2004: The Year of the Nipple

If I were to name the year like the Chinese, I suppose you could refer to 2004 as the Year of the Nipple. What a weird year it’s been. With this surreal debate about decency and morality on the airwaves in the midst of wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Sudan and elsewhere, everything seemed to take on an air of unreality as we grappled with the implications of both terrorism and a nipple at the Superbowl. But luckily, as always, the music never stopped and 2004 was a great year for rock and roll. More bands and more record labels gave plenty to choose from if you were adventurous and based on the feedback I have received, plenty of you still are.
In December 2003, I had been writing The Rock and Roll Report for six months. Originally this site was a vehicle for me and me alone but as time went on I have been lucky to welcome more people on board and 2005 looks to feature even more authors than ever before, all passionate about rock and roll and all with fun and interesting viewpoints to share. Not only will there be more authors but the plan is for more record reviews, more record label and radio show spotlights but most of all, more bands. Over this year I have come across some incredible unsigned and indie rock and roll talent that deserves to be heard. As we kick off 2005, expect more features on more rock and roll artists that you may never have heard of but deserve their slice of the rock and roll pie. It is these artists that keep rock and roll alive and I hope to spotlight as many of them as possible for your reading and downloading pleasure. In addition, The Rock and Roll Report, not content to play just in the blogging sand box will also attempt that other buzz word of 2004: podcasting. That’s right, I am currently organizing the techical aspects of putting together a 10 minute podcast as an audio companion to The Rock and Roll Report highlighting some of the cool things covered over the previous week as well as featuring some of the music you may not have had a chance to listen to yet. Should be an interesting experiment.
Once again I urge you all to support your local independent record store, stores run by people who are passionate about music. The same for the myriad of indie record labels, radio shows, fanzines, websites and blogs that are put together with untold hours of sweat and a love of music. Support them with your mouse clicks and your dollars and together we can continue to foster and grow an amazingly diverse and sonically wonderful rock and roll ecosystem that will shelter us from the Clear Channel infested radio waters and American Idol marketing machines that continue to prey on the unsuspecting. Go out to shows, start your own band, get a blog or podcast going, just do something to contribute to this wonderful sonic machine. If you are interested in joining up with us here at The Rock and Roll Report drop me a line and I will get you involved in whatever capacity you choose.
While 2004 was a great year, I continue to mourn the passing of Greg Shaw, John Peel and Alex Soria, people who embraced music as a vital part of their being and who understood both its power and capacity to inspire. They will all be missed and they will continue to inspire me and I hope you as well.
In closing I wish you all my very best for this holiday season. I look forward to continuing the rock and roll journey with you in 2005 as we seek out the cool, the eclectic, the fun and the spirit of that form of music we refer to as rock and roll. Take care of one another and enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Thank you for reading. I’ll see you all again in the first week of January.