I know what you’re saying about when rock gets treated as an ‘art’ form. I've certainly found myself being suspicious of certain things in the past.
On the other hand, you do get to see things you wouldn’t see otherwise. I remember that Bowie ICA performance on the telly with La La La Human Steps back in the late 80’s, which may look a bit dated now but was great back then. And Michael Clarke’s routines to the likes of The Fall and Wire married two different forms quite beautifully IMO.
Talking of Wire, I made the trip to see their Flag: Burning at the Barbican a few years back. This involved them...
a) playing Pink Flag in its entirety, supposedly in collaboration with the Chapman brothers (but which actually consisted of the band playing in front of a screen where footage of smiling women doing step exercises played on an endless loop, which may have worked for one song but not for a whole album - though it was fun when the band were joined on-stage by real life dancers for the final number!)
b) playing new material in the second half whilst each member was situated in a separate box with giant images of differing parts of their faces superimposed over the top of them.
Now this was clearly an arty, pretentious evening (admittedly this is not exactly unheard of in Wire’s history!), but it was an enjoyable evening all the same. That said, was it a better gig than when I saw them play a ball-breaking set at small, sweaty Brighton club a few months previously? No, it wasn’t even close!
But still, I’m glad it happened.
As I've previously mentioned I've not heard the latest Albarn LP and I wasn’t actively seeking it out, but at the risk of sounding hypocritical I’m happy to give him the benefit of the doubt where, in the case of Sting, I probably wouldn’t. The difference for me is that I get the impression (rightly or wrongly) that Albarn makes the albums he wants to, not the albums he thinks he should because he wants to be taken seriously, maaan.
But I’ll agree, the Chelsea thing is slightly off-putting!
As for who is remembered in the future, this is clearly beyond our power and I don’t think we should even worry about it! I was joking with some Dylan fans the other day about this very thing. They’re pretty confident that Bob will be remembered with the likes of Shakespeare, Michelangelo, etc, and they may well be right. But on the other hand we don’t know. Bob might be forgotten about this time next century whilst historians rant on about just how great Nik Kershaw was!
As for Cope, I think he stands as good a chance as anyone who has achieved his level of relatively limited commercial success. He certainly appeals to the generation that came after ours judging by the fact that I've met my son and a load of his mates at the last two Cope gigs I've attended. This and the fact that Nick Drake’s works of immense beauty are more popular today than they were in his lifetime give me hope that some of the stuff that deserves to be remembered, will be.
As for Kiss, my views are well-known, so I won’t bother repeating them!