Best of the 2010s: Joe Troop’s (Che Apalache) Favorite Thing Was…

Well, it was more of an idea, really. (But also, Hamilton.)

I’ve been trying to think of how to answer this, it’s a tall order! There’s a lot of cool stuff that happened since 2010. Can it be a tendency that one sees developing? My favorite thing that I’ve seen developing in the last 10 years, having observed how my nieces and nephew have grown up is a shift in youth culture that I think is very promising. I think in the United States, at least my generation, we grew up instructed to think that we really mattered, that we were going to be number one, that we were going to be successful, that we had to go out and get our individual pieces of the pie, and we had to build up our resumes… You get the picture. What I’m seeing now developing is much more of a community-oriented mentality. I hear a lot of children ask questions from a “we” perspective instead of “What advice do you have for me?” This is happening in the United States, which is kind of flabbergasting. I think there’s a shift away from tooting one’s own horn, and there’s a collective sense of trying to build something. Kids that are now in middle school and high school and maybe a little older seem to have their heads on their shoulders. They don’t have this illusion of grandeur that seems to have existed previously. That inspires the hell out of me. There is some sort of hope for the future, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever feel that.

All over the world, there’s so much crazy shit going on. It’s really intimidating and sad. I don’t have as much contact with youth culture in Argentina, where I’ve lived much of the last decade, but in this past year I’m really able to observe a very nice shift that somehow happened. It’s probably parents that are in their 30s and 40s are really to thank for that in ways.  Kids have been raised differently, and now they’re geared differently. There’s a lot of terminology that I’m not sure how I feel about. “OK, boomer,” and that stuff. Like, “Oh, you millennials,” there’s a lot of media stuff about that, and it’s really tiresome to see people cast off entire generations. On the flipside, I would say maybe that Generation X that raised these children did a pretty good job! My brother did a good job. There wasn’t so much championing children to be one thing, but more of a humanistic way. Between millennials and baby boomers was a good generation of child raisers! I’m saying that as a millennial. I haven’t raised children. It’s a very promising thing, and it makes me happy. That’s my favorite thing of the past decade.

It was hard to pick something! Hamilton came out this decade! Actually maybe that’s the reason they’re such a cool generation. Some of the stuff that they consumed was encouraging and meaningful.

Joe Troop is the singer and fiddle player of Che Apalache, the genre-bending bluegrass-Americana-Latin group that was recently nominated for a Grammy for their Rearrange My Heart album.