The death of rock n roll | TigerDroppings.com

Posted byMessage
Baloo
LSU Fan
Formerly MDGeaux
Member since Sep 2003
43616 posts

The death of rock n roll


Stephen Hyden has been writing a largely excellent series on Grantland called the Winner's History of Rock n Roll, in which he looks at the most popular rock acts and what the hell happened to rock radio. It's beena fun read, but I think he gets to the core issue of "what's wrong with rock?" in this passage from today:

quote:

What rock music needs right now is more gateway bands. When I was a kid, I never would've heard of or cared about Sonic Youth or Fugazi or Guided by Voices had it not been for the alt-rock bands I heard on the radio and saw on MTV. The popular bands connected me with the less popular bands. In 1984, when Born in the U.S.A. put Bruce Springsteen on the same level as Michael Jackson and Prince, a rock fan could go from the Boss to R.E.M.'s Reckoning to the Replacements' Let It Be to Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade to Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime to Black Flag's My War.

It's a different world for today's 13-year-olds. But even now, casual music fans still listen to the radio and discover new artists via televised performances on middle-of-the-road award shows. The most successful rock band of the '10s, Mumford & Sons, arguably had the biggest break of their career when they upstaged Bob Dylan at the 2012 Grammy awards. Maybe those young Mumford fans are now on a path that will eventually take them to Will Oldham, Mark Kozelek, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen.

When I said earlier that indie has failed rock and roll, this is what I meant: Indie bands haven't done enough to compete. The status quo in indie rock these days is to make records aimed directly at upper-middle-class college graduates living in big cities. Only a small handful of indie bands attempt to reach listeners who aren't already on the team; even the really good records reside firmly in a familiar wheelhouse of tastefully arty and historically proven "college rock" aesthetics and attitudes that mean nothing to the outside world. The distance is also geographic: If you want to see most indie bands play live, it helps if you reside in New York City or Los Angeles, because the bands probably live there, too. Otherwise, you have to hope that your city — and by "your city," I mean a city within a couple hundred miles of where you live — is one of the 15 to 20 stops on the band's tour.

If you happen to be part of the audience that rock music used to cater to — if you work an unsexy job in an unsexy town in an unsexy part of the country — you're not really invited to the party anymore. Which is OK, because there's still a form of rock music that's made for you, it's just not called rock music — it's called country. One of the best-selling country records of the last few years is Eric Church's Chief, and one of that record's biggest songs is "Springsteen," which is about the ability of rock music to signify the most crucial moments of a person's life. When was the last time a rock song talked about that? Chief is precisely the sort of heartland rock record that people like Springsteen, Tom Petty, and Bob Seger made into a viable commercial genre in the '70s and '80s. It's not that people stopped wanting records like that; rock bands just lost interest in making them.

LINK

anyway, there's a lot more there, but I wondered what y'all's thoughts were on the decline of mainstream rock and whether indie bands aren't "hungry" enough?







Back to top
Share:
Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Ball, LA - Home, Sweet Home
Member since Dec 2006
29051 posts
 Online 

re: The death of rock n roll


quote:

anyway, there's a lot more there, but I wondered what y'all's thoughts were on the decline of mainstream rock and whether indie bands aren't "hungry" enough?


Every now and then a younger rock act makes a little bit of a splash on the national scene. Kings of Leon and All American Rejects (both from Oklahoma, strangely enough) are 2 I can name. Honestly, if you don't have an active club scene in your town, you'll never hear young rock acts unless you seek them out as they don't promote themselves, so, yeah, I would say they aren't hungry. Certainly the national radio "powers-that-be" aren't going to promote young rock acts.






Back to top
Flair Chops
Miami (FL) Fan
boone county mating call
Member since Nov 2010
33524 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


i'm going to preface this by saying i've yet to read the entire article yet, just the snippet you posted
quote:

One of the best-selling country records of the last few years is Eric Church's Chief, and one of that record's biggest songs is "Springsteen," which is about the ability of rock music to signify the most crucial moments of a person's life. When was the last time a rock song talked about that?
gaslight anthem's early stuff is basically a shrine for springsteen, tom waits, tom petty, etc. those are artists i knew, but only on a surface/pop value. there are still plenty of bands that make you go down the rabbit hole, so to speak.






Back to top
Brosef Stalin
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2011
7807 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


I think the end of music on MTV has a lot to do with. MTV was breaking bands in the early to mid 90s. Almost all of my favorite bands as a teenager I heard first on Headbanger's Ball, Alternative Nation, and 120 Minutes. Radio followed what MTV was doing.
Now with the internet I can still find great bands but I have to actively seek them. It was much easier to find new music when MTV and to a lesser extent radio would just feed it to you.






Back to top
Dissident Aggressor
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2011
442 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


I hear pop/rock every day being served up on the "country" stations. It's all pretty vanilla but, there are a few nice guitar riffs in some of that stuff...





Back to top
Flair Chops
Miami (FL) Fan
boone county mating call
Member since Nov 2010
33524 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


quote:

there are a few nice guitar riffs in some of that stuff...
urban and as much as i hate him, brad paisley can make it wail.






Back to top
Meursault
Member since Sep 2003
22330 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


In the 90's we had that M2 channel, and all they played was alternative/90's indie rock music videos. It was awesome. This has been replaced with Pitchfork, Stereogum, and other blogs/webzines.

