The Bells' Toll on Rock 'n' Roll:
Soul lurks where money doesn’t
Posted Feb. 23, 2007

“‘Cause you have to believe, this will be my year” –Dan Wilson, Semisonic

If musical discoveries were the true sign ‘o’ the times, each Zodiac gone round would generate opportunities ‘o’ plenty for rock ‘n’ roll grandeur, eventually depleting self-proclaimed enthusiasts’ financial assets. Some live for their dreams and a pocketful of gold, but true fans thrive on the prospect of artistic potential, deeming pop-progression payment enough for lost investments.

Or, perhaps, we are “telling ourselves what we want to hear, because we have to believe that this will be our year.” Nonetheless, this is the story of our disappearing money.

In a favored “Sex in the City” moment, Carrie Bradshaw, unable to afford the going rate of her apartment, once referred to herself as a “Fendi-bag lady,” merely rich in fashionable accessories. Coincidentally, we may eventually become known as CD ladies, Platinum CD ladies, but CD ladies no less — women with a million records, ticket stubs, maybe a few cats and no savings to call their own.

As Prince would say, we “ain’t got no money, but we’re rich on personality.” Frankly, music is our master but if we continue to heed its call, we will have few ends with which to rock and roll.

However, these true fans are poor for a good reason; measuring the year thus far in purchases and unbelievable happenings on the scene, our empty wallets may be telltale signs of a long-anticipated musical awakening.

Though 2007 began on a low note, minus the Godfather of Soul, rockers have continued to “get on up.”

The music has been Goldielocks-right, inspiring early predictions for a year full of Mr. Dynamite-stimulated soul.

The newest additions to our record collection could even be considered one small step in the right direction for those about to rock, and one giant leap for musical kind.

Whoa-oa-oa! We feel good.

Upon discovering that the Twilight Singers, seen performing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in early January, were a post-Afghan Whigs side project, we headed for Amazon.com. The long-gone grunge-era band that fused soul with pop-punk and its electro-indie counterpart soon filled our online shopping cart — making us richer in musical knowledge but poorer in U.S. currency.

A radio appearance soon led to another shopping spree and the shocking realization that Star 98.7 holds the occasionally decent musical secret. This time, we did not want “to burn down the disco or hang the blasted DJ,” as singer/songwriter Rocco Deluca, heard live on “Star Lounge,” left us completely mystified.

Tackling the grunge burden, Deluca wedged his way into rock ‘n’ roll’s murky future and has been singing us to sleep ever since. Seemingly emerging from the shambles of the 1990s with 2006’s debut “I Trust You to Kill Me,” his “Hallelujah”–reminiscent vocals are comparable to such heroes of the decade as Jeff Buckley and Eddie Vedder.

Under the Influence of Giants’ freshmen release made it into another type of cart, mostly because lead singer Aaron Bruno was a dead-on Chris Robinson impersonator set on Prince-like dance tracks. We are still in the clouds.

Speaking of Prince, we could not help but credit two more of the Purple Majesty’s albums to our debit cards after witnessing his Super Bowl performance. And all it took were the words, “It's time we all reach out for something new. That means you too.”

Signing the times with decade hits, he closed the Half Time show with “Purple Rain,” sending waves of royal power through a drizzle-drenched crowd of football fans.

So nice, like sugar and spice.

The 49th Annual Grammy Awards, though sometimes the bane of our musically-optimistic existence, were also full of unexpected breakthroughs and even more surprising charges.

Finally someone responded to our S.O.S.

Sting and the crew reunited, marking their 30-year anniversary in celebratory bouts of “Roxanne” glory, and, fingers crossed, a new album to complement tour plans; “Stadium Arcadium” earned the Red Hot Chili Peppers a coveted rock award; three Grammy’s proved few could be without Mary J. Blige; and we began a “See the Police” fund.

Alas, upcoming releases may have us digging into that “See the Police” fund.

Chris Cornell is no longer an Audioslave to the grime of Rage’s remainders, as the band has dismantled in favor of a Machine reunion at Coachella. Cornell will fly his black days solo, dropping an album in early May, while Axl Rose will allegedly return fans to Paradise City with “Chinese Democracy,” in March.

Fresh tunes are also anticipated from U2, Nine Inch Nails, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Smashing Pumpkins and Jose Gonzalez.

Nahnananana. We feel good.

We knew that we would, now.

On a larger scale, summer festival merriment will welcome thousands of metal heads to a free Ozzfest, and a groundbreaking LiveEarth concert series hosted by Al Gore. Having already dished out more than $200 on a birthday celebration with the Goo Goo Dolls, we were relieved to musically discover blood donations would not be necessary this year, unless we are feeling generous.

As a sign of the times ahead, these mamas have got a few brand new songs, as well as concert plans, and will gladly cut their monetary losses.
So good, so good, ‘cause we’ve got tunes.

Jessica Bell, a senior communications major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at jbell@ulv.edu.
Kady Bell, a senior communications major, is web editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at kbell@ulv.edu.

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