December 2, 2019

Why is Van Halen trending on Twitter?

Don't worry, nobody died.

It's just this. Somebody you may not know who's youngish writhed and twitched and said "Who?" when asked on one of the late-night talk shows if she could "name a Van Halen":


ADDED: Here. Give her a fair shake. I found this pretty pleasant (but then I like soft rock much more than I did when I was young):

67 comments:

gilbar said...

i don't know? Some dutch thing?

rehajm said...

She's seventeen years old and has spent the last few years becoming a phenom. I'll cut her some slack for not becoming a musical historian at the same time. Van Halen was a long time ago...

Rick.T. said...

A comet that appears every 75 years or so?

Wince said...

Who's Billie English?

Even Tool fans -- a band from the 1990s -- didn't recognize Eddie VH according to a previous post.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

Poor Eddie. First there's that guy who asked EVH to take a photo of him in front of the stage at the Tool concert, now this. No one ever remembers Alex, so it's same-old,same-old for him.

I'm going to ask my children today if they can name a Van Halen. (I assume it also includes group members not named Van Halen.) They're familiar with the songs from that era because they hear my playlists, but I don't know if they know group names or band member names.

tcrosse said...

Now ask Valerie Bertinelli.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

She's the bad guy.

Duh.

The Crack Emcee said...

These people can't know if they're any good without knowing who and what defined "good".

Billy Ellish is not good. Currently hot and famous, but not good.

That's a whole other animal.

mccullough said...

Good publicity for Van Halen.

William said...

I never heard of Billie Ellish. I looked her up on wiki. She's partially famous for wearing baggy clothes. Well, that's something new. Hot new female singers were always nip slipping and pushing the boundary the other way. Apparently she's bringing out a line of baggy clothes and will soon become even wealthier. Not Kardashian money, but rich....I disapprove of baggy clothing. If she had gone the other way, I would have disapproved of that. I disapprove of everything young people do.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

So young people don't recognize the names of second-tier boomer bands. So what? Pop culture is, by its' very nature, ephemeral.

I'm far more concerned that few of them appear to have been taught the history of 20th century Communism.

robother said...

Roll over Van Halen, tell Iron Butterfly the news...

gilbar said...

DEATH TO ALL BUTT METAL!

JPS said...

I was telling my laboratory class that some of what we do, in grading their experimental protocols, may seem like ridiculous nit-picking, but there's a reason for it - best explained by David Lee Roth as he tells the story of the "No Brown M&Ms" clause.

Then I stopped to wonder, do these nineteen-year-olds know who Van Halen are? So I asked, just to make sure, and the reaction was a mixture of amusement and eye-rolling: Of course we do, come on.

Danno said...

I am not a Billie Eilish fan but I could identify her music easier than Van Halen, and I'm a boomer. Her biggest hit was Ocean Eyes a year or two ago.

Then again, I go to today's alt-indie artist concerts rather than the "wheelchair tour" of an Elton John, The Who, etc. Lot cheaper too.

Darrell said...

Fucking Gen Z.
Watch YouTube.
Educate yourself.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

She plays the ukulele a lot. I think "party", "wish you were gay", and "all the good girls go to hell" are better songs than the one linked to in the post. And I like the animation in "you should see me in a crown". None of them are great, though - no "Runnin' with the Devil" or anything close.

I try to give my (young adult) children one Christmas present that is weird and unexpected. Last year it was ukuleles, so I played some Eilish songs, among other stuff, so they would think of it as more than just a luau instrument.

gilbar said...

OMG!
STEEL PANTHER IS COMING TO MADISON... Next TUES!!

rehajm said...

My eighteen year old niece informed me she would like 80's vinyl for Christmas. Keep hope alive!

SeanF said...

Danno: I am not a Billie Eilish fan but I could identify her music easier than Van Halen, and I'm a boomer. Her biggest hit was Ocean Eyes a year or two ago.

