Dissent through music

Aerosmith sells you a Buick
In which the rock icons waste their finest song, and rock n’ roll finally gasps its last

Maybe rock n’ roll finally died, really and truly and once and for all, roughly a decade ago, when Microsoft shelled out a whopping and still quite ludicrous $10 million to Jagger & Co. for the use of the Stones’ classic “Start Me Up” for the massive overblown launch of the utterly awful and terrifically bug-addled Windows 95.

Did you cringe at all when you heard Iggy Pop’s fabulous “Lust for Life” during that commercial for the utter dystopian nightmare that is Royal Caribbean cruises? Did you laugh in a bitter and dejected sort of way when you read about that PR firm that wanted to use Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” to market a hemorrhoid cream?

Because make no mistake, there is no longer any even the remotest argument that says cool rebellious artistic integrity still exists as any sort of separate and distinct category from crass commercial whoredom.

No. There’s still plenty of political dissent out there, still numerous musicians making powerful statements – System of a Down, Dead Presidents, Ministry, Rage Against the Machine, Green Day, to name just a few. Hey, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore has dozens of current antiwar songs on his website available for free download!

Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zep may mindlessly whore themselves to the highest bidder. But their best days were decades ago and they’ve been running on fumes ever since. They make millions but matter not. More importantly, don’t judge current bands based on the actions of faded geezers.
Rebellion didn’t go away. Not everyone sold out. Political dissent through music is thriving.

Don’t want to be an American idiot.
Don’t want a nation under the new media.
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mindfuck America.

Green Day, American Idiot