Sunday, April 15, 2007

Return of the Rock Opera

The Scotsman on Sunday reports that:
Former Blur frontman Damon Albarn is working on an opera, and rock band Kasabian announced last week they would produce a rock opera.

Meanwhile in Rochester, NY, The Democratic & Chronicle reports on a new work:
The title of Bartlett's piano quartet, Teratography, translates as "Writing About Monstrosities," which gives you some idea of its offbeat flavor. So should the two British rock songs that the Philadelphia composer quotes in her work: The Who's Pinball Wizard and King Crimson's FraKctured.

Could this finally mark the end of the 30-year reign of the punk orthodoxy?

Okay, back in the mid-Seventies, it was a challenge when punk appeared with its championing of three-chord rock and instrumentalists who could thrash out a tune without filigree. I got no problem with that and it led to some truly great music.

However, it settled into the music critic establishment and became the "new boss, same as the old boss." Anyone who ventured beyond the punk template was shot down immediately and branded with that most heinous of epithets, "pretentious."

But there is only so much you can do with three chords. Three decades after punk, you can turn on to hear the latest great (almost always white) hope and, unless you're very young, your immediate response is: been there, done that, heard it before.

Finally rock may be shaking off those restrictions. How long until music critics notice that they are being left in the dust of history?


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