December 23, 2010

"This is pretty much proof that rock music is dead, right?"

"We're not gonna tell Nickelback to come back because all is forgiven, but this warm washcloth of facepalmy puns and cutey-poo pukulele might be why Captain Beefheart died."

(Also via ALOTT5MA.)

64 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

For me rock has been dead for about the last 25 years. Now its just a bunch of namby pamby jackwagons who all sound about the same and look like they haven't bathed or gotten thier haircut in 6months.

Youngblood said...

A Village Voice blog getting all snarky about a pop song that's not by an act that's not big among male homosexuals and over the hill used-to-be hipsters?

Stop the presses!

jr565 said...

Captain Beefheart may be a genius, but his vocal stylings make Tom Waits sound like all the Beach Boys combined singing harmony.
(and I don't hate some captain beefheart, but he was completely non commercial and barely rock).
Not to say that Train is great. I almost never listen to the radio anymore so don't think I've even heard this song. But perhaps this is a bit of the wrath of the critics. They like to seek out the new "it" band that they can discover who is just avante garde enough to be cool. And Train, apparently, is too commercial. So therefore are uncool. yet, until the mid sixties a lot of rock was totally commercial. Woudn't these critics find such bands like the Beatles or Fats Domino to be similarly uncool? And why should rap or r&B similarly not face the critics scorn. In the top 100 is there any song on the R&B charts that would match a James Brown, or an Otis Redding or a Marvin Gaye or a Sam cooke? So then similarly, r&B is dead.

Clyde said...

I haven't heard any of the songs on that list; I probably haven't heard any of the stuff they liked, either. Too old to rock and roll, too young to die.

Probably the only trendy thing I've listened to recently is The Secret Sisters.

My most recent musical purchases were Hot Burritos! The Flying Burrito Brothers Anthology 1969-1972 and The Very Best of Wynn Stewart 1958-1962, so you can tell what my current interests are.

traditionalguy said...

Rock and Roll ended with Chuck Berry, and the rest are imitators.

Youngblood said...

jr565,

While I get where you're going (hipsters wouldn't dare diss black musicians), it's not true. I am quite certain that if you read the Village Voice during the period when crunk (a type of rap that's unironically about having a good time) was most popular, you would have seen the same kind of thing.

And R&B? Music critics are barely aware of its existence, and they rarely give it any coverage, positive or negative.

garage mahal said...

I never understood the term "rock music" to begin with. What exactly is "rock"? It's rock and roll, fools.

Sixty Grit said...

"It makes the California Raisins look like the second coming of Sly and the Family Stone."

That made me laugh.

WV: swars - I swars it did...

Youngblood said...

Er... My first comment should have read "...by an act that's not big among..." Ignore the silly double negative.

Revenant said...

I don't think I've heard ANY of the songs on this list.

traditionalguy said...

As I understand it, Rock and Roll is the music played by the black piano players in New Orleans whore houses trying to keep a happy mood going in a house of the rising sun milieux. It is slang for the sex act, which it accompanied. Elvis and Jerry lee Lewis brought it over to white culture, and then Chuck Berry perfected it.

Popville said...

One a positive note, how about the incredibly catchy rocker Darling Buds of May from soon-to-be-overhyped Britpop 2.0 hopefulls Brother? Awful band name tho, reminiscent of yet another crappy hippy group out of Portland.

somefeller said...

I never understood the term "rock music" to begin with. What exactly is "rock"? It's rock and roll, fools.

Not really. Rock and roll has a little something something that rock doesn't have.

Example: AC/DC with Bon Scott = rock and roll. AC/DC with Brian Johnson = rock.

Nothing wrong with rock, but there is a slight difference.

WV: colin - the name of the lead singer of a rock band.

MadisonMan said...

I see you drivin' 'round town with that list you wrote,

and I'm like, F*ck you.

Any list of bad songs that does not include I Whip my hair (shudder) is not to be taken seriously.

(Apologies to Cee-lo)

Quayle said...

"The way you move ain't fair, ya know"?

Next he'll be rhyming lady with baby.

