"Hey Man, I Just Cut My New Album On My iPhone" And The Sad Future Of Rock & Roll!


You're band just recorded their new album.  On your laptop.

You then mixed and mastered said album at the library with nary a single "SHHHHH!" from an uptight librarian.

You don't see anything wrong with that?

Need I remind you that 99.9995% of the music you grew up loving was made in million dollar recording studios by world-class engineers, top-flight producers. and, most important of all, monolithic bands who roamed the earth like giants.

They lived in castles and flew to gigs in their own private jets, for crissakes.

That's why the world is still listening to their 40-year-old albums and that when your album turns forty, the software needed to play it might not even exist.

Nothing personal, but if you don't disturb at least one person in the making of your band's new studio album, then you're doing it wrong.  You also somehow managed to record live drums in he bathroom of a shoe box apartment at two in the morning on a weeknight without pissing off even one neighbor?

Funny, I don't recall Black Sabbath or Pink Floyd having that problem.

In hindsight, their very existence was designed to disturb at a time when the world was as set in its ways as it is now.  For that reason alone, we could all use another Black Sabbath or Pink Floyd right about now.  The world is so full of noise now, but it has no meaning.  It's like a rock hard punch with nothing behind it.  The impact of a zillion microbes crunched underfoot to a man a mile away.

Funny, I never said that about Cheap Trick, whose music I felt in my gut long before I ever heard it.  I was just a kid and we parked so far away that I had no idea whether the mass of humanity in the distance was watching a rock concert or a soccer match and I hate soccer.

But my insides were feeling something.  I felt aroused, randy, ready to rock.  Fifteen hot minutes in a porta-potty later, my girlfriend and I finally made it to the same zip code as the festival and the thunder began to take shape, joined by the roar of ten thousand people singing "Mommy's alright, daddy's alright, they just seem a little weird...Surrender!  Surrender!"

We passed a group of people protesting the festival. Something about the music disturbed them.  The police were nearby swinging their batons, itchy for action.  You could feel the electricity.

Yet, at Lollapalooza 2013, I watched a newborn child sleep through Nine Inch Nails.

That's right, Mr. "I Wanna Fuck You Like An Animal" had not just played a song of his new album, he'd discovered a cure for insomnia.  I am hopeful that over the course of the next six months or so some monolithic rock band from the future past will disturb us from our slumber and banish "laptop rock" to the Kidzapalooza stage with School of Rock and Ralph's World.

A far cry from Lollapalooza 1991, where people protested outside the makeshift gates because a disturbing young band by the name of Nine Inch Nails was performing.  As disturbing as it was, NIN was always more bark than bite - like someone created an Al Jourgenson Pro Tools plug-in, set the attack to "5", and hit RECORD.

It's probably hard to tell when you listen to music on ear buds, though.  Say what you will about modern technology, but if you can't tell the sonic difference between a Nickelback song mixed on a Macbook and a Led Zep tune mixed at Electric Lady on a Neve console, something is very, very wrong, indeed.

Still, how long before some multi-platinum mutton mouth mumbles  "Yeah man, I cut my entire record on my iPhone" and nobody bats an eye?

Okay, now that's disturbing.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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