Her biggest hit was "Bad Guy", released earlier this year.

As Bill already said, "Duh."

J. Farmer said...

You see this theme endlessly repeated in YouTube comments. Basically just a rehash of the "kids these days."

Yancey Ward said...

The cradle will rock.

oleh said...

The music of the eighties is to today as the music of the post WWII forties was to the eighties. Age with grace people, just age with grace.

rehajm said...

I found this pretty pleasant

Eilish has said she doesn't want to be categorized in any specific musical genre and intends her songs to appeal to different audiences. Mission accomplished...

LordSomber said...

At her age I was learning musical instruments and had my favorite artists, but out of curiosity and love of music, wanted to know what their own musical influences were as well.
Learning so extended my appreciation of other music back a few more decades and exposed me to genres I wouldn't have normally delved into, thus broadening my scope and repertoire.

I'd always thought creative types (art, music, writing) did this kind of "homework" but apparently not.
Probably explains why so much "creative work" today suffers.
I call it Bad Xerox Syndrome.

gahrie said...

So young people don't recognize the names of second-tier boomer bands.

1) Van Halen is not second tier by any measurement. First tier all the way.

2) Van Halen is Gen X not Boomer.

kwenzel said...

I saw her play at Red Rocks with my teen stepdaughter, and have to admit I was entertained. She certainly has good chemistry with both her brother (who co-writes all her stuff and tours with her) and the demographic that goes to see her.

Maybe now that this has become a thing, he'll end up doing a solo on her next album, "Beat It"-style.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

It's an interview on a talk show, folks! She's going to say what she thinks the interviewer wants to hear or what's going to generate buzz. They all do that!


Now, excuse me, I have to go listen to 'Hot For Teacher'.

readering said...

I wouldn't call someone 17 years old "youngish".

SeanF said...

gahrie: 2) Van Halen is Gen X not Boomer.

Depends on what Exiled meant by "boomer band". Eddie, Alex, David, and Michael are all baby boomers.

Narr said...

If I could stand music early in the morning, that sing-songy mopet would tend to send me back to bed.

Narr
She was just seven-teen . . .

Skylark said...

I had no idea who Van Halen was until maybe I was fifty. I just never listened to hair bands.

Howard said...

VH was huge with late bloomer boomers in 1978 freshman dorms in SoCal. They are unlistenable now just like Aerosmith, Boston, Etc. Third tier at best.

Bill Peschel said...

You can find evidence of that everywhere. Recently, someone I know who's heavily into fantasy fiction and comic books had never heard of Neil Gaiman. It's like not knowing who Tolkien was.

Phil said...

Gilbar - what color is your pinky?

M said...

I wonder how many people today know who she is vs how many knew who Van Haley was in their day? Pretty sure my grandparents didn’t know who Van Halen was but my parents probably had a vague idea. I don’t know who this girl is and I’m more my parents age vs my grandparents. Pop culture has accelerated as it devolves further into unpalatable mush for extroverts to bond over instead of actually enjoy,

I wasn’t really a Van Halen fan either.

Yancey Ward said...

"Depends on what Exiled meant by "boomer band". Eddie, Alex, David, and Michael are all baby boomers."

Not really. The fans that made them successful in the late 70s would have pretty much all been Boomers themselves- ages 15-20. Of course, they definitely had as many GenX fans from 1980 forward, including me.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

Recently, someone I know who's heavily into fantasy fiction and comic books had never heard of Neil Gaiman.

What kind of savage is this person?

Nick said...

She has green hair.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Wait... Billie Eilish is a chick?

All I knew of her was the name, and the song "Bad Guy". I had assumed it was sung by a gay dude.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

SGT Ted said...

Young pretty female singers are a dime a dozen. It's mostly marketing, not talent.

Kevin said...

This is precisely why they invented the phrase OK Boomer.

There are a heck of a lot of young people who absolutely don't give even the tiniest sh*t what happened before they were born.

