Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where's Our John Lennon?

A great, great piece by Alex Young on the WNEW Blog regarding the current state of music and the lack of legendary presences. His point, and I'll echo it, is that when you look at the scene today, do you see any up and coming legends? We still have Bruce, and Dylan, and Macca can show up at the Grammy's, do "I Saw her Standing There" and bring the house down, but it also serves to remind us that so much of what exists today is...well...lame.

I know, I've been down this road before, but Alex hits the nail on the head. Read on...
Regardless of the reasons, the fact is my generation - the twenty-somethings who devour music like it's chocolate, attend concerts like they are the second coming - lacks its version of Beatlemania, a Joe Strummer, or band of punk misfits who not only created a movement, but helped change a culture. Yet for whatever reason, we don't really seem to mind, or even realize it until such opportunities like a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Fame present themselves. Instead, we blast our ear drums with Animal Collective, and take to music festivals where Kings of Leon and the Killers, bands which wouldn't even have been given a second listen in the '60s and '70s, perform to hundreds of thousands. We've become immune to mediocrity, and it's primarily our own doing. Seriously, who ever thought snooty hipster cynicism was a good idea? In cases like these, the idea of "the good old days" couldn't be more appropriate.
Now I know of late-thirty-somethings who are behaving like this, but the fact of the matter is that it's a rather clueless way to go.

I'm not going to throw all contemporary artists to the curb. Kings of Leon have their moments, for instance, and there are plenty of other acts that are OK, but none of them are, at least to me, going to be sitting on the mighty throne with the Beatles, Hendrix, Elvis, The Clash, The Stones, Springsteen, and so on. You have to figure that at least once in a generation we get something beyond. Hell the 90's at least gave us Cobain. Right now, though, I don't see it.

I just don't sense the true amazing overwhelming greatness. Maybe that's why so many of these acts bring all style and zero substance to their stage shows to hide the fact that they just...might...not be very good. (I wanted to use another word that rhymes with "cluck" and is what you do when using a straw, but I've been reminded that you never know who's reading).

Just sayin'.

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