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Why Does Rock Music Of Today Suck!

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Initial post: Mar 6, 2010 3:47:22 AM PST
simply because there is no more real talent out there and its hard to match the music of the sixties and even the can you top this
jeff beck
talking heads
mott the hoople
roxy music
lou reed
neil young
pink floyd
joni mitchell
simon & garfunkel
most of you by now get my drift...i can go on and oh i forgot some guy named jimi

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 8:02:10 AM PST
E. Dill says:
<<"Why Does Rock Music Of Today Suck">>

It doesn't. It's the listening audience that sucks and it's due to their love of either the era(s) they lived through in their youth OR the effects that listening to too many "classic radio stations" has had on their perception/perspective of music in general.

<<there is no more real talent out there>>

The fact that I can go to one of my favorite music sites and realistically check out their list of their "Top 350-400 albums of 2009" says something. I lived through the magical 60's and 70's and can tell you that NO music critic would even think of compiling such a list back then. Simply put, the breadth of good to great music wasn't out there. That's why people who are enamoured with the past always mention the same people. I'll give you credit, Mustard. Your list is a bit longer than most. I often get tired seeing the same 10 names over and over again.

<<It's hard to match the music of the 60's or even the 70's>>

So THAT'S it. We want matches! We want OUR Beatles and OUR Stones and OUR Pink Floyd for the 2000's. Gee, I don't. I mean, ok, if someone makes some great music and some of the Beatles or Stones or Floyd seeps through their sound, great. But I don't WANT clones. The Beatles began doing lots of well chosen covers as did the Stones and ultimately they were able to use those influences to develop their own "sound". It wasn't as unique as some of the critics of today's music make it out to be but it sounded fresh and inventive and they managed to evolve quite nicely. (Ok, the Stones may have stayed too long at the fair and Floyd peaked quite quickly but....)

<<How can you top this?...>>

Again, is THAT the criteria that needs to be put to today's music. It must TOP the best music of past decades to be appreciated, listened to and respected? Why is that?

Look, I've answered posts like this before and made my lists of who I believe are stellar artists of the 2000s. No one EVER mocks those lists or even begs to differ with the talent in those lists. I'm assuming that the reason is, they've never HEARD them. And, the fact that THEY'VE never heard of them somehow PROVES their point in some weird fashion. I mean, if Radiohead is so good why didn't THEY appear on Ed Sullivan? (Because he's dead and we don't have variety shows on prime time anymore).

What I can never figure out is this. If the main arguement AGAINST today's music is that it's not as KNOWN to you than the music of yesteryear, why don't you (not YOU personally....the collective you) get off your ass (or stay on it in front of your computer) and check out some of these unknown names making this unknown music). I mean, a few have admitted that their beef is the radio. They can't hear what they like on the radio.....I'm assuming they are talking commerical radio because most cities have college radio stations that can still be quite eclectic. But, again, the arguement sometimes becomes, "I'm busy and shouldn't have to look for the music I might like. I want it easy to come by, presented to me.....I want to be told that "THIS IS CLASSIC ROCK" and you should like it because its exceptional.

I don't know why this surprises me. We have classical music buffs who will never completely embrace the romantic composers......everything after Mozart was trash. I have an friend who's an opera buff and hates Puccini. Why? He's too modern. What he did is NOT opera! Or not GREAT opera. Opera like Mozart or Rossini or Verdi or......

There are jazz fans (I am one), who've convinced themselves that because we have Kenny G. and a hoard of pop soft jazz players around, jazz music ended around the time of bop or hard bop. They exclude the later free work of Coltrane, I guess, and the work of people like Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor or experimentalists like John Zorn, the Art Ensemble of Chicago (who you say? Well, they've been making albums since 1969 and probably have released around 40 by now).....

