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Re: ‘How the Boy Bands Killed Mainstream Rock’

Wah-wah-wah-why-wasn’t-I-born-in-the-60’s arguments seem to be the calling card of our generation. Subtract a few years and I’m sure you’d get the calling card of the generation before us. And so on.

It doesn’t bother me that Matt Fisher thinks current popular music is garbage, but leave Pearl Jam out of it.

Besides acting like music is objective (i.e. assuming his opinions about the goodness and greatness and terribleness of bands is universally held by the l33t), Fisher says we need a rock band that writes “new” music — 1) “new and good” does not translate to “I’d want to see that live” and 2) calling music “new” is like “discovering” the New World (serious people know it’s all a lie).

Regardless, people aren’t living in a paralyzing wake from Boy Bands. Lots of people just don’t like The Shins or The Strokes or maybe Spoon. Lots of people don’t hail rock and roll as the God of music (what about The Roots? Jay-Z? Daft Punk?). Lots of people know it’s only particles anyway so you might as well have a fun band instead of an extra serving of vegetables and intellectualism.

That’s not to say that I don’t agree with Fisher that Spring Weekend acts haven’t been that great. But unlike Fisher, I don’t think a rallying call will make students choose Kings of Leon over Ben Folds. I do, however, think that a rational, serious, non-condescending attempt to have acts be chosen in a representative democracy instead of a democracy (i.e. vote for people who you think know about music/live shows and would get a good act) could work. But until then, you probably won’t get far by telling people who democratically elected the last years’ bands that they have bad taste in music. And please, leave Pearl Jam out of it. (Seriously, have you seen their live performances?)

Brian C. Wheeler ’10