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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Revolution Rock

I beginning to feel like 1980 signified the death of rock and roll. If you think about it, there weren't any real large-scale rock and roll contributions in the 80s (yes, I know the Pixies were around in the 80s, hence the qualifier "large-scale"), although there were contributions from hip-hop, new wave, and various other subgenres of pop music. The 90s brought about new life from rock: The "Seattle Sound" of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and Alice in Chains were definitely significant. However, it's fair to wonder whether or not hip-hop played a much larger role in pop music during that time period, and especially in the short long-run that we can see today.

Was rock's rebirth in the early nineties or in 2000 with what has been called the "new rock revival" with The Strokes, The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, and to a lesser extent, The Vines, The Walkmen, and The Hives? Indie rock is experiencing unheard of levels of popularity, and people are beginning to search out good music anywhere they can find it when subjected to today's American Idol 15-minute-wonders and overplayed party-rap anthems on the radio.

Rock is certainly receiving more airplay than it was in the second half of the 90s, which seemed to be inhabited with the vanilla sounds of new-adult contemporary than anything really rock and roll. On the other hand though, you couldn't switch on a radio in 1993 without hearing from a band that would make its way to Lollapalooza at some point or another. How significant is what is happening now in rock and roll vs. the 90s rock resurgence? With the exception of a few of those bands from the 90s, I much prefer the rock that's coming out now, although maybe that's just because it's new. Lord knows I played Siamese Dream and Nevermind into the ground when I was thirteen. I suppose that only time will tell, but I feel like there's still more information out there on this that I haven't seen yet.