Bullet to the Head

Is Rock n Roll really dead?
U2, the so-called Gods of Rock, says so.  So it most certainly must be.
Right?
Uh huh. Right.

Don’t get me wrong – I do like U2.  But honey, they ain’t no Gods of Rock. Nor Roll.  They are a well oiled money making grabbing machine, that at one time, had the potential to be GREAT.  But then came Zoopora.  And it all went to the shits after that.  (And yes, I will admit, I did buy Zooropa because I was a hard core U2 fan… but man, I remember asking at the time… WTF??? I haven’t purchased a CD since, except for the latest album No Line on the Horizon that was supposed to be a throw back to the good ol’ days… but alas.  Tis not.)

U2 is only pissy because they didn’t get the sales they had seen in previous years, so they decided to extend their tour into 2010.  Hmmm… perhaps if they hadn’t pissed off a few people over the radio royalties issue, it wouldn’t have impacted  the band’s bottom dollar.  Not saying they are right or wrong here – just saying: if you piss off the people who are instrumental in getting your music on the radio waves… you’re bound to feel it. Just saying, is all.

A little Diva’esque, n’est-çe-pas?

Long gone are the days of big album sales.
Video killed the radio star.
Internet killed album sales.
And it introduced us to new genre of music, styles, lyrical content – making more accessible to the world.  No one wants to pay $15-25 anymore for an album or a CD that only has 3 decent songs on it.  We have the option to not do so anymore.
Time to get with the games here.
Keep up with the times.

The music industry isn’t the cash cow it once was, ‘thanks’ to the internet.  Labels are loosing big money because of their contracts and clauses that legally cut out royalties that should be going to the artists – where the savvy artists just don’t want to sign.  New artists that aren’t Disney-mated or who are easily manipulated and with no musical or personal integrity, will succeed because they don’t care.  There’s no longevity with them instant-pop stars.  They are mass produced, disposable and feed the instant gratification-with-no-substance aspect of society. Everyone is a rockstar after a few lessons of the guitar or drums.  Very few artists are TRUE ARTISTS to their form. What we have in its popular place is the superficial, candified synthesized voiced music (the “I-can’t-really-sing-but-you-think-I-can-because-of-this-computer-thingy-over-here-that-makes-me-sound-better-than-I-really-am” syndrome) that has inundated our radio waves.

And because there is sooo much of the fake artistry, synthesized music, it would appear as though, Rock n Roll is INDEED dead.  Died a quiet, whimpering death.  At least at first glance.

But look more carefully.
We are cyclical creatures.
Yes – big albums are extinct.  Get with the times U2 and stop bellyaching.
Yes – we are now in a period of fast-food type music.  Instant gratification with morbid ramifications – like the pop-culture addicts we are.
But there still exists, and will continue to do so – an underground current of actual artists that have evolved.  They come equipped with their own business sense (that is until they sell-out).  They are the ones who are gonna keep Rock n Roll alive.  The traditional heavy-metal look of the 70’s Rock n Roll… is dead.  But that is superficial.

Rock ‘n Roll will only be dead when we stop looking deeper.
Rock ‘n Roll is not dead yet.  Don’t put on your Sunday finest just yet.  No funeral is gonna take place.  We still have a discriminating audience that exists.  And the day that U2 is construed as rock ‘n roll… will be the day that Milley Cyrus will be hot and talented. Hey – there is an audience for every type of music.  Play it – they will listen.  Sad but true.  Not overly discriminating now, is it?  Well I fall at times, into that indiscriminate fast-food fix of music category.  I admit it. *Sigh*

And yes.
I am going to the U2 360º Tour concert tonight.
But I also know the difference between what is deemed rock ‘n roll and what isn’t.
Maybe they should learn that too… might help them figure out their slumping sales…
Just saying, is all.

Post U2 360º Tour Concert Review….
Grrrrrr.  Nothing frustrates me more than lack of integrity or principle.

The ultimate and consummate performer and entertainers that they are – they did put on a great show.  The stage alone was übber impressive!

But that is if you can look past the religious I ♥ Jesus undertones that become much more apparent at the concert (might as well been to a Christian ‘Rock’ concert) or the down-your-throat-with-a-rubber-hose political stances he asks you to take… then you be OK.  But what gets my fire burning…

You complain about ‘Rock ‘n Roll being dead.’
Yet you ask the fucken Black Eye Peas (who were TERRIBLE I might add… oh man please… go back underground BEP – you were much better thenor I might get punched in the face for saying YOU SUCK!!!) to open up for you?
And THEN you infuse your music – even the classic pre-Zooropa U2 music that we all fell in love with… WITH ELECTRONICA??
You serious?

I was blown away.
How could they be soooo lacking on principle?  It was borderline – hypocritical!
Was I entertained?  Yes. How could I not be?
But with the articles that were written (see links above) with them crying wolf… I had a hard time tuning out the voices in my head screaming louder than BEP were … HYPOCRITE!!!

They lost sooo much credibility for me.
And that’s a damn shame too.
They killed their own Rock ‘n Roll.
Greedy bastards.

-And Old Iron says:

Rock, like any music, is a mutable beast that has survived countless attempts at it’s destruction. Take, for example, the dreaded disco era from around 1975 to the mid eighties. That vapid, trite pile of talentless garbage was supposedly the death of rock and roll with it’s catchy, hooky beats and flashy lifestyle advertisements, but in the end salvation for the genre came on the backs of bands like 38 Special and Journey, due partially to how fickle the public is in regards to “new”, and the one thing that rock has that pop/disco/etc. never will:

SUBSTANCE.

