BORED, not because I’m easily offended and butt-hurt. BORED, I TELL YOU.

  13. Donna says:

    Oh absolutely! There are very few music “artists” out there today, everything is dialed up or down in the studio, they’ve all ripped off the greats. Music is shitty (if you can even call it music) and it’s not about comparing how we feel about this garbage to what our parents thought about music from previous eras, this stuff is truly distasteful and disrespectful to ALL people. Great post and those who are contrary are posers, just like today’s so called “musicians” and “singers.”

  14. Ian Fisch says:

    So the music is shitty because the grammar is bad and it doesn’t use a plethora of instruments?

    That’s a pretty shallow analysis if you ask me.

  15. Great article!! The underpinning of the scandal is a reaction of supply-demand and a question:
    WHY is the public demanding more amounts of lesser quality crap??? (Music, movies, novels, etc)?
    Here you have it! The wonderful result of lowering standards in education, while making it more difficult to obtain a good one, whether by closing public schools, cutting programs, or making higher education prohibitive.
    BREAD and CIRCUS!!

  16. Scott says:

    Who’s gonna teach the parents that listen to shitty music. This didn’t happen overnight. This has started many years prior and the public allows it by, buying and watching the crap on tv and radio. How about take your kids out to a local show with talented artists. Surely someone in your town or city is playing music with a real feeling of trying to entertain by stories and music.

  17. Sugar says:

    yes yes yes. that’s exactly how I feel.

  18. Molly says:

    i’m with ya, hip.

    shitty. shitty. bang. bang.

  19. mpguzo says:

    Interesting point of view, coming from someone sporting a trendy and culturally un-inspiring moustache ring.

  20. Recordhound says:

    I was totally with you based on the premise, and then I actually read your piece. It’s as trite as anything Miley or Thicke have done. “Rapey?” Awful.

    Are you aware of how ridiculous it is to advocate taking away ipads and cell phones from your kids, and then writing about it on a fucking BLOG called Hipstercrite? Probably not.

    I wouldn’t defend their music but what IS your idea of good music? You only mention Free Bird, American Pie, Stairway, Zappa and Keith Richards’ book. All of which are shitty.

    Uninformed snobbery is the worst.

    • Dudeguyman says:

      It’s all fine and dandy to have an opinion, but to call Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, or Lynyrd Skynyrd shitty? Get real, they made it famous because of their all around talent, not because they simply could “sing”(at this point it’s becoming questionable if they can even do that outside of a studio), and let everyone else do the work for them.

      • whyohwhy says:

        Recordhound did not actually call the artists mentioned shitty, rather the songs the blogger mentioned – they are mainstream, lengthy songs that in Led Zeppelin and Don McLean’s cases eclipse general knowledge that people have of their other songs. They are truly great bands/musicians.

        Perhaps when advocating more musical depth, and using Led Zeppelin as an example, it would have been more appropriate to mention songs that reflect this, like “Dazed and Confused” or “The Song Remains the Same,” or some of Robert Plant’s recent work?

        Moreover, music reflects its time. Let’s not forget that many of these musicians were wankered out of their goddam mind when they wrote and performed; something that is probably not much different today.

    • mud says:

      @Recordhound. I agreed with you until you dissed Zappa and the others. Frank Zappa, while hard to take and very uneven in his output, was a true pioneer. If all you know of him is the intentionally annoying songs, then dig deeper.

      I think the Robin Thicke song is really good, actually. I think Miley has zero redeeming qualities, but both ‘artists’ are a product of our times.. There is actually interesting things peeking through the veneer of pop music these days.

  21. Corrin says:

    So, I’m the only one that’s gonna fess up to liking both those songs?

    • Teresa says:

      No, I like both songs…so do my 10 and 18 year old kids. And we all agreed that their behavior on stage was ridiculous.

  22. Saje3d says:

    Plenty of decent music out there. But you won’t find it on the American charts. Look up bands like Within Temptation, Nightwish, Trillium, Sonata Arctica, Ayreon, Indica, Epica, Amaranthe, Sirenia, Gwyllion, Royal Hunt, etc… I could continue, but with that list you can find hundreds of great tunes if you’re willing to look.

    Pop music has always played to the least common denominator, but never more so than today. We’ve come a long ways from the Beatles, or even Queen, haven’t we?

    And, hell, even here in America there are pop stars that don’t suck. Pink, for example.

