At the end of the 90s, rock music was deep in the doldrums. Fans were genuinely worried about its future. And it did look grim, especially in contrast to how exciting things had been earlier in the decade.
But in ’98 and ’99, rock was under assault on three sides. Pop music was king and the whole world had gone crazy for those sounds. Then there was rap and hip-hop, which kept getting more popular and stronger every month. Finally, we had electronic, which was siphoning away rock fans to go dance in a warehouse somewhere.
It was grim. Lots of rock fans were despondent. “Hopeless!” some said.
It was around then when that I wrote a newspaper op-ed, a pep talk of sorts. It carried the headline “Britney Spears: The End is Nigh.”
To summarize, this is what I wrote: “There are cycles in music that go back to the 1950s. They describe a battle between rock and pop. When one is at its height, the other is at its low in terms of popularity and influence. Yes, pop is hot right now, but rock will come back. And if you look at the history of these cycles, rock should be ready for a big comeback in about two years.
It turns out I was right. And the artist who led the comeback were a bunch of young unknowns with fresh ideas. This is part two of our look at the music of the oughts. I call this episode “The Indie Revolution.”
Songs from this program:
The Strokes, Last Nite
The Hives, Hate to Say I Told You So
The Vines, Get Free
The White Stripes, Seven Nation Army
Black Box Recorder, The Art of Driving
New Pornographers, Mass Romantic
Arcade Fire, Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)
Black Keys, 10 AM Automatic
Arctic Monkeys, I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor
Kaiser Chiefs, I Predict a Riot
Eric Wilhite has created this hand playlist.
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor, Montreal, Halifax, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.
If you ever miss a show, you can always get the podcast edition available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your on-demand audio.
© 2019 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.