People who say rock music is dead have a right to kill it for THEM. They've found their niche and wish to stay there. They found enough "great" music to sustain them for the rest of their lives, I guess, and prefer the comfort of the known.....their investigative spirit is over.....they want the comfort of the Beatles, Stones, Floyd, etc. Of course, in the year 2050, there will be some 35-55 year olds who will be mocking the music of that "present", talking longingly about the good old days of the early 2000's when true artists like TV on the Radio, Radiohead, Bjork, PJ Harvey, The Strokes, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah's, Queens of the Stone Age, The White Stripes, Fugazi, Four Tet, Mastodon, Cafe Tacuba, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Opeth, Asian Dub Foundation, Neko Case, Boris, Wilco, Arto Lindsay, Bug, The Streets, Flaming Lips, the Libertines, Spoon, Fever Ray, Hold Steady, Portishead, Joanna Newsom..........and so on ad infinitum.

There are two sorts of people who declare the music dead. The first say so frustratedly. To those, I like to give ideas of how to easily discover what they're missing, knowing full well that music appreciation is personal and after such investigation they may decide it's not worth their while.....that the number of things that truly interest them are not worth the effort. So be it. The other type of person simply has taken claim to their musical past. They don't WANT to change. They are happy with the music and the memories of their past and the notion that everything back then was better and that the musical tastes of people was better, hence, why most of the people mentioned glowingly, were fairly popular as well as critically acclaimed. Again, so be it. I assume both types are enjoying what they DO choose to listen to and I know I am too.



Posted on Mar 6, 2010 8:16:29 AM PST
A TJ H F says:
rock is dead that's why. if you know about musical theory you'd understand what i mean when i say that every single chord progression has been exhausted to death so it's impossible to come up with any original "traditional" songs. on top of that everyone sings nowadays too exagerated and melodramatic. i mean you'd think geez these people are sensitive or what (all the "indie", emo, etc. effers), while when you try to make something that sounds old school, it sounds just recycled and completely unoriginal or with terrible modern touches.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 8:31:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 8:36:33 AM PST
I agree that there is still great rock music being made. Yeah, you have to go look for it, now. It used to be as easy as flipping on your radio..And in some cases that is still true. I come across new bands all the time that I think are damn good, and probably should be bigger stars than they are. I don't feel that every 'chord progression' has been exhausted to death. In a way, I can see what you're saying. It was this way in the 90's as well but that didn't keep bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains..etc..from coming along and sounding fresh and original.

Dig below the surface and you'll find some great gems. Spend the 12 bucks a month or whatever it is now for satellite radio..and then do yourself a favor, listen to the classic rock stations only as a last resort..if ever...Check out the newer rock stations playing present day bands, open your ears and mind and you'll see great music never went away. While looking for new music you're going to come across a lot that sucks..But we forget that a lot of it sucked back then, too...but there was also a lot to like. The music is more fragmented now so finding those good bands has become more difficult, but not impossible. If you love music, like I do, travel down some of the roads you haven't gone yet and enjoy the journey.

Complaining won't help you discover a lot that you're missing.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 9:23:18 AM PST
E. Dill says:

<<rock is dead that's why>>

Wow. I imagine you do well with that kind of logical arguement. "That hamburger is lousy because it's lousy". "That TV show sucks because it sucks".

<<If you know about musical theory you'd understand what i mean when i say that every single chord progression has been exhausted to death>>

Is that what the theorists are saying these days.....that every single chord progression has been exhausted to death? Wow, I hadn't heard it but then I'm not a musical theorist like you are. Julliard, huh? (If by some weird chance you ARE from Julliard, they may have taught you about the history of chord progressions but they surely didn't teach you how to write.)

<<everyone sings nowadays too exagerated and melodramatic>>

Really! Everyone? Everyone is emo? Even Roy Orbison? Or Aretha? How about Johnny Ray?

<<while when you try to make something that sounds old school, it sounds just recycled and completely unoriginal....>>

In other words, when you try to make something that sounds old school, it sounds OLD, another gem of musical wisdom.

