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Rock Still

April 10, 2012

The most political thing I’ve done all week is to listen to an old MC5 album.

Remember “Kick Out the Jams”? Motor City Five were the house band for Detroit commie John Sinclair’s White Panther Party back in the Sixties.

“The Revolution will be won,” Sinclair once announced, “on Ripple and reds.”

MC5 played delirious, double-guitar-lead mayhem music, I’ll give ’em that. Like the New York Dolls — another zeitgeist-specific band never meant to last — noise for the boys was the name of every tune.

Today rock keeps struggling to find a magic road back to musical innocence. No way. The results at best are a phony counterfeit of 20th century Pop, than which there is nothing emptier in the creative universe. Oddly enough, a louder and more complicated 21st century strikes mute  our raucous old rock’n’roll.

So I wrote a poem, with apologies to Noel Coward…

“Deafening Silence”: A Pop Allegory

Last night in Winslow, Arizonia,

Ensconced for the nonce

In their random pandemonia,

Père Chris’ noisy family bliss

Got a shock from son Rock

When their blares of cosy yelling

Fell still before a quelling

Blast of quiet from upstairs.

…Loud as a crowd

Of the masses in their stasis,

Came shrill-ish Nell’s, “What the hell’s

Rock up to?”

Indeed, indeed.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 4:52 PM

    methinks ‘rock’ music is fracturing into sub-genres;In the 70s and 80s I listened to ‘art’ rock like Peter Gabriel, Bowie, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, as well as weird experimental stuff from Brian Eno. Then came ‘alternative’ or ‘College’ rock:’ REM, The Cure, Stone Roses, Joy DIvision. These spawned Grunge, alt/folk, alt/country (Wilco), shoegaze, and more!

    Now there’s ‘ecclectic:’ not yet considered a genre by Wikipedia, but it is by iTunes!

  2. April 26, 2012 10:30 PM

    Very cool. I hadn’t caught the gist before. Thanks as always, Patrice!

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