Monday, April 02, 2007

Blender Falls Into the Abyss

Traditional rock critics irk me because they overvalue the past, particularly the 60's, and undervalue other eras of music. Rolling Stone has innumerable covers and paeans to Bob Dylan and his genius. Local Chicago writers, including those on "Sound Opinions", also can't help but obsess over the Beatles from the "Rubber Soul" era. Almost as annoying was the religious reverence shown to the Ramones, Sex Pistols, and the Clash as they blasted onto the critical radar in the 70's.

On the other hand, BLENDER, the music magazine spawned by Maxim, thumbed its nose at these hoary old rock critic cliches. Blender featured and pushed newer acts, and gave credit to Hip Hop and dance music as well as traditional rock. I like Blender because I frequently learned something about these various genres and I couldn't "phone in" reverence for Dylan and the Beatles like listening to the all time list on a classic rock show and waiting to see if Freebird or Stairway to Heaven was going to take the top honors. The highlight for Blender was their top 100 list of songs from the 1980's onward, with the bold choices in the Top Ten including B.O.B. by Outkast and "Love Will Tear Us Apart Again" by Joy Division.

Blender recently created a fake NCAA tournament with 64 bands categorized into 4 divisions called "Rock Star Wars". There were some interesting pairings in the early round such as "The Replacements" against "Notorious BIG" and some fun was had by all.

BUT... imagine my horror to see the final game in this faux tournament - it is BOB DYLAN vs. the BEATLES. Did I accidentally open an issue of Rolling Stone magazine? What is going on here? Couldn't they have pulled out something remotely interesting, such as U2 or Nirvana or Tupac? Anyone but the Beatles and Bob Dylan...

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