If you’re not familiar with SXSW, it’s one of a few Austin festivals that the capital city of Texas economically benefits from. That is, everyone but the artists and musicians that live there 24/7. (It’s a lot like Rockford, IL–Sock Monkey’s HQ– in many ways minus the major music festivals.)
Today’s state of rock n’ roll address summary from Austin’s commercial enterprise, SXSW, was provided by Dave Grohl; appointed the keynote speaker for the 2013 SXSW Music Convention (aka, another party to allow the born-again suits, critics, bloggers, veteran rockers needing a refuel, and cultural tastemakers an extended weekend bender with society’s best drinkers and drug addicts). If you haven’t heard Grohl narrating or providing commentary to any rock documentary made in the last 5 to 10 years, well, you haven’t realized how far and wide that ‘Nirvana’ card can earn a nice guy with a career in mediocre music making more cards to talk about whatever next great thing he’s done in his garage or on that new video camera he bought at Best Buy.
Here’s a reinterpretation of today’s Grohl speech.
Rock n’ roll’s an extension of high school. Difference is, 25 years later the nerds who hated everyone at one point are the jocks that people look to for attention and satisfaction, and the high school jocks are now cops and roadies or that one guy you don’t like to stand near in the P.E. shower or at a show.
It all comes around and it’s not cool or lame no matter how you look at it. None of it matters. Rock n’ roll is either the lie you didn’t want to hear the truth about later on in life or a catalyst for homelessness, addiction, and self destruction. It is a lie. Rock n’ roll is a lie that can’t save you from the inevitable truth.
Some of music’s brightest quarterbacks make the shittiest music because they can and because they sell–Dave Grohl. Look there, in the crowd! The young rookie smoke monsters, corrupt and corrosive to everyone around them; and over there are the cry babies and cheerleaders; oh, how we love the sluts and the wide receivers; don’t ignore the back-up quarterbacks. The music industry’s brightest bench players are as meaningless as a high school football team’s coaching staff.
Home is where the dog is at and a volume knob. Nice guy or not, power off, Dave; and lose the glasses.
Andy Whorehall (SM)
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