Friday, 30 January 2015

Rant Lyfe: Twenty-One Years Ago

Twenty-One Years Ago
by Jo Michelmore

1994 was twenty-one years ago and twenty-one years ago mobile phones looked kinda like this

TV looked something like this

And you couldn’t mention a certain delicious treat without saying something like this

Twenty-one years ago, Princess Diana (who? I hear you say) was still alive, Kurt Cobian died (he's one of the guys who wrote the song Daniel Johns' killed last week) and Game Of Thrones sounded more like a nerdy board game than anything remotely interesting on the TV. Twenty-one years ago, this person wasn’t born yet

And twenty-one years ago, if you said the word blog people may have responded with "bless you" or probably questioned what you meant, let alone known you could read and write one. Twenty-one years ago, music sounded like this

And like this

And it also sounded like this

Yes friends, that’s Silverchair, led by Daniel Johns, twenty-one years ago, when they released their first single. TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO. There’s a lot of things that have happened in that time. Where were you over twenty years ago? Not reading this on your phone. Not waiting for the next series of The Walking Dead. Certainly not checking facebook for your news or taking a photo of your lunch to put on instagram to show everyone how exciting your life is.

Twenty-one years ago Daniel Johns was fifteen years old. A pretty impressive fifteen, but fifteen nonetheless. Full of angst and attitude and not very fashionable and a little bit shy and all the things a fifteen year old from Newcastle who could play the guitar would be.

So why, this week, am I constantly reading about people referencing fifteen year old Daniel Johns to the thirty-five year old person who released his newest song ‘Aerial Love’? I know as humans we like to compare, I know a lot of music people slash music journos slash music bloggers can be lazy and merely copy and paste press releases and call it a job, but seriously? I’m so sick of hearing about Silverchair. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the world’s biggest Daniel Johns fan, but the guy who released ‘Aerial Love’ this week has lived a lifetime between the song ‘Tomorrow’ and actual tomorrow.

There are people who were at JJJ’s Beat The Drum gig last week who weren’t alive when Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was released (which might explain the people who actually liked Mr Johns’ cover, but that’s a whole other rant) and there are small people alive now who are the children of people who weren’t alive when Silverchair were screaming about Israel’s Son, whoever that was.

If you were the same person you were five, ten or twenty-one years ago, then I’d feel sorry for you, suggest you wake up a little, possibly see someone about your lack of ability to move on and I'd try and help you buy a new wardrobe. Daniel Johns has not worn flannel shirts, poorly fitted tees and shaggy hair for a very long time, and neither should you.

Daniel Johns' career has been up and down and round and about, he's already attempted to shake off the rock numerous times over and now, after eight years not releasing music, this week he did and it doesn’t sound anything like some of the other stuff he has released. It sounds like a smooth r‘n’b pop song; not rock, not electro, not any other genre or artist you want to name drop along the way and whether you like 'Aerial Love' or not (I'm still undecided) it's another direction for Daniel Johns and THIS IS A GOOD THING. This means he has grown as an artist, likes what he likes and can do whatever the fark he wants to do.

Love him, hate him or not really care either way (I sit somewhere in the middle of all that) can we stop talking about twenty-one years ago please? Silverchair, done. Daniel Johns, not done. And no, I don't know what the hat and net means either, but hashtag whatever. He's got another twenty-one years to shake off that fashion decision. #shakeitoffshakeitoff #wankwankwank #rantlyfe #rantdone

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