    This crap? This is fodder for the musically illiterate, just like every bit of fodder that’s come before it. It’s just more offensive than most because it’s so blatant.

  23. Fran says:

    I agree on avoiding shitty music but all the good music you referred to is old as shit. Fuck music prior to 1990. You’re just a nostalgic old person who complains about miley cyrus and yet you write a fucking article about her. Yeah, I bet that’ll get rid of her and all the other shitty famous people.

  24. Todd Pate says:

    Perfect, that is all.

  25. Lance says:

    I watched the awards with my 17-year-old daughter. While I grudgingly acknowledge there was talent and somewhat decent work done by Justin Timberlake and Mackelmore, the rest of the show was horrendous and I prayed to my punk gods, Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer for forgiveness, then played a few songs on my fender strat to exorcism the demons.

    I never saw an electric guitar or a guitar of any kind during the show. I saw drums but they were more prop than instrument.

    This is the problem. My daughter thinks DJs are musicians. They’re not. They’re thieves who make 30 million a year and bang models.

    Thanks for the post.

  26. StoopidCool says:

    I’m just going to say this before I start anything, I’m 19, I don’t have kids. But if I did, I wouldn’t force what I think is good down their throats. I’d teach them how to explore and learn about different kinds of music, I’d teach them how to do research, and how to appreciate music. Which I think is what the overall tone was.

    However, implying that there is no good music anymore is ignorant. There are plenty of artists, who work their ass off, to put out music. They aren’t on the top 40s list, because they spend their time, money and talent on making a quality record, instead of on marketing campaigns.

  27. Michelle says:

    I honestly can’t believe everyone’s reaction! Remember Madonna? I had teenage girls when she got started. Lady GaGa? I agree with one blogger I read, she is very attractive, very athletic, and she can sing like all get out. She was performing in the same manner that hundreds of thousands of others dance every weekend. Maybe it was an improper choice for a “family” show, but it was approved before it was shot. I applaud her daring choice (but I still don’t understand the teddy bears).

  28. SonofMog says:

    There was music?

  29. Tony says:

    I think this article hits the nail on the head a lot. But… THERE IS good music being created and put out by good, young musicians who play instruments and other talented folks that use samples and such. I agree with an earlier post in that you just need to dig deeper to find it. And if you’re a music fan with more discriminating tastes you’ll look for it…for you and your children.
    (heavy opinion…beware)
    You or your kids won’t find that music, in great amounts, on MTV or most terrestrial radio stations, these days, unfortunately. Those avenues of “airplay” are dominated by violently terrible pop, ridiculously safe disney punk and non thought provoking rap and it seems that’s the way it’ll be until there’s a dynamic shift in popular music again like in the 60′s or 90′s.
    So, dig deeper for what you think is best. Don’t settle….and teach your kids to do to do the same.
    But that last part goes for pretty much anything else in life too, I think.

  30. Andrew W says:

    Your own grammar and usage could be improved. There are questionable pairings of plural subjects with singular verbs and objects in paragraph four, and “men who could be their father” is simply wrong. I will assume that “how you could let you children” is merely a typo. It’s trivial, but you must know what they say about people who live in glass houses.

  31. Ricky says:

    You all think you’re talking about music, that you’re an informed bunch of adults with liberal arts degrees and maybe some inkling of Western culture. It’s sad to see this kind of snobbery over music that’s essentially the same four chords that have always been used in the history of pop. Go learn anything about the 1000 years of tradition in music and get back to me when you realize that not everything is a “song” played by people in a “band” who can’t even read music. Call me elitist, but at least I have a leg to stand on while you’re ignorantly attacking those “kids today.” Gawd…

  32. Audrey says:

    They are artists? I think not!

  33. Marc says:

    The overall point at the heart of this resonates with me. I completely agree with the fact that he, and everyone else, needs to embrace each generation’s right to its own stuff. I respect the fact that just because I don’t like it, means I’m in touch with some higher level of taste or good judgement. However, I honestly do believe that as a culture we need to examine where we are headed in terms of how we are consciously or subconsciously evolving as a result of the things that are most emphasized, championed or celebrated on a macro level thought all of our high exposure and high influence artistic mediums. It has an affect. You can choose to see it negatively or not. It really is merely a reflection of where your own morals are at. And I’m also not defining what is right or wrong in terms of that. Call me old school, dated, narrow, naive or ignorant, but I do believe its easy entertainment…fast food emphasized by the revenue-driven music and television industries to drive maximum profit. And we have all seen what fast food can do. I don’t mind daring and obscure artistic exhibitionism like Gaga, or the others who came before her from Madonna to the earliest Elton John and David Bowie. But come on gang, that’s very, VERY well though out conceptually, and rife with depth. There’s a difference between something artistic, versus something that’s lazy and easy. And inarguably, more and more is lazy and cheap. And it does have an influence over time en mass. And I personally don’t believe that influence is a good one.

