The History of Rock Music: The 2010s


The Facebook generation (2008-12) and the millennials (the generation born after 1980) tech-savvy? not really. They are less tech-savvy than the baby boomers (many of whom grew up programming computers). Most millennials have no clue why "Silicon Valley" is named after silicon or why transistors are so important or what an operating system is. They are users. They are as "tech-savvy" as their grandparents were when buying a new kitchen appliance. What is true is that they use digital devices a lot more than previous generations, and that texting on smartphones is replacing email on desktops (which is not necessarily a sign of smarter use of technology given the size of a smartphone's keyboard and display).

selfie

Arab Spring (2011-12) and Occupy Wall Street (2009-10)

Great Recession 2008-2011

Global economic boom (until 2011)

Eurocrisis (2012)

Trump 2017 fake news elected with Twitter and Facebook

Atlantic article on the effects of the smartphone: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/?utm_source=nl-atlantic-weekly-080417 a lonely, dislocated generation. Teens who visit social-networking sites every day but see their friends in person less frequently Eighth-graders who are heavy users of social media increase their risk of depression by 27 percent, while those who play sports, go to religious services, or even do homework more than the average teen cut their risk significantly. Teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide Gen X managed to stretch adolescence beyond all previous limits: Its members started becoming adults earlier and finished becoming adults later. Beginning with Millennials and continuing with iGen, adolescence is contracting again-but only because its onset is being delayed. Across a range of behaviors-drinking, dating, spending time unsupervised- 18-year-olds now act more like 15-year-olds used to, and 15-year-olds more like 13-year-olds. Childhood now stretches well into high school.

See also Taylor's book How the baby boomers changed: they were the hippies in the 1960s but now they are the conservatives. Either the hippies were never a significant percentage of society, or something happened as they aged.

Girls were increasingly educated and employed, although obvious differences remained in attitudes towards math, science, technology and... rock music. (I rarely get an email from a female about my music reviews or my science pages, and the vast majority of my friends and followers on social media are male).

Plummeting trust in state institutions, with Congress being rated lower than world dictators.

The similarities with the Sixties do not hold up because social media took the place that used to be of folk, blues and rock music. The political lyircs of protest songs were never particularly good: it is just that in the Sixties, when the media were controlled by the Establishment, music was the only channel to vent popular anger and get organized. Since the first Chuck Berry hit, rock music became the social media of the time. In the 2010s social media like Facebook and Twitter were far more effective at discussing social matters than the vastly dispersed music business. Rock and hip-hop musicians were more likely to engage in promoting "causes", especially universal ones, for which social media were still widely inadequate.

The skills generation(surfing, skating, acrobatic bikinh, videogames) was followed by the generation of no skills (skydiving)

TV no longer a social event but a solo event

We are transitioning from the age of broadcast (in which there was a tiny minority of creators and remixers (media that broadcast the creation) and a huge majority of spectators) to the age of self-expression, in which there will be a huge majority of creators asnd remixers.

In 2016 two votes shocked the Western world: Britain decided to leave the European Union in a bitterly contested referendum, and the USA elected Donald Trump, a vulgar right-wing tycoon, in a bitterly contested referendum. The similarities between the two countries (the countries that gave us rock music, hip hop, etc) were striking, and one in particular: the majority of young people voted to remain in the European Union, but the majority of old people voted to leave; the majority of young people voted for Hillary Clinton, but the majority of old people voted for Donald Trump. Young people under 30 voted for Hillary Clinton (55%), old people over 45 voted for Trump (53%). Young Britons voted to remain in the European Union by a huge margin (about 60%), old Britons over 45 voted to leave the European Union by a huge margin (57%). Trump won in the countryside by a huge margin (62%) whereas Clinton won in the cities by an equally huge margin (59%). The "Leave" party won in the British countryside, whereas the "Remain" party won in the cities. 53% of men voted for Trump, 54% of women voted for Clinton. Most men voted for "Leave", most women voted for "Remain". Trump won 58% of the white vote, Clinton won 88% of the black vote and 65% of the Latino vote. A majority of white Britons voted for "Leave", whereas the majority of British minorities voted for "Remain". These old people were the kids of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s: the hippies and the punks. If in the 1960s a sociologist wondered what would become of these "peace and love" hippies, or in the 1970s a sociologist wondered what would become of these rebellious punks, in 2016 came the answer: supporters of right-wing fascist racist sexist nationalists.

Death of the record store

surfing, hiking, climbing, are antisocial no spectators solpisistic addictive like drugs no arena/stadium life threatetning like drugs heroic/legendary status acquire individually, word of mouth not winning competition but courage and skills barbarians illiterate ignorant ordinary lives otherwise

In 2016, about 60,000 people died of a drug overdose in the USA alone (more victims than during the AIDS epidemics at its peak and five times more that the victims of the ebola outbreak in West Africa of 2014-15). In 2017 drug overdoses became officially the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50.

