Saturday, June 18, 2011

Literature Review

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Literature Review

There are many different opinions concerning the trend of rock music- how it evolved, where it is, and what it will be like in the future. Using some articles I found via the Internet, I attempted to see how other people viewed some of these topics.

The first article I read was by Chris Bonastia called “Sucking in the ‘70s”, from The New Republic. It is a poorly written article, leaving the reader unsure about what the author was trying to say about the subject of radio stations playing ‘70s music. He starts with the always-fun look at “the good old days”, mentioning suede sneakers, Levi’s corduroys, platform shoes, and Six-Million-Dollar Man t-shirts that were around in his day. He then goes on to discuss the format of certain radio stations and how a lot of new stations are converting to playing rock music from the ‘70s, and so far it’s a hit. He compares it to putting on a pair of old sneakers for middle aged white men. It feels good, and you don’t know you miss it until you try it. He goes on to mention a lot of songs from the’70s and the memories for most of those guys that they bring back. However, the author never discusses how the younger generations react to this music. In fact, he doesn’t mention the younger generations at all in this article. He concludes with stating that most listeners listen because of memories, but everyone listens because of the predictability that these stations have.

The second article is by Hugh Porter and is called “Rock Revival” from Time. It is a very short article basically about the new rock bands that are coming out, and who their influences are and whom they sound like compared to their early rock band influences. The author states “rock’s revival will continue, with new bands bringing some much needed diversity to the scene”. The author then concludes with the statement, “The really exciting stuff is happening in the clubs-with hot, young primitive bands inspiring others. So get out to a show, wherever you are”.

The third article is by John Leo and is called “Rock Music’s Din and Decline” from U.S News and World Report. It is a very well written article clearly stating the author’s views and using examples to support them. It’s about how rock music has lost its meaning and substance. The article starts with discussing the Jimi Hendrix version of the Star Spangled Banner and all of the noise that Jimi plays during, through, and around the melody, and how all of it has reference to the Vietnam War, how it has meaning, and how it has substance. He then compares that to more modern music, which is also very noisy. However, it’s noisy just to be noisy, to be shocking. The music has lost melody, which, the author states, makes music music. He then goes on to discuss the lyrics of today’s music, and how “the idea is to shock through cruelty and obscenity-lyrics and album images that focus on bloody body parts, dead fetuses, raped and beaten women”. The author concludes with saying that the spread of this new music into the mainstream is a social problem, and then uses strong images to back it up.

These three authors agree and disagree in many aspects of their articles. They all agree that ‘70s rock music good music. The first author doesn’t discuss newer rock music at all, while the last two have totally opposite opinions, one thinking how rock is coming back and how it’s awesome, the other thinking that it’s dead and awful.

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