Rock n’ Roll

“Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” -Jimi Hendrix

   No matter what genre you listen to or how you listen to it, you can feel the power of music within seconds. In 2014, it seems that the majority of the music American teenagers are listening to is either pop or rap. Rock is a genre that is seemingly less popular among teenagers, and most seem to have forgotten that it even existed. However, those who do listen have strong opinions on its effect and how it has changed to fit today’s modern world.

   Wearing a Soundgarden t-shirt and a Red Hot Chili Peppers bracelet, Leeanne Durkin, a junior at PRHS, is profuse in her love for rock and roll. Naming the Foo Fighters, Led Zeppelin, Babes in Toyland, Hole, and the Violent Femmes as just a few of her favorite bands, she remembers her first steps into rock alongside Green Day, REM, and Nirvana. The seventeen year old guitarist and drummer cites Dave Grohl (who was the drummer in 90s alternative band Nirvana and currently is the singer and guitar player for the Foo Fighters) as her biggest influence.

   Durkin is adamant in her love for music, saying “[It’s] a huge part of my life. I honestly don’t know what I would do without music because it’s not only listening and playing…I’ve become friends with most people through music. It’s also a way I connect to people who are from older generations.”

       Ashley Linnehan, also a junior, agrees: “Music is very, very powerful. The tone of someone’s voice, the wailing of an electric guitar, the pounding of the drums-it’s just something you can understand that words can’t convey…it’s almost an x-ray of someone’s brain,” says Linnehan.

   Her favorite performers include Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Sleeping with Sirens, Daughtry, and the Script. She is currently wearing a shirt that advertises Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. Linnehan says that she is learning to play guitar through a friend. “If I have time, I’m serious about it. I’ve been neglecting it,” she adds.

   Blaine Senechal, another junior, says his favorite bands are Godsmack, Disturbed, Three Days Grace, Good Charlie, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He is learning guitar in a more modern way: by using the game Rock Smith for Xbox, where you plug in your guitar and are taught by the program.

   Senechal thinks that technology’s involvement in music is a “three edged sword” because, in his opinion, popular music is just “pressing buttons on a computer. But without moving you can listen to six completely different bands online. Also, in concert sound systems and instruments are a lot better quality, acoustics are better, and venues are better.”

   Linnehan agrees that technology makes it more accessible to a bigger audience, and that it makes it easier to discover new music. However, she says that “back in the day,  people didn’t know what their favorite musicians looked like or who they were; they only knew the sound of their voice. It’s more pure that way.”

   Durkin concurs, saying, “I guess it’s good that people are finding new mediums for making music, but at the same time I think it takes something away. But if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it.”

      When asked what he thinks is the most popular music genre at PRHS, Senechal simply replied “If you can call it music.” He added that “the problem with the current generation isn’t that they don’t like the music, it’s that they’re not exposed to it. They don’t go out and see local bands, so they’re stuck listening to beeps and clicks.”

 So what is the best way to see and hear rock music? “Just bring someone to a concert” says Senechal. “Live is the only way that really works.”

   “Give everything a chance, you might be surprised by what you end up liking. People should try to be more open and tolerant of music,” advocates Durkin.

Want to get into rock and roll yourself? Here’s some suggestions from each era to get you started:

1960s: Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Abbey Road by the Beatles

70s: Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin, The Wall by Pink Floyd, Quadrophenia by the Who

80s: Sister by Sonic Youth, Shine by Mother Love Bone, Bleach by Nirvana, Back in Black by AC/DC

90s: Ten by Pearl Jam, Live Through This by Hole, Superunknown by Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog by Temple of the Dog

2000s-Today: Feel by Sleeping with Sirens, Wasting Light by the Foo Fighters, America’s Sweetheart by Courtney Love