Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Miles in the Rock Hall of Fame

Well, Miles just got inducted into the rock hall of fame. I'm not sure if I agree. Miles is certainly a major jazz figure and was important in the importation of rock into jazz but I'm not so sure there was much influence in the reverse direction. At the same time as jazz fusion (rock in jazz) was popular rock did have some bands that brought some jazz into their music, primarily Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears. Rock imported fall less jazz than jazz imported rock. Ultimately jazz rejected the fusion movement and returned to a more traditional bebop format.

Earlier jazz musicians like Armstrong, Dinah Washington and Billie Hoiday were inducted into the rock hall of fame for the influence they had on early rock. I can see that much better than Miles' influence on rock. Perhaps Miles is properly inducted for expanding the rock frontier into the jazz scene. I can buy that.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Rock and Old Men

The Stones just passed through town and filled the baseball park -- sold out! The question is not if the Stones are still popular but if they are relevant any longer. They were the bad boys during the first British wave but now? It seems rock came into its own with the rise of the adolescent class. At that time it appealed to the youth who had the money. And where the money goes so goes the marketing. When the boomers had acne all the radio adds were about complexion remedies. When they learned of cholesterol problems fast food outlets started to offer chicken sandwiches. Up until recently they have controlled the market by their sheer numbers.

However, the boomers did not always control the front edge of rock's development. Their size keeps the Stones concerts full but it still seems that the youth are the custodians of newly emerging rock styles. Is that a characteristic rock will maintain throughout its time in the sun? Is that because the voice of rock and the voice of the adolescent are in fact the same? Or that youth are more susceptible to the marketing of fashion and mass culture?

Will all older generations look back at the music of their youth the same way the Stones fans have? Will there be old punkers? Old death metalers? Is rock doomed to speak only to the concerns of youth and those who look back nostalgically to their own youth?

"I can't get no....."

Sunday, November 13, 2005

How Many Got Here From the History of Rock Class?


This blog is listed in our History of Rock class as an experiment to see how far students might go afield to possibly find this. If you have you might leave a comment.