Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Over and Done

So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2015 inductees. Joan Jett, pretty good choice. Lou Reed, definitely. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble -- you mean Stevie wasn't in already? What? Oh, well, Let's keep going...

Green Day.

Green Day?

Green Day...a band that capitalized on a little bit of punk nostalgia in the mid-90s to put their little slice of ersatz crunch on top of the charts with a song that began, "Do you have the time/To listen to me whine?" A band that managed to sound "just like" the real punks of the 1970s and 80s long enough to catch the recycling ethos of the modern music industry and put their fourth album, Dookie, on the charts. A band whose admittedly catchy hooks and goofily dumb songs made for a tolerable listen of radio stations that wouldn't play the real thing written by the Ramones twenty years earlier.

And a band which had already begun its predictable fade into the obscurity of the one- or two-hit wonder when it released the 2004 album American Idiot, which music critics saw as an indictment of something they called "George Bush's America." Some of the less imaginative claimed the album was actually named after the 43rd president. Either way, Idiot combined the band's new inability to take itself unseriously with a penchant for swiping lyrical images and music from everywhere under the sun to make a record just like the ones that had made the original punk bands throw up their hands in disgust at the music industry: Dumb, grandiose, and saturated with self-important artsy pretentiousness.

Hmmm...maybe they're a good fit for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after all.

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