In My Day People Weren’t So Nostalgic All the Time – The Paradox of Nostalgia

In fact, I think that the alt-country and Americana scenes can be too precious in their efforts to resist the polluting influence of the country industry, and in their attempts to evoke a simpler world through archaic slang and ostentatious hats. Maybe this judgment is simply a kind of reverse snobbery, a way for me to feel superior to the kind of people who feel superior to the kind of people who love “commercial” country music. (Snobbery, I’ve learned, is hard to define, and even harder to avoid; there is virtually no way to judge popular music without making some judgment about the people who listen to it.) This judgment surely reflects, too, my general allergy to any music that strains to be “retro,” even though I realize that a current of nostalgia runs through all popular culture. (It sometimes seems that popular music is more nostalgic than it used to be, which could mean that my distaste for nostalgia is itself a form of nostalgia for a pre-nostalgic past.)

Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres
Kelefa Sanneh