In 2001, New York City was in the midst of a resurgence in terms of Rock Bands. Groups such as The Yeah YeahYeahs, The Moldy Peaches, The Walkmen, Jonathan Fire*eater, and The Strokes were causing a stir, as documented in Lizzy Goodman’s excellent book, Meet Me In The Bathroom. The Strokes, in particular, led the pack with their debut album, Is This It.
Too often Progressive Rock is thought of as “nerdy,” “overcomplicated,” or “self-indulgent,” but maybe it’s time that we flip the script, and see Prog Rock as the inventive, nuanced, brain-bending, mind-opening, soul-scraping genre that it really is. While any self-respecting Devil’s Advocate could make a heady case for all of those things being true, at the end of the day, music is about taste. Sure, I love Cock Rock, and Hair Metal as much as the next person, but I love a hearty dose of Prog Rock too. In fact — make it a double.
Prog Rock, like all other genres of Rock music, has shifted, changed, and continuously recreated itself over, and over again throughout the last half-century. The cast of players may change, but the mission statement will remain the same — to create something different, something outside the box, and something which continuously breaks the mold — without pretense. Prog Rock is a journey, and like life, it has many stages. If you’re up for it — strap in, and see where it takes you.
We will never get to see Rush take the stage again, but we have their legacy of recordings to continue to appreciate. Rush made their mark on both music and culture. Even if they are not everyone’s cup of tea, they will be remembered for the music they left behind. I feel privileged to have seen the band the three times that I did.
At its core, Rock music is filthy, grungy, and dirty. It oozes sex from every orifice. While Rock music isn’t an exclusive boys club that it was once made out to be, like every genre, there are subsets that are defined by specific characteristics, and Cock Rock is no exception.
KISS’ legacy runs deeper than “Rock ‘N’ Roll All Night,” “Beth,” “Detroit Rock City,” and “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.” Sure, those are great songs, but KISS’ music is so much more than that. I hope you dig this article, and I hope it inspires you to dive deeper. KISS may be at the “End Of The Road,” but they aren’t done quite yet. I hope you double back. I hope you take the journey.
For Sonic Youth, Goo was a turning point in the band’s history and definitely affected the direction of music that followed it for them, and for others.
While ACϟDC’s critics will deride them for being “overly simplistic,” or “too primitive,” in reality, ACϟDC may well be the greatest Hard Rock band of them all. Their Blues-inspired brand of Rock music is subtly nuanced, and the group itself is a shining example of Rock ‘N’ Roll symbiosis paired with just a little bit of magic that only Scottish transplants from down under can replicate.