If things look a little greener around here this April, there's a good reason. Our editorial staff is busy expanding the ideals of Earth Day into a month-long celebration of energy conservation, alternative transportation, recycling tips and about a million ways you can be a better friend to the planet. Welcome to Green Month, Milwaukee.
In the 1950s and ‘60s, America experienced a booming, post-war economy that inspired increased technology and space travel. On the music front, the optimistic state of the country was reflected in the music, with space age pop -- also called bachelor pad music or lounge music -- made popular by musicians like Dick Hyman, Les Baxter and Esquivel.
This leads to the chicken-and-egg question: Does music echo society’s trends or do trends come from music? Most likely the former, but it’s hard to say because art and music change public perceptions all the time.
In any case, it’s happening again.
Partially due to the popularity of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” mainstream America is “going green.” Many people are consuming less and recycling more, which inevitably leads to a simpler, more natural lifestyle. This trend is reflected in popular music, too.
A new folk emerged in the midst of the green frenzy. It's arguably edgier and smarter than the folkies of the hippie movement, with musicians like Jack Johnson, Jose Gonzalez, Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart and a score of others breathing new life into a genre that was last popular a few decades ago.
Plus, artists like Gonzales, along with others like Andrew Bird and John Mayer, partner with Reverb, a non-profit organization designed to educate music fans and promote environmental sustainability.
It’s interesting to think about the backlash from all of this “greenness” both in society at large and specifically in the music world. Everything has a season -- right? -- so most likely the eco-friendly trend in music is going to fizzle out, making way for uber-techno or whatever else is fashionable in the future.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.