Contemporary Rock N Roll, Pop Music and The Raskins

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Music

Contemporary rock n roll and Pop music are often linked.  ‘Pop’, which is the abbreviation for Popular music, is a well-known genre. But what is it, exactly? It’s nothing, and it’s everything; it is a compilation of works from across a multitude of genres with nothing in common except that it (pop music) attracts the “mainstream.”

The term pop music was actually coined by industry executives, referring to music which they thought would be loved by teenagers.

Pop music makes use of music styles which are derived from other types of music that are popular during a certain time and space, whether it be R&B, urban, Latin, rock n roll, folk, country or jazz.

For the early pop artists, minimalism implied simplicity and conformation without adornment to a basic framework of rock. This in Grace Slickturn was interpreted as familiarity, the aspect of becoming commercial and accessible. The early flavors of the American rock bands could, at times, border on satire and irony. This was a genre that was reminiscent of a bygone era. The singers represented an unembarrassed artiness which was looked upon as a virtue rather than a vice.

Today pop is anything but minimalist:  the stage shows by Madonna, then later, Lady GaGa turned pop-dance music into a parade of extravagance, and with the advent of newer and more advanced technology, music was able to be manipulated without limits.

For those that are, or were, a music die-hard — in R&B, Rock N Roll (hard, classic, metal, thrash, punk), American Country and even Jazz —  they would consider making it to the pop charts the ultimate sellout of a “true” artist. Yet making it to the pop charts implied nothing more than attracting a wider appeal of fans beyond the limits of that genre.

Bon Jovi, for example,  was trashed by early critics that referred to the group as a poppy garage-band. Yet fans disagreed. The band went on to sell tens of millions of records, performed to sell-out crowds worldwide, and recorded a few top rock songs that became rock anthems, including Livin’ On A Prayer and It’s My Life.

Contemporary Rock N Roll, Pop Music and The Raskins

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The Raskins

This year a new group called The Raskins came out of nowhere to gain international attention with driving anthem-like rock songs past performances in Australia, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Canada, and their escalating presence online — their YouTube videos have been seen tens of thousands of times, and they’ve amassed hundreds of thousands of social media followers.

The group, named after the twins Logan and Roger Raskin, follow Bon Jovi with a mass-appeal pop rock style in songs like We Had It All, Lost In The Dark, and Need Another Hero, which they told me will be featured as they kick off the first stop of their limited 2013 U.S.A. showcase tour, “THERE AND BACK,” at the famous Viper Room in Hollywood on July 6th, 2013, with other dates to be announced via their website, Facebook page, Facebook Fan Club group,  their Google Plus, and Twitter pages. An album is in the works to be released on Miral Records in early 2014 I’m told.

In its beginnings, Rock n Roll scared the hell out of adults during the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Suddenly their kids were getting excited and losing control of their emotions; giving into the power of the music. When Elvis gyrated his hips and drove the girls wild, television wouldn’t show him below the waist. That was the first day of the last day of the straight-laced-be-proper-act-proper 1950s.

Rock N Roll was something new. It was counter-culture man; it was rebellious daddy-o, it was hip, rad, bad, exciting, new and has belonged exclusively to the kids of each era, a new form of expression born out of R&B. From Elvis Presley, to Ray CharlesChuck Berry, and Aretha Franklin, the Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Led Zepplin, Nirvana, Michael Jackson to Green Day — (all named top of the 100 greatest artists in Rolling Stone Magazine) — rock n roll is not manufactured, it’s organically grown and nurtured.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

During the early ‘60s the British invasion of the Beatles and The Rolling Stones redefined Rock n Roll from the previous decade. And no one can argue that it became pop music — everyone loved the Beatles and the Stones! The Doors shifted the sound again, followed years later by Woodstock, the famous concert that catapulted the hippie-movement and the careers of Jimi Hendrix, The WhoSly & The Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Joan Biez, Santana, Grace Slick & Jefferson Airplane, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, to name but a few, as well as the legendary Bob Dylan, who is credited for infusing poetry into rock n roll music.

By the ’70s Rock n Roll evolved into yet another interpretation with groups like Pink Floyd, Yes, Chicago, Genesis, Rush, Deep Purple, Black SabbathEmerson, Lake & Palmer, and Queen. Oh, and a new evolved Beatles were back — not that they had ever left.  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band started their climb leading Springsteen to the heights in the ’80s.

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

In short, Rock N Roll has never been one thing: it’s been an ever-changing evolution of sounds and expressions.

Contemporary Rock N Roll and Pop Music

The rock band Led Zeppelin crossed over to the mainstream with Stairway to Heaven; Queen, Aerosmith, The Beatles, Bon Jovi and in 1984 Bruce Springsteen was on his way to working-man legend with Born in the U.S.A.  All of these and other groups with completely different styles and sounds of rock n roll crossed over into the pop genre, creating some of the top rock songs and greatest  rock anthems of all time in the process.

And so it goes …

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About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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