Sunday, May 23, 2004

Rock of Ages

A very thoughtful and provocative article in The New York Times called "Rock of Ages " by NICK HORNBY. Hornby again deplores the state of rock music and its relevance. But manages find hope for today's and yesterday's generations.

    "Thirty years ago, almost to the day, Jon Landau published his influential, exciting, career-changing, and subsequently much derided and parodied article about Bruce Springsteen in The Real Paper, an alternative weekly. The article included the line 'I saw rock 'n' roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.' I had never read the rest of it until recently, and it remains a lovely piece of writing. It begins, heartbreakingly: 'It's four in the morning and raining. I'm 27 today, feeling old, listening to my records and remembering that things were different a decade ago.' I'm only guessing here, but I can imagine there are a number of you reading this who can remember what it was like to feel old at 27, and how it bears no resemblance to feeling old at 37, or 47. And you probably miss records almost as much as you miss being 27.

    It's hard not to think about one's age and how it relates to rock music. I just turned 47, and with each passing year it becomes harder not to wonder whether I should be listening to something that is still thought of as more age appropriate like jazz, folk, classical, opera, funeral marches, the usual suspects. You've heard the arguments a million times: most rock music is made by the young, for the young, about being young, and if you're not young and you still listen to it, then you should be ashamed of yourself. And finally I've worked out my response to all that: I mostly agree with the description, even though it's crude, and makes no effort to address the recent, mainly excellent work of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, Mr. Springsteen et al. The conclusion, however, makes no sense to me any more."

A number of interesting bands are mentioned including the up & coming Marah. Read the whole thing.


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