collage by monica brand
collage by monica brand
NOMAD was at a party recently- rolling rhythm, a seamless mix of layered beats- when everyone started reminiscing about their first concert; the moment we first experienced the ecstasy of live music. Memories of being one of so many in a dark stadium, faces illuminated by stage lights, reenergized us like crystals charged by a singing sun. The rock star’s lifespan, extended through the memories of thousands who’ve seen them perform and heard their music, recalls moments from many shows. A voice riding a fierce melody and people who may never know each other—all over the world—sing along, united by the transcendent fever and rapture that is music. 
The term rocking and rolling was originally used as early as the 17th century by mariners, describing the motion of a ship on the ocean. Because the phrase referred to movement forwards, backwards, and from side to side, it began to take on sexual connotations in music, as seen in the sea shanty “Johnny Bowker,”-- “Oh do, my Johnny Bowker, come rock and roll me over.”  Rock and roll music emerged in the 1950s, borrowing from rhythm and blues, jazz, swing, folk, gospel, and country and western. Chuck Berry, perhaps the most well-known pioneer of ‘50’s rock, interweaved blues rhythms into his guitar-driven hits (“Route 66,” “Driftin Blues,” etc.). Others (…many others…) followed suit.
Over the years, this music has evolved into what we identify as rock today.  However, identify and define are two different things, as one cannot define rock music. 
Harry Hepcat once said, “I thought it was that driving back beat, until I heard an Egyptian band that could give Bo Diddley lessons. The best I could do was to paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart who, in 1964, said of obscenity that he knew it when he saw it. Rock and Roll? I know it when I hear it. The first time I heard that special something that was early rock and roll was upon hearing Fats Domino's 1949 recording of 'The Fat Man.”
At parties, so much weighs on the perfect play list, or flair and ensemble. Rock & Roll artists have had a long relationship with high fashion. Alexander McQueen designed for legends such as David Bowie and model muse Kate Moss. Frida Giannini consistently cites Florence Welch as a source of inspiration. Cat Power’s Chan Marshall and Karl Lagerfeld were once the most chic- if not slightly surreal- comrades in Chanel. The Proenza boys have looked to Yoko Ono for more than a few collections. Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane pays tribute to Courtney Love and Frances Bean in grainy, grungy photos- performative and iconic images of Rock and Roll style at its postmodern finest. Kanye shrieking for Givenchy. Debbie Harry and Marc Jacobs. The (play)list is on endless reverb.
Music is essential to runways- and runaways -how many teenage escapes have been inspired by an album as a portal into an other, another possibility?- cross-country road trips and short trips to the mountains.  It acts as inspiration to write to, work to, live and love to. Music, itself, is believed to be capable of stirring the soul- or rocking it, in this case.
Granted, this list is incredibly subjective- and nearly impossible to put together. Some artists have genius ouvres, some, well, not so much. We figured we would look to classic rock & NOMAD’s general vibe- journeying (insular or otherwise) ladies- and go from there.
NOMAD rock anthems-  
Ramble On
Like a Rolling Stone
All I Want
Good Time Women
Can You Get to That
Little Wing
Eyes of the World
Get It While You Can
Moonlight Drive
Tomorrow Never Knows

Chime in with your favorites in the comment box below…

July 2013