What kids are listening to…

What are teens and young adults into these days, musically speaking?
That’s pretty easy.
They love The Beatles and The Ramones. Well, according to the t-shirts that tell the world their musical preferences.
Like this young lady.
I bet she owns every Ramones album and knows that all the original members have left this world (drummer Marky Ramone joined later and carries on the band’s legacy). I’m sure this chick belts out Blitzkrieg Bop and wishes she’d caught the band at CBGB’s.
Yes, I’m kidding.
She’s a model for a British clothing retailer. Let’s call her…Chloe. Don’t know why, the name just popped into my head.
Anyway, there’s a slight chance that Chloe is a Ramones fan, or at least knows who they were.


What many older folks will say is, “They wear these t-shirts and probably have no clue about the band.” So it’s just a matter of thinking the logo or photo is cool and has no more relevance than American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pink or H&M.
That may be true in many cases but I have a feeling there are thousands of real-life Chloes who have discovered and perhaps sought out alternatives to what they’re being fed today. Auto-tuned Disney starlets, songs created in boardrooms and hits that are interchangeable and formulaic with a capital F. Taylor Swift used to write about the teen experience. Then, thanks to superstar composer Max Martin, Tay became Katy Perry, only with even hookier songs, a larger fan base and Super Bowl ad calibre promotion.
No rolling the dice, hoping for a hit. It’s pretty much guaranteed.


Oh, many critics and music writers would dearly love for the younger generation to embrace Rival Sons. But mainstream success? I’d love to see it, but….
They are a great young band but take a closer look at that photo. Classic Rock Magazine. A publication aimed at the over 40 rock fan…heck, even pensioners are part of that demo now…and not of any interest to anyone under 30.
You will not see Rival Sons lead singer Jay Buchanan on TMZ, running from the paparazzi.
You will not see this group on the Grammy Awards telecast. Checking the list of this year’s performers, it includes only one young band that could be called rock, Alabama Shakes.


Perhaps I’ve reached that age where I have lost touch…not totally, but enough…with the tastes of modern teens. They are into pop, country, hip-hop and EDM. but mostly of the shake it and feel good variety. I’ll go even further into old fart territory by repeating what many seasoned writers claim: there’s no Dylan, Marley, Lennon or Joey Ramone using music to protest civil rights, climate change or income inequality.
So Bernie Sanders is their rock star.
Millennials are fed up with traditional, big money politics and looking for answers. And, to their ears, Sanders is saying what they want to hear. The new hero of the younger generation is 74 and has achieved popularity not with a guitar, drum machine or Pro Tools, but with a message of, “This is not fair, things have to change.”
To quote classic rockers The Who, the kids are alright.

About johnnymaraca

sole proprietor of Maraca Media, former radio host (Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot), copywriter and producer and a print journalism grad.
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