Friday, January 13, 2006

I've been thinking, recently, that several genres of music have become adjectival in nature. Specifically, "metal," "punk," and "emo." From what I've been able to gather, metal and punk are distant cousins in that they were the natural offspring of the rock period that peaked in the late 1960's/early 1970's. Led Zeppelin is an example of what I consider proto-metal--paving the way for the metal bands of today. Now, I can claim to be an expert on neither punk nor metal, but I lived with a roommate who introduced me to a lot of Emo music last year. Unlike him, I don't listen to metalcore (always preferred softer, melodic sounds myself) and if you don't mind some sappy, overdramatic stuff thrown in there, Emo can be a pretty interesting and diverse genre--just as diverse as metal, I would argue. However, just like the majority of people my age, I'd be more than happy to whale on Emo kids as soon as they start using the word "heart" as a verb.

But backing up a moment--I think most of the problem here lies within the culture that springs up around a style of music. I would say "genre," but we're a ways past genre--for me, music boils down into various stylistic elements, of which there can be various mixtures: alternative, progressive, metal, emo-ish, etc. (Genres have all but disappeared; I say this after reading an review of a band described as being "gothic horror doom metal." When you have to get that precise, genres aren't doing us much good anymore.) Punk started out--correct me if I'm wrong--as a style of music around a specific culture, based on individuality and, apparently, Stickin' It To The Man. The Emo culture, though, is as annoying as the cell phone culture--a bunch of snot-nosed brats who keep endless journals and play badly tuned guitars while trying to find a rhyme for "these days are dying ashes." However, it helps to divorce the music from the culture--just as it helps to divorce that handy little gadget in your pocket from its culture, a culture of teenage girls who use up their anytime minutes faster than Bill Clinton can get his fly unzipped.

Anyways--I kind of got lost along the way--my original point was, there aren't many bands that I listen to that just fit under the all-inclusive "rock" category. Used to be you could put Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Who, etc. down and say you listened to rock and roll, but it doesn't seem that clear cut anymore. Here's a list of the bands I've been able to think of whom I feel fit the standards for "rock"--or rather, fail to meet the stringent demands of being pigeonholed into some sub-sub-sub-genre like "neo-classical thrash metal." Feel free to leave comments with your own suggestions, findings, arguments, and addendums. I'm interested in exploring current music more fully.

(By the way, you'll notice I refrained from even TOUCHING the whole Indie scene. Why? I don't know a gorram thing about it.)

Modern "Rock-And-Rock-Only" Bands
-Jimmy Eat World
-Nine Days
-Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
-Fountains Of Wayne
-Stroke 9

P.S. This is a tentative list. If you feel that there's a band on there that shouldn't be on there, or vice versa, leave a comment and your thoughts will be duly noted.


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