Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Rock's Big Bounce... or Get A Clue

flaminglips_wayne_coyne photo by John Shearer

From a Newsweek article on MSNBC by Devin Gordon on how alternative rock is making a comeback and saving the music industry from iteself. Similar to an earlier story this year where the mainstream media is a couple of years behind what is actually happening with Internet radio. The sub-headlind of the article implies that it has taken 10 years since Kurt Cobain died to make it safe to go back into the mosh pit. Here's the timely analysis:

"If you tuned out on rock music a few years ago because you just couldn't stand to hear another Creed song, it's time to come back to the flock. For too long that giddy sense of digging up buried treasure that comes with discovering a new band was a once-, maybe twice-yearly occurrence. Now, thanks in part to file-sharing and iPods, which have turned even graying rock fans into music collectors again, it's hard to get through the week without making a find. We're in a golden age for pure songwriting, with rare talents like Gibbard, the Shins' James Mercer and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy revitalizing the four-minute pop song and making a case that, in fact, it hasn't all been done before. If there's one knock against this new school of rock, it's that no one seems willing to step up and become class president. 'At some point, Bono looked at Elvis and said, 'Yeah, that's what I'm gonna do,' ' says former Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. A fractured pop climate and a general cynicism about musical saviors, he argues, has made young bands even less likely to pursue grand visions than Pearl Jam and Nirvana were. 'There's just as much talent in this generation, but the constant message to kids starting new bands is: this is really not that important.'"

And more on the impact of digital downloading on the industry:

"'Each month we get our statements from Applefor our music bought on iTunes and we're starting to make some serious money there,' says Jonathan Poneman, founder of Nirvana's original label, Sub Pop Records, whose roster now includes the Postal Service, the jangling guitar rockers the Shins, and Southern-smoked folkie Iron & Wine. 'If that model's working, and it appears to be, that changes everything.'"

An interesting discussion thread on the article on Donewaiting - Is Rock Improving?.


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