Tyler wrote

That's something that I think is so interesting about the advent of the Internet. Kids who otherwise wouldn't have exposure to bands like The Velvet Underground can become exposed to them at fairly young ages - I heard White Light/White Heat at 11 or 12, and Trout Mask Replica at 12, et cetera. Same goes with films, what with Netflix and such. Most kids my age have instant (or almost instant) access to the complete works of Fellini, Bergman, Herzog, Godard...it's minboggling. It will be interesting to see what kind of creative output my generation puts out as a result. I know I listen to a pretty wide scope and breadth of music, but I imagine there are kids my age who listen to double or triple that. Imagine what kind of music they'll make 10 years from now!

"A teenager has less chance of being raised by both biological parents in the USA than anywhere else in the world". The "land of opportunity" is also rapidly dissolving: a child born in a poor family in the USA is less likely to get rich than pretty much anywhere in the Western world (where better education is subsidized by the state). But, like anywhere else in the Western world, young people postponed marriage: only 51% of US adults over 18 were married in 2011. Almost 30% of US households contained only one person. The longer umarried life meant that more years were spent "dating" and living with housemates as opposed to raising children in a family home. It also meant that the average person, and notably the average woman, had many more sexual partners than the previous generations. (A female friend jokes that there should be the equivalent of "frequent flyer miles" for people who have had as many sexual partners as her: her mother married her first boyfriend and is still married to him). It might be totally unrelated, but tattoos spread like wildfire among the Generation X and the Millennials (almost 50% of people

White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) are no longer dominant. In fact, the ethnic revolution was already visible for those who wanted to see it: a black man (Barack Obama) and a Catholic (Joe Biden) faced a Mormon (Mitt Romney) and another Catholic (Paul Ryan) in the 2012 elections. For the first time there was no WASP on either ticket. Both the old and new speakers of the House of Representatives are Catholics: Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner. The majority leader of the Senate was a Mormon (Harry Reid) until 2014 (when he was replaced by a WASP, Mitch McConnell). Since 2010 none of the nine judges of the Supreme Court has been a WASP: they are six Catholics (Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor) and three Jews (Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, Elena Kagan).

According to a 2015 study by Robert Miner, TV is no longer the first choice for kids' entertainment with 57% of parents reporting that their child prefers mobile devices to TV when it comes to video viewing. Additionally, 58% of kids in households with tablets have their own device, the study also discovered, and half the kids, when disciplined, will have their tablet taken away and are left "only" with TV. That has created a generation of kids for whom "TV is punishment," the firm noted. Additionally, when given the choice between dessert or more time on their tablet, 41% of parents say their child would choose the tablet over dessert Adults too increasingly watch videos on mobile devices because of smartphone growth, larger screen sizes, increased access to broadband and 4G services, better content selections, However, the revenues of the music industry between 1999 and 2009 declined dramatically (from $14,6 billion to $6,3 billion) and the revenues of newspapers between 2006 and 2012 declined even more dramatically (from $49.3 billion to $22.3 billion) whereas television's revenues skyrocketed from $36 billion in 2000 to $93 billion in 2010.

Since the 1950s popular music had been hijacked by the young generation keen on rebelling against the establishment. But this waned in the 2000s and almost disappeared in the 2010s. The millennials were more absorbed in mundane entertainment. The entertainment industry had created a huge commercial system to monopolize the spare time of young people, from videogames to gyms, from social media (increasingly used for fun and not for agit-propaganda) to harmless music festivals. Furthermore, the millennials had more faith in the authorities and the corporations than any generation since the 1940s. This was largely due to an educational system that "tamed" them at an early age and directed them towards professional careers. The overwhelming amount of information available on the Internet was in itself a drug. And access to information created more doubts than certainties about what to do. An obsession with safety on campus greatly increased policing and reduced tolerance for protests of any kind. Last but not least, skyrocketing real-estate prices meant that fewer and fewer buildings were affordable. The great periods of youth creativity had often coincided with cheap or free buildings where young people could stage alternative events. Such free venues had become impossible to find in places like the San Francisco Bay Area and Manhattan.

The music industry was returning to the "hit factories" that had been dethroned in the 1950s by rock music. Before the advent of rock music, most pop hits had been produced by teams of professional singer-songwriters (many headquartered at New York's Tin Pan Alley). After the rock revolution the performer had become the main songwriter and often even the producer of her/his own music.

The shift from the LP/CD to the Internet download shifted the focus from the album to the individual song, and from the conceptual mindset to the short attention span typical of those who can download thousands of songs. But this was not all that different from the car radio, that was still for most people the primary access to popular music. The iPod listener was able to flip through a multitude a songs just like the car driver could flip through the channels of the radio, and listen to only the few first seconds of each song. The big difference was in the production quality. The advent of computerized production tools made the producer an ever more important shaper of the final product. Often a song would start with the beat and some surreal arrangement. Famous singers would be hired after the song had already been designed by the producers. This marked an almost complete u-turn, a return to the pre-rock era. Singers who demanded creative freedom could be dumped overnight and find out the hard way how important the producer had been to make them stars.

Index of the History of Rock Music