Man, I’m pissed. I’m more than pissed, I want to throw something sharp (like a katana) at my television. Why you ask? So here I am watching a DVD of one of the greatest bands to come out of the whole 90’s alternative thing, Local H. “Whoa“, you’re probably thinking, “if he thinks Local H is one of the greatest bands to come out of the 90’s, then why does he want to throw a katana at his television?” Simple. I know that it’ll never be this good again, not if fucking Clear Channel have anything to say about it. Let me ask y’all a question: When was the last time you listened to the radio? Can you even remember? I remember. It was for 10 minutes in the car last week. It was the classic rock station. “Drain You” by Nirvana was blaring from the speakers. The classic rock station, Q104.3. If you were born before 1993, that’s really the only station left in all of New York that plays good music. Does that piss you off? Because it fucking infuriates me. Let’s time travel, shall we?
“Nevermind“, with the major push of that single, blew the fucking doors down for bands that would’ve not have had a chance …
It’s now September 10, 1991. Seattle’s sons, Nirvana have just released the first single to what was to be their defining stamp on music. “Smells Like Teen Spirit“. Okay, so the song itself got played out rather quickly, but if there was any good to come out of Nirvana blowing up the way they did, it was enough that the band and their sophomore effort, “Nevermind“, with the major push of that single, blew the fucking doors down for bands that would’ve not have had a chance had it not been for Nirvana’s mainstream success. What Nirvana did was bring the underground above ground and for a little while, there was hope in a music scene that was bombarded with make up wearing, hair teasing, cock rock misogynists. It was refreshing, and if you were a teenager coming up in the 1990’s, the 90’s “alternative” scene was the united voice of the disenchanted and disenfranchised.
the music reflected a bright, shining light on who was really in charge. The kids.
The music that came out the 90’s reflected the mood of the country. People have often said music saves likes, but from 1991 until the last gasping hours of the decade, the music reflected a bright, shining light on who was really in charge. The kids. Generation X picked up where the hippie movement of the 1960’s left off, except we did it not with peace, love, and kumbaya, we turned our backs on those who tried to instill their Reagan/Bush, Sr. ways of living, and we molded the nation to fit our mood. We didn’t conform to their archaic ways, instead we forced them to march to the beat of our indifferent drum. Sure, you can make the statement that by Nirvana breaking into the mainstream the way they did, that the whole scene eventually became rather saturated and systematically commercial, and I’ll agree with you every time. It’s fucked up to say, but that’s how things happen. We wanted them to conform to our way of thinking, and before you knew it, flannel shirts were selling for $120. It was ridiculous.
This past June, Rob Zombie gave an interview where he stated:
“In the ’90s, when the grunge rock thing hit, with Nirvana and all that, everybody thought it was cool to be anti-rock star. But in a way they sort of anti-rock starred themselves right out the door, because the rap guys came in and they said, ‘Fuck it. We’ll be the rock stars then, if you guys are going to wear flannel shirts and stare at your feet.’ And in the U.S., truthfully, rock music has never recovered from that.”
I’m sorry Rob, but I have to disagree with you. If the grunge music did anything, it revitalized the music scene, and those “anti-rock stars” you mention we’re, at least on my end, more accessible than the trash hair metal bands who came before. The flash and pizzaz of 80’s glam rock and the like was a farce to begin with. It was all excess. Mötley Crüe and Poison are the archetype of what was to come just a mere 20 years later, except it came in the form of rap and hip hop, and unlike the 80’s when rap was new and fresh and had a message, in the tail-end of the 1990’s, you had acts like Jay-Z, a little later, Kanye West reared his ugly head and now instead of the flash and faux rebellion of shitty bands like Mötley Crüe and the like, this third wave of hip hop “artists” bought into the system that their predecessors were railing against in the early to late 80’s. It might sound like I’m backing up Zombie’s misguided rant against the grunge movement, when in actuality I’m expressing disappointment at the hip hop community for allowing themselves to become puppets for The Man.
The mainstream rap game is not as accessible as these flawed role models lead you to believe.
I understood the message expressed by the forefathers of the rap game who preached coming up from oppression, but it seems like hip hop artists today completely missed the mark. Flashing cash and popping bottles does not translate itself to coming up from oppression; it sets up a mock reality that fans of the genre bought hook, line, and sinker. Not everyone who plays soccer can be Pele, and not everyone who tries their hand at hip hop immortality will likely ever get beyond rapping in their bedrooms. The mainstream rap game is not as accessible as these flawed role models lead you to believe. To put the kibosh on Mr. Zombie’s statement, I have to believe that he’s probably pissed off at the fact that aside from a few hits in the late 90’s, that ultimately, he’ll only just be a footnote on the blazed trail set up by bands like Nirvana, Local H, Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins and so on and so forth.
