Wednesday, August 20, 2014

You can't stop the rock.....

Last week The Guardian (of all people) published a weird time-frozen piece about how women were abandoning pop for rock . It appeared to me to be an opinion rooted in 1970s thinking as that was the last time I recall rock being male-dominated. Caroline Sullivan oddly ignored a central fact which is that one of the biggest rock acts of the last few years, Paramore, is female-fronted. Presumably they don’t think that their audience is entirely male? Odd.

Last time I was musing on rock’s inability to break big these days. A contributory factor is the lack of airplay, a possible by-product of the acts concerned failing to write songs that will leap the boundaries and have appeal to all.

Radio 1’s rock show moving to a more palatable hour of broadcast will undoubtedly help. We may believe that young people no longer have appointments to listen but a broadcast time of 7pm will inevitably reach more casual listeners than midnight ever would. A year from now we may have a better idea of how rock is doing.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

For those about to rock?

What do you do about rock when everyone seems only to want pop? Ignoring the genre-mutations and blurred definitions we know that rock doesn’t die but when it goes this quiet is that somehow worse?

I saw a bit of Black Star Riders with Tax The Heat at the Asylum last week. I have no doubt that it was the right venue, it’s a great room for proper rock and this was it. I couldn’t help thinking however that a band containing ex-members of Thin Lizzy and authentically performing those songs should really be in a bigger venue. Is this what it’s come to? Even when they weren’t littering the ‘pop’ charts the rock and metal bands of old were still routinely filling venues.
We can blame the economic situation and the lack of disposable revenue, we can even point to the high-ticket prices of acts like Eagles taking money out of the market but they seem like flimsy excuses. Rock doesn’t seem to have the cachet anymore.