  34. Christie says:

    Maybe listen to this before you continue to judge Robin Thicke or say anything about the lyrics of ‘Blurred Lines’. And maybe do some homework before you write your next article. http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2013/08/14/robin-thicke/

  35. Emily says:

    I agree with 100%

    Its one thing to listen to top 40 music and like it, but thats all “kids” listen to these days. Most of them don’t branch out on their own and try to find something with meaning. If it doesn’t have a dropped bass, forget it.

  36. Sean says:

    Good points. You don’t like today’s music, though if you dig past the top 40 and the U.S., you will find more musical talent than you ever imagined. Report on that. I began thinking that this was going to be an intelligent discussion, but your gutter mouth is a real turn-off. I wonder where the millenuals get their warped values…perhaps from Gen X hipsters like you?

  37. Tim says:

    Don’t look at me, I proudly listen to Echo & the Bunnymen…

  38. Christina says:

    How about get the screens and ear buds away from them and force them to go outside once in a while?

  39. I have never, previous to this situation, ever watched anything by Miley Cyrus. My reaction was, Miley Who? There has been lots of shitty music previous to her. The word “musician” is supposed to define someone who plays a musical instrument. Making noises with your mouth, a turntable, or any other makeshift noisemaker has never been popular with people who know what music is supposed to sound like. Even in countries where instruments are made of other objects, like oil drums, sections of bamboo or wood, and any object that can be played like a guitar or horn, there has to be some semblance of musical notes played in succession with an appealing sound. People can go on and on about lyrics all they want, but this wasn’t about musical ability or talent, it was about bad taste. We speak English here in America and our music should reflect that. When you come to realize that speaking like you were raised by uneducated idiots, intentionally, makes you sound stupid, then you should know that singing without using proper language syntax(the real art of writing lyrics)is what makes it an art and a talent. Anything else is a sad attempt at making some excuse for being either uneducated or just plain stupid. Some supposed poetry and song lyrics don’t rhyme, contain a rhythm/consistent beat, or even make decent sentence structure. The kind of people who promote that for money are akin in my mind to showmen like P.T. Barnum and the people who buy their music are the suckers who are born every minute. As “Triumph” the comic insult dog said, “I didn’t realize wearing a suit was considered a talent.” In my opinion, this shows what happens when some people spend our economy on warfare and the stock market and cut funding for education. Schools teach people about tastefully evaluating everything in the way of “values” and our nation has lost a lot of them. Don’t complain about how stupid, ignorant, or distasteful things have become in our country, while continuing to vote for people who don’t care about what our children learn. It has become like corrupt doctors in a private mental institution. They will keep the people they consider a problem from acting normal by over medicating them to where the look and act deranged our incompetent while claiming they are that way naturally. People who want us to learn ignorant mythology instead of science and facts or want our children to believe following like sheep is better than learning to evaluate and think for themselves are always the first ones to bitch about how ignorant our society has become and try to say they have no sympathy for stupid people. The complain constantly about the problem while being the ones who create it and use it as an excuse to discount or discredit anyone whom they have cheated out of education and knowledge, using them as their scapegoat to blame in an attempt at misdirection. The few people who have profited and become rich by promoting, recording, and producing shitty music will only try to produce smart music when stupid people stop buying it. What we saw Thicke and Cyrus doing on stage is a reflection of our sad society and the train wrecks of bad taste that a great majority of us actually wish to think of as “pleasant to listen to”. Trying to talk to your kids about their shitty taste in music is pretty shallow while we go ahead and give them the money to buy shit on a stick served up by the multi-million dollar ‘hoax music’ industry. That means we have to be just as critical with ourselves, also. That should mean that anyone who raised their kids to the sounds of crap like “Mairzy Doats and Dozy Doats” doesn’t qualify to be giving anyone else lessons about what shitty music is.

