It's just a stroke

Delia True: You know what, Christy? The rock music scene sucks ass right now.

Christy Crunch: That’s a depressing generalization for a Friday afternoon.

DT: I’m thinking about going into hibernation. You know, I’ll just listen to all my old standbys, maybe get a little more pre-rock and roll...blues, big band, perhaps a little gospel. And when I wake up, this bad spell will have passed.

CC: What if it doesn’t? What if the arteries of rock and roll are clogged, and it’s only a matter of time before it gasps its last breath?

DT: Don’t you dare make me say it.

CC: What if there is a masked marauder sneaking up from behind rock and roll with a silencer and a bad case of Alzheimer's?

DT: Don’t…

CC: What if Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were walking into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a battle plan-like floor map, plotting to turn it into an Iraq War Propaganda Museum?

DT: Okay, okay! You got me. I'll say it. Rock and roll will never die.

CC: Alright, maybe not. But think about what this downward trend means. Kurt Cobain, dead. Elliot Smith, dead. Billy Corgan, on a solo comeback, which pretty much means his career is dead. The most exciting musicians of the '90s are gone. Remember the last time a carload of visionaries killed themselves?

DT: Yeah. Disco and Nixon happened.

CC: Exactly.

DT: So we’re fucked.

CC: Yeah. Disco.

DT: Wanna go into hibernation with me?

CC: I don’t know. I might live this one out. Maybe this time something shocking, rebellious, and exciting will come out of the chaos. The Bush-era corporate dominance is the perfect time for an artistic uprising.

DT: I know. But what troubles me is that my original argument – that today rock music sucks ass – is rooted in a lack of inspiration. All the best-marketed young bands of the past five years sound exactly like an older bands. It’s as if they came to exist so that rock journalists could name drop band references instead of making an effort to describe the music, or worse, so the struggling recording industry could make a quick buck off previously successful formulas.

CC: It works for movies and television. Why not music?

DT: It’s too late to save movies and television. No matter how many groundbreaking films and shows pass the radar, boatloads of needless sequels and new spins on the same-old-dating-show will still set sail into the sea of happily ignorant American consumers.

CC: You think?

DT: Yeah, why else is Bush in the White House? But I’d like to think music is still salvageable. There’s something pure and unique about the original band that can still be inspiring without resorting to outright fabrication.

CC: But, still, it's all over the place. Interpol, the Strokes, the Thrills, Kings of Leon – the music scene is full of con-artists walking around like real artists, playing the best music of yesterday…badly.

DT: Those imposters should all be arrested for reckless endangerment of rock and roll.

CC: And writing high school poetry in place of lyrics.

DT: I distinctly remember you saying that an Interpol lyric made you cry.

CC: Yeah, so? High school poetry can be sad.

DT: Whatever you say.

CC: You like the Strokes.

DT: What, is that some kind of challenge? Sure, I'll admit it. I can do the Strokes. They’re catchy. But it’s like the name – all about the name. It’s just a stroke. Doesn’t go deeper than that, unless you're a guy. At least the Strokes are honest about their lack of originality. The industry itself is the worst – the ways they market these hacks…

CC: Yeah, the best was that billboard of the Jet album that had four stars in quotations, and then below, it said, ‘Everyone.’

DT: That worked on me. I totally believed that everyone gave the Jet album four stars. That ‘Lust for Life’ ripoff alone deserves five stars.

CC: Tone down the sarcasm! It's so biting, ‘Everyone’ will think you’re serious!

DT: Okay, fine. In all seriousness, the Jet phenomenon represents everything that is wrong with the music business today. The lyrics aren’t just bad. Do these guys even know bar chords? Is there a way to Ashlee Simpson your way through a guitar part?

CC: I know where this is going. You miss the guitar solo. You visit its grave every night.

DT: You got me.

CC: Delia, the guitar solo is not coming back.

DT: It’s not?

CC: No.

DT: Well, it’s about time I did something about it.

CC: You’re going to bring back the guitar solo? How ambitious.

DT: All I can do is provide a convincing argument for its return to mainstream rock and roll music.

CC: I’m not convinced. I’ll believe it when I hear it.

DT: Oh, you’ll hear it.


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