I had a sad conversation at work yesterday with a few co-workers. I was playing a live Joy Division song. I don’t recall the song now, but Ian Curtis was lamenting into the microphone. His cries were blaring out of the speakers when one of my co-workers exclaimed with a grimace, “what is this?” I responded “Joy Division” and she remarked back sarcastically about the music lacking joy. I could only laugh and think to myself “no shit.”
I quickly started into a monologue about how influential Joy Division was and still is, and how the The Killers wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for Joy Division. Neither would Nine Inch Nails, Morrisey, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Nirvana, Radiohead, any kind of 80’s electronica, and of course New Order – all some of the best music of my time on this planet. But explain this to a handful of twenty-somethings who are more preoccupied with what Britney or the Jonas brothers did last week. Hey, I can’t hold them responsible for this though, I was like them once, so I took the time to play some Joy Division to them. I played a few songs, the requisites of course, like Love Will Tear Us Apart and New Dawn Fades. I held off on my personal favorites like Digital and Dead Souls. They took it in, mostly, and their eyes lit up when they recognized a melody or a lyric. OK, mission accomplished.
Maybe I’m a snob, and I probably am a bit, when it comes to music. I’m not alone either. I have plenty of snobby friends who dress the part and attend more shows than I can anymore. Thankfully I had another music snob in the office who was able to back me up on these things and help school these kids.
I find myself now feeling like one of those jerks from when I was a teenager trying to educate me on the influence of David Bowie or Thelonious Monk. I guess this is a sign of aging.
I found out yesterday, from my office ally, that there was a movie released last year titled Control, about Joy Division but more specifically Ian Curtis, and directed by legendary photographer Anton Corbijn. The trailer is below. It’s next on my Netflix queue and I can’t wait! But will it make me feel old, and even more of a snoot? Who cares, at least I know good music!