Alternative rock my foot

One of the many things I’d never know of without the Net is how much good music comes from Scotland. I knew Auld Lang Syne of course, and thanks to Nokia I knew the melody (but not the lyrics) of Scotland the Brave, but had no idea there was Flower of Scotland. For that matter, I didn’t even know there were The Corries. I had several Burns’ lyrics in a Penguin Classics paperback I didn’t know the tunes for, such as For a’ That, and a’ That – I only learned the tunes via YouTube. I knew Donovan, Rod Stewart and Annie Lennox, but only knew Franz Ferdinand existed, never heard them, and, cub’s honour, I didn’t even know that Nazareth were Scottish. And though I had the Capercaillie Sidewaulk CD, I’d never heard of Runrig.

Not that I spend all my time with oldies but goldies. In addition to Franz Ferdinand I also discovered Idlewild and Glasvegas. The latest even released their first album when I was already on the Net. After seeing their It’s My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry and Daddy’s Gone I bought the whole disc. And it’s really good.

What surprised me, however, was the fact that Wikipedia calls them an alternative rock band. What’s alternative about it? It’s simply rock at its best. So I digged a bit deeper and went to the page on alternative rock iself. With no small surprise I saw there a quotation characterising it as “guitar music first of all, with guitars that blast out power chords, pick out chiming riffs, buzz with fuzztone and squeal in feedback” and even Britpop classified as a subgenre. So don’t let yourself be deceived by the label. The adjective “alternative” is just an advertising gimmick, and in fact they simply mean pure rock.

 

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