  40. Oh, yeah, the “top forty” or “pop music” industry is supported mainly by, as Sonny and Cher told us in song, “…, The teenybopper’s the newborn king, uh huh!” They are the heart of the music buying world. If we wish to stop that, we need to tell radio stations that if they continue to repeatedly play syndicated music in order to try to subliminally make us think liking it was our idea, then we will boycott their products. The name of the game is “commercial advertising” and if you really want music to change, then stop allowing your children to buy crap that they hear on the radio over and over until they get hooked on it. Good luck with that one.

  41. Mother In Texas says:

    Admittedly, not ALL the music of the 1990′s was great, but not all the music of 1980′s, 70′s, or 60′s was great. And let’s face it, as much as I love some music from those eras, and from the 50′s and earlier, not every single thing they wrote and recorded was fantastic. Sure, many music that has nonsensical lyrics (that are clean, but nonsense anyway) might have a great beat (for example, “The Witch Doctor”..”Ooo, ee, oo, ah, ah…” etcetera wasn’t exactly profound) but it’s still nonsense and not exactly Shakespeare.

    However, I totally get what the author is saying about bad lyrics and improper dancing.

    The point of making sure we expose are kids to stuff that doesn’t encourage things like what happened at the VMAs IS important. As parents, it’s our job to do our best to guard our children against what could potentially harm them. If we don’t at least try, we’ve failed them.

    I don’t watch the VMAs for the reason that some of the musicians who play have raised questions in my mind, so I didn’t even know very many details about the Miley thing until the next day.

    In some ways, I wonder if she was TRYING to shock everyone. If she was, she succeeded. The girl has been trying to get away from her Hannah Montana image, and unfortunately has swung completely down the other end of the spectrum. It’s extremely unfortunate, because some of her earlier music wasn’t so bad (the song she played and sang for “The Last Song” movie was really quite lovely, it was entitled “When I Look At You”).

    Some of the problem is media attention, some of it indulgence, and some of it is rebellion. This adds up to a mix that can lead to behavior like what happened at the VMAs.

  42. Youngin says:


  43. Genevieve B. says:

    I am sorry sweetheart, but you are incredibly naive. We are going to start with some basics:

    Commercial bands are not a phenomenon of nineties culture. The bands that your parents grew up with were created (or at least stayed together) with the objective of making money. It’s not about expressing “love” or “living life.” For your own reference, dancing on ecstasy all night ends up the same as waking up from a black out drunk. Keith Richards is as welcome at the White House as Miley Cyrus is. (You may not get the reference, your parents might.)

    This is about parenting. You can raise your kids and shape their behavior until their early pubescent years. They don’t give a shit about you again until their early twenties. You can’t pick the friends that they make, and you certainly cannot dictate what their preferences will be. Your child’s friends are more important to them than you can be.

    It is simply idiotic to believe that a generation raised on Led Zepplin is any better than the shit we have now. I admit there is a sliding scale about what is shocking. Yes, as a feminist I don’t like the skin tight latex and gyrating against a man on stage — just like my mother was pissed off about Madonna simulating masturbation on stage.

    Forcing your children to listen to Fleetwood Mac will not help them grow into functioning adults. The fact that you can’t see the actual problem won’t fuck you up as a parent, but certainly makes me wonder why you posted this in the first place.

    • Shawna Kinman says:

      I agree, the girl is a hipster idiot! Some of her points are valid but not much. There has always been good and bad music. In my opinion 98& of any musical genre stinks.
      Also, to quote her “We should show them what a cassette tape looks like and tell them that if they make a really cool mixtape, they’ll make someone fall in love with them”. Uhhh, raise them to be delusional stalkers? Fantastic!

  44. ZRock says:

    The problem is that you don’t hear musicianship in top 40 these days. Say what you will, but when Whitesnake and the other glam metal bands were at the top of the charts in the late 1980′s it demanded high standards of skill to execute the material.

    These days it seems all you have to do is get a laptop with Ableton Live and hit play and you’re a big star.

  45. Hipster says:

    Only young people say that older music is crap. Older people want to be informed, and branch out and get into music written before their time. Some kids branch out from the start…they get it. By the way, intelligence is realizing more and more how much you still don’t know, instead of thinking and demonstrating that you’re one special kid who really knows a lot.

  46. ken meyer jr says:

    God, but reading that felt good!

  47. Philbo of the Shire says:

    In this blog: Some lady having the grievance as every parent from generations before her.

