You have probably seen that commercial for the Toyota Corolla that shuffles through the last 50 years or so of musical styles and, if you are anything like me, you experience a brief bit of shock when it gets to the end and the beautiful group of multiracial young people are, I guess, twerking to EDM or whatever and you're like, "This is supposed to be now." It's jarring in a lot of ways, particularly if that actually is what's going on out there (I don't get around much anymore), but even if it's not the power of persistent imagery can hang a vision on an era and make it stick so permanently that it becomes its own reality. Take this video for the Afghan Whigs' "Gentlemen," the title track of an album that turns 20 this weekend: I was actually around, there in the early '90s, and even though I know for a fact that most of us were dressed much differently, when I look back at it in my mind this is exactly the kind of thing we were wearing. I probably still have a leather jacket like that in the back of the closet. It's a funny old world.
Friday, October 4th, 2013