State of the (Rock) Nation

It’s always been a dream of mine to play in a Rock Band.

I mean, c’mon, I’m a kid of the 90’s and when I used to watch MTV (back when it was a worthy enterprise), I saw guys like Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil, Scott Weiland and the DeLeo brothers, Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl doing what they did best – being absolute Gods of Rock. There were many more, but you get the idea.

But as we, lovers of Rock music, well know, the State of Rock is in constant flux.

One day it’s all the Rage(Against the Machine) and the next, no one wants to hear it. If Rock was a ride at Six Flags, it would definitely be a roller coaster. Or maybe the Free Fall. In any case, since it’s beginnings in the 50’s, the concept of the Death of Rock has been oft-discussed.

Is Rock Dead?

Personally, my answer changes by the day. Radio is certainly on its way out, and it’s spouting off pathetic epithets with its dying breaths. But it’s hard to feel like Rock is alive and well when bands like Nickelback and Seether are considered the peak of Rock. Then again, it’s been hard to figure out what Rock really is since the Alternative label first came into being.

That was a 90’s thing for sure. Grunge music had to be separated from the cock rock of the late 80’s. Kids didn’t want to be associated with spandex and double-necked guitars and the industry created a label just for them – Alternative.

Ah, but I’m not here to wax philosophical about labels and how they pull people apart and make it harder to find common ground even within the context of a shared interest and its ever expanding radius that has started encompassing more facets of our lives…

Nah, this is about being in a Rock band. I’ve spent the better part of this morning working on promoting LTD in an effort to get us some new shows in venues that are more “appreciative” of our general Loudness. Which is important to us, because it seems to be our biggest critique.

Before you assume we just play loud to play loud and forgo quality song building for overall decibel count, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

It actually stresses the importance of playing in the right venue and to the right crowd. Our last regular gig was a venue that’s known in town for Folk and Bluegrass. So it stands to reason that people who frequent that establishment are there for their acoustic fix. Not to mention that this particular venue does terrible promotion (read: none) and most crowds leave when their band is done.

Anyway, Rock isn’t dead. While I may miss this and a little of this, but music trends go as popular culture goes. Our bout of “reality tv” has gone from gritty (perceived grittiness anyway) to the lavish extreme, which means that the angst should be bubbling to the surface anytime now. Rock will be back in a big way.

But until then, get some Rock in your life with Louder Than Dirt!

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