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. The likes of Limp Bizkit and Blink 182 did their best to cement the idea of rock being for socially inept losers when they were top of the charts.

  2. That it’s a massive interest ignored by the media, is John’s point surely. Do you really think Mr Robb would miss something as fundamental as what you say, before he put finger to keyboard?

  3. The biggest bands in the world are rock bands, indie bands rarely get as big as rock bands and yet yet get 90 per cent of the media left over from the clutches of Cowell. Just interested as to why this happens.

  4. RT @louderthanwar: Why is rock such a dirty word in the media: If video killed the radio star did the music press try to… httpss:// …

  5. As always, to find great music, you’ve got to dig. That is the way it should be. Don’t mistake “biggest” for best, don’t mistake popular for good.

  6. It’s down to the taste of those covering – the sneering at metal bands has been going on for years, NME always did it, Grauniad still does it, MM did it a bit, only Sounds and the specialist press ever seemed to give the bands I liked a fair press. With that in mind is it a wonder that papers and mainstream media are sneering about rock music, something they associate with loud ugly men?

    I just think that so many specialist writers and papers are worried about “credibility” and they see Rock bands as not having any, they seem rock bands as old, dumb, sexist and just no good despite having millions of loyal fans.

    As for the Cowell thing, well it suits the papers – every year a crop of fresh youngsters that can be manipulated and milked, some safe, some a tiny bit dangerous but in a “nice” way.

    I think it’s always happened with pop bands it suits papers as they are squeezed for time and cash and you can cover the Cowell shows by just sitting a hack or two in front of the TV for an evening, writing copy as you go, you can regurgitate press releases and easily fill front pages, it suits everyone…

  7. ‘rock’ isn’t a dirty word it’s just an obsolete one. ‘rock’ has become meaningless. if you trace rock back to rock n roll or even pre-rock and roll, early blues or blues/bluegrass mutations, the rock element was just a eupmeism for the beat, rock n’ roll just means fucking, a fucking music for fuckers, black and white – jerry lee or little richard – true rocl n’ rollers – what it ended up as is whining white boys performing karaoke versions of robert johnson – robert plant’s screech became the template for 70s/80s ‘rock’ and glam/punk was just a return to garage basic thump – rock isn’t dead it’s just an old man in a nursing home looking at his old photos…or summat.

  8. Most of what is termed “indie rock” is watered down crap for the masses. No surprise that the biggest bands in the world are still the rock and metal giants.

  9. The world of Cowell has drama – yes it’s vapid drama, yes it’s manufactured contrived drama but it generates an interest from some. I don’t know why, but it does. There is no drama in rock, in fact drama is almost frowned upon and dismissed. Sadly for every John Lydon, Morrissey or even Noel Gallagher, there are 100 Kelly Jones-types – dull, uninspiring potatoes and peas “rock stars” who think they have licence to be in your life because they have a guitar strap around them and “not that manufactured chart shite”. Ugh! Where are the troublemakers, the big-mouths, the flies in the ointment, the uninvited guests, the gate-crashers? I don’t think the record business, being in the position it’s in at present, allows for such people. I’d love to be wrong.

  10. Rock to me sounds no older than electronic music.In 1979 I thought electronic music was the future and didn’t like old bands now I have electronic music going back to the 50’s and it started earlier,but I prefer rock overall.Rock music now to me is as valid as any other,the idea that electronicc or hip hop music is new in 2013,you’re joking.Even adam ant was rapping in 1981.The shock of the new seems an outdated concept now dependant on the fact that you may have forgotten what went before.Indie though,I agree it’s watered down,a no-mans land.Give me Black Sabbath or Daft Punk instead.

  11. 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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