Why is rock such a dirty word in the media

Video thumbnail for youtube video Pussycat and the Dirty Johnsons: Dirty Rock’n’Roll - album reviewIf video killed the radio star did the music press try to kill rock and fail?


Why is rock such a dirty word in the media?

Why can’t we hear rock music on the radio?

Why is rock treated as an ironic devil sign, a smirk from media hipsters and treated like some sort of irrelevant and dumb cousin when it’s actually the biggest alternative music in the world?

Listen to the radio and read the mainstream press and you won’t hear or see rock music, apart from on marginalized and specialist shows. Alternative radio stations like XFM and 6music do a great job of covering indie music but rarely stray into rock. The Guardian Guide sneers and TV is obsessed with Cowell pop and mum and dad approved indie.

Why is this? Surely rock fits the remit, it’s alternative and inventive and arguably the one place where music is still really moving forward. Of there is the rock press who do a great job, but the fact that its called the rock press and the rest of music media not called the indie press is quite telling really…

Where did this fear of rock come from? When did the media get taken over by people who only liked indie music, wallowing in its reflective trendiness whilst ignoring a huge musical subculture.

Was it the fault of punk? Our fault? Was that the time. when music begun to be measured by its hipness? The trajectory in music since then has been one of severe cultural editing where most influential album lists won’t mention Black Sabbath but will always have someone like Felt or the Fall included (and we love all three bands here…).

Why are bands like Rage Against The Machine or Rammstein, who, when they play gigs sell out stadiums worldwide treated like a cultural footnote and a tiny indie band lauded over endlessly? The fear of rock has become part of the whole story- you rarely see a rock band on TV- when was the last time Jools Holland had his Wonky Tonk piano drowned out by a barrage of decibels? Why are all the indie bands who play Glastonbury given five days blanket coverage and yet the big metal festivals ignored?

It’s time to wake up and acknowledge the diversity of alternative culture and not reduce it to what you think might be hip.


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  1. Well, in germany we have AT least some tv shows, that treat Rock and metal(almost) Equal to other music. Also some Festivals Like the Wacken Open Air and some Times some other Festivals and concerts are shown on the TV. Unfortunately the Radio Stations dont Play Rock and metal anymore (till 2010 There was at least Billy Talent and the guano apes) also, the german Media doesnt Like rammstein a Lot (they are never mentioned by the Radio Stations and neuer shown on the TV. Some Albums Like “Liebe ist für alle da” were even forbidden here a few years ago, today its only the Video to the Song “pussy ” and Most People I talked to think that Rammstein is a nazi band or dont even know them).

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