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Between Revolutions

In praise of the in-between periods in rock and pop history

It feels like one of those periods right now.

Seems like rock hasn't had an explosive movement or scene since NYC/London skinny jeans in early 2000. In comparison, right now feels a little like what 97-2000 was to grunge and alternative rock. I swear I even read the "2008 was a slow year for music" pronouncement from several music mags, but I can't remember which.

And it hasn't just happened to the hipsters. There are legions of unnecessarily quiet pre-teens and teens right now with little to scream at. But then again, will anything ever again compare with the H-bomb that was Britney, Xtina, Backstreets, N'Sync, etc.? Miley feels like a postscript to all that, and she already seems to be on the wane.

Will there be another explosive indie and/or rock music 'scene' someplace, or has the internet rendered scenes much harder to ignite by finally completely delocalizing music and consistently meeting the need for new things so that pressure cannot build up? This is after all what happened with Nirvana in 92. Will there even be another incarnation of 'rock' music, or is the genre slowly getting calcified, like jazz, into something the kids aren't going to bother transforming anymore?

What about all the poor hipster douchebags on college campuses and in gentrified neighborhoods around the world? What are they feeling superior about now? Kickball leagues?

Of course, a movement can provide a spark of energy and purpose, but it's the artists that have to drive that with every single performance, and there's plenty of innovative artists making their best work right now. Which was the point of the Slate article anyway.