The Corner

Re: Rock For Life

Rod, I read Hornby, and he’s right: he’s a geezer. At least he acknowledges Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” which was a remarkable slice of joy. I wonder if he’s heard the new record from Jet, which one critic said is “Perhaps the first band of the genre to completely absorb and effectively reconfigure classic rock & roll influences without a trace of winking irony.” For a nice crunchy radio song, I’d nominate “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age. (I dig Virginia’s own Dave Grohl, who drums for this CD, and his Foo Fighters.)

But think about it: with rock music about as old as Hornby, how hard it has to be to sound both classic and original. How hard to write a bouncing classic-sounding rock song and not have someone say “oh, that sounds just like so and so.” Rock radio certainly isn’t the same, either. It doesn’t seem to be manufacturing “classic rock” or rock supergroups like in the “old days.” The old supergroups are definitely geezers. Who under 30 really wants to watch Kiss or the Rolling Stones do Youth Rebellion by AARP Members? Hornby ought to acknowledge it’s okay to get old and broaden your horizons to a wider menu of music.

But then, don’t take me as your reliable rock critic. I am the guy who went from cow town to college with my classic Toto albums. (Can you say “hazing target”?) My current addiction is the genre-busting jazz of The Bad Plus.

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...


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