One of my all time favorite piece of music writing was a 2002 Pitchfork article by Rob Mitchum entitled Days Rock Died. In the piece, Rob speculates as to different days that rock died due to hypothetical image shattering actions by rock gods. For instance, Mitchum wrote about Who guitarist Pete Townshend:
January 13th, 1989: Pete Townshend, on an off day of The Who’s US tour, is dragged along on a shopping trip with his wife. While reluctantly browsing through the men’s section at Kohl’s, Townshend’s wife attempts to talk him into purchasing a pair of khaki relaxed fit Dockers. Townshend agrees to try the pants on in an effort to appease his spouse, but surprisingly finds that he likes the way the pants cover up his increasingly chubby thighs while allowing greater freedom of leg movement. To the great pleasure of Mrs. Townshend and the disgust of the rock community, he buys four pairs.
It has been 7 years since the original piece was published. We think it is time for an update.
November 27, 2008: To earn a free Whopper from Burger King, Rentals frontman Matt Sharp defriends P on Facebook.
December 2, 2008: Jack White joins Twitter.
December 24, 2008: Thom Yorke, flush with cash from the success of Radiohead’s In Rainbows release, buys his entire band and management team brand new matching Hummer H2s.
January 3, 2009: Vampire Weekend enter the studio to record their sophomore album, a song-for-cover reworking of the classic Bruce Springsteen album, Nebraska.
January 18, 2009: Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin change their name to Somebody Still Loves You Josef Stalin
February 13, 2009: In an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, former Vice President Dick Cheney shares that both he and Condelezza Rice are excitedly awaiting the new Passion Pit LP.
February 15th, 2009: A song, purported to be the final recording of Elliott Smith before his suicide, is leaked onto the Sweet Adeline message board. Elliott Smith fanatics are terribly confused and disillusioned when the song turns out to be a cover of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.
March 2, 2009: At a Williamsburg bar, an overly imbibed hipster in skinny red jeans, oversized old man glasses and a pink American Apparel t-shirt sheepishly declared that he, in fact, does not care for Animal Collective.
May 23, 2009: Being interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, Kayne West is asked about a particularly scathing review in which the writer took personal offense to West’s lack of humility. Kayne responds by pausing for a moment before removing his sunglasses and rubbing his temples. He looks off into the distance for a minute before he quietly says, “well, you know, maybe he’s right…”.
June 22, 2009: Former Smith’s front man Morrissey wakes up at this luxurious LA villa, looks out the window to see a songbird bathed in the sunlight of another perfect Californian day, and declares that today will be a “totally awesome day”.
September 9, 2009: In reviewing the new Jet record, Pitchfork Media states that the “lush soundscapes present on this album will major influence on the next generation of visionary artists”, as they give the album a 9.8.
November 1, 2009: Music blogger Shawn M. Smith is shocked when he looks up to see former Neutral Milk Hotel singer Jeff Mangum ahead of him on line at Pinkberry.
December 18, 2009: Robert Pollard stops by his local beer emporium on a Friday evening and scans the shelves with a bored look for a good 15 minutes before he finally selects a six pack of Zima to take to the register.
[Mangum at Pinkberry Photo Courtesy of SMS, edited 3:09 PM EST]