<<or with terrible modern touches>>

Yeah, I remember "them" saying that about the electrification of the guitar or piano or bass. Amplifiers. Wah Wah pedals. Feedback. They just won't let this music alone, will they.

les paul

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 9:27:47 AM PST
T. Prueter says:
i will admit that most rock music sucks out there today but there is still good bands out there. the problem is what songs get popular and then you get copycat bands that play the same sound and style so everything is the same and thats okay because they're making money. thats all that matters in this society. take away the money and you'd find the bands you're looking for

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 9:50:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 9:52:28 AM PST
@ E. Dill: Best post I've read online in a long time. Its nice to see that someone can appreciate ALL eras of music.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 9:57:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 9:59:04 AM PST
S. Rice says:
E. Dill, you need to write a book on defending today's music. I've seen you do it on other threads as well and it's always an interesting read.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 11:08:05 AM PST
E. Dill says:
T. Prueter:

<<i will admit that most rock music sucks out there today>>

Most rock music sucks out there ANY day, just like most of ANY art form.....books, magazines, tv shows, all depends on your tolerance level, your expectations and your taste. When I talk about the sites that I respect that will list their top 350 albums of a year, that's 350 out of probably 1000 or more that were released. No one who loves the 60's spends much time remembering or uncovering all the dreck that was out there, rubbing shoulders with the Beatles and the Stones.

<<the problem is what songs get popular and then you get copycat bands that play the same sound and style so everything is the same and thats okay because they're making money. thats all that matters in this society. take away the money and you'd find the bands you're looking for >>

I'm not buying that one as a unique aspect of today's music or today's society. Music has always been a business since the first concert was held, the first sheet music was sold and the first record was produced. In every era, every popular innovation in music has been first copied and then used as a stepping stone for something else. The Beatles copied all of their American favorites as well as their own country's folk and stage music. The Stones did likewise. Eventually, they did less covers and more of their original music but as good as it was, anyone with any familiarity of musical history could pick out the artists they'd been influenced by. So when you like the result, it's "influence" and when you don't like it, it's "copying".

During the "British invasion" you had both the Beatles and the Stones and a lot of "Peter and Gordons" and "Stuart and Clydes" (were they the same duo with different names?). Does any Brit loving listener actually believe that British music of the time was NOT engaged in cloning of the most obvious kind. Some was very good....I LOVED The Searchers "Needles and Pins", no matter how much they sounded like the Beatles.

Let's be honest. Not EVERY song or EVERY artist/group can ever be completely ORIGINAL. Art builds on itself. And, yes, it copies. It wants to give the buying public what it seems to want. Is this suprising? Is this criminal? Is this NEW?


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 11:14:32 AM PST
E. Dill says:
Dillon/S. Rice:

I appreciate your comments. Sometimes I get the impression I'm the only one who likes the music of the 50's on (actually I can go back further if we include pre-rock), including today's. I need some encouragement that not everyone over 15 is living in the past, musically.

But, yes, S. Rice, I HAVE wrote about this before on other sites. I'm glad you're not beginning to take my repetitive words as one gigantic "snooze fest".


Posted on Mar 6, 2010 12:26:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 12:27:46 PM PST
T. Arnhold says:
Holy cow, an intelligent discussion on the internet. Amazing. The rock music of today doesn't suck, like others have stated here, you just gotta poke around. Rock and roll (the only genre of music I'm personally interested in) is alive and quite well - it's comfortably living right where it has always thrived the best - underground.

Mr. Mustard, if you're having trouble finding the goods, seek out some college radio stations, they are a great place to hear stuff you never knew existed. Better yet, get lost on the internet - that's where I find tons of great new bands. It's out there brother - I promise!

Based on the list you posted in the first post, you seem to really dig classic rock - check out the San Francisco band Howlin Rain. One listen to their album "Magnificent Fiend" and your faith will be restored.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 12:28:20 PM PST
Whining in the "verses" and screaming in the "choruses", that's why.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 2:42:17 PM PST
Gino says:
E. Dill,I've caught a number of your posts and I've appreciated them, too. I'm sure for my own part, there's an easy dynamic at work as regards my feeling for modern music. Component A is nostalgia- I grow older, and life gets more complicated, and I find less time to hear new music. Component B is similar and yet overlaps for me- what I've heard before gives me basis for comparison to the newer. What I've heard first makes the impression, and what I hear after may not compare well. That's not too clear, is it?

