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Home > Blog > Bye Bye, Miss American Pie
Out of Our Minds
Monday, May 09, 2005 9:12 PM
Bye Bye, Miss American Pie
Anita Sharpe on Culture

Is rock finally, really dead?

'Yes it's dead,' says my 13-year-old son who plays lead guitar in a band (lots of Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, along with some Beatles and Black Sabbath.) 'The music today is mostly angry,' he says. 'Rock is angry; rap is angry; there is actually a hit song called 'Shut Up' -- the lyrics go 'Shut up, shut up. . .' Who wants to listen to that? Even when it's not angry, it mostly sucks. And Britney Spears killed the music.'

OK, you might not want to take one 13-year-old's opinion as gospel. But radio-station owners all over the country are killing off not only rock-oldies formats, but also modern alternative stations -- replacing them with Hispanic and other non-rock formats.

I'm actually excited about this. I think we're about to give birth to a new music genre that is going to rock our world in a big way.


6 comments

Robert - 5/12/2005 9:55:36 AM
Some of the 'bigger' stories in New York recently have been Paul McCartney's tour selling out at Madison Square Garden, and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards showing up at Lincoln Center to hawk their upcoming tour. So rock isn't dead, it's just really, really wrinkled. :-)
Harold - 5/11/2005 3:39:56 PM
The death knell for rock has been ringing since its inception. We're looking at roughly 50 years of the prognostication that the patient is dead and or dying. But wose than Jason or Freddy, it keeps coming back rearing its sneering, posing, rebellious, and often cliched head.

To hear how alive it is start scanning down below the public station at the left of the dial. You'll hear the next wave of beautiful noise that dosen't know it's dead.

kent - 5/10/2005 3:09:34 PM
Rock isn't dead. Commercial radio is.

Jason - 5/10/2005 8:21:20 AM
Rock shouldnt be on the radio anyways. Rock and subgenres such as the post-hardcore movement/numetal/hardcore/death metal and the likes have always been underground. Rock will never be dead because its a style of music born out of rebellion and innovation. There are always ideas/styles/lifestyles to rebel against. Rock music releases emotions in people espically younger teenagers that cant be replaced by any other style of music. As long as there are teenagers there will be rock. Just because the style isnt as profitable and you dont hear the band on your pop/rock station, doesnt mean theres not a million kids going to sites like theprp.com and getting news on their favorite hardcore band and posting on their favorite bands message board. underground trends slip in the mainstream when someone sees the chance for profitability. thats really not what the core of rock music is about. long live the underground.
Gary - 5/10/2005 7:57:08 AM
Well maybe I'm narrow-minded and stuck in my ways, but rock (the louder, heavier, faster and nastier the better) is what I like and no matter how much I try rap, blues, dance, jazz, folk, classical, etc, etc they just don't do it for me.

I can't relate to it. It doesn't move me. It doesn't inspire me. It just sucks the life from me.
So I'll stick to what I like thank you very much :-)

There is a whole world of niche music genres out there that most people simply don't hear. Just in the realms of my own tastes is a massive variety of sub-genres from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Step away from the radio playlist and do some digging of your own.
Ruth Greenwood - 5/9/2005 11:29:30 PM
There are actually more country stations than any other format.

It's interesting that the major record labels and publishers as well as radio networks and playlists are consolidating faster than a banana split in August...at the same time that digital technologies allow anyone to create and sell CDs (or downloadable albums) from their homes. There are 1,000s more albums by 1,00s more artists available today, available to anyone, anywhere. It seems that these trends are going in opposite directions at breaknecks speeds.

As kind of a musical Rip Van Winkle myself, a songwriter who quit the business in the analog days and woke up in the digital era...it is fascinating to watch and participate in both the majors and the indies.

My 11-year-old is a HUGE Beatles fan...as well as a modern rock fan. There's a lot of cool current stuff out...it is the nature of 13-year-olds to see things in extremes.

Rock is fine. Alternatives are burgeoning. There is a vast and varied array of music that is easily accessible.

Of course new genres will emerge. Old ones will resurface. Pastiches will be made. Some will fade. Music will be made.

And with programs like Apple's
Garageband, you can even make some of it yourself.

Do not despair.

Rock on.

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