House music is this generation’s rock ‘n’ roll. Get used to it.
Just like the rock movement, house inspires a “feeling.” There is a physical, chemical or emotional reaction to whatever auditory stimulus blasts out of nearby speakers at a given moment.
It’s that “thing” that the melodic vocalist in Avicii’s hit, Levels, is singing about when she lets everyone know that, “sometimes, I get a good feeling, yeah.” The feeling is just as real for this generation as it was for any other generation, drug-induced or not.
House is a movement and it’s growing. Developing underground during the early 1980s in Chicago, the genre made its way to Europe, penetrated the mainstream, and completed the cross-Atlantic voyage home.
But rock ’n’ roll traditionalists (those forever loyal to the Beatles) resist the import, impact and even the existence of the movement. “The stakes were higher” when the Beatles and Dylan were in their primes. Back then, “there was something to rebel against.”
There is no modern analog to the unifying power of the 1960s sexual revolution, Vietnam, and the civil women’s and reproductive rights movements. The truth is that rock indeed symbolized something big. It represented youth, freedom, power and resistance to authority.
However, house music represents something too. Rising to prominence in the early 1980s, only a decade and a half after the rock music movement took shape, the genre represented the political voice of black, latin, and gay youth.
It spread throughout the dance floors of underground New York and Chicago clubs, where the music and counter-cultural movement gained steam. And, with disk jockey’s like David Guetta and Tiesto consistently topping DJ popularity polls, the movement has reached full speed.
Even with all that said, why does House or any genre for that matter need a revolutionary backdrop to be legitimized as a movement? Didn’t the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Dylan all wish for the day where just “the music” was enough to bring people together? Isn’t that day here?
The 2012 Ultra Music Festival sold out more than a month before the first DJ took the stage. Over 150,000 people attended. Isn’t it enough that house music manages to bring together these crowds made up of all races, ages, and economic backgrounds? Isn’t it even more impressive and significant that today’s music brings people together without the unifying strength of the war and revolution of the 1960s? Maybe.
The bottom line is the same: people like this music. House is home now. Skeptics take notice.
Tal Lifshitz is a third year law student.