    Why do they listen to musicians influenced Marvin Gaye instead of Marvin Gaye, himself? I dunno, probably the same reason kids in the 60′s liked Jim Morrison over Elvis Presley.

    You need to leave your box. This is extremely ignorant as to how each generation establishes its own cultural identity. Keep getting angry at it and say how it isn’t music….. that’s what MY parent told ME when I was young.

  48. Bolle says:

    Ahhh… when you complain about grammar, how can you not know that it is either/or neither/nor, just a proof reader….
    from a “Foreigner”

  49. Alex H says:

    i don’t agree with this, there is plenty of good music out there. it’s just pop records appealing to the wide audience, sex sells that’s just the way it is, society is changing whether we like it or not. take a look back 60 years ago compare it to 10 20 years ago, you can put in measures to try change it but like where many others have failed you won’t be able to. the worlds changing whether we like it or not ladies and gentlemen

  50. Ardyvee says:

    There is great music in the past, and there is great music now (it’s not just what everybody listen to). I don’t, for example, listen to what MTV shows (mainly because IDGAF about MTV, and because I don’t like it).

    But I do enjoy electronic music that ends up being made by nothing except a computer. I like it, even if it is not played ever by a band. I also enjoy things like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m88nKStM3Z8 just because I like the song AND the orchestra just makes it so much better. I also enjoy listening to classical music.

    Let me tell you what I think is up with the current taste in music: people don’t like what they like. People don’t really think about what they like either. They like it because it’s on the top charts. When they are not on the top charts, people stop listening to the songs for the most part. They don’t try to explore and find something they like so much that years down the road they will still listen to. Why? Because music is barely anything more than a conversation topic, background music and a social event. Most people don’t stop and sit down to listen to music. Really.

    Thus you end up with a bunch of artist doing the same thing over and over again because a) it’s what sells and defines this generation (and it does. Like it or dislike it, that’s what defines this generation), b) really it’s humans very nature to do derivative works and combined with a you have very little incentive to be different.

    Ultimately, what ou need to give to your child is not “a better taste”. You need to give them love for music. Encourage them to extend their horizons and not just listen to top 40 or whatever. Maybe they’ll enjoy Death Metal AND Country music, with a few rap songs and current pop songs. Maybe they’ll like all of it. Maybe they will enjoy more Electronic Music. Jazz. Whatever. But regardless of their choice, as long as they don’t stop looking and loving music they’ll be fine. Instead of just having music as a background noise or that strange thing you dance to when you go to a party or something.

  51. Tracy says:

    “People who make shitty music don’t care about grammar…”

    Evidently, this blogger doesn’t either.

    “Aside from the lyrics, I’m not ever sure there is a single instrument other than one keyboard in ‘Blurred Lines’”

    – Granted, that’s a spelling issue, but when you’re being so adamant…

    “I will tell them that, sadly, the art industries are run by people with neither style or class”

    – I’m assuming she meant ‘neither style NOR class’ … but maybe that’s just a hipster thing?

    You can’t isolate kids from the music that is popular with their friends. You can do your best to expose them to really good music and hope for the best.

    And really. Mix tapes? Mix CDs if anything. Otherwise you’re going to be a joke in their eyes.

  52. Churby says:

    Actually, there is a full band backing Robin’s song, just not for MTV because they don’t care about music anymore. Check out the Colbert version. Full band, sounds good.

  53. I agree immensely with you. Songwriters leave a more indelible mark on this world because they use music to transmit their message, and music can enter into a person’s brain in a way that poetry cannot. Every song I write, I think… “how would a 60 year old perceive this? How would an 11 year old perceive this?” Here is one of my videos as an example. enjoy.


  54. Rick says:

    Marvin Gaye huh? The guy who sang about sex in a ‘sexy way’ huh? The same guy who slept with the 15-year old niece of his wife, and fathered a child with her (let alone the statutory rape implications). The same guy whose insatiable drugs habit not only destroyed his family and many of his friends, but also ultimately led to his death, getting shot by his own dad. That guy?

