Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat
Yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there's been an aesthetic shift. Really, when I say I 'don't hear the difference' what I tend not to hear (more than just the notes themselves) is the aesthetic. And to me a lot of it is still loud guitar music with the same attitude as before. I'm not saying that's inherently a bad thing in itself, but I just want to see somebody doing something different.
It depends, MFB (just putting aside objections by enforcers of righteous right braininess against the infiltration of sinister left-brain activity for a moment :)
I think we could try an analogy with jazz. Jazz started out as rude and wild and was putting two fingers up to the establishment at the time. Remember, at one time even Strauss's waltzes were considered impolite by the guardians of righteousness.
Much has happened since then and most (not all) jazz is now "respectable". Where does that leave guitar rock? We had the blow-waved rockers (often studio types) singing with the kind of shallow sentimentality we had in a lot of 50s music. We had rock playing become clean and neat and tidy, all these extra chords, technique etc. Junior goes to college.
Punk arrives with its safety pins and anti-technique thing. Next minute we have tutorials and CDs on how to do punk drumming. I expect there are now people out there giving lessons in performing death growls in the correct way.
Who has revolutionised electric guitar playing? After Jimi, Adrian Belew, Ian Williams and Robert Fripp come to mind. Slash and Van Halen were highly influential.
It seems to be that rock has become less sexy and more violent, which fits the current ethos where two people making love on screen is considered obscene but someone getting shot or beaten up is family entertainment. Sexiness has shifted to pop and funk.
In terms of techiques and ideas I see the mainstream music scene tending to chase itself in ever decreasing circles - feeding off what's come before and not innovating, except on the fringes. We can thank powerful record companies and the increasing commercialisation of music for that. In the 60s bands could form and be sloppily creative and still get signed.
The scene is now so competitive that if musos hope to not work 9 to 5 they have to play to the market. Listeners don't have time in this busy world to just sit there with their heads wedged between the speakers, getting off on musical experiments or expressionist soling a la Zep etc.
Music for music's sake has decreased. Music now needs a utility value to be do well - to also have use in parties, dancing/moshing, chilling, background/musak, advertising, movie sound tracks ...
Web 2.0 is the main thing keeping rock from stultifying completely.
Edit: MFB, we posted at the same time and said more or less the same thing :)