They can't be shamed into it, because they are so ignorant they have 0 clue what they are missing, and are so confident in their ignorance that they are certain they are missing nothing of value.

This is how they can be in favor of communism without irony or reservation. I'm glad I'll be dead before they take over everything, because there will be fire and blood, and it won't be from a chick riding a dragon.

Howard said...

Van Halen ignorance leads to the next Bolshevik Revolution. With that kind of logic I'm guessing you are a trump voter

Kevin said...

It isn't about Van Halen. It is about a willful ignorance so broad as to be total or almost total, and rather than feeling shameful about it, they are quite smug.

They are 100% convinced that no one before them understands or has ever understood the world like they do, and they're going to fix everything as soon as the olds die off.

Which of course makes them much more like the boomers than they imagine. They can't imagine it because they are utterly bereft of knowledge of anything beyond their own feelings.

stevew said...

The topic is pop music bands from the past, that she hasn't heard of one that was big before she was born is not a problem, of even the First World Problem variety.

daskol said...

She and her brother make music together: they write and perform together. It's quite sweet. Among the few modern acts I can enjoy with my kids.

gilbar said...

They are 100% convinced that no one before them understands or has ever understood the world like they do, and they're going to fix everything as soon as the olds die off.

Which of course makes them much more like the boomers than they imagine.


Which enables ME to tell an old Boomer Joke:
When I was a boy of fourteen,
my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.
But when I got to be twenty-one,
I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

tcrosse said...

De Gustibus ain't what dey used to be.

dbzdak said...

She knows who Dwight Schrute is, though, which is much more important. This is what made me a William Eyelash fan:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibbkmS_tvVQ

Howard said...

Keep digging that hole Kevin. You're projecting off of a single data point. But let's say you're correct Kevin, WTF are you doing to fix the problem because it sounds pretty dire. Oh yeah you don't give a shit cuz you're going to be dead you selfish putz



Howard said...

On a lighter note I just love that abstract painting of a Golden gate sunset.

Kevin said...

Yes, Howard, I have in fact decided that I personally can't defeat the entire pre-K through post-grad education systems, and the entire entertainment and news media complexes, operating on all cylinders for generations to defeat and destroy the culture of the West.

If you've got an idea how I can, please let me know. I guess I have a lack of imagination in that regard.

Jim at said...

Even Tool fans -- a band from the 1990s -- didn't recognize Eddie VH according to a previous post.

To be fair, there's a difference between not recognizing an aging rocker and not knowing his music.

SeanF said...

Yancey Ward: "Depends on what Exiled meant by "boomer band". Eddie, Alex, David, and Michael are all baby boomers."

Not really. The fans that made them successful in the late 70s would have pretty much all been Boomers themselves- ages 15-20. Of course, they definitely had as many GenX fans from 1980 forward, including me.


They were all four born between 1953 and 1955, which puts them square in the middle of the baby boomer generation (1946-1964). In what sense are they "not really" baby boomers?

Exiled called them a "boomer band" and Gahrie said they weren't Boomer, they were Gen X. I agree that they had a lot of Gen X fans (myself included), and had a lot of their success during the Gen X era. But, given that the band members themselves are baby boomers, it's not necessarily wrong to call them a "boomer band".

J. Farmer said...

The music of the eighties is to today as the music of the post WWII forties was to the eighties. Age with grace people, just age with grace.

Well, yes and no. Time-wise that is obviously correct, but stylistically they were miles apart. It used to be a cliche that older, square parents just didn't get the hip music the kids were listening to. But that really is a boomer thing, considering their parents were fans of the big band era and were often dismissive or contemptuous of rock and roll. Steve Allen, for example. But today boomers and their children often have overlapping music tastes, listen to similar artists, and attend concerts together. The advent of hip-hop was a different story, though we are already 40 years into that.

Matt said...

I like Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy." Its hook is fun. Eilish's singing is unique. I like that the bridge goes in a different direction than the rest of the song. Overall, it's a good song.

