Rock & Roll and the European Soul: Now Expanded and on Counter-Currents | Article

“White culture is Family Ties and Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses – like, this is white culture. This is all we have.”
–Christian Lander[1]

Rock music’s descent mirrors the recent late-stage decline of confidence in the West.

Yes, rock music is complicated – cue the liberals retorting with, “It’s all just black blues, man!” and certain conservatives contesting, “But it’s degenerate!”

Yes, rock music as a term denotes a very large tent, a river with many tributaries and streams. Warning: Your favorite artist may not be mentioned in this article.

Nevertheless, large swaths of rock ‘n’ roll transmitted threads from prior manifestations of the European temperament: the thunderclap of marauding berserkers, the bittersweet longings of the troubadours, the earthy whimsy of the Romantics, and indeed, the exploratory reach for “infinite space,” the prime symbol of Western man as described by Oswald Spengler. This last notion is expressed in the sheer vastness and enormity of sound in rock music.

It’s said that the Yule spirit sneaks in and peeks through even the most commercialized aspects of the Christmas season, and so too with a European disposition in rock music – even if it drew influence from other cultures, and even if it carried along with it subversive elements of late twentieth-century popular culture.

Much of rock’s structures draw from the blues, of course a product of early twentieth-century rural black culture in the American South. However…


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Also, please cross-reference the article with four corresponding playlists of music on my YouTube channel:

Sonic Thumos

Reaching for the Transcendent

The European Folk Soul

Country Leanings

And see this:


Sources for Further Reading:

  1. Country Roots of Rock’s Dual Guitar Harmonies
  2. How the Irish and Scots influenced American folk music, which in turn influenced rock & roll
  3. Country music overview, a genre that influenced rock
  4. Celtic music in the United States and its influence on American bluegrass and folk, which influenced rock
  5. The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Website acknowledges Celtic folk music in Europe, “hillbilly music,” Country and Western, folk, and bluegrass as parts of rock music’s formation
  6. Development of harmony is unique to European music
  7. Muddy Waters’ album, Electric Mud
  8. Rolling Stone magazine’s 2016 retrospective on Led Zeppelin’s third album, their “most English – steeped in traditional folk music and ancient history.”
  9. Thorough video series by Loralee Scaife, showing The Lord of the Rings as a summary of Western myth and a story containing powerful symbols and meanings that can help save the West today
  10. Oswald Spengler, tr. Charles Francis Atkinson, The Decline of the West, Volume I: Form and Actuality (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988 [1923])
  11. Ricardo Duchesne, Faustian Man in a Multicultural Age (London: Arktos, 2017)
  12. An article delving into the Western, “Faustian” spirit
  13. A deep exposition of fetishizing “the other” and appropriation within the rock/blues paradigm. “We ought to prioritize the generative aspect over the governing one.”
  14. A wild articulation of the metaphysics of mixing the ridiculous with the serious, a notion largely foreign to the modern bourgeois mindset, that describes the rock ‘n’ roll spirit without being about rock ‘n’ roll itself.
  15. Discussing the complexities of Western exploratory souls searching for their own roots in a multicultural world, via the story of the tragic Rolling Stone, Brian Jones. It’s the kind of deep dive you won’t find in mainstream journalism that always takes the one-dimensional “white bluesman” approach.
  16. Conspiracy theories concerning the creation of the 1960s counter-culture.
  17. The Poetry Foundation on The Doors’ Jim Morrison, an example of rock’s strained intersections with higher-brow culture.

2 thoughts on “Rock & Roll and the European Soul: Now Expanded and on Counter-Currents | Article

  1. I’ve noticed that there seems to be a crossover between classical and certain rock music.

    I’m more of a person who derives emotion from music. I don’t care about lyrics (they could be singing la la la for all I care). It’s the emotions stimulated by the sounds.

    I can listen to Mozart or Bach one minute and Slayer or Napalm Death the next and get equal satisfaction.

    I think this stuff comes from within, like Jason describes as “bio spirit”. It’s fascinating that musical tastes seem to align so clearly with genomes.

    1. Indeed, there is the mark of the “bio-spirit” being expressed in music.
      And rock does often carry this strange relationship with lyrics, where they suggest something more than literally tell a story.
      What is Dancing Days by Led Zeppelin “about?”
      The lyrics are really a series of images and impressions. But those who “get it,” get it.

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