Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bring Back Anthemic Rock Ballads


I miss the U2 of the '80s and '90s. Not that I don't admire Bono's do-goodery as the Ambassador for the World, but the music is getting a little ponderous and preachy to me. I miss the righteous (in the '80s slang sense, rather than self-righteous) rock when he and The Edge just riffed it and rocked it while keeping it real. It's like how I like the rock ballads of the '80s hair bands. You can sing about love and other touch-feely stuff, and totally ROCK.

I sound like the worst kind of idealistic liberal, and I probably am. But it's not like how some people like only the early slapstick days of M*A*S*H. I prefer the seriousness of the latter years and the philsophical questions the show explored about war and death. Actually, the writer Greil Marcus wrote that if bands have corollary TV shows, U2 would be M*A*S*H, because both got a little preachy in the end. I also just think that U2's music was just plain better back in the day.

I was just writing Hipster Law Prof that:

"In many ways, I was born too late. I think my teen years should have been in the '80s, and my early adulthood in the '90s. The '00s aren't so bad, but maybe it's because we're in the middle of it that I can't define the zeitgeist.

But I can say that the defining moments of my early adulthood were the Impeachment of Clinton, Columbine, the Election of 2000, and September 11. During my teenage years, I remember being perplexed by the LA Riots (age 12), Kurt Cobain's suicide (age 14), and the confirmation of Clarence Thomas.

But to me, those are pretty rough markers to have. I remember reading Sarah Vowell's The Partly Cloudy Patriot, and she said her life's defining moments were 'the 1976 Bicentennial, the Iran hostage crisis, Iran-Contra, the Los Angeles riots, the impeachment trial of President Clinton, and the 2000 presidential election.' At least one of those was a happy event."

Maybe I just haven't found what I've been looking for.

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