Are my rock and roll tastes evolving or regressing and does it really matter?

When I first started writing the rock and roll report back in June, my original motivation was to write about “niche free” rock and roll, which I define as, well there is no definition since that was the whole point. No alternative, no indie, no garage, no pop. As I continued to write, I found that although my tastes are quite wide and include everything from Rush to Ozzy (get well soon!) to the Beach Boys to the Tragically Hip, the bands and record labels and magazines that I found the most interesting were (and still often are) the ones dealing with, for want of a better word, garage. The popularity of the Strokes, the Hives and the White Stripes and radio shows like Little Steven’s Underground Garage seem to me to indicate that there is a healthy interest in primal rock and roll. At the same time, bands like the High Dials and Sloan add a dose of pop and psychedelia to their sound that creates a real refreshing rock and roll cocktail. What I am beginning to realize is that one of the reasons people often describe the ‘60s as the “golden age of rock and roll” is not so much for the nostalgia (although there is too much of that in my book) but because during the ‘60s there was this great cross-fertilization of musical styles that all seemed to mix together to form a satisfying rock and roll whole. Indian sitar combined with fuzzed out guitar and vibraphone all backed by a primal jungle beat, that’s what most people miss, the carefree experimentation and, yes, fun of rock and roll circa 1966-67. It is ironic that in trying to identify and popularize niche free rock and roll, it is technically taking me closer and closer to the realization that niche-free rock and roll is in fact a niche! Whether you call it garage rock, psychedelic punk or whatever, it certainly holds true to its rock and roll roots but is it original or is it merely copying the past? Does it really matter?
These are the weighty topics that I struggle with daily. I don’t want to be saddled with the “retro” tag but at the same time, I do want to listen to the type of rock and roll that really and truly floats my boat and these days it just so happens to be bands like the Boss Martians, the High Dials, the Swinging Neckbreakers and countless other stylistically similar rock and roll bands that seems to do it for me. Of course, by this time next week I might be waxing poetic about my rediscovery of Yes, ELP and Peter Gabriel era Genesis so feel free to ignore this rant and treat it for what it really is, a quick screed by a guy who loves rock and roll, all of it.
Wait a second, is that my old Loverboy album? “Lady of the Eighties” was a great song so I think I’ll slap it on the turntable for a quick listen. Holy crap there’s all my old Los Lobos records! What was that song that I used to blare in my parent’s basement all the time?
And the beat goes on…