What’s rock called today?

Total stream of conscious here – I put my iPod on play – shuffle everything yesterday morning.  Which by the way I don’t think is totally random; songs seem to cluster together by artist.  In this case, I had a lot of R.E.M. songs pop up and reset to listen to Life’s Rich Pageant in particular.  Then it hit me – the album’s 20 years old!

But despite being released two decades ago, LRP doesn’t strike me as "classic rock."  My brain is wired something like this:

  • Beatlemania (1960’s)
  • Classic Rock (1970’s until the dawn of disco)
  • Indie and College Rock (early 80’s – late 80’s)
  • Hair bands and arena rock (mid-80’s post-pop)
  • Grunge and alternative rock (1990’s)
  • Punk revival (mid 90’s)

Then I tuned out.

What’s today’s rock called?  When I look at the current Billboard rock chart, it’s a real mix; there’s some post-grunge, foreign invasion, and power rock.  Not sure how to think about this.  Billboard’s distinction is modern vs. mainstream; mainstream has a definite hair band sound while modern is a menagerie of styles (e.g. how is John Mayer rock?)

Any answers?  One thing for sure, I feel old.