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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The State of Music

Current mood: discontent

Views: 278
Comments: 0

Exhibit A:

 

"There is no real music these days. All the good music comes from the 60s and 70s"

 

This is an opinion quite popular with UGers. It is BS.

 

Hendrix didn't play staying the Blues all his life because it was the only real music. He experimented. He pushed things forward. He was a pioneer. In the 60s, nothing like the likes of psychedelia had ever been heard before, it was grounbreaking stuff. In the early 70s, there had been nothing like hard rock. In the late 70s, punk came long, and it too was new and exciting.

 

My point is that these artists that are so cherished by the "real-music" puritans weren't there complaining about the state of the mainstream. They were making the new music that they wanted to.

 

I feel that these days, we are suffering from the backlash of five decades of great pop music. There is so much that it is impossible not to be greately influenced by what has gone before, and harder still to be totally original.

 

Another thing to consider is that with listening to music from the past, we can pick and choose only the good bands, that is, only the good bands are chosen for us. Only the really successful bands of the era survive to still be in the conscience of listners today. In short, alot of the crap is left behind.

 

Exhibit B:

 

"Everything in the mainstream is corporate rubbish"

 

Again this is not true. However I can agree with it, to an extent.

 

Firstly, I would like to say that some of stuff in the mainstream is good. And I don't just mean the odd rock artist that makes it big. Sometimes I hear something that is your typical, run of the mill, market-researched-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life pop tune, and think "this is actually quite good". People need to be able to just put aside trends, situations, and just listen to the music. Secondly, there is are some generally talented artists in there. The Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdiand, Bloc Party. You may scoff. You may not. But what some of the underground elitists often do not realise is that the slew of generic awfulness is often the produt of a handful or actually quite good bands making it big, and the record companies are then quick to capitalize on this.

 

Having said that, I do hate a lot of it. It's bland, generic, unoriginal, unimaginative corporate crap. I also hate Radio 1 for playing it. I swear on many occasions I have heard the same song 3 times in 4 hours. This shows you how narrow their playlists are. The media controls how we think. It controls the music we like. I feel that they have a responsibility not abuse this position for corporate gain. The BBC are even government funded, so even more in their case.

 

I don't like it also when people say that bands who sign to major labels have "sold out". If I was in a band on a small indie label, and big company offered me a deal, I'd say yes. Heck, you'd be an idiot not to. I'm assuming here, that it is a good deal, and that the record company already like your band and therefore you don't have compromise artistcically. But I'd want my music to reach as many people as possible. I'd want to sell millions of records. Not for the money or fame, but because I would have a belief that my music is good and that it should reach as many people as possible. If it was music with some kind of message, than this is even more true. I'd much rather this than playing to niche crowds who I know will like it. 

 

Something I can never understand is why people feel compelled to think that "underground" music is the only way to go. Yes, record companies (and bands) are always jumping on bandwagons, following the latest trend. But can you blame them? Maybe. But who buys the music? Who follows the trends? It's the people. It's the general public who have conditioned things so that record companies have to follow trends, so that Radio 1 has to play Leona Lewis eight times a day. Believe it or not, the majority of people are not as heavily into music as you or me. For them music is only a soundtrack to their daily activities rather than a passion. They are obviously content with taking what gets given to them, or they wouldn't buy the music, and the record companies wouldn't keep churning it out. You may say, "well, they only listen to the mainstream stuff becasue they are posing, trying to look cool, trying to fit in, liking it because everyone (the media) is telling them to.". This maybe true, but I think that that cannot be wholly responsible. This leads to only one conclusion.

 

Yes folks. People actually like 50 Cent.

 

Which brings me to my next exhibit...

 

Exhibit C

 

"All good music has guitars in. Rap, Rnb, Dance are rubbish"

 

Or

 

"92% of teens have moved on to Rap. Put this in your sig if you are in the 8% who have stayed with real music."

"You can't spell CRAP without RAP"

"RAP = Retards Attempting Poetry"

 

Now this is compete and utter BS. Luckily, I don't think there are too many people that think this, but even so.

 

Think of it this way. Rock fan. He listens only to rock music. This means the only Rap, RnB and Dance he comes into contact with are things he hears on the radio. Do you see where I'm going here?

 

In the same way, Rap fan, he only listens to rap. Not just the stuff in the mainstream though. Anyone seriously into music would start to look beyond. The only rock he hears is the mainstream stuff. Psh, he thinks. Boring. Crap.

 

I don't understand how people can be so short-sighted as to think that this stuff in the mainstream is an accurate representation of the overall quality of a genre. Hyposcrisy! The truth is that there is good music and bad music in every genre. Ok, maybe some genres have more good music in them than others, but the principle remains the same. You have no right to be dismissing whole genres like that. You can have opinions on the overall style and why perhaps you, personally, would not want to listen to that genre. You can say that a certain band are good or bad, but the truth is, quality is in the ear of the beholder. There is no best, only good bad and mediocore. 

 

Exhibit D

 

"Good music is universal"

 

"Music is an arrangement of sounds in a way which is pleasing to the ears. Whatever pleases your ears is good music."

 

These are my thoughts. They are right. I do not need to explain them.

 

Thank-you for reading :golfclap:

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