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 2:59:35 PM PST
M. Satkamp says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 3:26:13 PM PST
michael has got it right on the money the reason why rock/rock n roll sucks
whining sounds are all over rock music of today and yes the choruses are just loud and none of it has any melody at a lover of rock n roll since the late 50's i feel (and a lot you will disagree) that the so called grunge era was the first sign of the a loss of melody..bands of today were influenced by that era...for me nirvana was horrible as many of the bands after them were as for me the rot started there, even bands like the ramones, the clash, nick lowe, buzzcocks, jam, the undertones, and many more were clearly influenced by the sixties bands....the glam era of bowie, roxy music, t-tex and mott the hoople were all rooted in 50's rock n roll or art school rock n roll there is zilch

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 3:52:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 5:24:02 PM PST
Glen Kepic says:
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Posted on Mar 6, 2010 4:06:00 PM PST
I don't even know what the term "Rock Music" means anymore. Does anyone use the term, except to talk about "Classic Rock"? If it means comparing current music to "Classic Rock" as MMM (hope you don't mind the abbreviation) listed, I'm glad rock music is dead. The music of the 60's and 70's - I have no complaint that there was good stuff, but I lived through that era and am SO tired of it, and most of it has not aged well. My take on a few on the MMM list:
beatles - yes, but I just can't listen to them anymore
stones - yes, but same as the beatles
dylan - I was RAISED on early Dylan... Why the hell do I want to re-live grade school?
kinks - yes, but not exceptional musicians
byrds - the corniest, most embarrassing band ever taken seriously
talking heads - of course - who else has EVER sounded like them?
bowie - yes
mott the hoople - give me a break
roxy music - same comment as talking heads above
lou reed - yes, but sometimes overrated
springsteen - yes, but his stuff sounds dated
pink floyd - kind of the Dave Matthews band of the 70's - OK, but what's the great attraction?
joni mitchell - auditory torture, a total waste of vinyl, pathetic, sappy - the soundtrack to the bittersweet 70's morning-afters of college girls nursing herb tea and feeling "empty, so empty" (to badly paraphrase Kurt Andersen)
simon & garfunkel - THIS IS ROCK MUSIC?
There is some exceptionally good music out today - you just don't hear it on the radio (and you definitely won't hear it if you only listen to "Classic Rock" stations) because these are bands that are not on major labels and have to promote themselves. You have to WANT to hear something new and seek it out. I appreciate what Gino said about time constraints, and comparing the new against the old by virtue of one's first experiences, but I just don't want to be nostalgic. Some of the new bands are I've been listening to are far better musicians than most of the ones listed by MMM. Better known - Los Lonely Boys - in concert, they just tear up the place. Less well known - Paco Estrada and One Love - these guys are amazing, soulful, and utterly timeless. (Hey - both bands are from Texas - that seems to be a good starting point for this millenium). And - one thing that is so GREAT about some of the new bands - they just PLAY - they don't do a big, freaking stage show. They're good enough that they don't need it. That's rock music to me - pared down and powerful.
Oh, yea - MMM - you forgot a few bands: the Who (pre-rock opera crap) and the roots of Clapton, Jeff Beck and (oops, I forget the third guy), the Yardbirds. And, as much as I have so tired of them, the Doors.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 4:27:00 PM PST
T. Arnhold says:
Looks like Mr. Mustard doesn't want to attempt to find any new music. If it's not Pink Floyd 2, The Beatles 2, Rolling Stones 2, Springsteen 2 it just won't fly. Good luck finding that - how boring. There is great new stuff out there that doesn't "whine" - you just don't seem willing to search for it.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 4:27:28 PM PST
E. Dill says:
Dillon/S. Rice/Everyone

<<I HAVE wrote>> ??

I hope those weren't the repetitive words I was talking about....


Posted on Mar 6, 2010 4:40:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 4:47:15 PM PST
Patio says:
E. Dill - you should teach a class on rock appreciation and another one on opening your eyes and being reasonable! I love it, very well stated.

