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Published: 2011/01/05
by Brandon Findlay

On The Impending Death of The Crowes…

3rd Gen- Petty and Springsteen still have all three, in different mixes and fairly consistently. Bruce more so than Tom, speaking culturally, which roughly translates to mean ‘mainstream’. Critics are stuck making the same remarks that U2 and AC/DC are stuck making the same records, of varying degrees of quality, they have been making since 1991 and 1980, respectively. Good enough for the fans, but not enough to save rock and roll like they once did. Late 3rd Gen rockers Bon Jovi join AC/DC as 2010’s biggest concert draws. Deduct from that what you will.

4th Gen- Thank God that AiC and Soundgarden are back. The Vultures tie-in here as well with the Nirvana and Kyuss/QOTSA roots, but most of the great 90’s alterna-radiorock is dead and gone. Guns N’ Roses is a shell with a chance, but who knows. Duff just sat in with Axl and the new boys, so maybe. STP and Pavement returned this year as well. None of these bands are lighting Olympic-size torches, however; though I, a simple man, am happy for the mere return.

Currently, the 5th gen, post-Nirvana crowd isn’t inspiring much amongst their fellow music-kind. For all the talk of how terrible this war is (wars, technically, but who’s counting to two), and how we shouldn’t take it, there is none of the inventive volatility of the 60’s revolt. Then again, some of those who truly survived that time admitted that they were the ones who messed it all up in the end. I don’t have nearly the faith in today’s youth that I would have had in the youth of that day. Unless the youth of today are about to get lock-step with Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney. If so, my bad, and let the riot begin.

Where does this leave the Crowes? Right about where they are at. The vitality that was there even five or six years ago is shot it seems, and I’ve watched hours of YouTube of them. I just couldn’t bear to have seen them as a lesser version of themselves, so I’ve avoided them. Flame on, but I have no sadness with the choice. In fact, some of you will understand perfectly.

Even Croweology is half-assed. That should have been a grand slam, but instead came up a double. To go half-acoustic on a greatest hits pack was a lukewarm effort, and truly lacking depth in Body, Mind, and Soul. I really like the album, but I can separate my fandom from objectivity. It seems they’ve been spoiled-then-ruined by the very ability to make any sort of record or tour they want to. Oddly ironic that the records themselves are the weapon and the witness- the very cause and effect all rolled into one.

Coltrane and Davis and Fitzgerald and Armstrong and Holiday- they all possessed these three qualities. Shankar had them. The Beatles, Zeppelin, Stones… all had them. There are too many to mention that had them.

But they didn’t get to keep them. Thus, the world offers three choices: the release of a young death, the embarrassment of unintended irrelevancy, or the privacy of intended retirement. May they choose wisely.

Now, if we’re talking comebacks… ;-)

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