View Full Version : Popular music...AKA Rant #1

01-21-2002, 09:52 PM
Well, I've expanded the Blue Casket so that it now can house anything you just want to get off your chest. We'll be a little bit more lax about the rules here, but be sure to save specific comments about the forum for "Feedback", and we will also not tolerate harrassment of other forum members, or groups of members.

That said, I think the music of 2001, overall, was some of the worst I've heard in some time. And it's churning out of my next-door neighbors dorm room about 18 hours a day. I mean, I'm only 18 years old and I feel like I've already out of the loop in terms of "popular" style. I'm not due to be out of the generation gap for another 12+ years!

That's not to say that my taste was ever highly in the majority among my classmates, it's just that 3 years ago, I was able to turn on the radio and enjoy what I heard. 1999 rolled around and introduced us to the "new" sounds for the "new" millenium approaching. People like Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, Britney Spears, Christina Aguiglijgoirjropijdsa, newfoundBlink41, nSuck, Backblah Boys, and the like, became queasingly famous overnight. The thing is: THEY'RE STILL FAMOUS 2 years later. I would have thought the steamroller that is pop culture would have rolled over them after 2 hits, tops. Perhaps their names have changed, they've gotten younger and put different clothes on, but they still sound like the same crap that I've put up with for too long.

I'm quite sure that I only bought 2 CDs that were released in 2001, although the total much more than that. I'm just feeling, well, a bit betrayed, if I could be so blunt. I'm feeling old and unrepresented. To top it all off, MTV doesn't play videos anymore. They just don't. It's all watered-down reality TV and talking. I mean, it's reached the final stage of conformity since it's inception. I'd like to call my cable company and say "I don't want my MTV", but I know I'm just part of a passive minority. *sigh*

Oh well, I guess I can continue to work on improving my collection of older CDs, and wait for the next anti-anthem.

01-21-2002, 11:06 PM
The thing is, people are still clinging to the hope that MTV will start playing Music Videos again, that "alternitive" radio stations will start pumping out the good stuff, and that people will start listening to the ****ing music again, not just looking at the dumb girl that wears tight clothes.

The fact is, as it is now, MTV will continue on it's seppuku route to hell, and it won't stop playing the stupid shows that attract 13 year old girls. The truth of the matter, is that the 'rebellious' radiostation won't stop playing the fagot band that doesn't come close to writing good music, but has a good way to market everything to the same 13 year old girls, will always be. Because, sadly, that's the crowd they've picked up. That's the crowd they are marketing. Smashing Pumpkins got crushed under the boobs of Spears, Radioheads blasted off to pluto, and "punk" will continue to be picked up by the whitey tighty preps who think they're cool.The people looking for good music have moved on, and have yet to confide under a common rock. They split to coffee shops, to underground radio, to Morpheus and Audiogalaxy, while the current Music Industry spends millions to pump the new "hip hop" 15 year old girl who can't sing well, but sure can wear clothes right, Solesides, and the good ones are only heard in clubs and by select few.

You can't look to the old sources, they've become the music of dumbasses, ingrates, tone deaf, and cool freaks. Linkin sounds the same as ever *rap/techno section/chours/rince/repeat*, Nsuck is still marketing the innocence, and the hip hop people are still wearing more fur and pretending to be badass.

But, if you look in the dark corners, the places you think they wouldn't be, you'll find em. Flaming Lips, Dj Shadow, Quannum, Stereolab, Ben Folds to name a few. They still make they music they started with, and they might not be super popular, but they make good music. (in my opinion, which if you don't like, you can eat it)

The truth is, the moment a band starts to be popular, the moment their clothes become a fad, the second they start a trend, there is a 99.99% chance the music becomes heaping piles of trend ****. And you got to move on.

Well, I started to repeat myself, so I'm off to read Harlan Ellison.

P.S. If all else fails, you can always listen to the old stuff. For me, Led Zepplin, Beatles, Three Dog Night, Alman Brothers, Cream, Jimmy, Pumpkins, Ben Folds Five, and some Solesides.

01-22-2002, 11:40 AM
Get used to it, Met. These generation gaps are getting closer and closer together.

As far as I'm concerned, the stuff being churned out today isn't really music. And I'm not being snobbish here. Even KISS songs had some kind of melody to them; today's so-called music is just one short phrase repeated ad nauseam. It's a mistake to try to listen to them. They're only meant to be background noise.

01-22-2002, 12:01 PM
Ewwwww, KISS. Perhaps you're right about that generation gap thing, but it's not fair, dammit!

