Wednesday, December 12, 2012
A Loss for Words
Yes, I sat out another week. If I could find the time to sit down...
In honor of Led Zeppelin receiving the Kennedy Center Honors this year and the recent release of Celebration Day, I'm going on the soapbox for one of my all-time favorite bands. There is a meme on Facebook (and other social networking sites, I'm sure) that has been getting on my nerves lately. At the top of the image is a sample lyric from "Kashmir," at the bottom either a Justin Bieber or Beyonce lyric from the last year or two. This meme is meant to point out the superficiality of modern pop music, though it's heavily biased and just a tad ageist.
Keep in mind that Led Zeppelin was a product of the '70s; lyrics about wizards and vikings were not considered "weird." Let it be known that for a brief, shining moment progressive rock was actually considered "cool." People bought records by Deep Purple, Yes, and King Crimson, three bands that would be considered strange and unmarketable in this day and age. These Bieber haters --not that I disagree with their vitriol-- pretend to forget that artists like Tony Orlando & Dawn, Wings, and Captain & Tenille were putting out cheesy, compatible dreck nearly two generations ago. If you want musicians of lyrical substance in the 21st century, listen to college radio or any AAA format. Songcraft still exists.
On that note, I would like to raise a glass for the recently departed jazz legend Dave Brubeck. "Time Out" (1959) is one of the defining albums of jazz, and the sequel "Time Further Out" (1961) is no slouch either. What's even more amazing is that he was recording great music well into his 80s, including the underrated, understated "London Flat, London Sharp" (2005), not to mention touring until maybe a year ago.
Next Week: the year in music, 2012.