My favorite music is rock between 1965 and 1975. Zeppelin is my favorite and will probably always be so. But I try my best to listen to new stuff and am so excited when I finally do find people who build upon the past with a wonderful new touch (White Stripes for instance). While I too have a hard time with a lot of new music out there, you have said it better than anyone here, so far.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 4:44:47 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2010 4:49:52 PM PST
E. Dill says:

Actually, it was quite clear and makes complete sense.

I'm interested in the nostalgia quotient of older music and have mentioned it before. I tend to separate nostalgia from music as music. (Talk about unclear!). I always bring up Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" as a perfect example of a nostalgic song (it reminds me of a specific time in my life, certain dramas going on then, etc.) that I don't like that much as music. Then there are tons of songs that work as both.....nostalgic and music I adore as music. That's why I used to overeact to some of the doo wop shows on tv. The shows themselves were well organized with REAL group members and very good bands to back up the singers but the audiences (especially the white people) seemed more like some drunken conventioneers with funny hats and goofy smiles. They seemed to NEED to let us know that it was ALL nostalgia as if the music itself was kind of embarassingly primitive and juvenile. Personally, I LOVE doo-wop and believe it can stand next to the Beatles, Stones, Zappa, Beefheart, etc. as music worthy of my attention and enjoyment.

That B component is an interesting one and has been brought up before, i.e., as rock (n roll) ages, more and more "new sounds" are actually "new uses of old sounds". So, even if they are done well, they don't impact us as much. As good as Hendrix was, there are a lot of guitarists who can now play at Hendrix's level. But being first at a certain sound.....a certain way of structuring a guitar solo....obviously will impact the listener more than hearing 50 people doing it 20 years later. It's not even who gets the credit for the innovation. It's the shock value. As much as I like Pere Ubu's (David Thomas) experimental music, I would have been more blown away by the pure sound of it had I never heard Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet). It's not that Ubu is a clone of Beefheart but that they operate in the same musical realm and at the time I heard Beefheart, I had heard NO ONE that was even close except a few free jazz artists and Spike Jones.


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 5:14:33 PM PST
All popular music since the 80s sucks because of what happened to record labels. Back in the seventies, they were owned by people who loved music and had the intent of finding good talent and producing good music. Now, you can only get heard if you sign up with one of the big record labels. These labels are only interested in profit and they funnel the talent of America through a tiny tube that only lets the bland and unoffensive through. Then, they give their "artists" a time limit and if they don't have a certain amount of records out by a certain time, they get dropped and are never heard of again. So if you want to blame anybody for the blandness of music, lack of good lyrics, and the retarded culture that is being created, blame the record labels. If you want to listen to good music you have to either make it yourself or find artists on small record labels.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 5:31:44 PM PST
Glen Kepic says:
Good point Aaron

Look at how the Majors were looking to Seattle after Nirvana.

My fave from there?..., Candlebox, though they couldn't survive the sopohmore slump. Totally against the grain with great lead breaks and such. The band i was in covered Far Behind back in '05. That tune was great, i thought.

Posted on Mar 6, 2010 5:33:03 PM PST
Gino says:
Dill, thanks! That is more or less what I meant. I like all kinds of music, too, Bach to Zappa. I've tried not to draw too many lines around too many types, because I might want to listen to Chopin and follow it up w/Rosemary Clooney. If it speaks to me somehow, I enjoy it. I grew up in the "classic rock" vein, but when I put on the Beatles, I don't project back to 5th grade. And if I hear something new, I can't automatically dismiss it because it wasn't out on vinyl 40 years ago.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2010 9:45:49 PM PST
S. Rice says:
Mean Mr. Mustard, there's no way you are a fan of the bands you reference. Why are you even bringing them up? The Buzzcocks?? (BTW - Did you know that when they reformed in '92 they toured with Nirvana?) Regardless, they were all but completely ignored in the late 70s when they were putting out their classic singles (going steady). But back then people like you were more interested in hating disco than seeking out cutting-edge new music. Be honest because it doesn't add up, there's no way someone with the opinion that, "today there is zilch" was somehow previously enlightened enough to seek out the bands you mention. Unless you've devolved...
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Discussion in:  Rock forum
Participants:  230
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Initial post:  Mar 6, 2010
Latest post:  Apr 4, 2013

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