01-22-2002, 05:13 PM
So make a band and change it.

01-23-2002, 06:10 PM
The below is an essay I wrote for the University of Washington, about how classic rock is better than today's rock. It's kind of specific, but enjoy!

The following is copyright 2002 Greg Osborn

I have given up on the radio. Every time I turn it on, the canned lyrics blast out of my speakers, reminding me once again why I have stopped listening to modern music. Most of the bands I enjoy listening to started writing songs before my parents were married, and others have lost members to painful drug addictions before I was even born. The bands of the classic rock era had willingness to experiment and shock, and weren’t hounded by the commercialism that many current bands face. These reasons provided the rebellion that made rock and roll great, which unfortunately, has been lost on current bands. I believe that the rock and roll music that was produced from the classic rock era is better than today’s music by far.
All the music on the radio today sounds exactly the same. Produced from a few hackneyed and trite formulas, the songs of today consist of very similar melodies and hooks. Bands of yesteryear showed a greater willingness to experiment and try new sounds. Guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page revolutionized the way musicians view the guitar. They exploited the instrument with every means possible, from utilizing the speakers for feedback, using wah-wah pedals and flanges and even using violin bows. Musicians were also free to extend and break the boundaries of the genre. Extremes can be seen when comparing Creedence Clearwater Revival to Pink Floyd. While both are rock bands, it is hard to find similarities between the two. These musicians were pioneers of a growing musical genre, which rebelled against the established pop sounds of the 1960s.
However, the musicians of today seem to be nervous about creating new sounds. This conservativeness may be a result of commercialism: musicians want to sell records and wavering from the tried and true sound that is popular right now may scare off a potential fan base. However, this is not why I listen to music. I like to hear varied and interesting sounds, not a collection of songs that mimic each other. There are three prevailing categories of songs that almost all bands fit into: the rap/rock genre as defined by Limp Bizkit and Crazy Town, the extremely fast and bland punk of Blink 182 and Sum-41, or the moody pseudo-ballads by Stained and Creed. The songs in each category are so similar, that despite having these three sub-genres of rock music, there is very little diversity. Every song tries to sound like the new favorite. Songs that differ from this method ever so slightly are hailed as revolutionary. The band Incubus uses a turntable in their songs, and while slightly fresh, they are far from revolutionaries. They are not on the same level as Jimi Hendrix. Their new sounds are not the sudden changes that the experiments of the classic rock era brought on: they do not differ from the norm extensively. I like hearing different and varied sounds in my music, not just the addition of a turntable once in awhile. I prefer classic rock to modern rock, because the bands of the classic rock era experimented with music: they did not follow a pattern of song writing. Current songs have lost the rebellion that made classic rock great. While classic rock rebelled against warm-natured ‘60s pop to create new sounds, modern rock strives to become pop music.
The musicians of the classic rock era showed a desire and willingness to shock their audience with their music to convey a message, something that I do not see in today’s current crop of rock music. These bands shocked their listeners creatively in order to build on a genre of music and a generation defined by rebellion. The lyrics of classic rock were generally provocative. Jefferson Airplane’s lyrics were continually drenched with references to drugs and the lyrics of Led Zeppelin were just one large sexual innuendo, fueled by the sexual revolution and drug use of the ‘70s. These bands shocked, but more importantly, there was a message behind those lyrics: an approval of the liberal trends of the generation. Their willingness and desire to shock their audiences embodies the rebellion that rock is supposedly all about.
Today’s bands still try to shock their audiences, but they do so in uncreative ways that degrade the genre of music. Instead of building on the rebellion that is rock and roll, these groups turn the genre into a carnival sideshow, without any definable message. Current musicians feel that the shock of rock and roll and the music come separately, whereas the music of classic rock was scandalous: it was not a separate effort by the bands themselves. Groups such as Limp Bizkit swear constantly in order to shock their audiences. While it may upset probing parents, it certainly isn’t creative and is an afterthought at best. Bands such as Limp Bizkit do not seem to be shocking for rebellions sake, but just to gain attention in a growing market. They have no message to listeners. Other groups such as the Insane Clown Posse and Slipknot wear ridiculous costumes to shock their audience, as if they are rejects from a House of Horrors. Their costumes contain no message, but are the way they get noticed by listeners. Relying on image is exactly the strategy pop superstars use to win audiences around the world. The rebellion that is supposed to drive rock and roll music should not use the same methods that pop music utilizes to sell album copies: relying on image or curse words is a ploy to attract a fan base with little attention span. The musicians of the classic rock era, driven by rebellion, shocked their audiences creatively with their music. They did not rely on cheap shock tactics to win audiences and did not succumb to using image. Their shocking and provocative ways contained messages about the generation they lived in. I can not appreciate the modern form of rock music that uses rebellion as a cheap excuse to gain attention. Rebellion must be accompanied by a message. For this reason, classic rock seems more pure and is more enjoyable to listen to.
The main problem of rock and roll today is that the genre is driven by commercialism. Whether musicians today feel that success lies in the realm of platinum records or more bands are out on the scene just trying to make money, commercialism is the dominant factor in how bands play music today. Money has always played a factor is the entertainment industry, but it seems to be less of a factor 30 years ago. The Sex Pistols’ first album was immensely successful and they gained a large fan base both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Despite the opportunity to make a lot of money, the group disbanded in an attempt to anger people around the world who anticipated a second album: another action fueled by rebellion.
A modern day rock band would never suddenly disband to offend their personal fan base due to the commercial aspect of the music industry. More bands are concerned about money. If they stray too far from the norm or offend too many people, they are less likely to acquire a fan base. Rock musicians are captives of recent trends. Those who want to experiment or be offensive may fail financially, but those who concentrate on winning fans are likely to succeed. Even if this modern trend of bland music is to blame on the audience, the bottom line is that classic rock was not as driven by commercialism as today, and thus was free to experiment and change the way the world viewed music. I prefer the diverse and groundbreaking era of classic rock to the music of today.
The music that was produced from the classic rock era is more revolutionary and diverse from the rock and roll that is played by radio stations today. A more open sense of rebellion allowed the bands of thirty years ago to experiment with music and to shock their audiences. With these freedoms, the musicians of the classic rock era were able to create music that is more entertaining than today’s bland and hackneyed songs. Fortunately, there is an exception to the bland music of today. The underground scene is filled with many artists who favor innovation to cash. Hopefully, these bands will be able to break out into the mainstream without compromising their musical integrity.

