Is rock dead or does it just smell a bit funny?
There has been much media gnashing of teeth over the death of rock.
I’m not sure what they mean by rock, some of the pundits seem to refer to indie rock only and some seem baffled by the lack of record sales for their end of the year Top 20 critics list.
But hasn’t it always been that way? In 1990 the critics lists didn’t always coincide with public taste.
Maybe rock is not enjoying one of its boom periods, but with a lack of media it’s become harder and harder to get heard by most people. Mainstream media is obsessed with X Factor and celebrities and alternative TV media is all centered on Jools Holland’s ‘Later’ which has some good stuff on it but loads of some bloke playing a piano.
Daytime Radio One is desperate whilst 6 Music has some great shows but is fringe.
None of these outlets seem to go near metal or punk or noisier musics, and for years metal has been bigger than indie but is never reflected by mainstream media.
Thank fuck for people like Sean Adams the owner of Drowned In Sound writing in his Sunday Times column and putting some perspective on this debate.
Not sure what is being termed rock in this debate, but let’s consider indie and metal…
1. The Stone Roses sold 1/4 million tickets in 40 minutes – I know in some senses it’s nostalgia but the band will be playing new material and that’s still a lot of people – it’s this summers major gig.
2.Enter Shikari could possibly have the number one album this week – a rock album that gets zero airplay and built up a following from touring – how old school and very rock.
3. Rammstein have a near sold out stadium tour in March, their last album got one radio play in the UK- I think there is a pattern emerging here- the mainstream ignore rock and then say it’s dead.
4. There are probably more good bands now than I can remember. Maybe the people who talk of the ‘death of rock’ should get out more.
5. The death of the festival has been exagerated – most festivals I went to last year were busier than ever. The rubbish ones put on by chancers trying to cash in have shut down.
6. There is a whole load of great albums to be released this year- we will cover as many as we can on the site; there’s so much going on out there it’s quite hard to keep up with it all, in the sixties you would be waiting for The Beatles and the Stones to release something…
7. last year was the first year that pop outsold rock apparently – I’m not sure exactly where the boundaries are between pop and rock… where does dance fit into this? But a load of records sold by X Factor landfill is hardly a threat to rock and alternative is it?
8. It’s time for people like Kasabian to stop the panic about the end of rock in their interviews – they are doing well themselves and they should be bigging up the bands who are arriving in their wake.
9. We demand the mainstream media recognises our culture, who are they to define what is ‘acceptable’ to listen to on daytime Radio One? Why is one three minute piece of music considered more worthy than another? Why can’t they be more eclectic? Why does fucking Chris Moyles get to decide what we listen to? Thankfully their power is slipping with the internet but they still have power. These people have never liked rock but even they can’t stop it surviving.
10. From Bruce Springsteen to Pulled Apart By Horses, The Computers to Rats On Rafts there is so much great rock music out there of all different shapes and sizes. the major bands will be releasing stuff this year- last year they didn’t which affected these dubious stats. The upcoming bands sound great – stop the doom mongering now and focus on the real problem, the out of touch pundits and the bored former rock stars who talk about ‘music being better in my day’… All this talk is just like 1976 and look what happened then – that’s already happening now – there are a thousand mini revolutions out there…