The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 846: The 00s, Part 1 – The Sad State of Rock

How long should we wait before we write the history of a decade? Sure, we can write things down as they happen, but that’s only the first draft. Time has to pass before we can wrap our heads around exactly what happened, what it all meant, and the lasting effect of those ten years.

Something that may have appeared to be insignificant at the time may have turned out to be a really, really big deal. It was only after many years passed and ripples from that thing or event played out do we realize “Holy crap! That was history!”

When it comes to the history of music, it’s often convenient to break things down into decades because that seems to be the natural order of things in so many ways. Music is a great barometer of the life and times of a decade because it’s so intertwined with society: politics, economics, demographics–basically everything to do with culture. Understand the music of a decade and you’ll have a deeper understanding of what happened during that time.

The 50s marked the birth of rock’n’roll. The 60s brought us The Beatles, teh rise of the album and the mega rock festival. In the 70s, we got punk, metal, disco, and rap. The 80s? Technopop, hair metal and hip-hop. The 90s were all about grunge, the Lollapalooza Generation, and Britpop.

That takes us to the end of the 20th century. As transformative and disruptive the 90s were–the introduction of the Internet, cell phones, sampling, and so on–that was only a warmup for the next ten years. And by we got to 2010, everything had changed.

This is the first of a multi-part history of the alt-rock in the first decade of the 21st century which we’re going to called The Oughts.

Music heard on this episode:

Limp Bizkit, Break STuff

Kid Rock, Cowboy

Fatboy Slim, Right Here Right Now

NIN, The Day the World Went Away

David Bowie, Thursday’s Child

Metallica, I Disappear (leaked Napster version)

Wheatus, Teenage Dirtbag

Coldplay, Yellow

Eric Wilhite has created this playlist for us.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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