Now I’ll not hide in the slightest that I like rock. I like it ALOT. I would hit it with ether, tie it up in my basement and rape it on a constant basis if rock had a physical form (…Lita Ford maybe?) but as I can’t put a concept in a rape dungeon let’s just settle on me liking it, listening to it, and even playing it, as I am a drummer. Hell, I worked for a couple of years in a rock bar as a bartender and loved EVERY minute of it. This allows me a certain inside scoop when it comes to the current condition of music, as it seems that the purveying mentality of the industry and all of it’s parephrials is not to innovate; not to move in new directions to viably market their product in this modern environment, but instead to circle the wagons and discard anything outside of a currently profitable model, and to hell with any actual long-term viability, which in my experience is literally a death sentence for them or any industry that tries this.

Now I can understand wanting to preserve a product model that has been proven to consistently pay out, but in the case of the music industry, top to bottom, not only are they grasping furiously to a model that current technologies are proving to be obsolete (DRM anyone?) but they have also evaporated any monies that had been previously dedicated to innovation, which in this case would be not only finding a viable way to sell your product and still retain profit margins, but also…. well, how do I put this.

I guess honesty is the best policy on this one.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MODERN MUSIC; AS ALL OF THE SHIT THAT I HAVE HEARD ON THE PUBLIC RADIO CHANNELS IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS IS BASICALLY A REGURGITATION OF SHIT THAT I HEARD IN 1998.

I mean come on people, the industry is farming a fucking gameshow for new talent.

It is just bizarre.  No kidding, I was listening to the radio on my last rotation and thought that Stone Temple Pilots had came out with another album, as the song that was on was almost identical in progression and architecture to STP’s style … but it ended up being some new band that sounded EXACTLY like them. Now don’t get me wrong, I like STP (the old stuff, not that really strange stuff the came out with later on) but to me it was as if someone sat around and said “Woah, these guys sound just enough like an old product that we sold to be potentially marketable, but slightly different enough to slap a new name on them and squash any potential comparisons to said previous product”. It was almost embarrassing to listen to, like seeing an 80 year old with a boob job and a face lift wearing a bikini at a beach.

Ew.

So what is a person to do if they hear that rock is dead, but want to disprove it?

Simple.

STEP 1: Go to a college. I know you have one nearby because hey, you gotta have SOME place to pick up chicks that are extremely younger (and dumber) than you are, right? You can substitute a music store, but there are more perky tits on your local campus, and hey, who doesn’t like perky tits?

STEP 2: Find a cork board that people post crap on, and find the fliers for local shows. Now I need to warn you about this one. Not all of the bands that put up fliers on these boards are good. In fact, you could probably replace the band members with trained epileptic gorillas that just ate a batch of magic mushrooms and you would get a better sound out of them, but you gotta take the plunge some time, right?

STEP 3:Go to some of the shows.

What you will find (as mentioned above) is a TON of really REALLY bad musicians playing on instruments that their parents bought them and that they should be beaten with, but you will occasionally get a jewel in the rough that will blow your mind right out of your underpants in that they sound nothing like what you hear on the radio and everything like GOOD MUSIC. THIS environment is where rock has gone to gestate, and as I hate to have to piont this out, but like freedom and $20 handjobs in the back of strip clubs, rock will never die.

It just stepped out to smoke a cigarette while the listening public grows up and fixes their shit.

-And to file a restraining order on me.

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About ~KC~
Strong but open minded, opinionated, sensitive, vivacious, outgoing, caring, compassionate, spiritual, habitual, mutable, at times controversial, sometimes superficial, perceived as egotistical and knowledgeable but mostly loveable... all things Sagittarius.

2 Responses to Bullet to the Head

  1. Old Iron says:

    Oh, and one quick comment.

    Fuck U2 with a telephone pole. Those guys suck left nut.

    Wake me up when Motorhead and Thin Lizzy gets back on the radio.

  2. Rob Alferi says:

    KC I do agree with you, rock and roll maybe is dead, maybe not… but there’s a LONG LONG list of people too young too die and at the sametime too old to rock and roll…

    I’ve listened to their Sheffield live act (recorded live on August 8th 2009) and even if they were not that bad… they didn’t knock me off my chair…

    There has been a time (many many years ago…) when I listened to their music in such an obsessive way, playing all their songs (and trying to figure out how The Edge was playing) but then the thing grew dim…

    I guess that Achtung Baby was the last U2 record, then they seem to be lost in fhe flood for some reasons but I guess that the only reason, the only TRUE reason, is that time goes on and you get old… and things change, that’s what has happened to a lot of old rockers (even if Springsteen proves me wrong any time I see his live act) who simply are not able anymore to produce good music even if they’re good performers of their own songs. Not that good musicians, Bono has still one of the best voices around in rock and roll, Mullen is quite a good drummer and even if Clayton is not a “master in bass guitar” can play his stuff and he’s really good at it. Edge has always been a particular guitarist so, it’s not a matter of “better” or “worse” because he’s the only one I know who plays guitar like that, he’s been the first, all the others are silly copies

    Ciao KC!
    Rob

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