I'm always telling my wife and kids that it's a bitch getting old. A different kind of proof came today. You know you're old when… you don't own and would barely recognize any of the songs receiving Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year or Album of the Year.
I don't view the Grammy Awards as a stamp of artistic merit but more of a recognition of who flashed in the pan this year. Proof? Bob Dylan has a total of eight Grammy awards, his first one for performing in the concert for Bangla Desh in 1972 and the first in his own right in 1979. In comparison, Christopher Cross won five in 1980 alone, all for his debut album. Which artist stands the test of time?
Still, I at least used to be familiar with the names in the marquee categories.
And I'm not quite sure what's happening with some of the nominations I recognize in other categories. Dylan's Modern Times and Jackson Browne's Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 have record of the year nominations — in the folk category. Interestingly, although Dylan's album is in the folk category, the song "Someday Baby" is twice nominated in rock categories, including Best Rock Song. Neil Young also has a nomination for Best Rock Song for "Lookin' for a Leader" off Living With War, itself nominated for Best Rock Album.
Things don't get much better for me in the jazz categories. The only nominated album I've heard is Chick Corea's The Ultimate Adventure, although I do have Simpático by The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project (nominated for best Latin jazz album) on my MP3 player and just haven't had time to listen all the way through.
Kind of topping it all off, NPR listeners picked their ten best CDs of 2006. Now I would think that's probably an audience more in my wheelhouse than the popular Grammy nominations. So guess what? The only one I've heard is Dylan's Modern Times (although the new box set by Tom Waits also resides on my MP3 player at the moment).
I understand all too well that the body gives you aches and pains and related b.s. as you get old and, as my kids say, the mind is the first to go. Still, this music thing really hurts.
Guess the only remedy is to at least go out and listen to some of the NPR selections and jazz Grammy nominations.