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Is Rock Music Truly Dead?

Heady stuff at The Atlantic today — a handful of rock critics are noting that “rock is dead,” for a variety of reasons, notably this: Only one ‘rock’ song cracked the Billboard Hot 100 for 2010. That was Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” which the Village Voice also happened to call the worst song of ’10.

The main unifying force of The Atlantic piece is whether the White Stripes were the last great rock band (it’s been 10 years since White Blood Cells). This idea — of the Stripes as rock’s last great bastion — has been put forth by others as well.

So, what does the nerd world think? Is rock music truly dead, or just hibernating?

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  1. bryan says:

    rock is dead now adays cause lack of support most people are to busy tryin to be like others we have 3 sets of justin beibers and all that trash.u see a rock band who isnt known and think they have potential?then support them.most bands today i see who are popular they sukk cokk and balls or are not persistant with making continual good songs.this band called unit theory are unknown wich is a big fukkin surprise to far every one of their songs are great not 1 bad song,that to me should be a band to help.

  2. Ian Sherwood says:

    i’m going to try to adress all of you…i don’t think rock is alive and well because in order to be alive people need to know about it and if it’s all underground bands then it’s basically like lord voldemort when he didn’t have a full body (this is a nerd website after all), so rock is really breathing it’s last breath unless somebody saves it.

    I also agree with the Foo Fighters representing rock music and keeping it going but they will only last for so long. And really the only reason they can keep it going is because Dave Grohl was in Nirvana, which coincidentally saved rock in the early 90’s.

    As for saying rock and roll needs to die so music can move forward, completely stupid. it’s the only genre with passion other than country which is just a bunch of stupid love songs girls can listen to when they’re sad. The real feelings are brought to life using rock, it is a very important genre.

    Finally, here are the major bands who have kept rock alive in the past 5 or so years: Foo Fighters, Wolfmother, Jet, Green Day (more punky but hey, the guitar kicks ass), the Raconteurs (lead by Jack White), WHITE STRIPES. I don’t care how bad the drumming is, Jack White is a brilliant man who writes meaningful music.

  3. any “music journalist” who proclaims the White Stripes to be anything but a sad, terrible band with the worst drummer since that wind-up monkey with the cymbals ought to seriously consider changing careers. not only did they fail to save rock and roll, they almost certainly hastened its decline. terrible, awful, no good, very bad band.

    that lego video is pretty cool though.

  4. Michael Kich says:

    Personally I think it’d be good if it finally died. Somethin’s gotta give way for a real paradigm shift, and that’s what people really want. People who are really into music ultimately want it to represent them and to change, really change, to innovate beyond minor details. It’s kinda been heading this way for some time, but especially in the decade I’ve grown up in (2000s of course) there are good bands out there to be sure, but nobody’s doing anything really revolutionary, and so shit’s gone stagnant. Maybe it’s time for music to go back to the way it used to be to some extent. It didn’t used to be a product that people constantly demanded new material from, and it didn’t used to be an industry before this past century. Every decade since the 50s has seen people screaming, “what’s gonna come THIS DECADE, what’s gonna come NEXT DECADE, and the NEXT, and the NEXT, and the NEXT!!! WE WANT MOAR AND NEW AND MOAR NEW!!!” Eventually that way of going about things just runs outta steam.

    When the really innovative, creative people in history come along, like John Lennon or maybe Thom Yorke, they just arrive and put out what they’re gonna put out, and you can’t rush that or endlessly reproduce their level of creativity factory-style, because that’s not how it works; it doesn’t come into being for the express purpose of being bastardized by everyone else. In this way music seems to reflect a general trend in society, that we’re already long in the Digital Age and we’re still running things with Industrial Age mores.

  5. eric says:

    It’s cyclic. I remember back in the ’80’s, when my parents proclaimed rock to be dead and they jumped on the country music bandwagon. Of course, they had no interest in the Cure or Metallica either. Then grunge came and went, then the garage/post-punk revival of the early ’00’s. Now things seem pretty lame, but there are plenty of cool young underground bands (as well great well-established above-ground ones) ready to spearhead the next cycle.

  6. TheSanelli says:

    Maybe the “rock star” is dead, most of them are sober, have families and collect state spoons nowadays. But rock isn’t dead. I see FooFighters as the rock band for now, I don’t think any other band can sell arenas like they can.

  7. Shrike58 says:

    Over the last year or so I’ve discovered that rock is alive and well; it’s just that the delivery system is broken. Not that this should be a shock to anyone who is paying attention.