Is Rock Still Relevant In 2016?
by JM on 12/13/16
Great article from Billboard...
"So much of the major music news of 2016 involved death: David Bowie, Prince, George Martin and Leonard Cohen were among the legends on this year's grim roster. Is it time to add rock music itself?
The year was governed by coups in sound and form from the major pop names of the decade, such as Kanye West, Rihanna, Drake, Beyonce and Frank Ocean - non-rock artists who stir the kind of passion, debate and deconstruction today that once might have been spent on Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen. Dylan got his Nobel Prize and Springsteen wrote his memoir, and there were comebacks from Metallica, Neil Young, Bon Jovi, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day and Blink-182 most of which topped the Billboard 200 (at least briefly). Guns N Roses got over their decades of in-fighting and sold out stadiums with their classic lineup, while the Desert Trip festival, widely known as Oldchella, found Young, Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and The Who combining forces for a $130 million haul over two weekends. Yet it also felt like a memorial service, a luxury keepsake and a last hurrah.
This year, America was a quarter century out from Nirvana's Nevermind, the album that rescued rock from its early-1990's doldrums - as far off now as the releases of Revolver, Pet Sounds and Blonde on Blonde were then. By contrast, consider how few new rock artists of comparable staying power or cultural significance have emerged since that decade's alt-rock surge. Yes, there are well-regarded figures from the indie, emo and metal scenes. But few of them reach far beyond their niches -- witness the Who Is Arcade Fire? meme that erupted when that band won album of the year at the Grammys in 2011, and the utter lack of intrigue in the rock categories as we barrel toward awards season five years later."
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