jesse malin

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Don’t Worry Gen X’er, it’s OK to be in your 50s and love Billie Eilish

Published February 16, 2020 by Maryanne

Billie Eilish albums

I love Billie Eilish. (And I’m in my 50s).

Right now my favorite song of hers is “I Wish You Were Gay” but as all music fans know, as you embrace an artist, the more you listen to the records/CDs your favorites flow from one to another, like the waves in the ocean.

When I discover an artist, I have a pattern. First I go on a You Tube binge of their music. When I get to the point of “Wow, I like every single song…” that’s when I go out and buy whatever music is available so I can listen more authentically, in my house or in a car, and not in my home office on a computer screen. And then make it a mission to go see this artist perform live.

Yeah, I admit it. I’d love to go see Billie Eilish perform, even though I’m old enough to be her grandmother.

And I’m not the only one who feels that way. I recently saw a few comments on social media. People in their 50s, 40s, 30s, and even early 20s saying they feel weird that they are enjoying the music of a teenager.

I say, WHY NOT? We were all teenagers once ourselves. Though, depending on when you were born, not always having the music of other teenagers to enjoy. When I was a teenager, there were no teenagers making music for me. When the Stones were teenagers, I was a baby. When I was 13, my favorite band Queen were already in their 30s; even The Bay City Rollers were in their 20s when I was 13.

Then I discovered The Runaways. They were older teenagers when I was 13. By the time I got to see Joan Jett, when I was 17, The Runaways already broke up. By now Joan Jett was already in her 20s.  Nevertheless, I was right in front of the stage when I saw her perform and she put her guitar right in front of my. I strummed it and she smiled at me. That was thrilling!

Throughout my teens and 20s, I never thought about my age when I went to shows because all the bands I resonated had a good five years or more on me. (Some musicians were my mom’s age and I never even realized it until they died and you learn their age — like Lux Interior of The Cramps).

All the bands I loved and went to see were older — Blondie, The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs, The Pixies, Cher… the list goes on and on. To this day, the oldest artist I saw perform, bless his soul, was Les Paul.

Of course time goes on, and you’re going to get older. If you’re a die hard music fan, and still exploring new tunes, well, it’s inevitable at some point you’re going to be older than the bands you go to see. For example, I was 30 when I got hooked on D-Generation. The lead singer, Jesse Malin was five years younger than me. It was the first time I felt “old” even though I didn’t look or feel it.

Then, in my early 40s, I discovered the music of HIM. I have a good 14 years on the lead singer Ville Valo. At the age of 42, I was hesitant to go see them in concert because I thought I’d be the oldest one there, assuming everyone in the audience was going to be the band’s age or younger (at the time most members were in their late 20s). I wrote, anonymously, on a HIM message board, “How would you feel if you saw someone in the audience, around your mom’s age, wearing a HIM t-shirt.”

Oh my goodness, I received so much support from the younger generation, saying how cool it was that I was in my 40s and I liked HIM. Then when I went to see them for the first time, I saw so many young women, paired with their moms, singing song lyrics together, arm in arm. It was beautiful — mothers and daughters connecting over live music.

I think it will totally be the same way if and when I go see Billie Eilish live. People will be connecting over the music, irregardless of ages.

Thinking back to when I was a teenager, I wanted attention from adults. Teenagers today are no different. When I see teenagers in the streets, I’ll smile and they are very quick to smile back. Some even say “Hi” or compliment me on my pinkish hair.

Generation gaps are closing in. It’s not the 1950s anymore; hell, it’s not even the 1990s anymore. We’re living in an amazing time where people of all ages are relating to each other better than ever. (Or maybe I’m delusional because I’m not a parent, just a cool aunt?) Who knows for sure, but I truly believe there’s only a generation gap if we allow there to be one. Always keep your eyes/ears out for game-changing new artists, because that’s something that will go on in time until we die. Thank God for that!

 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D-Generation at Vintage Vinyl, July 29, 2016

Published July 30, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0792

D-Generation – Original Line-up, left to right –  Jesse Malin, Richard Bacchus, Danny Sage, Howie Pyro, and Michael Wildwood

A super cool date night with my husband at Vintage Vinyl, getting the new D-Generation CD, “Nothing is Anywhere” which is off the hook, as I first heard a few tracks on The Glen Jones radio show https://wfmu.org/jones/jonesmain.html and other WFMU programs.

They were supposed to play, but didn’t …

They are playing Irving Plaza tonight — GO! I would if I slept more than 4 hours per night for the past three nights. (We have a new cat who kept me up, plus I have a bunch of professional writing assignments and deadlines).

ENJOY the pictures — all original members! My favorite band in the 1990s when we got stuck with grunge and D-GEN shook us up again!  They were LIFE during a very sad time in my life … my grandmother was dying of diabetes and then she passed. During that entire time the music of D-Generation pulled me through and I will never forget those days. Thanks, guys!

I saw them LIVE more times than I can remember! I wrote about them in my first book “On the Guest List” https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

SAM_0789Howie Pyro, bass, and me

SAM_0794Jesse Malin, lead vocalist 

SAM_0798Richard Bacchus and Danny Sage 

Jesse Malin at Jack’s Music Shoppe, Red Bank, New Jersey

Published March 29, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6978Jesse Malin (Photo by Dennis Mistretta)

Today was marked on my calendar several weeks ago, as it’s been a very long time since I saw Jesse Malin perform. “Very long” as in over 20 years when I used to follow his band D-Generation back in the early 1990s.

I was all revved up for afternoon of live music, as Jesse is an amazing singer/songwriter with so much depth. And what better place to see live music than a record store?

The event promoted Jesse’s new album, “New York Before The War.” As a journalist, I was taught never to write “buy it now” when writing a review — so this will officially be the first time in my writing career that I say, “Buy it now!” Thirteen perfectly produced tunes leave you craving more. Not one clunker in the bunch. But then again, I expected nothing less. From D-Generation to St. Mark’s Social to solo and so forth — it’s all good.

Jesse started the set off with my favorite tune from the CD, “Addicted.” My other favorite is”Bent Up.” (And this is what I say now, as favorite songs change over the years. I’m always one to embrace albums forever … not just during the time they are first released).

Jesse was accompanied by fabulous guitarist and backing vocalist, Derek Cruz, who co-wrote many of the songs. And the grand surprise of the set was The Clash’s “Stay Free” (one of my all-time favorite Clash songs).

Jack’s Music Shoppe was filled with about 100 fans of all ages; many who lined up for autographs after the show. It was cool seeing Jesse again after so many years.

For more information on Jesse Malin, visit: http://www.jessemalin.com/

SAM_6984Me and Jesse Malin

SAM_6987Rock photographer Mark Weiss (left) and my husband, Dennis

At the event my husband ran into rock photographer Mark Weiss (http://www.markweissphotography.com/), who was a good friend and big supporter of my husband’s band Pharoah (http://sexglamgloom.com/).

And nothing better than ending the day with a meal at Surf Taco!! (http://www.surftaco.com/). I had the Baja Bowl (Mahi mahi fish, rice, beans, portobello mushrooms, grilled peppers, onions, lettuce, pico de gallo salsa and guacamole).

Yeah, life is good 🙂