What is art, is it actually moving metaphysically with velocity? I used this term yesterday on facebook to describe U2’s “Bad,” and it seems as good a tab as any, far better for instance than “acceleration,” that is, or “plot point.” There’s no stopping or starting involved, and often those who begin at the bottom only exude more glory in getting to the top, but then, at the same time, maybe rock and roll doesn’t move in a straight line at all, in which case these words would be worthless.
In any case, it seems, in life, there are two things — fighting and peace, that have always existed, and rock music is the essence in between. It’s what you need at work, when you need peace, when you can’t fight, but still need to be an individual. The whole thing was started, after all, by slaves who would pick cotton, and don’t think the songs came naturally to them. I bet it was the work of one master craftsman, who probably subsequently got a lot of flak from some disapproving epidermal protruberances, but in the end did like Del said: had them “feeling sensations that you thought was dead.”
They brought it in, it got tooken by the white man (Elvis), and they preached peace and love while the government slaid auspicious visionaries and eschewed culture lines with blaxploitation, et. al., so by the ’70’s black people were already rightfully enraged and fed up with rock music, creating disco, and from this, in part, hip-hop.
All the more bee-hooving of a “white” brand of 21st century rock music, enter Gavin Degraw. This is music for white kids who had no idea what to do with their lives, who maybe are despondent, got caught with weed and went back to live with their moms, but still get hypnotized by a flower on the side of the road, and have every tile on their grandmother’s kitchen floor memorized. Gavin Degraw did it though. How many of us out there would make artistic statements if it didn’t mean hurting someone close to us? Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be,” or something like that, starts out with the lines “I don’t wanna be anything / But a prison guard’s son and…” Boy, that’s’n’a make for some silence around the Christmas table. But he uses it as a buoy to his masterpiece, “Chariot,” a song that, you know, is like David Gray, or, you know, is like U2. And now, a drink poured out for the slain inhibition.