Technology: The New Rock And Roll


An article in the widely respected newsletter Leftsetz Letter claims that "technology is the rock and roll of today". Leftsetz' words are as prophetic and incisive as any made by Mcluhan, the widely acknowledged oracle of media trends.

The remark was thrown out in his discursive lament over rock music's fall from grace, its' rebellious flame he claims snuffed out by a monolithic corporate agenda.




A deconstruction of Rolling Stone Magazine spelled out lefsetz' reasons. Rolling Stone according to him had at one time been a meta form. Music journalism that encouraged talented writers to follow their wildest inclinations with no limits on content. Reading Rolling Stone reviews was said to be as enlightening as it was fun, blending music with ideas, critique of government, society .
Now that's all changed says Leftsetz. The modern Rolling Stone is jam packed with reviews that are soulless by comparison, just glorified copy to move product. Lefsetz unequivocally calls out Jan Wenner for selling out to the business model that makes money at the expense of originality: Celebrity news and loads of pictures of bikini models.

Leftsetz has definitely has a point, but Rolling Stone is not to blame; its' changed editorial policy is more a reflection of the music industry's more commercialised nature. Marketing in a social media web 2.0 age is spread out over massive networks. Sales is an all out nonstop blitzkrieg affair nowadays. Leftsetz was making this very point in not so many words.

Where music has been tamed, technology is the new frontier .

Technology definitely is the new rock and roll - the king is dead .. long live the king. Leftsetz nails it.

Every kind of transgression is to found on the net. It's politics run through bewilderingly broad paths. Google a subject however esoteric and arcane and you will find something there. The really radical elements, people who change society now are aware how to manipulate the media. Soft ware, hardware, engineers and hackers can do it all.
For artists the limits are expanding. Stay in form in modernist tradition or go wildly postmodern, mashing up music, images, video...linked up with hypertext to massive data bases. So much is possible and we're just scratching at the surface.

Don't cry for rock music. Rebellion is alive and well.