I feel the same way about many Van Halen songs - catchy hooks, unique singing (Roth or Haggar), interesting bridges and solos.

It's a little sad that bombastic pop rock like Van Halen doesn't really exist anymore.

rehajm said...

In case nobody linked: Billie Eilish channeling her inner Fred Astaire

Props for her doing it in a boot- she took a header on stage days before. Also, her shoe is untied!

Howard said...

Things work when people do their bit, Kevin. Schools are always looking for volunteers but people like you leave it to the libtards to fix all these problems cuz being an activist is a bad word

jim said...

It's great. I don't know who she is, and I also can't name a van Halen.

Skylark said...

Now if you asked me to name a Van Zant...

Skylark said...

OK, a Zant or a Zandt.

J. Farmer said...

I was born in 1982, and I only know Eddie Van Halen. I still have clue what his brother's name is. But I do know his son is Wolfgang. There was the occasional Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen played at home, but I remember my mother absolutely hated David Lee Roth.

Bill Peschel said...

I'm not too worried about the culture. The Boomer generation was in a unique place.

Before, say, 1950, you only knew about great actors, musicians, and books when you came across them through direct experience. You heard them on the radio, played a record, saw a movie, but you didn't get older works than that (except for books, where you could read Dickens or see a play by Shakespeare).

Go back each decade, and people lost those technological advances. By, say, 1910s, it was direct experience only, and whatever plays they performed or books you read.

The Boomer and Gen X generations were force-fed cultural pate through the limited number of TV channels. You saw silent movies through contemporary films. Footage of old rock and roll bands to American Bandstand, Midnight Special, MTV, and VH-1.

(Yeah, I'm compressing a lot of time here. I'm rolling.)

Then cable channels metastasized. Video cassettes, laser discs, and DVDs proliferated. Each succeeding generation saw less TV, played more video games, and listened to whatever was current.

And we're back where we started. Knowing who Van Halen is in 2019 is like knowing who Scott Joplin was in 1935.

reader said...

Wouldn’t some of this be on the parents? My son loves older rock music because he grew up listening to it with his dad.

When my son was in Little League, if he was scheduled as the starting pitcher, he would have his dad blast Iron Maiden’s Run to the Hills. One time we were heading out to the game in my car and my car wouldn’t play music from my husband’s iPod. They made me turn around and go home to switch cars.

Howard said...

Boomers learnt history via Looney toons and the Cold war from Rocky and Bullwinkle

washpark said...

Van Halen, like billie ellish, is a vintage of a certain age and musical taste. I am not sure Van Halen translates well to those who did not experience their act when it was popular. Eddie was one hell of a guitarist. The David Lee Roth/Sammy Hagar soap opera was made for those who liked Luke and Laura on General Hospital. As an early Gen-Xer, it was all getting a bit wheezy as the 80's departed (Of course Weezer resurrected the wheeziness as only they can. Boomers should get to know Weezer if they are nostalgic for the rambunctious good times of old; Weezer knows how to rock to this day).

billie ellish fits today's Zoomers well. Outstanding vocalist with raw emotion. She and Grimes (you should know Grimes, f/k/a Claire Boucher as well) fit this age so well.

More to the point of the gotcha moment on the aging late night talk show format, if someone asked you who Black Flag is/was, would you know? Black Flag is a creation of boomers that has been extremely influential in music. I would hazard a guess 9/10 boomers would draw a blank. Sonic Youth? Can you name a song? Another boomer band that has been extremely influential.

The good thing coming from this is a few more intelligent people know billie ellish now. That's important because many older Americans are trapped in media silos that corral them into walled off rooms where billie ellish never surfaces - despite her tremendous success.

The world is changing quickly. Before AI traps you into smaller and smaller information silos, scream "freedom" and explore outside your pen. Don't let algo's write you off as closed minded sheep. You are not. And you deserve better.