Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Right to Rock

One of the fundamentals tenets of rock and roll is challenging authority and the status quo. From the original days of the genre, rock that was too close to the mainstream didn’t stay popular (or at least cool) for long. The reinvention of the sound to challenge the old guard is an essential part of rock music’s legend. Therefore, a list of the Top 50 conservative rock songs almost seems a little like an oxymoron. If rock is anything, it’s not supposed to be “conservative”, no matter the politics of the maker (i.e. Ted Nugent). Besides, some of the inclusion on the list are a little curious: Ben Folds? Because “Brick” shows the darker side of abortion? It’s a stretch, considering Ben Fold’s own pro-choice stance. The whole process has the fishy smell of trying to make conservatism seem way hipper than it actually is.

Anyway, maybe this list signals the end of rock as an opposing force to mainstream culture (if that didn’t already happen long ago). Everyone knows that the real music of youth and rebellion now is rap, while rock is for aging hippies and post-grunge hangers-on like me. So in 30 years are we going to see a list of the Top 50 “conservative” rap songs?


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