19
Apr 02

Speaking of the “new rock”

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Speaking of the “new rock”, there’s some interesting chit-chat going on at the OHJ blog (start with Scott Plagenhoef’s post about halfway down and then work up) about whether having the Strokehivestripes in the charts is a good or bad thing. Now reading it you shouldn’t have too much difficulty working out where my sympathies should lie – that’s to say, firmly against this Evan bloke who’s saying that “the masses” need to be forced to hear some “real music” (i.e. the Stripes) for their betterment.

But the thing is I have a sneaking sympathy for Evan. I mean I wish he’d drop all the completely bogus public-good arguments and just say “Yeah! ROCK ON! My music’s in the charts! And I love it! Me!” which is subtextually what I think he means. And I think his scheme for assigning value to music is completely up the spout. But even in such a guarded form it’s nice to see some enthusiasm for the new rock music. Because up until now I’ve seen very few non-professionals getting excited about it. I’ve seen a lot of critics like it, but so what? I’ve seen a lot of shruggy this-is-quite-good mentions of the White Stripes, say, on websites, but I’ve seen that for Dido too. And even when I have seen enthusiasm it’s been mostly tempered with an embarrassment about the idea that these bands might be a ‘trend’.

And I think trends are fun. I also like bits of this particular one a lot more than I expected – the Strokes, the Hives’ image, the Wildbunch, Andrew WK if you can lump him in. I like the idea of rock coming back all slick and glittery, if it has to come back at all. So I’m glad if there are people thinking about the trend, and thinking different things about it – if only cos it gives me something to link to and argue with.

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