Feb 112016

Doesn't care anymore

Doesn’t care anymore

Elvis is the King of Rock & Roll. Michael Jackson is the King of Pop. Bruce is The Boss. James Brown is the Godfather of Soul. And somebody or other is the Godfather of Punk.

But I am the Curmudgeon of Rock & Roll! I am the Go-Play-On-Your-Own-Property Of Pop!

I suppose it started when I signed on to Team No Good Music Since 1982, back in the days of RTH v.1. And it’s only become worse. Here’s the latest evidence.


  13 Responses to “Curmudgeon of Rock & Roll”

  1. ladymisskirroyale

    While I try to listen to some current music (and at times even like it!), many of the names are ridiculous! What happened to the simplicity and grace of The ____s? Perhaps newer bands have had some help with name generation from this website:

  2. misterioso

    al, I support and affirm your curmudgeonosity, and in the spirit of this posting, I want to state how much I hate the breathy singing style of the singer in the annoyingly named anchor + bell, a style which, as far as I can tell, is fairly widespread. So, so, annoying.

  3. My issues with new music are tempered by my realization that I need to step out of the way and let The Kids sort through this stuff on their own:

    1. There’s generally a fey/precious quality to a lot of the indie artists that I hear these days that I’m not into. But I’m sure there were a bunch of Jefferson Airplane fans who though the Clash were crap and it would have been annoying to hear them drone on about it.

    2. Everything sounds like a lesser version of something I’ve already heard. For instance, when I heard the Dum Dum Girls, I thought “this is the lamest take on Garage Rock that I’ve ever heard.” But it could just be another generation’s gateway to better things. Led Zeppelin lead me to Willie Dixon/Howlin Wolf. The Grateful Dead caused me to appreciate classic country. George Throughgood lead me to Bo Diddly. I think a lot of people tend to listen to whatever their circle of peers are listening to and unless they are musically curious, they will just take what is served up to them. But if somebody likes the Dum Dum Girls and it causes them to dig a little further back and they end up listening to the Cramps or the Easybeats, that’s a good thing. Besides, there’s only 12 notes, so thing are bound to start sounding repetitive after a while.

  4. misterioso

    George Thorogood led me to change the radio station.

  5. And speaking of band names, what is it with you kids with the vowels? MGMT, The Weeknd, Chvrches, and I know there are others.

  6. I hate the fact that new music has gotten so bad that, a couple of weeks ago, I chose to listen to an entire Billy Joel song over other newer shit that was playing.

  7. tonyola

    Yeah, you have to put me on the curmudgeon list. I haven’t followed current music trends since around the turn of the millennium and have no desire to do so. I’d rather spend my musical time exploring previously-unheard music niches of the past. Now get off my lawn, you damn kids.

  8. Now for a more serious curmudgeonly complaint (if that’s not too much a contradiction in terms). My real issue with too much post 19xx music (we can argue over the value of xx) is that it seems to have lost the black aspect. Rock & roll was a powerful combination of blues, R&B, and country and most pop music – to use a term sometimes scorned here at RTH but I think it is appropriate – is missing certainly the first two ingredients and maybe the third as well.

    As Duke said “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing” and I hear very little swing these days. And so it don’t mean a thing to me.

    Do those ampersand bands have any swing? I can’t bear to listen beyond the one I included in the original post.

  9. misterioso

    This, I suppose, is the other side of the argument: http://www.salon.com/2016/02/20/stop_buying_old_bob_dylan_albums_every_time_somebody_buys_a_reissue_theyre_just_taking_money_away_from_new_musicians/

    I’ll give the guy the benefit of the doubt that he is sincere in his pompom waving and not merely, say, pleading for the relevance of his job.

  10. Very interesting article but I’m not too sure how on-point it is for me. I know what I don’t like about current popular music – “it don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing” – and that’s really what my (serious) point is here.

    I know there is current music out there that would be in my wheel-house but, I confess, it doesn’t seem worth the effort to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve got more music than I can ever listen to in my remaining lifetime. Time spent sussing out the good new stuff is time spent not listening to great stuff I know I have but haven’t listened to in decades.

    I’ve got 8,000 CDs and today I turn 61; why do I need the 8,001st? Oh, I’ll still buy 100+ CDs this year; they just won’t be in Billboard’s Top 20.

  11. Oh, and yesterday’s mailing from NoiseTrade promotes a band called Penny & Sparrow, a duo, neither of whom is named Penny or Sparrow.

    We are Team Ampersand!

  12. One other point about the article. He wants to promote new music and he’s interviewing Babyface?!

  13. Another mailing from NoiseTrade, another new band that needs to buy a vowel – The Wldlfe

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