  55. MM says:

    I love the premise here but as the dad of a 14-year-old girl, I know firsthand that the execution is impossible. Just like we wouldn’t listen to what our parents listened to, for the most part, she wants nothing to do with so-called “real music.” She wants to listen to what’s hot and that’s pretty much how teens always have been and will be. Plus, when I was a teen, we discovered classic rock, metal, punk, etc. because record stores still existed. These kids get what comes on Pandora and will never listen to an entire album in their lives. Pretty sad but that’s how it is.
    All that said, I still torture her in the car occasionally by making her take off her headphones and listen to a song or two of metal, old skool rap or rock on the radio, just to expose her to something other than the slut-rap, pop crap they are fed. Occasionally I’ll play something she doesn’t hate – its usually Run-DMC or Michael Jackson and that’s about it.
    Hopefully in college she’ll search out some classic stuff ….

  56. Raouldukejr says:

    There has probably never been a period in time when there was so much music being made as today. And like others have posted before me: there’s a lot of good stuff being made by young, very talented kids who completely ROCK. Look up Ty Segall, or Chelsea Wolfe, Tame Impala, Red Fang, King Krule, Youth Lagoon, California X, Bleached, Graveyard, Goat… and that’s just rock music from the top of my head. Keep an open mind and there’s much goodness to find in electronic music (not EDM) and hiphop as well.

    The problem then? Is actually not a problem, it’s just that the industry has evolved over the last ten years in such a way that smart & talented (and prolific) musicians have it easier to release their work on a small scale and still make a decent living doing tours & selling records – without interference from a major label. They release on a small independent label and/or do it themselves, homebrew. It’s not easy and many fail, but it’s easier to do than ever before.

    Meanhwile the music industry has completely turned away from the practice of nurturing talented musicians. Make no mistake: the major labels are in the business of creating pop stars, aided by media from a bygone era like MTV. If you seriously think that MTV has any influence on the youth culture of today, think again. Miley Cyrus (and to a certain extent, Thicke) is an entertainer, not a musician. Music business has become entertainment business. So don’t look for good music there, and be well aware that most kids looking for good music won’t be looking there either. Are they popular? Sure, but then again that’s not a sign of the times – you had shit music rising to the top in just about any era.

  57. Philly Bob says:

    Music DOES change with the times, and YES my parents didn’t quite get Led Zeppelin or The Who etc, but I liked music from about the 1940′s all the way up and I did even like some disco and top 40 of the new millenium. There are some good songs around today but not much when compared to all the other stuff I listened to in bygone days. As far as i’m concerned, American Idol is on great example of why we should never allow teenagers to vote. :P

  58. Jeff says:

    Don’t confuse “Good” music with what is “Popular”. there are plenty of great bands and music/musicians out there, you just can’t find it on MTV or radio stations that cater to the 10 to 20 year old crowd. Do yourself a favor and subscribe to XM or similar. You’ll be surprised how similar it is to the music you remember from the past. “Real Music” “Real Players” and NO “Auto-Tune”!

  59. Feh says:

    A. If you think you have a superior music collection, then get a decent stereo and let your kid have full access to it at an early age. I was playing with my parent’s huge record collection since I was 5.
    B. Accept that kids will go through a horrible music phase. We all do, it’s part of growing into who you are.
    C. Realize you can’t control other people through shame and derision. If some music makes another person happy, let them be happy. Just because you think you have superior taste doesn’t actually make you a better person.

  60. Brad says:

    Blurred Lines. Instruments. Colbert performance:


    Some reasonable points but might also consider calling this blog Hipsterbole.

  61. Alexis says:

    “I used to be “With It”. Then they changed what “It” was. Now what I’m with isn’t It anymore, and what IS It seems weird and scary to me. IT’LL HAPPEN TO YOU!”

  62. Camille says:

    I 99% agree with this post and am mildly amused by how much people in the comments are defending terrible music. All I can assume is they’re blissfully unaware that pop stars don’t write or produce/mix their own music (much less play instruments) and that this brand of music is made with the sole intent of profit. I also wouldn’t be surprised if those commenting had never played an instrument or tried to make their own music. Dead Kennedys’ “MTV, Get off the Air!” sums up the problem of pop music really well. The reason I only 99% agree with this post is because some of my favorite albums are from the 90s and 00s; Relationship of Command and Deloused in the Comatorium instantly come to mind.

  63. You aren’t seriously suggesting that music is bad if it’s ungrammatical, are you?

    There goes rock and roll.

    Methinks we don’t need this article. We can just remember what our parents told us about the shitty music we listened to, and repeat it to our kids. Yeah, that’ll work.

