To be frank, I think the question I should be asking is more will rock and roll ever have the life jumpstarted back into it, to lurch into Frankensteinian vigor, staggering down the halls in Kiss make up and swinging Alice Cooper’s cane.
There are a few exceptions, Big Thief, Soko (though I haven’t dug anything she did since 2015’s My Dreams Dictate My Reality, she got all slightly too knowingly kooky), even All Them Witches, even though they moved away from that satisfying cosmic blues Allman Brothers vibe they had going on for a while. These exceptions are not the acts of the heyday of music. There is no new Rolling Stones, no Pink Floyd, no Patti Smith. There are no Ramones, no Nirvana. Gone, gone, not even the cheesy sleazy bands of the 80s have any new dopplegangers. If you want Whitesnake you still have to listen to Whitesnake. I am starting to think that it has all been said, all been done, all been played and there is nothing new under the sun any more, and the sun has been eclipsed by video games and internet banter.
Modern music is all mumble rap, tuneful trap that makes me think that the idea that popular music will get resurrected in some kinda b movie crash cart reboot more than slightly unlikely. The kids who should be forming the new Kinks are instead all making youtube videos, playing PS4 games; or else if they pick up an instrument, their brains are so full of pap that they can make only ridiculous trap or dull shoegazing crap with pretty videos whilst tattooing their faces and drinking white claw.
They ain’t got the stomach for it, darling. Can you imagine Billie Eilish racing her genital crabs with Post Malone, and then writing People who Died and Ask the Angels a la Jim Carroll and Patti Smith? Rock stars don’t hang from their toes from balconies like Morrison, or dry hump the stage like Patti Smith, instead they die at stupidly even younger ages, not even making the 27 club mostly due to dull, mundane, boring drugs that your granny takes for anxiety. I am so bored of rock and roll, it is not even funny. The sad truth of the matter is that they don’t have it in ’em. They are all fluffy xanaxed up to the eyeballs with no piss and vinegar, no poetry. Their soul is muted by binary codes, and everyone’s a winner and no one wants to be a axe-killer anymore. There are no more huge acts, no more Rimbaud wannabes. The seam has been mined dry, and bled out into the conflagration of the vanities that is instagram. I would pick up an electric guitar and drag a group of punks out of retirement to spit on stages, but to be honest I need to be in bed by 10pm most nights, and the whole idea of the three days up over-amped nightmare that is modern speed makes me feel kinda queasy.
So where does that leave us? Revisiting old albums from bands we didn’t give enough love to at the time, but are a million times better than anything I have heard recently it appears. I spent way too much time hoping that Neil Michael Hagerty gets Royal Trux back together, but he is probably too fucking tired too. Whatever time I have left to waste on music is spent cataloging the sounds of greatness while it lasted and playing the guitar for myself.
Meanwhile I played a demo of the new resident evil game on a friend’s PS4 when I went to visit, breaking all the lockdown codes that I have got piss-bored of keeping – I need human interaction before I lose what is left of my mind. It was ok, exhilarating even, but it was no Exile On Main Street.
Rock and Roll is dead. Long live Rock and roll. Video killed the rock and roll star…I guess it was what we deserved after MTV had it’s wicked way with us all. Rock and Roll ended with Nirvana, the last great supergroup, and fizzled out with more of a whimper than a bang making 20th century refugees out of many of us.
What is there left to do? Wave goodbye to our heroes who examined what was great about the human heart, the human condition, who made us feel as if they knew something, some big secret, the keys to the universe, and had us jumping up and down while they did it. I suspect none of them knew any more than we did, they just said nothing better, that was all. Was rock and roll just a sham? A bust? A big empty led zepplin of sound and no substance? I guess so…Oh well….we will always have those golden years…meanwhile I have a few rounds of candy crush to play…pass the xanax!