Long Live Rock

The fear that rock might be dead has plagued rock since the day rock was born. It cycles around every few years, the question “What if rock really is dead this time?” I think it become a debate every time a demographic has to face that it – and the artists it admires – has aged out of the zeitgeist. It’s really about the existentialism of fans facing their own mortality. The Who articulated it in 1974, when they themselves had to see their generation crest the hill of relevance and start going down the other side. Rock, of course, is never dead. It evolves and changes faces, and sometimes it may seem dead, but it’s just resting. Rock was far from being dead in 1974. ’74 was a great year for music, but it may not have looked like all that to fans who were becoming middle aged and finding themselves no longer fully in tune with the scene. The same question is being asked today, as 90’s kids goggle at the inexplicable wonders of EDM, and 2000’s indie hipsters mourn the decline of emo. Is rock dead now? It may be in a resting phase. I feel that there’s a lot of good music being made, and many young stars are on the verge of being minted, but nothing truly iconoclastic has yet emerged in this still-young decade. Inevitably, though, it will, and when it does the question will be not whether or not rock is dead or revived, but will I have the presence of mind to recognize it as living.


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