Saturday, November 14, 2009

Music, or a Response to a Post Cryptically Entitled Thanks, Peter

Maybe everything that could be done in the Rock 'n Roll genre has now been done. The same basic thing happened with Jazz after the 1970s or poetry after the 1950s.

Ah, but the Marxist in you wants some sort of sub-structure explanation for this? Okay, kids aren't taught grammar and don't memorize poems any more. Playing the trumpet or the saxophone isn't cool anymore. Playing the electric guitar remains somewhat cool, but kids have more exciting things to do with their time. Such as playing video games. But video games are in the position that movies were in around 1940? 1950? It's very expensive to make an A-list game. Creative individuals can't compete in the market without adhering to some predetermined genre to secure funding. It's like those movies you watch because of some new development in camera lenses, or where the commentator spends the whole time talking about mise-en-cine instead of the plot or characters. The character model from the new World War X game has how many polygons?

On top of that, Rock 'n Roll isn't an alternative to anything. It's the default. There's no rebellion. Nothing to get hung about...

So who remains? The academics and the obsessives. That's why every new album sounds like a well-intentioned mush of other, better bands.

What can you do now to generate excitement? M.I.A. advocates terrorism and they put her on the Grammies. The great Rock 'n Roll swindle was a swindle, but at least it was fun.

Let's throw a test into this post for good measure. If the Smashing Pumpkins(a good lowest common denominator I think, at least I'm not prepared to go any lower...) are more fun to listen to than your band and the Counting Crows are more profound then just go home.

P.S. For Sarah and other people actually in bands: This is targeted at mass-market/media music. Live music is great, and is generally fun and worthwhile no matter the skill or creativity level. You got signed to a label and released an album even if only digitally? That sounds like a pretty good accomplishment to me.

1 comment:

Little Earl said...

The Yoggoth returns!

And yes, Sarah, the target of my vitriol is not musicians, but music critics (at least that's my intention). I have no idea what kind of music you make, but if you enjoy making it, don't listen to me.