Music: Vaudeville Rock

Whither rock? If the salad days of Dylan, the Beatles and their near peers constituted its high renaissance, rock music has now evolved into a florid and self-conscious rococo period, which is also, sad to say, often decadent. Once the sound was what mattered most; rhapsodizing players would even turn their backs on the audience, and "performance" was almost a dirty word. Now the show is everything. A few rock groups share the evening with stand-up comedians or clowns and trapeze artists to liven up their act. Some musicians wear mime makeup and practice...

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