Introducing the ’77 Music Club podcast

Last Halloween, my best friend, Carly Jordan, had an idea: what if we turned all the time we spent analyzing every little thing about albums for fun and turn it into a podcast? Every other week, we’d discuss a different album and share our unconventional love of older music; we’d try to bridge a generation gap; we’d try to carry the torch.

After a few months of questioning if it was an appropriate time to release a music podcast, it’s here. In the coming months you’ll hear us talk about a variety of albums, from Betty Davis to Talking Heads to Big Star. But to start, we kicked off with our favorite (obviously) — this little known nugget from Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham from their days before Fleetwood Mac — because how could we not? Sneak a peak of each post below and be sure to follow (details below) for more.

77-music-club-buckingham-nicksTwo years before joining Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had no idea what lay ahead of them. They were just two kids who wanted to make great music — and they just happened to be in love.

A cult favorite of Fleetwood Mac fans, this album is curiously still only available on vinyl. While bootlegs of the album can be streamed on YouTube, it has never been (officially) released on cassette, CD, or to streaming services like Spotify. This is perhaps part of the attraction to the album — this is music that doesn’t outright present itself; it must be found.

In this episode, we discuss why we both call this album our favorite of all time, what makes it unique, and why it still takes our breath away hundreds of listens later.

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The Aging Rock Star Cliché is a Myth

rock

Rock and roll is youth music, and the aging stars who play it are sad and desperate. Right? Right, if you ask The New Republic, that is. In one of the many think pieces that have emerged in the weeks since David Bowie’s death, in this month marred by the deaths of several prominent senior citizen rock stars, The New Republic argues that Bowie is iconic because Bowie, despite his age, avoided falling into the “cliché of the aging rock star.”

But I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think Bowie avoided it, and, more importantly, I don’t think it’s real. Because I think the only people perpetuating the cliché of the aging rock star, the ones who argue that rock and roll is for the young, that there comes a time for artists to hang up their hats, settle down, and finally act their ages, are old people themselves.

Read the rest at bed crumbs.

The Death of Rock and Roll

The rock stars are dying. Lemmy, Bowie, and Glenn. They sound more like they should be characters in some buddy comedy, not the beginnings of an “In Memoriam.”

One by one they go, heading to form a superband in the sky, or wherever the afterlife is. It seemed like a cruel twist of fate. Against the odds, they were the survivors of ‘70s hedonism. They were supposed to be in the clear. Lived fast, escaped the dying young part. Cancer, arthritis, pneumonia… they weren’t supposed to go out like this. They were supposed to be immortal.

It’s just not fair. I don’t care if that sounds juvenile. That’s all I can really say about it: It’s not fair.

Because, beneath the grief and sadness, beneath the gnawing pit in my stomach that reminds me I’ll never witness their music in person, never breathe the same air as them, won’t see them contribute even more to the world than they already have — because even if they were senior citizens, they were still supposed to have many more years ahead of them — there’s a question I have to ask: Who is going to take their place?

Not that they’re necessarily replaceable. It’s just that the golden era of music, the genre we now refer to as “classic” rock… it’s going, going, gone. What’s next? Who’s going to ascend to the throne? Maybe these deaths are harder to swallow because we’re also mourning the slow death of rock and roll.

I just keep thinking that not a lot of modern music stands the test of time the way classic rock does. That’s why it’s classic. Of course, there are great talents and there are great rock and roll musicians today. But the era of rock stars is gone. Few artists today possess the ability to define a generation and also transcend it. Few possess that dual timeliness and timelessness. Few will be there guiding us like a north star when we need it the most. Few have that enduring power.

When we think about rock and roll, we think about the radicalism of it, the fight against status quo. We think about how everything had a meaning, was put out into the world for a reason. It wasn’t disposable. It didn’t take 13 people to write a song that would please some scientific algorithm of what makes a hit. When we think of rock and roll’s great hits, we will think about the music, the lyrics, guitar solos, and charismatic front men (and women). Years from now, when we think about the pop hits of today, the Hotline Blings and Hellos, we’ll think of memes.

I’m worried that rock is dying because I’m uncertain where we will be thirty years from now. I wonder if we’ll grieve the loss of our generation’s greats the same way we grieve now. I wonder if we’ll take pride in certain artists as leaders of our generation, as people responsible for a musical zeitgeist. Today’s artists cite the greats as inspiration; will the next generation of musicians claim their sound is influenced by this one? Will our children look to certain songs from our generation as textbook examples of great music, or will they still try to teach themselves how to play solos in Stairway to Heaven or Layla or Hotel California before they’ve even mastered Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star?

Most importantly: will the music of our generation leave a lasting imprint on people the way rock and roll does?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s pessimistic, but I don’t think so.

The rock star is dead. Long live the rock star.