I don't think it's a bad thing. On one hand new good music has never been more available, and in such quantity if you know how to look.

But I think it also loses what made great new music of yesteryear "special". And I'm referring to the actual act of going to music stores, listening to music with people, and talking with customers and workers. I spent a lot of time at CD Warehouse off College. Now that's all gone. Whereas a new album in 1995 I would listen constantly for a year, today a new album gets two solid weeks in my car and then it's time for the next big release.






Back to top
Flair Chops
Miami (FL) Fan
boone county mating call
Member since Nov 2010
33524 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


the music channels turning into reality channels played a major part in it, imo. and i think the internet helped kill the need for the music channels, but older people that stayed involved in new music that weren't/aren't tech savvy have not been able to adapt





Back to top
AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
33745 posts
 Online 

re: The death of rock n roll


I've pretty much moved on to alt. country. The stuff I hear now has similar quitar work to what I hear on Connells albums from long ago.





Back to top
alajones
LSU Fan
Hell
Member since Oct 2005
21786 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


The death of Rock n roll started 20 years ago with the rise of Alt/grunge rock. Honestly the Hair Bands were the peak of Rock and that was probably the last era when rock was the predominant sound on mainstream radio stations.

Unfortunately, as much of an iconoclastic genre as Grunge was, it by no means had the staying power to keep going, which left us with the Dark Ages of late 90's rock. Radio stations stopped playing Rock unless it was a mainstream sounding song. Which brings us to current rock.

Anyway, to make a long story longer, I think bands should just play what they want to play. I don't think Green Day set out with Dookie thinking, "Hey, I hope this appeals to everyone". They just made an album.

Music evolves and changes. As much as it pains me to say it, we may just be entering a "post rock" era of music.






Back to top
Kafka
New Orleans Saints Fan
Remembering The Alamo
Member since Jul 2007
71138 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


I completely disagree. In fact I could not agree less. You are totally wrong. Totally, completely utterly wrong, in error and not correct.

(I just wanted to do that to you once)

quote:

Stephen Hyden has been writing a largely excellent series on Grantland called the Winner's History of Rock n Roll, in which he looks at the most popular rock acts and what the hell happened to rock radio


Wasn't he the guy who wrote that horrible article claiming Led Zeppelin was the most ifluential band of all time?






Back to top
Kafka
New Orleans Saints Fan
Remembering The Alamo
Member since Jul 2007
71138 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


quote:

As much as it pains me to say it, we may just be entering a "post rock" era of music


No maybe. We have been in the post-rock age for some time

One major reason, if not the major reason, is rap. Rap eats more of the rock audience every day, which means less interest in musicians, which means less interest in people becoming musicians.






Back to top
Baloo
LSU Fan
Formerly MDGeaux
Member since Sep 2003
43616 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


I laughed.

He did write that Zeppelin article, but he didn't claim they were the most influential band of all time. That was the person who linked it here. His thesis was a little different - that Zeppelin is the Rock Band Platonic ideal, if that makes sense.






Back to top
Baloo
LSU Fan
Formerly MDGeaux
Member since Sep 2003
43616 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


I do think losing a "national radio station" like MTV is a good point. They played everything from bubblegum pop to metal to rap to alt-rock. It didn't give equal time to everything, but it did give time.

I do think a major problem with alt-rock is that it steadfastly refuses to rock. The reason Grizzly Bear sucks is that the music just sort of sits there. It is meant to be appreciated, but it doesn't really connect on a visceral level. The Black Keys have always rocked. And I've loved 'em for it.






Back to top
AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
33745 posts
 Online 

re: The death of rock n roll


Zeppelin and Keys in consecutive posts. Imagine that?





Back to top
Jester
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2006
17459 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


Meh, I have no problem finding new, good rock music. Everyone lives in their own arrogant little bubble where they isolate themselves from music and then complain that it isn't there.





Back to top
alajones
LSU Fan
Hell
Member since Oct 2005
21786 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


I agree. Octane on Sirius is full of new rock music. The market share has just shriveled over the past couple of decades.


This post was edited on 2/19 at 12:19 pm


Back to top
Dandy Lion
Georgia Fan
Regnum Asturorum
Member since Feb 2010
31013 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


quote:

It's a different world for today'13-year-olds.
Pretentious faux fan frick. 13 year olds of that era didn't listen to any of those bands (except for Springsteen's 'borned in 'merrika' on the radio, maybe).



This post was edited on 2/19 at 12:25 pm


Back to top
Baloo
LSU Fan
Formerly MDGeaux
Member since Sep 2003
43616 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


I listened to Replacements and REM when I was 13. Not Fugazi, but only because they didn't exist yet. I did listen to Rites of Spring, then.

Your taste is not other people's taste. I'm more interesting in why rock has largely disappeared from the radio. I do think there are plenty of great bands right now.






Back to top
Flair Chops
Miami (FL) Fan
boone county mating call
Member since Nov 2010
33524 posts

re: The death of rock n roll


quote:

I'm more interesting in why rock has largely disappeared from the radio.
is it that bad? i RARELY (less than once a month and generally only for a moment) turn it on because my vehicle's stereo system is hooked into my ipod. if a song comes on i'm not in the mood for, i find one that i want to hear. i take my iphone in the gym, i have my laptop at home. any song i want to hear, i can hear.


the instant gratification also might have something to do with it disappearing






Back to top


Back to top




//