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There's a 1936 play by W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood called The Ascent of F6: A Tragedy In Two Acts. It relates the sorry tale of one Michael Ransom, a mountaineer attempting to beat a team of rival climbers to the summit of a mountain in the Himalayas, a formidable hunk of rock. After various ill-advised shortcuts motivated by competitiveness, Ransom reaches the peak only to discover his mother sitting there waiting for him.

Auden and Isherwood's play has become a metaphor for the two-act tragedy of popular music in our time. Pitting themselves obsessively and competitively against the musicians of the past, today's rock mountaineers attempt to scale the same peaks, only to find Father Iggy or Mother Janis sitting there at the top in a rocking chair, rocking out. Regular readers of Click Opera know that I call this phenomenon "epigone pop" or "retro necro", and it's the subject of my latest column for Spanish music magazine Playground. Since it appears there in Spanish, I'm publishing it here in English, as usual.

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