  64. Betty says:

    Finding it hard to get past the author’s use of the word ‘shitty’ as an adjective…thanks for the parenting advice…

  65. DC says:

    As someone who makes records, it’s very hard to make a record no matter how you do it. I do agree that in entertainment, you need shock value. The things we’ve seen and heard before are old news, hence the resortion to what many believe to be trash. I think the question here isn’t whether or not the music is good, the question is how much a part of the creation is the “artist.” There’s the song itself, then the production of the song, and then the performance of the song. Each artist has their own role in the process and does their part 100%. The sad part is that with technology and urgency, I think the artist has less a part (or emotional investment) in the creation of their product, causing for a more surface, effortless product to be released; and not effortless in a positive way. The less the artist writes and plays, the more that tendency increases, as it should. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are less talented in their specialty, though I personally tend to prefer the more emotionally invested, older music. The generation isn’t emotionally invested though; with short attention spans, so they connect as they should.

  66. Jon says:

    This article has both good and bad elements. I do believe that we shouldn’t be so concerned about the sexuality of this, and more concerned about the whether or not it’s intellectually stimulating.

    The article is alright, but then you mention that they should not have iPhones, iPods, etc… and that they should only listen to music before 1990. My issues with this are many, but the main issue is that there has been plenty of great music since 1990 and plenty of shit before it.

    This issue with celebrity’s children making music is hardly an invention of the last 23 years. There have always been morons making shitty music.

    Basically, you muddy up a very decent premise with your own lack of understanding.

  67. Donna says:

    I think I love you!!! lol!! So spot on!!

  68. Deborah says:

    Miley was just doing a gross GaGa/Madonna immitation, and taking it a step further, which is what happens in real life.
    I come from the Beatle’s era, and my Mother hated them. They were “wild and rebellious”, all based on the fact that their hair was long (but actually, at that time, they weren’t especially wild or rebellious), and she forbid (forbade) me to listen to them…until “Yesterday” came out. That day, I borrowed my best friend’s single, and played it for my daddy, (a singer). With tears in my eyes (I was a pre-teen girl-child), I said, “Can I have a Beatle’s album now?” and of course, he said yes. How could he refuse? My mom – she claimed, even on her deathbed (I kid you not!) that they did not write that song. It was an old song, she said, which they had stolen from some long forgotten crooner.

  69. Josh says:

    For those who want to use the “every generation hates the next gen’s music”: The equivalent in my day would have been to combine the talent of Lisa Whelchel (former Mickey Mouse Clubber and facts of life star), the son of actor Robert Reed (Mr. Brady), a bunch of drugs and a stage to perform on.

    I’ll take my late 80s music over that trainwreck. These days, they prefer the trainwreck.

  70. Joemills says:

    I had a phone call yesterday from someone I had high hopes of helping us telling me that all the record industry was interested in is young teen pop so the real music and real musicians are forced out on a limb with no life line … I asked is there any hope i mean can you get my music out there ….the answer “sorry I don’t know how to anymore, It’s not that i’m jaded..um i’m jaded” So were are being force feed his shite !

  71. Marie says:

    Agreed ….. EXCEPT you don’t have to go back 20+ years to pre-90s era to introduce kids to good music. That’s just insulting to the incredible amount of talented artist who are successfully touring and creating new music all the time in the here and now.

    You will miss these great artists though if all you rely on is MTV and radio. The bands I’m talking about have too much self respect to feverishly pursue those outlets- though through chance or luck they occasionally pop up. It is a testament to their talent that they have built huge fan bases all over this country and the world IN SPITE of not being played once an hour on the radio or living in hollywood and creating unholy marketing relationships with paparazzi and trash magazines. There are tons of different syles and sounds out there, but to throw out some examples from my own personal preferences, I would cite: Umphreys McGee, Xavier Rudd, My Morning Jacket, Phish, Alabama Shakes, Ben Harper, Michael Franti, and Ke$ha. JK on the last one. ;) But these are just off the top of my head. Local music scenes are spotted with amazing talent here and there as well. The magic screen in your living room won’t tell you what or where it is because, like most things that are in good taste, it takes a little more effort to discover. Moral of the story, if you love music and want to see it on the magic screen, spring for the cable package that includes Palladia. SO worth it.

  72. Josh M says:

    There is a lot of great new music out there these days, it’s just obscured by the bad stuff. I find it much more rewarding to seek out the good new music than to dig through the albums of my past.

