“White culture is Family Ties and Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses– like, this is white culture. This is all we have.”
– Christian Lander, blogger.
The popularity of rock music’s decline mirrors the recent late-stage decline of confidence in the West.
The rock music genre is complicated. Cue the liberals retorting with, “it’s all just black rhythm and blues, man,” and the conservatives contesting, “rock n’ roll is degenerate!”
“Rock music” as a term denotes a very large tent, a river with many tributaries and streams. And, large swaths of rock & roll music transmitted threads from prior manifestations of the European temperament, like the thunderclap of marauding berserkers, the bittersweet longings of the troubadours, and the earthy whimsy of the Romantics.
Indeed, rock music has expressed the exploratory reaching for “infinite space,” which is the prime symbol of Western man as described by Oswald Spengler. This last notion expresses in the sheer vastness and enormity of sound found in the rock music genre.
It is said that the Yule spirit sneaks in and peaks through even the most commercialized aspects of the Christmas season, and so too with a European disposition in rock music – even if it drew influence from other cultures, and even if it carried along with it subversive elements of late 20th century popular culture.
Much of rock’s structures draw from the blues, of course a product of early 20th century rural black culture in the American South. However, to say that all rock is simply amplified blues…
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Please Note: I have created four music playlists on my YouTube channel that complement this article:
And see this:
Sources for Further Reading:
- Country Roots of Rock’s Dual Guitar Harmonies
- How the Irish and Scots influenced American folk music, which in turn influenced rock & roll
- Country music overview, a genre that influenced rock
- Celtic music in the United States and its influence on American bluegrass and folk, which influenced rock
- The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Website acknowledges Celtic folk music in Europe, “hillbilly music,” Country and Western, folk, and bluegrass as parts of rock music’s formation
- Development of harmony is unique to European music
- Muddy Waters’ album, Electric Mud
- Rolling Stone magazine’s 2016 retrospective on Led Zeppelin’s third album, their “most English – steeped in traditional folk music and ancient history.”
- Thorough video series by Loralee Scaife, showing The Lord of the Rings as a summary of Western myth and a story containing powerful symbols and meanings that can help save the West today
- Oswald Spengler, tr. Charles Francis Atkinson, The Decline of the West, Volume I: Form and Actuality (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988 )
- Ricardo Duchesne, Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age (London: Arktos, 2017)
- An article delving into the Western, “Faustian” spirit
- A deep exposition of fetishizing “the other” and appropriation within the rock/blues paradigm. “We ought to prioritize the generative aspect over the governing one.”
- A wild articulation of the metaphysics of mixing the ridiculous with the serious, a notion largely foreign to the modern bourgeois mindset, that describes the rock ‘n’ roll spirit without being about rock ‘n’ roll itself.
- Discussing the complexities of Western exploratory souls searching for their own roots in a multicultural world, via the story of the tragic Rolling Stone, Brian Jones. It’s the kind of deep dive you won’t find in mainstream journalism that always takes the one-dimensional “white bluesman” approach.
- Conspiracy theories concerning the creation of the 1960s counter-culture.
- The Poetry Foundation on The Doors’ Jim Morrison, an example of rock’s strained intersections with higher-brow culture.
Magazine cover art by Bo Ivanov.