As a teenager in the 1970s, I listened to Cream and Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. The first rock concert I ever went to was Deep Purple at the Royal Albert Hall. (The first public performance of "Strange Kind of Woman.") My Dad, who was born in 1918, loved the Beatles, but I remember him accusing me of attempting to destroy the needle on our Dansette Bermuda when he heard the feedback on a track by the Nice.
As an older teen and an adult, my tastes shifted more to classical music, but that includes a healthy appreciation for some 20th century atonal and dissonant pieces.
So with that loud and progressive pedigree, I always wondered what on earth my kids could possibly deliver that would make me screech -- in the time-honored fashion of all parents -- "you call that noise music?"
I found it. Have you heard Justin Bieber's mind-bogglingly monotonous and whiny "Baby"? It sounds like someone's stuck a Casio drum track onto a British police siren and played it back with the treble knob turned up to 11. If the melody used a fourth note, I must have missed it. Not even a guest appearance by Ludacris can redeem this.
See, in my generation, we just removed the tasteful refinement from popular music. Today, the tendency seems to be to eliminate any discernible talent. (When did we dispense with requiring, oh, I don't know, a voice for a singing career?)
Due credit to my boys -- this mediocrity just happened to pop up on Nickelodeon between the reruns of Full House that they're currently glued to. Although I'm not sure their current devotion to this celebration of 80s adolescent hairstyling isn't just as suspect. (Personally, I'm watching reruns of The Avengers on Netflix. Class. Chemistry.)