Copyright 2002 Greg Osborn

01-23-2002, 09:31 PM
Well, although I think you're right that older 'rock' is better than the newer, I also think you've got on rose-colored granny glasses. Money, commercialism, and superficiality have always been part of the mix.

There is another angle, too. A dissatisfaction with the music you're 'supposed' to like is probably an indication that your tastes are broadening and maturing.

01-23-2002, 09:40 PM
Ooh, you read through the whole thing? I'd give you a prize, but meh. Well, the topic was: Convince us in something that you believe. So that's why there's the bias. It's not only preferred, but it's necessary.

And I really would have loved to expand on the essay, but I only had three pages, making me open to counter-arguments. And it was done in a night. :D

01-23-2002, 11:23 PM
I think that the problem is, that people who don't like the music, but the bands, have taken over the music industries fan base.

Us people who love the music have to be convinced, we have to like the music. We don't pick up because it's cool, we don't buy the T-shirt or the coloring book because we think Lance is hot, we're about the sound.

I guarantee %90 of girls who buy Nsyncs new album will not do so because they like the music, but becase they just *love* them. They don't have to like the music, they just have to want to be part of the crowd.

We have to be ****ing convinced, and the music industry got tired of trying. So they fell back on crap music and started pushing the personality. Which I could give a sht about.

Alas, if I were the majority, the world would be a very different place.

02-04-2002, 05:08 AM
The thing about the pop culture getting so popular SUCKS!!! Music is only becoming a image! Like Setion said: Make a band and change it! I've done it! Now we only need to get popular!! Hehe ;) Me and Za'Xeriaw have made a band. Our name is Confused. We have made a song about GF! Don't know if you like that kind of music, but we are NOT like the pop, that are popular right now! We are NOT an image! We would rather be unpopular, than be like them!
Well... A little about us! We are both 16 years old, and we are the webmasters on Grim Fandango World at gfworld.grimfandango2.com
The site is not available at the moment, because GFN is changing server... But as soon as the network will be working, the song will be available for download!
Grim fandango ROX!!! I've completed the game 5-6 times! I just can't get enough of it!!!


02-04-2002, 05:20 AM
I think the sad truth is that popular music is now a product that is sold to us by money men. It seems to have little to do with the quality of the music.
MeddlingMonk has a point, it has been going on for years, but I think it has got increasingly worse. Look at the top ten, I bet the majority of the bands/artists are manufactured. :(

Could you ever imagine a band like The Beatles enjoying the same kind of world wide fame, when Britney Spears, and the Spice Girls are the competition?

*Depression strikes*

02-04-2002, 09:37 PM
Why a duck?