I must admit, I’m so utterly frustrated by all of the “Rock is dead” doomsayers over the past week that I’d like to wretch (or, retch–you know, either way). Really big time.
Here’s the latest complaint–from the London Telegraph of all things (isn’t this supposed to be one of the respectable papers, or am I confusing it with the Daily Mail?)–to follow laments from CLASSIC ROCK mag earlier this year, a member of KISS who seems to resent much of life, and every single human who has decided to hate U2: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11089923/The-decline-and-fall-of-rock-and-roll.html
[A quick side note. You have Apple and you don’t like U2? Easy–hit the image of the album and drag it to your trash. Your Mac will then ask you if you would like to delete or hide. Deleting it actually deletes it. No offensive U2 ever need show up in your library again, and you will have accomplished this is far less time than it took for the album to download to your computer. In fact, it will take you less time to delete the album forever from your personal space than it will for you to write a comment on the web or even an article for a respectable English newspaper about how much you dislike U2, Bono, Apple, Catholics, Apple pies, Irishmen, or whatever your current dislike is.]
I have no idea if I’m using this term correctly, as I’m not English. But, my first thought is: what a wanker that Telegraph writer must be. Did I use the term correctly? What say you, Mr. Andrew Woods? Here in the British colony of the United States, we’d just call you a prig.
Of course corporations try to conform us. They give us lots of good stuff, but they also make the world a lot less interesting. They want us as consumers, and consumers are much easier to manipulate when only the same tepid and pallid mush is being served. Is the Telegraph suddenly a not-for-profit paper?
The next time a corporation tries to sell you something, just walk away. It’s really not that hard. Turn away from the offensive thing and move in the other direction.
Growing up in Kansas, I knew next to nothing about NME. What I did know: NME looked like a bunch of quasi-trash porn that wealthy children in Kansas City might purchase out of boredom. I didn’t pay attention to it or to Rolling Stone. When Rush came out with a new album, I bought it. When Tears for Fears came out with a new album, I bought it. When Kate Bush came out with a new album, I bought it. When Talk Talk came out with a new album, I often bought two copies, one as backup. I didn’t look to NME or Rolling Stone or whatever rag was available at the time telling me what to think and wear and write and read. I worked very, very hard for my music collection. Sure, I made a few missteps, such as once purchasing a Howard Jones album. But, I also collected a lot of great music, much of which I treasure to this very day.
What many music journalists, record labels, and professional wankers have yet to figure out is that the market for art is now as decentralized as humanly possible. The internet gives us as much space to be excellent as it does to be mediocre.
Some of the music being made right–including and especially the vast majority of music we have the privilege of reviewing at progarchy–is some of the best rock music ever made. Here and now. Not merely there and yesterday. Here and now. Right here, right now. Rock is so far from being dead that I can barely keep up with so many enticing, interesting, and dramatic releases.
The author of the Telegraph piece can’t see beyond the very corporations he so hates and, thus, he becomes a conformist in his own cry against conformity. Face it, Mr. Andrew Telegraph, you are the establishment. And, from what I can tell, you always have been–especially when you read magazines such as NME, then or now.
One last thought. I really don’t care if U2 recorded forty-five minutes of The Edge working in his back garden. Any group of artists who can write and record October have earned a position of respect in the world. I, for one, will give them the benefit of the doubt, and presume good (and, yes, profit-seeking) motives on the parts of Mr. Bono and Mr. Cook.
On Mr. Andrew Woods? The jury is still out.
[P.S. I’m glad Mr. Woods mentioned his daughter. My thirteen-year old daughter can name every member of Rush, Big Big Train, and The Tangent, and she knows almost every lyric written by FROST*. Care to compete?]