Rock Is Dead – or is it?
So claims the latest report that sees rock records sink to their lowest representation in the singles chart ever and the ”Ëhead of music’ at Radio One say that no great rock records are getting made these days and ”Ëpop professor’ Paul Gambaccini claim that rock has become a dead genre like jazz.This, it has to be said is about the thinnest possible evidence of a genre’s demise you could gather.
I mean who actually cares about the singles chart in the 21st century? You can get a No1 single by selling less than a metal band would draw to one stadium gig in the UK. If anything is dead, it is the singles chart.
In the fast forward rush of multi cultures and internet file sharing and youtube and spotify and a thousand ways of accessing music does the singles chart actually mean anything? is it a barometer of what’s going on like it was once?
Is it fuck.
Or is a place for Major labels to hype their safe acts and celebrity novelty hits and ”Ëbest ever selling single of all time’ X Factor chancers to no-one apart from autistic males who care about numbers and no-one else? Does anyone in the whole world care what number 18 in the single charts is this week? Can anyone name all the X factor ”Ëstars’ who have number one ”Ësmashes’. Can these ”Ëstars’ sell anything now apart from burgers at Muckdonalds?
Does rock need to be in the singles chart to prove itself?
Rock music has always been pushed to the side by the record labels and the music industry- we all know they prefer their music far less spiky and the same goes for ”Ëwonderful’ Radio One- that in its mainstream form still plays anti-rock music.
I’m fine with them and their pop agenda- there are some great pop records-I’m bored of their obsession with Cowell pop though and it been given 99 per cent of media time and the other one per cent to Jools Holland and his damn piano- another show that goes nowhere near anything loud.
I’m bored of this endless editing of what goes on.
How come a band like Rammstein can sell out the arena in Manchester (20 000) people and not get played anywhere on the radio- selling out an arena is an act of a popular band- that’s pop and that should be recognised by the BBC- a public service.
But, of course, they know better and they stick rigidly to their Cowell pop agenda and on the fringes white boy indie rules the roost- ok as a genre as well but rock is forced onto the fringes- do you hear any Scandinavian black metal? Nope- a hugely popular form of music across the world that never gets any mainstream attention. That’s just one corner of the rock empire that carries on ignoring the self-congratulating music mainstream. Even today Kerrang is still the best selling music weekly in the world and Metal hammer is one of the very few music papers that’s circulation increases.
The mainstream media pulls silly faces and acts zany and acts like its got something to do with music but it’s still populated by grinning buffoons and musical conservatives who are STILL scared of guitars turned up above 2/10 because it’s the sound of sex. They still play what they are told to by market researchers. They have the fear.
So Absolute Radio COO, Clive Dickens, told Music Week that guitar-based music was “in a real lull” in 2010 and George Ergatoudis, head of music at Radio 1, said “brilliant” rock songs were rare- someone from Radio 1 thinks rock is dead.
Radio One has never played rock music. It’s been terrified of anything that is loud and thrilling since the BBC created it to crush the pirates in the sixties. Of course they play fringe music in the evenings and they have loads of great DJ’s doing it pushed away when only the fanatics care. Daytime radio one has been an endless pitiless trough of inanity and always will be.
To be honest neither of these aforementioned heads of music are much to do with music. They hold all the power and have none of the interest. They wouldn’t know what a great rock song is.
You have a huge genre of music with its own infrastructure cut adrift from the cosy world of mainstream media, a mainstream media obsessed with celebrity.
How could it possibly understand what rock music was, how could they tell a good rock record from a bad rock record. They sit there in their ivory towers overlooking London pontificating about music occasionally then it’s back to the rounds of award ceremonies etc. They don’t live in the music world.
Rock is perfectly fine.
It exists in a huge cutting edge form well away from ”Ëwonderful’ Radio One and the hot top twenty countdown that no-one gives a toss about.
It can be Shellac recent astonishing gigs in the UK or Sunn O))) deconstructing music yet again and creating a new cutting edge. It can by AC/DC with the second best selling album of all time or it can be an endlessly noisy and huge sprawling underground world from punk to death metal. It never needed the charts- it was about music and community and not about being number 7.