  73. Sam says:

    I hope Blurred Lines becomes the poster child for how *not* to be a sexy song, because damn it sure is rapey, but Miley and Robin acting like pop stars doesn’t bother me a bit.

    To be fair, I didn’t actually see the Miley Cyrus performance, probably because I was too busy watching videos from the 70s of Robert Plant strutting and gyrating around stage in hiphugger denim and a lovely cap sleeved blouse (unbuttoned of course) alternatively moaning and shrieking the lyrics to Whole Lotta Love – a rip off of an old blues tune by Willie Dixon, btw.

    Sampling and remixing doesn’t upset me – I think it takes a lot of talent to do it well, and there is a lot of talent out there. And while I hate autotune as much as (well, probably a lot more than)the next person, back in the day people whinged about synth rock not being “real” music, and they play that on the classic rock stations now.

  74. RToledo says:

    Oh the irony is so thick. Sorry dude, but this article is bogus. This is pretty much the same thing they said about Elvis, his music, and his “hip gyrations”. If my nephew wants to listen to Miley Cyrus, and he’s happy when he does, then who am I to say “don’t listen to that crap!”. I listened to a lot of stupid shit when I was younger and I still kinda do! :) . The point is, if the music makes you happy, who gives a shite? Miley’s performance on the other hand, that might require a sit down with a child cause that was just ridiculous.

  75. 11 says:

    I am 36 years old. A couple of weeks ago, I attended a wedding in Tampa, and many of the guests were in their late 20s.

    As ‘music’ today’s pop songs suck. I would never sit and listen to ‘SexyBack’ or ‘Blurred Lines’ or ‘Locked Out Of Heaven.’

    HOWEVER, when these three songs were played back-to-back-to-back at the wedding reception, almost everyone in the place got up and hit the dance floor.

    I may prefer Pink Floyd to Robin Thicke, but ‘Brain Damage’ just wouldn’t go over in that environment.

    There’s a time and place for all kinds of music. And there is shitty pop music just as there is shitty rock music from every era.

  76. D-Jam says:

    This article comes off more as a “your music sucks, my generation’s music was better”. If we want to get self-righteous, let’s remember some of the “Molly” songs in our generation:



    I can also pull up gangsta rap and other Miami Bass tunes for examples of misogyny/rape culture.

    Shitty music has been with us all the way since the inception of Rock and Roll. Parents or Baby Boomers would tell their kids to accept Pat Boone over Little Richard:


  77. David says:

    As a father of 6-year-old who just declared the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On” as her favorite song of all time, I have little to complain about yet. But there is Iron in your words, regardless of the chosen best before date of 1990. My kids are listening to great post 1990 music like the Blake Babies, Kim Deal, GBV, and Björk, and they watch Beatles movies. It’s all accessible, tuneful and good stuff that gets them interested in hanging out with friends to mess around on guitars and keyboards. In any case, they’re being sent to music school to learn violin.

  78. Lisette says:

    Thank you for articulating what I have felt since I was a teenager. I was a music teacher and even when I was in college I was just aghast at the garbage on the radio. Thank you, also, as a classical musician, who wonders what happened to good music. Bring back the 80s. Bring back Motown. Bring back the 50s. ANYTHING but this garbage!

  79. Josh says:

    But Loveless was released in 1991….

  80. LA says:

    It’s not about the generation or “the music back then was better” aspect, in my opinion. There are a lot of great artists today that are just not in the spotlight as with Robin Thicke or Miley Cyrus. It’s just a matter of appreciation. When you listen to music and take it with a musical and lyrical appreciation then that is what defines your taste. Everyone has different tastes such as rock, jazz, classical, soul, etc. Most kids nowadays listen to what’s popular or adore these “artists” because of how they are being sold out to be or are presented. They forget the process of actually writing the music and lyrics of these songs because that’s not what is given importance anymore. It’s about how they’re dressed, who theyre dating or how they present their props on a VMAs stage.

    In my opinion, if you appreciate an artist’s music disregarding how they are “presented” then I respect your taste. If you can tell me how their music has touched your soul or contributes to how you see life then go ahead, like whatever you want.

  81. joel ford says:

    Pop music has been going down the toilets since the 90s.
    Everyone acts all shocked and offended by this display, but this is the culture and content of pop music that you nincompoops have been rewarding for two decades. Maybe wake up and stop buying into this superficial crap. Do us all some good.

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