Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Rock is Dead

It has occurred to me lately that:

a. I am over thirty; and
b. I am part of Generation X.

A number of separate events have brought these two points into sharp relief in the past little while.

It began with the “rock is dead” conversations. I now have a couple of friends – neither of which has met the other – with whom I sporadically have the “rock is dead” discussion. This discussion consists of the initial thesis that rock is now no longer a thriving, cultural driving force – it has become simply another style, like jazz. Rock as a musical style can still be vibrant and entertaining but has lost the possibility it once had (real or imagined) to change the world. The rest of the conversation consists of: a desperate search (usually on my part) to find a band or song of today that still ROCKS, and the brief but harrowing thought that rock is basically the same and we’ve changed.

(The realization that I’m part of Generation X came about as a result of the confusion and glassy-eyed indifference of a young woman I met at work to whatever “School House Rock” might be. Bart Simpson’s words, to the effect of: “we need another Vietnam to thin out their ranks,” echo in my head.)

Yesterday, I heard the new Queens of the Stone Age single “No One Knows” – hope springs eternal. This track has that ineffable quality missing from most of the rock I’m hearing these days. The Hives, The Strokes, Weezer – all fine bands – sound almost quaint right out of the box. “No One Knows” gives me that “what the fuck” feeling I got the first time I heard Iggy sing “The Passenger”. There’s a creepy decadent feeling to Queens of the Stone Age that is largely missing in rock today. Some of those Emo and Pop-punk bands are quite good…but earnest. The rest of the rock landscape is mostly calculated cool. Queens of the Stone Age seem genuinely weird. I applaud them.

Is rock really dead, then? Probably.

Sunday, September 01, 2002


Did you ever have a piece of information – part of the flotsam and jetsam of the brain – that you feel compelled to impart at every opportunity?

I often find myself regaling friends and love ones (and strangers in checkout lines) with Discovery channel-style trivia. At one time, this trivia entered my brain and made a relatively permanent connection of synapses. The result of which is that I must share this tidbit with one and all.

Occasionally I catch myself in the act of imparting these nuggets the second, or third or…christ only knows, time on the same person. The nicer ones smile and nod like this is fresh and captivating conversation. I can see this happening – still I can’t stop myself.

Good Thai food – even in Thailand – often has ketchup in it. Heinz is very popular in Bangkok.


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