”The David Brent of musical genres”?


Sam Leith “So rock's dead? Oh well, it was always the David Brent of musical genres” http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jan/16/sam-leith-death-of-rock


The first thing to be said is that the absence of rock from the singles chart doesn't prove rock is dead. It simply proves that the people who buy singles aren't buying rock. It suggests, assuming rock fans do still exist, either that they are buying albums (perhaps the rock fans of today are older and wealthier), or that they are stealing albums (sorry, yes, piracy isn't technically theft – but let's not bore on about that, eh?), or that they are watching rock music live.

My guess is that it's all three. The demise of Melody Maker, the withering of NME, and the amazing retro-ness of the rock scene over the last few years, with bands (Pixies, Jane's Addiction, Dinosaur Jr, Led Zep etc etc) reforming all over the shop and/or playing their old albums (Suede, Flaming Lips, Primal Scream etc etc) indicates that the teenage rock fans of yesterday are the middle-aged rock nostalgists of today. It is kids – or very old ladies, perhaps – who buy singles, and they are listening to pop and R&B.

The problem is that if the kids aren't listening to rock, when they go into the music industry they won't make rock. It is going to run out. We have discovered too late that rock, like fossil fuels, is a finite resource. Sometime in the early 1990s, we hit Peak Rock: we now have only managed decline and a Mad Max style post-rock world to look forward to. Don't get me wrong. I love rock music. I'm so uncool I even sing along to the Killers in the car. But I have to recognise that I am that old fart I warned my younger self about. When I go to rock concerts, I don't look about me and see The Kids. I look around me and see The Man. The world's remaining rock deposits are being stripmined by irresponsible members of the boomer and post-boomer generations.

そもそもロック・ファンの中心をなす中年はシングルを買わず、アルバムを買う。シングルを買うのは主にティーンエイジャーだが、彼/彼女たちはロックを聴かない。問題はロック・ファンの高齢化であり、現在のティーンエイジャーが将来音楽業界に入ってもロックをやる見込みはなく、ロックは先細りとなるということだ。ロックは「化石燃料と同様に有限資源なのだ」。Sam Leith氏の認識では、ロックのピークは1990年代前半であり、それ以降はずっと下降傾向にある。

Just think how embarrassing the continued existence of rock'n'roll is for our children. Look at it from their point of view. What are the signifiers of rock – or "rawk", as professional music journalists like to call it? What is eau de rock? Even those of us who love guitars and drums and shouting must concede that, put down in plain black and white, those signifiers make rock music look like the David Brent of musical genres.

Who are the iconic rock fans in popular culture? They are Beavis and Butthead, Bill and Ted, Wayne and Garth, and Jack Black's character in School of Rock. Rock has given us the worst clothes, the worst haircuts, and the worst dances of all time. It has given us air guitar. It has given us Billy Idol. It has given us people who shout "Rock'n'ROOOLLLL!"
スクール・オブ・ロック スペシャル・コレクターズ・エディション [DVD]

スクール・オブ・ロック スペシャル・コレクターズ・エディション [DVD]

さて、”the David Brent of musical genres”ということなのだが、David Brentって誰だ。BBCのコメディ(フェイク・ドキュメンタリー)The Officeのキャラクターであるらしい。http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/characters/profile_david.shtmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Brentを見ると、かなり困ったちゃんに属するオヤジ/上司であるらしい。やれやれ。

*1:Alexandra Topping “RIP rock'n'roll? Professor of pop reads the last rites” http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jan/10/rock-n-roll-read-last-rites