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.