I’m pleased to announce that my article, “Rock ‘n’ Roll & The European Soul,” is now published in a beautiful layout on SCUM Media’s site (the name is a play on the fact that British media all call opposing sides “scum.”)
Since its first publication in 2018, my deep dive into a complicated music that carries in it so much of the European disposition, yet bears the brunt of much confusion and criticism among those who cast an incredulous eye on contemporary degeneracy, has drawn passionate reactions and rich conversations.
The piece begins thusly:
Rock music’s descent mirrors the recent late-stage decline of confidence in the West.
Yes, rock music is complicated – cue the liberals retorting with, “It’s all just black blues, man!” and certain conservatives contesting, “But it’s degenerate!”
Yes, rock music as a term denotes a very large tent, a river with many tributaries and streams. Warning: Your favorite artist may not be mentioned in this article.
Nevertheless, large swaths of rock ‘n’ roll transmitted threads from prior manifestations of the European temperament: the thunderclap of marauding berserkers, the bittersweet longings of the troubadours, the earthy whimsy of the Romantics, and indeed, the exploratory reach for “infinite space,” the prime symbol of Western man as described by Oswald Spengler. This last notion is expressed in the sheer vastness and enormity of sound in rock music…
*SCUM has since changed its format and this article no longer appears there. Please read it here.
Also, please cross-reference the article with four corresponding playlists of music on my YouTube channel:
And see this:
Sources for Further Reading:
- Country Roots of Rock’s Dual Guitar Harmonies
- How the Irish and Scots influenced American folk music, which in turn influenced rock & roll
- Country music overview, a genre that influenced rock
- Celtic music in the United States and its influence on American bluegrass and folk, which influenced rock
- The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Website acknowledges Celtic folk music in Europe, “hillbilly music,” Country and Western, folk, and bluegrass as parts of rock music’s formation
- Development of harmony is unique to European music
- Muddy Waters’ album, Electric Mud
- Rolling Stone magazine’s 2016 retrospective on Led Zeppelin’s third album, their “most English – steeped in traditional folk music and ancient history.”
- Thorough video series by Loralee Scaife, showing The Lord of the Rings as a summary of Western myth and a story containing powerful symbols and meanings that can help save the West today
- Oswald Spengler, tr. Charles Francis Atkinson, The Decline of the West, Volume I: Form and Actuality (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988 )
- Ricardo Duchesne, Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age (London: Arktos, 2017)
- An article delving into the Western, “Faustian” spirit
- A deep exposition of fetishizing “the other” and appropriation within the rock/blues paradigm. “We ought to prioritize the generative aspect over the governing one.”
- A wild articulation of the metaphysics of mixing the ridiculous with the serious, a notion largely foreign to the modern bourgeois mindset, that describes the rock ‘n’ roll spirit without being about rock ‘n’ roll itself.
- Discussing the complexities of Western exploratory souls searching for their own roots in a multicultural world, via the story of the tragic Rolling Stone, Brian Jones. It’s the kind of deep dive you won’t find in mainstream journalism that always takes the one-dimensional “white bluesman” approach.
- Conspiracy theories concerning the creation of the 1960s counter-culture.
- The Poetry Foundation on The Doors’ Jim Morrison, an example of rock’s strained intersections with higher-brow culture.