Fred “Look at my red Yankees hat, don’t I look like a fly ass white boy” Durst
Do you want to know when I believe it all went downhill for rock music? Do you really want to know? The date is now June 22, 1999. Jacksonville, Florida’s own Limp Bizkit, rap rock’s crowning heirs had just released their follow-up to their 1997 smash debut album, Three Dollar Bill, Y’all, and almost two years later came their follow up. Limp Bizkit were nothing new. They were well schooled by the then-kings of rap rock, KoЯn, so you see, the shift in music started happening with them back when their self-titled debut hit back in 1994, but it was Limp Bizkit’s mouthpiece, Fred “Look at my red Yankees hat, don’t I look like a fly ass white boy” Durst who helped usher in the bullshit that’s playing on the radio today. Three Dollar Bill, Y’all was tight. The music on the album was nice and heavy, the aggression was just want a new crop of teenagers coming up in this world needed. Aside from the Bizkit’s cover of George Michael‘s song, “Faith“, which was the right move for the band to make in order to make their mark on the scene; the album was chockfull of heavy, bust-shit-up songs. It was a great debut, and just a mere two years later, Fred Durst shed the mask, and showed himself for who he truly was: a fraud, a fake, counterfeit, a phony douche in so few words.
Limp Bizkit’s follow up, Significant Other, did have some good tracks, and then you got to track 10. The song was “N 2 Gether Now“, a rap duet featuring Wu-Tang Clan‘s Method Man. Now, when it comes to my musical tastes, I’d call myself pretty open, and I actually kind of dug the song for maybe five minutes, but for the life of me, I couldn’t understand what Limp Bizkit was thinking when they decided to include the song on the album. When compared to Three Dollar Bill, Y’all, Significant Other was a failed attempt at a follow up. Now, I’m not speaking from a chart point of view, but more like a fan of music. What made Three Dollar Bill, Y’all was not Fred Durst shitty lyrics, it was the aggressiveness of the music. Fred Durst can’t write lyrics to save his life. It’s really a hit and miss with him. “N 2 Gether Now” was not what I expected after show of force that was the bands debut. Personally, as a somewhat fan, I felt conned. Limp Bizkit’s releases since Significant Other have only gotten worse.
The scene that was cultivated in the early 90’s was no more.
Getting away from the music side of it, Durst antics outside of the stage is what truly helped put the final nail in the coffin of rock music. Here he is, writing songs about pop princess, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, giving these princesses the spotlight. People took notice. The scene that was cultivated in the early 90’s was no more. Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, those were the acts that were dominating the radio airwaves and MTV (before the reality television cancer had spread).
… did I hear “Night Flight To Paris” on any of my hometown stations? Fuck no!
Here we are now. Present day. Gone are the glory days of rock. Great rock music is still being created. Some of it is coming from the bands that made their bones in the 90’s, but for the most part, these bands are ignored all for the sake of party rocking (LMFAO). In 2012, Local H released their fan-fucking-tastic seventh record (Hallelujah! I’m A Bum), but did I hear “Night Flight To Paris” on any of my hometown stations? Fuck no! I bet more than half the people reading about me spouting off about Local H this, and Local H that probably thought that the band died away with their 1996 hit single, “Bound For The Floor“. How wrong you were; but alas, this is not your fault. Radio wasn’t featuring the band, so how could you know, right? Speaking of one half of the H, frontman, Scott Lucas, that guy is as busy as ever. Along with Local H, Scott has a solo act (Scott Lucas And The Married Men), an electro pop fun group (The Prairie Cartel), and he plays guitar in The Early Sound, but hey, let’s ignore all of that, and play that Lady Gaga song that’s already played on the radio 27 times, because you know, I just can’t get enough of that shit.
Monster Brew’s music will make you move every which way.
Rock might be dead (on the radio at least), but the genre is very much alive, it just no longer has a platform required to showcase it. There are great bands cropping up every day, but how would we know without the support of radio play? In New York, there’s this new great band by the name of Monster Brew who’ve just completed their debut album. Monster Brew’s music will make you move every which way. It’s a party every time these guys play a show and they have that little something about them that, if given the chance at a little exposure, it wouldn’t take that long for them to make some sort of mark on the current scene. Yet, the reality is that unless something changes within this very rigid system that champions flash in the pan shit acts like the LMFAO‘s Nicki Minaj‘s, and Justin Beibers, how the fuck is little Johnny from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin ever going to know that Monster Brew even exist? Here he is about to spend his parents hard earned cash on iTunes.com to purchase the latest release from Katy Perry, and little does he know that there’s better music that could be had? He’ll never have a chance because the right to decide whether he wanted better was never given to him. I say fuck that.
We were given a voice for one reason and one reason alone—TO FUCKING RAISE IT!
So there you have it. Outlined in 2,2338 words, this is why I am fucking angry. Every day, the radio bombards us with the same old, same old shit and I don’t forsee an end in sight. MTV gave up on us long ago, Clear Channel treats us all like one and the same. To them, we’re nothing but a bunch of screeching 12-year old girls, and that’s just insulting. It’s insulting to you, me, and everybody who came up at a time when music was exciting again. I say no more! No more of this souless swill they pollute our ears with! Remember getting excited when your favorite Radiohead song would come on the radio? I mean, the 90’s was the last great generation; you hear people saying that all the time, and if that’s the case, then why are we, the 30-somethings that came up in the 90’s, all but forgotten? Where the fuck did my rock music go? I say revolt! Demand better music from your local stations! We were given a voice for one reason and one reason alone—TO FUCKING RAISE IT! NOW, LET ME HEAR YOU!!
If you want in on Monster Brew, please feel free to check them out at the following places:
The featured header image was used from hqwide.com