Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rock is Dead. Long Live Rock!

It is likely the most evergreen of all tropes about rock and roll. I swear I read something about it once a year, once a month, maybe once a week and have done so for my entire life as a fan of music. And that's the "rock is dead" proclamations (and its counter-genre, which includes this post, the "rock is not dead" rejoinder.) But news of rock's death is always premature.

Look, no matter what your particular preferences, the best time to be a fan of rock music (or for that matter hip hop or soul or anything else -- let's just subsume it all under the category of "pop" and not be too snobbish about it, eh?) is right now. Right this very minute. And if you are reading this tomorrow at 12:52, then the answer is "right this very minute." And the answer is so not because the music coming out now is better than the music coming out at any other time, but because that music does not disappear and there is always something worthwhile now. There is more moment at this instant than at any point in human history until the next moment, which will supplant this one.

Don't look at the charts. The best stuff rarely makes the top 40 or top 100 or this or that countdown. In fact, what tops the charts often sucks, is insipid pap that makes you lament the very state of the republic, indeed the planet. But the charts not only don't tell the whole story, they tell very little of the story at all. So ignore the cottage industry pronouncing "rock is dead" and the folks telling you that this band, this album, this movement, is going to save rock.

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