So I’m convinced that we are going to enter another great age of music.
As you shake your head in disgust, stop yourself for a second to hear me out – you know that you’re either going back to look at pictures of cats or pornography if you close the tab. So that can wait. The internet will always have cats and pornography. They are the death and taxes of the telecommunications age.
Different musical aesthetics tend to occur in cycles – things that are very light, poppy and corporate are followed by the raw, energetic and angry, and then back again. I’m thinking of how punk followed disco, how grunge followed glam rock. So we’ve had our American Idols, Katy Perrys, Justin Biebers and the like just DOMINATING the news and airwaves. Sure the Arcade Fire won a Grammy but… you know. COME ON. Where is the takeover? Where is the moment that music critics will look back to and say “That… there. That’s where it all changed.” The moment where Simon Cowell says ‘oh shit’ and realizes that his empire has seen its peak? (Not that it matters to him, the man has made him self a fortune doing what he does. Also, I just don’t think he would ever say ‘oh shit’ at anything.)
It hasn’t happened yet. But the ground forces are amassing. The first cries of “rock and roll are dead” have been heard in the media. Maybe rock and roll is on the decline, but the roots from which rock sprang are far from dead. Do the blues ever die? DO THEY? Or does the blues take on a new get up every ten to twenty years, steaming through the glass wall of musical bullshit that we’ve allowed to build around us to deliver some honesty, sincerity and some fucking feeling? The desire to hear someone play with their heart, as Bill Hicks would attest, will never die, never wane. Not as long as someone out there is dealing with the difficulties that come a long with being a human being.
It’s happening though. People are picking up guitars, learning to sing, because what they hear on the radio no longer represents what they feel in their hearts. And if someone else is incapable of saying what they feel, of making them feel like they are not alone in the everyday struggle, then they will take it upon themselves to make that emotion public. Don’t worry Gaga. We’ll always have Pokerface.