And the children shall lead

Its hard to imagine that the popular culture in American once embraced elegant, adult (in the good sense of the word) entertainment like this. Imagine people going out for an evening in a suit and tie. I’m not sure if I even have a suit that fits.

This isn’t a call to return to the 1940s, but just to note that we have become a society that venerates youth. Instead of young singers singing adult songs to adult audiences, we have classic rock geezers still making futile attempts to hit notes they haven’t hit since 1974. Compare that to a Tony Bennett who is singing the same standards he sang 50 years ago. Bennett’s arrangements may be in a different key, but it still sounds “right” because it’s timelessly clever pop music instead of youthful fantasies about a scarred old slaver whipping his “brown sugar” around midnight. An old man just can’t do a credible version of, say, Black Dog.

Have you heard this? Surreal satire like this must make even rock music fans admit that pulling a rock vocal from its context generally reveals the essential ridiculousness of it all.

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