Ongoing History of New Music

The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 847: The 00s, Part 2 – The Indie Revolution

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:

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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.

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.

Alan Cross has 38513 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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