21st Century Rock and Roll

Published on March 25th, 2011


Rock and Roll is dead. Or at least that’s what the many naysayers out in the interwebs would have you believe. They think that just because the technology has changed and the old distribution models have been shattered, that they can just proclaim the end.  These “experts” lauding the end of Rock and Roll and the demise of the music industry in general are just not seeing the full picture.

Yes, major labels are bleeding money. Yes arena concert attendance is at an all time low. But you gotta look around and ask yourself why. Maybe the listening public in general are tired of the same old polished plastic turds that are being fed to them by the likes of the majors or MTV. Maybe the gig of the quick buck for the majors is really up. But that doesn’t mean Rock is dead. Just go to any big city or small town on any given Friday night and you’ll find young bands playing their hearts out in clubs, community centers and schools. So what is the problem?

If you look back in time to the 60′s and 70′s you’ll notice that record labels invested in artists and helped develop them along the way. They understood that artists evolved over time and that the investment they were making was long term. Yes, the labels were in it for the money, obviously but they at least still had a modicum of  interest in developing their musicians. There was no magic formula for overnight success, and they didn’t pander to the lowest intellectual common denominator (Boom Boom Pow? My Humps?).

The 80′s and 90′s brought about the dumbing down of music in an attempt to make loads of cash instantly. And it worked. For 20 something years. But what the labels might not have realized back then was that by stamping out artistic integrity and creativity, they were signing their own eventual death certificates (regardless of digital technology). Ultimately people will  just get tired of the same old shit.

So here we are now, airwaves full of co-opted, unlistenable crap while great, undiscovered bands lie hidden in every city in the country. But it won’t be that way for long. Somewhere out there is a young band practicing their instruments everyday, writing songs that will speak to people, that they can rally around, and will spark a revival, a Rock and Roll Revolution that will draw kids and adults from every walk of life to it, and will breathe much needed fresh oxygen into the fire that is Rock and Roll. Because that is what Rock and Roll does. When the chips are down and everyone counts it out, it rises up, like a phoenix, and punches you right in the gut.

I look forward to having the wind knocked out of me once again. It’s been a while now….

 

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