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“Today’s music ain’t got the same soul/ I like that old time rock and roll.”

So sang Bob Seger in 1978. While accusing the music of his day, he unwittingly became part of its problem. His hit “Old Time Rock and Roll” strove for Little Richard or Chuck Berry, but ended up stuck to the boot sole of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

Granted, the greatest works of art do seem to be behind us. But the artists that look back with nostalgia are doomed to stay stuck in the ever-fading present, while others add to what came before. (In ’78, Seger needed to look no further than Elvis Costello or the Clash: their soul would have been the rub that shut his pie hole).

This is a blog interested in artists of the second kind. I take inspiration from the emcee MF Doom (below), who I’d like to think is looking back at Bog Seger with a hand (and quite possibly a finger) in the air: “We rock the house like rock and roll/ Got more soul than a sock with a hole.”

mf-doom-11

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