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The Purbalite

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The Purbalite

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Opinion: Cancel the funeral: Rock’s not dead
Rock and Roll still has a lot of influence in modern times. Photo by Edward Eyer:

“Rock is dead” is a common argument made by old people with nothing better to do than whine about things they do not understand.

These simple-minded people are wrong, and they are just upset that their favorite old white rocker is six feet under the ground. 

Rock and alternate music may not be at the same level of popularity there were from the 1960s through the ’90s, but that does not mean they are gone. Rock music and alternative culture are present at every turn today.

Some of music’s biggest current stars might not be rock artists, but they have rock elements in their music and style, whether it be sprinkled in or absolutely piled on. 

Billie Eilish, one of the biggest stars of the past 10 years, is notorious for having this edge in her music. From the epic beats and whispering in her music to her eclectic style, she’s brought alternative style and musical themes to the mainstream eye. 

Olivia Rodrigo is another successful artist showing this rock influence. She has started a whole new wave of interest in punky, pop-rock music. She leans more into a “dark pop princess” aesthetic, but it is an alternative style nonetheless. 

Even today’s biggest pop star, Taylor Swift, dabbles in alternative themes. 

Swift is the hottest topic of attention currently, amassing over 60 billion streams on Spotify alone. And she is a known fan of many rock artists, such as U2, Def Leppard, Tom Petty, and more. 

While Swift’s music is appetizing to the basic mainstream ear, she has ties with well-established rock artists. Two songs off her newest album, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), “Electric Touch” and “Castles Crumbling,” feature collaborations with Fall Out Boy and Paramore’s Hayley Williams. 

Those two artists have a combined stream sum of over 16 billion on Spotify.

Moving past current musicians, there are older rock staples everywhere in pop culture. 

During the 2023 Super Bowl, there was a Workday software commercial that brought together multiple icons such as Joan Jett, Ozzy Osbourne, and Paul Stanley with a humorous video advertising their financial management system. 

Rock can’t be dead, or else these people would be walking skeletons.

Also, the interest in the genre over the past few years has undeniably gone up, especially with the use of social media platforms like TikTok. It gives the opportunity to share music with people without speaking a word, just using a sound on your video. 

Meanwhile, although they pale in comparison to streaming numbers, sales of physical rock music, such as records and CDs, have grown exponentially. There are 11.2 million more alternative units sold this year compared to 2022. 

So sure, maybe the days of sexist rock stars shrieking lyrics about drugs are gone, but that can and should stay in the past, with the colored sunglasses and tie-dye pants. For everyone else, rock is here and better than ever.


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Maddy Behr, Staff Writer
Maddy Behr is a freshman and first-year Staff Writer. She can be found listening to music, watching horror movies, or sleeping.   
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