I'm all busy and crap writing an article on rock music so here's a new thought on yesterday's question, this time from Mark Baumgarten, wonderboy of Minneapolis, infinity, and beyond!
I like his use of the word "fuckin'. " i didn't ask his permission to post this. oops!
"what lester said about rock 'n' roll was right on, but i always thought that he could take it further in what he said. rock 'n' roll IS something (anything) that makes you feel alive, but alive covers a larger area than a lot of people want to believe. alive is always associated with the excitement of being an independant breathing being with a total control over your own life. i think though (and lester gets at this by mentioning Mingus and Hank) that sometimes the most alive you can feel is during the down times, when you feel low, embattled and alone. because, when you feel like the grime of the earth, two things are going on -- you're looking at the entire rest of the world and at yourself at the same time, and the thing you notice is that you are not like them. and if the mood is right and the music is right, this can be the most empowering feeling a living breathing being can feel.
i know it's a little dark, but i think that lots of people gloss over that part of rock 'n' roll. low is rock 'n' roll; nick cave is rock 'n' roll; (sad) R.E.M. is rock 'n' roll; tom waits is rock 'n' roll; pedro the lion is rock 'n' roll; george orwell is rock 'n' roll; fuckin', sylvia plath is rock 'n' roll. not that these are contentious nominees, but they are often treated as lesser rock 'n' rollers because they make listeners feel like the shit of the earth sometimes.
that's just my two cents."