Cedarford said...

traditionalguy said...
Rock and Roll ended with Chuck Berry, and the rest are imitators.

================
You hear the same irritating remark in any sport or art form or entertainment genre. Homage to some long-gone figure, assertion that everyone since is derivative, fraudent, a "mere imitator", a pale shadow of the Great Ur-Figure of the Genre.

All basketball is just imitators of Bill Russell.
Nothing truly great and original has been done since Shakespeare closed the book (!) on writing.
Every girl on ice skates since Sonja Henning is a pale shadow.
How can you listen to any classic music written after the Great Masters of the 18th and 19th Century died?

I think that Rock has actually suffered from a fear of being derivative and a cabal of lawyer creeps tying to sue for anything they claim was "influenced" by some past artist.
So now you get people that strive to be "original" over just being good and entertaining.

Alex said...

For me rock has been dead for about the last 25 years.

Just another fuddy-duddy. You obviously don't care about grunge, alt-rock, the new wave of singer-songwriters that have blossomed over the last 25 years. I bet you didn't even like The Smiths.

Alex said...

How can you listen to any classic music written after the Great Masters of the 18th and 19th Century died?

Best classical composers of the 20th century

Listen to Prokofiev and tell me that isn't exciting stuff.

Jason (the commenter) said...

On the radio new rock music is dead, but what plays on the radio isn't a very good barometer of musical taste anymore.

Alex said...

The place to find new music is on the internet, not radio!

Revenant said...

You obviously don't care about grunge

Does anyone?

Scott M said...

"Rock is dead"

Shinedown says otherwise.

Growing up in the 70's and 80's, the self-centered Boomers would deride this new band or that with the common refrain, "will anyone even know who they are in 20 years?" To answer the "does anyone care about grunge" comment, it's almost 20 years later and some of the core "grunge" bands are still in heavy rotation, still sell extremely well, and are still named as huge influences on up and coming groups.

The early-to-mid 90's saw an explosion in extremely diverse and talented rock acts as alt-rock became mainstream...lol...as funny as that is to think.

edutcher said...

Agree with Hoosier and garage (yeah, I know... it's Christmas).

When it went from rock 'n' roll to rock. It didn't die so much as it was murdered.

The Crack Emcee said...

As someone who was in the business, I say NewAge killed rock just as it's killing everything else. I can't tell you how often I had roadblocks put in my way, even when people thought I was a Lefty, because I wasn't "humble" in the Buddhist sense - and where, in this age of the Tea Party, are the conservatives? They can't get in. It's impossible. Music is locked up harder than Hollywood - much harder. NewAgers OWN it, like the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Alex said...

Crack - did New Age killed grunge, Radiohead, Brit Pop? Not by a long shot! Now look at Lady Gaga - the biggest artist on the planet doing IN YO FACE pop music!

Alex said...

OH and Rihanna is huge too doing R&B/Pop.

Ann Althouse said...

"I never understood the term "rock music" to begin with. What exactly is "rock"? It's rock and roll, fools."

It's really annoying to distinguish between rock and rock and roll. I've listened to lectures that I need to care about this distinction... and I didn't like it.

Alex said...

Rock N Roll is something that is 1950s to early 1960s. Rock is something that was invented by The Beatles in 1966 when they first put a Rickenbacker bass on a record.

Alex said...

Essentially The Beatles early 1966 single "Paperback Writer/Rain" was the first true rock record.

jr565 said...

Alex wrote:
Rock is something that was invented by The Beatles in 1966 when they first put a Rickenbacker bass on a record.

Only a lot of rock doesnt' use rickenbacker basses, so that really is a distinction that doesn't provide an actual answer.
By the way, I just happened to see Rain on broadway, and the song Rain was noticably absent. Wtf?
Why call it Rain if the song Rain isn't played?
Also of note, the guy who plays Mccartney in the show is the same guy that did the fake WIngs song Love Take me Down from the Role Models movie. Got a great chuckle out of that.
As to the play itself, it's not the Beatles, but they do a credible job of emulating them. It's harmless, but is essentially Beatlemania, and I didn't quite get the point of that either. Still, people seemed to like it a lot.

