This is Rock Now:
Whereas, This is Not Rock:
Especially if it's singing a song about being middle-aged. I mean...if I want to think about being middle-aged I'll probably just pull out Pollard's divorce album, or Lou Reed's divorce album, or an old late-period Who album that I remember from high school listening to and thinking "hmmm is that what it feels like to be middle-aged, OK thanks Pete I'll remember that when it comes my turn...if I live that long." Pete may have turned out to be a weird dirty old geezer, but "Daily Records" is still cool.
But seriously, a little of that goes a looooong way. I don't go out to shows to sit around ruminating on being Olde. I go to have fun, partly to catch up on all the fun I couldn't have when I was a teen because I was insecure and ugly and broke and my mom wouldn't let me out of the house. Breathes there the teener with soul so ded/ Who never to itself has said/ "When I grow up and get money and a job I'll go to ALL THE SHOWS I WANT, I'll DO WHAT I WANT, and no one will stop me!" And now that I've finally made it around the Monopoly board to GrownUp, with some play money to spend, don't want to listen to some rock band that looks like it's pitched to a bunch of suburban daddies in SUVs and khaki knee shorts. I mean, Judas Priest got old too, but not like that.
And speaking of nostalgia tours and old Who wrekkids and the like, I would be so much more inclined to go to these events if they were just marketed as rock shows, not as PAHHHHHHH! NOSTALGIAAAAAA. I know people like Todd R. will make a bunch of money from playing Sgt. Pepper covers at the planet geezer venue. I know that the Who will sell a lot more seats running an ad with 25-year-old Pete about to smash an instrument than with old bald Pete and his police record. I have no desire to go and sit around with other Old People at events that are Designated 4 Old People. I just wanna rock.
The Hold Steady are supposed to be the "new Springsteen." Did they miss the memo that Springsteen was, has always been, handsome? The Boss is probably one of the most gracefully aging dudes in the biz. The Hold Steady looks more like an entire band of Jon Landaus. We all knew that the reason Landau loved Broose so much is that guys like him secretly wish they WERE Broose...but they're not.