Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Schlock and Troll Hall of Lame, Cleveland's brown is fecal.

The proposed 2014 "inductees" to the so-called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been reviled; oops I mean revealed...

Okay, I have to toss yet another boring nutty over this "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame". Inducting Nirvana is a no-brainer, but to include the middling likes of Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, and Linda Ronstadt, who nobody cares about anymore, refluxes the nausea and unease I felt when Jann Wenner and cronies first forced the "Hall of Fame" conceit in the 80s.

I suppose that they eventually had to include the pathetic cartoon characters Kiss (I will NOT uppercase their stupid name), younger children of the 70s, not knowing any better liked their shtick; to my mind costume rock is better served by Insane Clown Posse and Gwar. Kiss only had one halfway decent song; contemporary uninducted middle of the road yeomen like Bad Company and Boston had at least a half dozen.

They are giving some kind of award to the E Street Band for their pompous bombastic recycling of 1950's rock cliches.

Hall and Oates joins Abba in the Hall of Lame wing, while Kiss of course will be in the Hall of Damn Shame annex. Hall and Oates. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hall and Oates. The Onion? No, sadly true. They are in and but not Jethro Tull, whose song "Living in the Past", by itself, is worth more than Hall and Oates entire career of pale painfully lame white music. Could it be because George Starostin only gave Tull a C? So Tull made some not so good later albums, who hasn't?

Nirvana set a standard for arch lyrically and musically we will probably not see again, my opinion of course being we are in a downward spiral of formula schlock in popular music. While the rest of grungists had downward chord patterns like "Black Hole Sun" and the musical question "Would", Nirvana had crazy ups and downs in songs like "In Bloom" (verse: A# F# D# B A) and "Lithium" (chorus:E G# C# A C D B D) that Cobain managed to carve Michelangelic melodies from, and were well-served by the growled wordplay about angel hair and baby's breath, a mosquito my libido, teenage angst has paid off well.

Linda Ronstadt? Some people like her voice, I saw her at the old Boston Garden, she does not move on stage, not a hair. Have her songs aged well? Do you ever hear any of them? How is she more deserving than Yes? That is indeed a long distance run around.

Cat Stevens had a few entertaining pop songs, but so did Seals and Croft, Jim Croce, and John Denver. Oo baby, baby it's a mild world.

So I think the R+R HoF just enjoys the attention, even from cranks like me lambasting them, they are laughing all the way to the bank, as the saying goes. They held off Rush as long as possible, until 2013, and Rush fans are indeed fanatical, they choose a ready guide with some not so celestial voice.

As the years go by, there are going to be fewer and fewer old acts to "induct"; there are a handful of obvious candidates from the 90's, but 10 years from now they will be at 25 years past the de facto end of the rock era, please don't make me listen to post-rock bands like Arcade Fire or the dreadful Imagine Dragons, torturous predictability. I think a basic shortcoming of today's music is a genuine inability to sing and play with feeling, these whelps have no blues in them. They don't even have any folk in them. What is their base? Their base is the old rock's patina, under which we no longer see the blues and old music that anchored the first 20 years of rock.

Peter Gabriel sans Genesis, that's fine, he had some good sounds. I can't listen to one of his albums all the way through, but "Games without Frontiers", "Big Time", and "In Your Eyes" are terrific songs.

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