Mitch H. said...

Rock n' Roll went to Europe with a hick name, and got back with a hip one-name label, just "Rock", like Madonna or Bono.

Alternatively, you can think of it as Barry Soetaro deciding to become Barrack H. Obama once he hit high school.

All that being said, most of what I used to listen to was properly speaking "rock". or prog-rock.

I'm fairly certain I haven't heard a single song written during 2010. Finally got around to listening to the whole of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road the other day, though... everything worth listening to had already been strip-mined for classic rock radio. Still half the record, but it wasn't exactly Highway 61 Revisited.

Alex said...

jr - my point is that in early '66 the Rickenbacker bass was a totally new sound in pop. Combine that with McCartney's lead style of bass playing and you had a totally new sound in pop. So much so that you had to start thinking of it as "rock". Genres started melting into each other in the middle 1960s...

Also on "Rain" Ringo Starr probably reaches the apex of his drumming. Then there is Lennon's backwards recorded vocals in the outro. Amazing stuff for early 1966.

Ann Althouse said...

"Amazing stuff for early 1966."

What does that even mean? 1966 was the greatest year for rock/rock and roll. I'd like to see any other year go head-to-head with 1966 and win. To say pretty good for 1966 is ridiculous. It's like saying "pretty smart, for Einstein."

Alex said...

I still think that The Beatles "Revolver" is the best album of all time. It's the perfect fusion of pop/rock/chamber-pop and psychedelic experimentalism. All in a way that is totally accessible and cool.

Alex said...

Hell "Tommorow Never Knows" literally invented techno music and they didn't even realize it. That's what genius The Beatles were.

Alex said...

1966 was the greatest year for rock/rock and roll.

Not sure about that professor. I'd say ANY year from 1967-1969 are equal contenders.

1967 alone:

Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny lane
Sgt Pepper
The Moody Blues first album
Are You Experienced
Disreali Gears
Pink Floyd's debut album
Monterrey Pop Festival
All You Need is Love satellite special
The Doors first 2 albums

Alex said...

Oh and most of all from 1967 who could forget Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale". Bringing Bach to the masses.

Rialby said...

Jack White is the only man producing mainstream rock anymore. Don't believe me? Name another one.

Alex said...

Muse continue to fly the flag for modern rock. At least some of the time.

Rialby said...

Muse is good but hardly mainstream.

Rock is dead.

Alex said...

Rialby - how does one even define mainstream anymore? All I know is what sounds great to my ears and what offends them.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Amazing stuff for early 1966."

What does that even mean? 1966 was the greatest year for rock/rock and roll. I'd like to see any other year go head-to-head with 1966 and win. To say pretty good for 1966 is ridiculous. It's like saying "pretty smart, for Einstein."


For rock, maybe, but, as I said, that's probably the year rock 'n' roll was murdered.

'57, '58 was it for rock 'n' roll. great stuff, incredibly dynamic - Buddy Holy, Elvis at his best, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, the beginnings of the Drifters.

I know - if it didn't have Dylan, it was antediluvian.

Alex said...

For rock, maybe, but, as I said, that's probably the year rock 'n' roll was murdered.

You know, all those late 50s records are still there for your amusement. The rest of us are glad music evolved until we have now achieved Lady Gaga.

knox said...

The Train song is bad, but still light years better than any of the Sugar Ray songs that were played incessantly when that band was big. I remember feeling like there was no escaping them.

bagoh20 said...

I don't give a shit what anybody else likes, calls rock, or thinks is better than something else. If I like it, I sure as hell ain't gonna let someone talk me out of it. I am the un-paralleled expert in all things that bagoh20 likes. Nobody here knows shit about that. If someone thinks something I like sucks, but thinks something else I like is genius, are they they an idiot, confused or just not me.

Nobody rocks bagoh20 like bagoh20. The dude is always right on about his music. IMHO.

c3 said...

1966 was the greatest year for rock/rock and roll.

