I just wanted to put my own two cents in and try to get people to see some issues from a big picture perspective. That is to say, the reasons for which these few issues are so commonly fought over are larger than the issue itself. I'll start off with the old standard:
1. When are we going to see another Clapton, Page, Hendrix, etc...?
We aren't. Each of these artists has taken their respective genre as far as it can really go, in terms of expressing yourself on the guitar. This is not to say that absolutely everything has been done and we all should find a new instrument to play, but simply that these guys were the FIRST to do what they did, and they took it as far it could go, therefore, they will always be regarded as the best. What you have to remember is that the electric guitar was only mass produced since the middle of the century. All these great rockers had their rise to fame within 20 years of the onset of the electric guitar as a mainstay in any modern band.
Think of it this way: Symphony orchestras were invetned a couple hundred years ago. Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart and company were around back then. Since those guys, nobody has gone and revolutionized the symphony again. It's been done. Now, I'm not trying to turn this into a top ten list or anything, but the same thing applies for genres of guitar music. Clapton did this with the blues, Page did it with rock and roll, Hendrix did it with psychedelic rock, Randy Rhoads did it for metal, and so on and so forth. There are a few genres which I think are still yet to have their greatest guitarist, such as punk and nu-metal, but we'll have to see.
2. Why does everyone hate (insert nu-metal band name here) so much?
Basically, a person either really like nu-metal or really doesn't. The people who like it cannot fathom this. It has been my own experience that people who are really into nu-metal tend to act like this genre is the beginning and end of all music as we know it. Everything before it is crap, and everything new just doesn't measure up. This is an extreme generalization, but I think you all know what I mean. I will sit with a friend who like nu-metal and listen to it with him, and I ask: "okay, that sounds cool, but where's the melody? Where's the guitar solos? Ever heard of Led Zeppelin?"
The most common response is: "Led Who?" Simply put, (and I know there are exceptions) many of the people who think that nu-metal is the coolest thing ever are rather poorly versed in any other type of music. If it's on the radio, it's teeny bopper crap. If it's classic rock, then it's the crap that their parents listened to, etc... It leads to the disclusion of all other music as remotely credible. You all know the type of thing I'm talking about, and I'm sure you all know someone who amazes you on a regular basis with their unwillingness to even consider other genres as enjoyable.
So, I would say that others hate nu-metal so much not because it's 'too hardcore' or anything, it's because it breeds musical ignorance in it's most devoted fans.
3. Don't you guys hate Avril Lavigne?
I'm sure to catch heat for this one, but I think that Avril got a bad rap from everyone. It all stems from her image, and how people judeged her too quickly. Here's how it happened when the "Complicated" video came out:
The preppies, and I use the term to describe anyone who gets most of their musical diet from Top 40 Radio, saw Avril's clothes and said; "Wow! She's a total punk ass!" But since here music was easy on their delicate ears, they supported her, and started a little 'pseudo-punk' trend.
The punkers, meaning anyone who has an appreciation for music found outside the realm of Top 40, saw Avril's clothes and immediately said "Wow. She's dressing like a total punk ass!" But when they heard her somewhat poppy sounding music, they decided that she must be an evil demon released from the gates of Record Company Hell, and took an instant hating to her.
The simple fact of the matter is that she's just a 17-year old chick with no patience for make-up and dressing like a diva, who wanted to sing her songs, and her record label liked her sound. Therefore, it made sense to sign her up and have her cut an alubm. I do think that her punk image was magnified by her record label, since the kids seem to like those Sum 41 guys, but not to the extent that people think it is. And I'm also sure that she allowed the label to have more than a little bit of creative control. But the main point is that both sides judged her too quickly.
4. Is (Insert name of punk-rock guitarist here, usually Tom Delonge) a good guitarist?
The answer is yes. He is good, but not great. I think that we can all agree that aside from luck, you need two thing to be a GREAT guitarist. These things are: Talent and Creativity. If you have amazing chops and know every scale and style backwards and forwards, but can't make up your own riff to save you ass, you won't be regarded as great. On the other hand, if you can imagine a great sounding guitar part but just can't play it through, then you have no hope either.
What these punk rock guys have is this: Enough talent to make a song sound like a song, and a ton of creativity. Look at the huge variety of sounds you can get in the punk genre (including pop-punk, hardcore, emo, and regular punk rawk), and consider that most of these guys are just using power chords, barre chords and simple riffs built on simple scales, it's quite astounding. Its simply a matter of doing a lot with very little. Consider the opening riff to "What's My Age Again?" It's just a barre chord. You don't even have to move your left hand.
5. Why is today's music such a bunch of crap?
This question has been asked by every generation, not just ours. It's not as bad as you all think. There has always been crappy music. It simply doesn't endure. How often do you hear the "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" on the radio? Not as often as you hear "Highway to Hell." Radio stations and MTV/MuchMusic/VH1 all have to fill their airtime, and if they play the same 30 or 40 songs all the damn time, people will stop listening. So they play something new, and see what the reaction is. The truly crappy music will only see a few months of popularity, but the great stuff endures for decades.
We all have a few songs that came out in the last few years that we just love, but they are surrounded by all the other crap we have had to put up with. In ten years, we will be looking back and saying "Man, today's music just trash. It sure doesn' compare to back in 2002!" Just give it a little time. Even today, it's rare than MuchMusic plays an N'Sync video, or any kind of boy-band pop-princess song that's more than a year old.
To read more about my thoughts on this issue, follow THIS LINK.
Well, I've moaned and groaned and bitched and complained for about as long as I can stand, and probably as long as all of you can stand, so I say good day to you all. Thanks for your time.
Notice:I wrote this article a while ago, and it got lost when UG reformatted. Most of the stuff is still true, and I hope it can change someone's perspective for the better. - FrigginJerk