Monday, December 13, 2010


There's a little notepad that I keep on my living room table in case I come across something that I can use as a blog post or joke about at a later time. It doesn't get used very often, because usually I'm on my computer the whole time the TV is on but I went looking through it the other day and found something that I wrote down about three months ago.

I still have a legit subscription to Rolling Stone magazine and twenty six times a year, I'll open my mail, look at the cover and either read it that day or be so confused by what they put on the cover that I just throw it in the recycle bin. I was reading a review of the Lollapalooza show that happened this past summer and the lead of the article was the fact that on the first night (it's a three day event) people were forced to choose between watching either Lady Gaga at one end of the park or The Strokes in their first U.S. show in four years at the other, and there was a quote to go along with that from Metric singer Emily Haines.
"It's sort of like the Beatles versus the Rolling Stones."
I'd never listened to Metric until just now as I'm writing this—and they're not bad at all, I'm really kind of digging it. In fact I'll probably download an album or two when I'm done here, but...

Emily Haines is a fucking moron. Lady Gaga versus the Strokes is absolutely nothing like that.

I'm not a music snob (not really, anyway) and I don't think I could have a passionate, spirited discussion on the merits of the Beatles versus the Rolling Stones, but I've always been firmly in the Stones camp, in case you were wondering. And I'm willing to bet that in the late 60s/early 70s, no one could have predicted that those two bands would be spawning arguments for decades to come. But some people still do have that discussion and I feel confident saying that those are two of the most influential bands of all time.

I also feel confident saying that, forget 30 years from now, but just three years from now, Lady Gaga will have been relegated to nothing more than a lazy SNL punchline. The Strokes probably have a little more staying power, but they will never have the lasting impact of either the Rolling Stones or the Beatles.

In fact, this is probably an argument for another time altogether, but I don't think it's possible for any band or artist to be as influential or widely popular as those groups. There's just too much music out there to choose from now and everyone has such varying degrees of taste that the best you can hope for is to find your niche audience and do well for a few years. Either that, or get really famous and popular really fast, because it'll all be over before you know it.

And that's exactly the direction I see Lady Gaga and her ridiculous outfits headed. She'll make more money tomorrow alone than I will over the course of my entire life but by the middle of the next decade, she'll be nothing more than a has been on Dr. Drew's internet only reality show and Mick Jagger and Kieth Richards will still be trotting out Satisfaction at award shows because they've found the fountain of middle age, but still refuse to share it with anyone else.

The upside to all of this? I like Metric now. Who would have guessed?

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