Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Year in Music: 2011 (or Part 2 in an On-going Joke of How Elwood Is No Longer With It)

2011 marked something of a notable change in the music mission of this blog. By the end of last year, I assessed the change was already a done deal but there was a chance to make things the way they used to be. It was clear however in 2011 that the relevant scenesterism perused by Elwood D Pennypacker was a bell graph. So in 2011, it was decided that generally speaking, Sonic Parthenon could not actively, constantly, look forward. It was now time to look back.

A mere 13 concert reviews in 2011 reveals part of the story (and a telling word from an old SP friend points out that old man Elwood started referring to 'concerts' instead of 'shows'). And of the 13, only a couple could be considered a trending, "the place the tastemakers are at tonight" style of show (such as the Joy Formidable and Lonely Forest). The others either spoke to my ongoing love affairs (the Dirtbombs, the National, the Thermals), making rites of passage (Lyle Lovett & John Hiatt, the Blasters), or celebrations of recent appreciations (Deniz Tek and Ivan Julian, Tommy Stinson, Ted Leo).
The bigger story in 2011 was of course the birth of the Sonic Parthenon Show. Yours truly refocused his energies, cast himself in the Orson Welles vein as your "obedient servant", and joined up with the online forces of Thor Radio in order to share audibly with the world what music has meant to him over the last 30 years. A lot of episodes have devoted time to new songs, much of which was noted in the playlists (Editor's Truthful Note: I forgot to put R.E.M. in the Playlist for Early 2011 and grandfathered them into it now. Maybe this is why they broke up a couple of months ago - lack of recognition). But the general schematic for each episode so far has been a review and revue of all things Elwood Rock n Roll. And annoying impersonations of old stars of the Yiddish theater.
Some have said it may be time for Elwood to hang up the rock n roll mantle and give up all pre-tense of having a relevant blog (many read the tea leaves in the official demise of the White Stripes at the beginning of the year). That apart from the show and the occasional nostalgia concert, it's all over, happenin'-wise. As Grampa Simpson once said, "I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me, and it'll happen to you, too".
Now may be the time to focus on being a "foodie". Indeed, the treat of many Sonic Parthenon Shows so far as been the accompanying show meal, usually involving rocambole garlic, purple cauliflower, and some apricot-infused chorizo. We'll see where 2012 leads us. This indeed may be the future.
But you never know. Some young buck may be working his way up in the ranks of rock n roll, dazzling the hipster crowds, making them shut up, put away the cell phones, and tone down their style of dress. A prospect hell bent on shaking things up, making it all about the music again, and not economy-defying lushing-about. In fact, Elwood thinks he has seen the future and is fully prepared to write in 2012 about the leader of this vanguard that will make rock n roll (and this blog) relevant again. This brash rook is named Tom Waits. And I think you're going to hear a lot from him real soon.

The Playlists

The Shows (or Concerts if you prefer)

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