Professor, that simply demonstrates your age and the coincident biases. I just went on google and picked a random year from the '70's (my favorite Rock decade) and I got:

1971: among the great songs: American Pie Don McLean; Brown Sugar Stones; Baba O-Reilly Who; Black Dog Led Zeppelin.... you get the idea.


Muse is good but hardly mainstream.

Huh!! Among the movies that have used Muse are: Twilight, 28 Weeks Later, Seven Pounds....

I mean "Twilight" is the ultimate teen-fad movie

Pogo said...

I still fall in love with new songs, but not nearly as often.

I once pursued music lustily, aching for the next album by someone, ravenously devouring new sounds.

Once, I thought a love like that would not fade away, but the leaves that are green turn to brown.

Something like that.

donttread2010 said...

Rock, rock-n-roll, etc, etc, nothing that has come out in a long time sees any type of rotation as 'classic rock' even today.

Have to tip my hat to those that mentioned Buddy Holly, Chick Berry, Elvis, 1966 and Revolver, definitely notable. And there's a lot more after that. The 80's was transitional as it saw more electronic gadgets and sampling which changed things.

One lead to another; every act that came 'on the scene' was influenced by earlier artists/successes.

This reminds me of my father telling me about Duke Ellington, etc. while I was listening to Buffalo Springfield, CSN, Floyd, Yes, etc.

Its relative and highly subjective. Share accordingly with an open mind.

Lady Gaga does nothing for me but my wife and daughter love the stuff.

Youngblood said...

The only thing lamer than Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" is making fun of Train's "Hey, Sould Sister" with a hackneyed joke about Nickelback that's about five years out of date.

jamboree said...

1966: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly kicked everything else's butt. Released in '67, but made in '66.

I don't say that lightly. I'm X gen, but had fondness for things Beatle anyway.

Then a few years age, I watched "The Man With No Name" series when it was on TV- had never seen it before, only read the Hunter Thompson allusions. (I was a quite embarrassed about watching a Western, you know, until I got into it about the time Tuco killed his minder on the tracks and jumped back on the caboose to Morricone's Banshee-Hawk cries.

Rock bands didn't reach this level of '66 poncho, idiosyncratic, gunslinger ironic cool until the 70s - John Lennon himself didn't even reach poser status on this until his 1969, black hat, rabbinical, velvet pants, skinny-fat, druggy cowboy "El Topo" phase.

Then I did the numbers and it just amazed me that Eastwood must have been running around with that poncho for the first in the series (and already meditating btw) when the Beatles were still doing that embarrassing shakey head stuff on Ed Sullivan.

Hah. Schooled. :-)

Merry Christmas Eve everyone.

AST said...

Is it that I'm getting old?

I got to the point that I chained the channel every time that song came on. What annoyed me most was the stretch to find a rhyme for "sister" and coming up with "Ain't that Mister Mister" I hadn't really noticed the fellatio metaphor, but as poetry it stinks. But then so do the lyrics of most pop music.

Another one that brings the hook our is "Little Lion Man" by Mumford and Sons.

And if Norah Jones' "Don't Know Why I Didn't Come" is about what I think, it's TMI.

AST said...

Sirius/XM Deep Tracks tonight is all songs about home.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

Crack - did New Age killed grunge, Radiohead, Brit Pop? Not by a long shot! Now look at Lady Gaga - the biggest artist on the planet doing IN YO FACE pop music!

Dude, all you're doing is making my point for me:

From Kurt Cobain killing himself to Lady GaGa's "spiritual" bullshit - it's all DEAD.

As much as I like them, I had to take Radiohead's collection off my iPod because they ruin the flow of my shuffle - proof to me they haven't made a decent crossover song (something for everyone) in their entire career. And, if you think GaGa's doing good pop music, then you're merely a sycophant with no knowledge of (or concern for) the history of pop music. (Right now they're claiming Kanye West has the best album of the year - must've been a bad year!) Waaay better has been done, by way more people, than these losers will ever touch.

It's sad you don't know enough not to know that, but it also explains why bad shit is so prominent now. Some people will buy anything and then, because they bought it, declare it brilliant. It ain't:

You're just ignorant.

BTW - where's those conservatives I asked for?

