Thursday, February 08, 2007

Category Error

This David Hadju article republished in The Oz earlier this week stirs something I've thought for a while. We need a new definition of rock music and to stop being so hung up on the meaning established fifty plus years ago.

The Rolling Stones ply a nostalgia for the 1960s and '70s, as do various Motown acts that are on perpetual tour in the arts-centre circuit. For musicians disinclined to work in self-tribute bands, however, it is not easy to rock and age. Rock, at its crude best, is a music of disgrace, anathema to ageing (or doing anything else) gracefully.

It's the music of youthful rebllion because in the 1950s and 1960s its practioners were youthful rebels, or carefully marketed that way at least. The definition arose out of the circumstances of its practice and its place in the popular culture, right nor 1967 wrong for 2007. Why are we obliged to accept this (in popular culture terms) archaic definition and judge "aging acts" by it, as if everything in the world changes except the definition of appropriate people to play rock music.

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