Five years ago, Jack Shafer wrote an essay in these pages asking a mischievous question: How will we know when baby boomers have lost control of American popular culture? “Sooner or later,” Shafer predicted, “the post-boomers will give them the necessary nudge, push, and shove to sweep their rotting culture from the scene, and references to Beatles tracks will become as irrelevant as references to Mills Brothers songs.” The question was, when? “What post-boomer reference in a mass-media headline or TV commercial will signal the cultural coup?”
The answer, of course, is the Pavement reunion shows. But in some respects it was also The Pixies reunion from a few years ago. But certainly, it was when the onslaught of popular-unpopular bands started showing up in advertisements: Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear, Matt and Kim, etc. etc.