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann,

It's really annoying to distinguish between rock and rock and roll.

Jesus, this should be obvious:

Rock 'N' Roll swings.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

Rock is something that was invented by The Beatles in 1966 when they first put a Rickenbacker bass on a record.

That's stupid on it's face.

The Crack Emcee said...

Rialby,

Jack White is the only man producing mainstream rock anymore. Don't believe me? Name another one.

Don't have to - there are literally billions of artists out there - to say only one is doing anything is asinine.

Where do you guys get this stuff?

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

All I know is what sounds great to my ears and what offends them.

Then sit down and shut up - you're an expert on one thing:

Your own fucking ears.

The Crack Emcee said...

Alex,

You know, all those late 50s records are still there for your amusement. The rest of us are glad music evolved until we have now achieved Lady Gaga.

Gawd, you're an idiot - most people can't name one of her songs and have probably only heard a snippet of "Bad Romance" on the radio - which didn't make them run out and buy the album. I don't have one of her songs in my .mp3 collection and I own over 20,000 songs. I talk with artists, DJs, and musicians every day and her name only comes up as a joke.

Tell me, is your stupidity also something you recently "achieved"?

The Crack Emcee said...

bagoh20,

bagoh20 said...
I don't give a shit what anybody else likes, calls rock, or thinks is better than something else. If I like it, I sure as hell ain't gonna let someone talk me out of it. I am the un-paralleled expert in all things that bagoh20 likes. Nobody here knows shit about that. If someone thinks something I like sucks, but thinks something else I like is genius, are they they an idiot, confused or just not me.

Nobody rocks bagoh20 like bagoh20. The dude is always right on about his music. IMHO.


Talk to Alex - give him permission to repeat this speech, so he doesn't sound like an idiot, will you?

The Crack Emcee said...

donttread2010,

Rock, rock-n-roll, etc, etc, nothing that has come out in a long time sees any type of rotation as 'classic rock' even today.

Have to tip my hat to those that mentioned Buddy Holly, Chick Berry, Elvis, 1966 and Revolver, definitely notable. And there's a lot more after that. The 80's was transitional as it saw more electronic gadgets and sampling which changed things.

One lead to another; every act that came 'on the scene' was influenced by earlier artists/successes.

This reminds me of my father telling me about Duke Ellington, etc. while I was listening to Buffalo Springfield, CSN, Floyd, Yes, etc.

Its relative and highly subjective. Share accordingly with an open mind.

Lady Gaga does nothing for me but my wife and daughter love the stuff.


I agree with everything you've said except for the 'highly subjective" part - what you like is, but not where it fits in the musical canon.

My old man talked to me about music, too, but he was cool. I'd play him something new and he'd say, "We did that/that was done in 19-so-and-so" and then play me the recording that proved he was right. I got an outstanding musical education that way because we both wanted to hear everything the other had to offer - and my Dad(s) played with everybody. (I had a sister, Yonine Mingus.) The only artist I could bring my father that made him really sit up and pay attention was Zappa. (He said, "He plays serious music but he doesn't take himself seriously.") Zappa made him laugh.

Lady GaGa is garbage.

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey Alex,

Thought you ought to see this.

Before you, you know, speak again.

Alex said...

As much as I like them, I had to take Radiohead's collection off my iPod because they ruin the flow of my shuffle - proof to me they haven't made a decent crossover song (something for everyone) in their entire career.

What about "Fake Plastic Trees"? That's pretty mainstream.

Methadras said...

hate these yuppie douche bands that come off as bohemian hippy free-love douche nozzles that you have to pay a small mint to see like train and Dave Matthews Band and deal with the incessant New Age references to spirituality and the like. Give me a herioned up Miles Davis any day over this crap.

Methadras said...

I was driving up to Vacaville from Pleasant Hill last to do some Christmas shopping and on the way up I was listening to a station, can't remember which and they were playing 50's music and had a spate of Buddy Holly and luckily I've got an app that can record whatever is on my radio and I replaying that Buddy Holly stuff and I swear to God I heard riffs that were as modern as today. It blew me away how great that was.