Holding Out For A (Guitar) Hero
I except from this the teen queens such as Miley Cyrus and others of her pubescent ilk. They're not even worth discussing, just dismissing out of hand. No, I'm talking about boy bands. Well, "bands" by courtesy, at least.
The Jonas Brothers, whoever they might be, infested the airwaves from early last week onward. It seemed that every time I switched channels on a morning show, there they were. And today something calling itself Metro Station, I believe, was making a spectacle of itself on "Good Morning America", complete with screaming little girls.
This troubles, alarms and desperately annoys me. I was never a screaming teenybopper myself, but I have seen the Beatle footage, of course, and I know very well what it looked/sounded like.
But those were the BEATLES being screamed over. Artists. Musicians. People who knew more than one chord and could actually write lyrics that made sense and moved the hearer. Even their early stuff. They made music that changed music forever.
But these scrawny little boys? They pose and strut and jump up and down and scream and make faces and fling their hair around and play their one chord and think that makes them rockers. Not so, talentless striplings! It just makes you posers. And very lightweight ones at that. None of them could get off a decent riff to save their lives.
These lads aren't fit to carry Jimi's spare guitar strings, and it makes me nuts that this is what a whole generation of young folk is growing up thinking is rock.
Well, 'tisn't. Rock is music with substance as well as style, and this auditory excrescence has neither, really. It's just a bunch of kids who were lucky to get out of their parents' garage and manage to convince some A&R guy to sign them. I'm sure they sell tons of records. But what are they selling?
Oh, plus the fact that they're not men. They're adolescent boys, looking barely old enough to shave, with adolescent bodies and adolescent voices. If not pre-pubescent: one wonders if their testicles have even dropped yet. The Beatles were men. The Stones were men. Jimi and Jim, dear God were they ever, were men. Even the Monkees were men, for pete's sake.
And the girls loved it. Maybe girls these days just want something unthreatening in the rockstar line, some Muppet-like creature who can't play or sing or even come across with a decently dangerous stage presence, to fantasize about. Very sad, if true.
Rock in my day and for quite a while thereafter was TOTALLY dangerous: intelligent and sexy and exciting. When you listened to it, or went to a concert, you felt you'd BEEN somewhere, HEARD something worth hearing. This boyband crapola is instantly forgettable: even cotton candy sticks around longer. I can't remember a single word or note either of these bands played, and I did listen, hoping to hear something real.
Just wasn't there. And I feel so sorry for the consumers...I can't even say fans...of this inconsequential nothingness. Souls can't live on cotton candy. But apparently this musical generation neither knows nor cares about soul.