2002 — What We Thought Was The End of The World Was Just A Bad New World Getting Started!
Note: Folks, we're running out of time here! 2013 will be upon us and a whole new bunch of old years will be celebrating important anniversaries! I didn't want anyone thinking I didn't care. We now join this ridiculously ill conceived blog already in progress…
…and that was how ol' 'Fat Wax' McGillicuddy died in my arms on New Year's Eve, dreaming of hot dogs and Proust.
You could say 2002 started poorly. We were still freaked out about 9-11 and anthrax letters and it took years to feel something resembling normal. The music business was on its own death trip, hurriedly calculating how many ways it could shoot itself in the foot, heart and head and surrender to irrelevancy without a real fight. The fractures of the 1970's mass audience had turned into full-on dismemberment, with the foot bone having no effect on what was happening with the arm bone (I flunked doctor school) by the 1980s and 1990s, when adult music critics pretended to like, get this, Eric Clapton albums named August and Journeyman! It was like he was daring you to like them. Why not Hack! you might ask?
By 2002, everything was in pieces, all junked into strict stylistic boxes that few people bothered to rummage through anymore. It had only been a few years earlier when a girl got in my face about not liking Tool! By 2002, she was likely married, pregnant and thinking about a career in corporate communications.
The list below is a cross-section of stuff that got released within the calendar year of 2002. The stuff that passed my sniffer as being "pretty good" probably got heard by a couple dozen people. I know younger folks like to imagine a world without 'boomers,' but I have to wonder if anyone will be performing to any notable audience at 70 years old. I mean, of course, once Dave Grohl inevitably dies.
Is Rihanna all we have to look forward to in our retirement communities? Maybe Lady Gaga will do a little soft shoe?
24) Pearl Jam -- Riot Act: Pearl Jam admired the Who but they never figured out how to reach catharsis like ol' Pete, so things with the P-Jam were prone to getting stuck between gears and, well, jamming. Their decision to back away from the mainstream and stand for their "principles" means the people who weren't already firmly in their camp just wandered to another booth. File under: missionary work.