First of all, this post is going to be long. You are warned.
Second, music is a form of art, so it's naturally subjective. Many of you will not agree with my point of view, and that's fine, I can deal with it. Feel free to comment your thoughts.I.
The actual state of musicII.
Everything sounds the sameIII.
Why do we deify ordinary bands?IV.
It's hard to find original bandsV.
The point is to know what you are listening toVI.
When popularity influences our music taste VII.
When music started to be a competitionVIII.
When Last.fm turned into a gameIX.
The actual state of music
Music has changed drastically over the last decades. By saying that, I'm not referring to quality or something like that, but to quantity. Internet helped thousands of bands to grow and to disappear.
Back to the 80s or 90s people didn't have access to many bands, only to the ones the media reccomended or the ones that the person in the small music shop introduced to you. Nowadays, that person disappeared . Not the ocupation, but the function. Everyone can search for music by themselves, this shop guy is not needed anymore.
Hundreds of bands pop up each month, it's impossible to know them all (do we really need to?), but they are there. "The A", "The Yellow", "The Something". Thousands and thousands of these "The" bands. Can they compensate their lack of originality with extraordinary music?II.
Everything sounds the same
Think of one band. Many of you will think of many. Why? Nowadays bands come on a package. They are so similar it's hard to differentiate. Arctic Monkeys
, Little Man Tate
. If you listened to a song by one of them some years ago, you wouldn't be able to say who was the correct artist. They are all way too similar.
It's like a formula that most bands are following. Many of those bands are talented (they have at least one or two really interesting songs) but their lack of originality annoys me to the bone.
Each year we can find one The Rifles
, three The Kooks
, five We Are Scientists
, ten The Holloways
. The name of the bands will change, but the formula is still there. One or two catchy tunes and that's it.III.
Why do we deify ordinary bands?
In this crazy search for new music, we all tend to deify bands that generally don't deserve our praise. It's not that they are bad, but most of them are pretty normal. There's nothing wrong with that, though. The bands seeking to change the world are even worse, sometimes.
Last week I downloaded a album by The Colour
. I listened to it at least twice and it's average. Two good songs, the rest is ok. I wouldn't mind listening to it on a elevator or in a waiting room, but it's far
from changing my life. Cold War Kids
and Catfish Haven
are more complete, for example. I'’m sure somebody will put that record in the “Best of 2007” list in the end of this year and I can deal with it, but, hey, why? Do that person really enjoyed the album or it’s because it’s nice to choose a record most people won’t recognize? That’s the question. IV.
It's hard to find original bands
I always prefer bands which choose to do something different and fail than the ones that keep doing the same thing over and over.
How many bands came in the shadow of The Libertines
or The Strokes
? In my opinion those bands aren’t that extraordinary themselves, so it’s hard to expect something from a copy over there.
Let’s name Man Man
and Wolf Parade
. Are they unique? Probably not. They all have many influences and if you listen carefully you can remember other bands. The good point is that they keep those influences just as influences
, as it should be! Nobody is obliged to like their music but I would kindly ask people to respect their work, it’s definitely not easy to find such original acts.V.
The point is to know what you are listening to
Let me put it clearly. There is nothing
wrong in listening to Bloc Party
, Franz Ferdinand
, The Killers
, Maxïmo Park
Most of them have got some really solid records such as Franz Ferdinand
, Silent Alarm
or Hot Fuss
! I enjoy myself many of them.
On the other hand, many people exaggerate. They are nice, yeah. But for some The Rapture
, The Bravery
, etc are better than Gang of Four
. Many don’t even know Gang of Four. I’m not of those who are always saying “In the past it was all better” because is not always true, but in this case that’s my opinion. Gang of Four and Television
are better than all those bands together.VI.
When popularity influences our music taste
We have some funny cases about popularity.Sufjan Stevens
– He used to be a way talented songwriter and musician back in 2005. Now his is a overrated jerk and even the ones that used to like him are fleeing from his music.Modest Mouse
– They are playing for, humm, 13 years? Ok… Most people ‘discovered’ them only in 2004 with Good News For People Who Love Bad News
. In the beginning the album was good but then everyone started listening to it! The indie crew cannot accept that! They were even on the radio (not in Brazil, we are still listening to Maroon 5
)! It’s funny, because they had a whole cult back in the past and now many "old fans" are not keen for new releases and for the band itself.
Not to mention Arctic Monkeys and many others.
I simply can’t understand how it works. Do you only like the band while it’s not famous? But, then, do you like their music or their obscurity? I hope somebody can answer me that.VII.
When music started to be a competition
What is a album? Let’s see in wikipedia.An album or record album is a collection of related audio or music tracks distributed to the public.
(…) The tracks on an album may be related by subject, mood or sound, and may even be designed to express a unified message or tell a story (…).
Let’s suppose you download 10 albums per week. You’ll have about 40 albums in a month. Now, I’ll ask you something: do you have any idea of the concept behind the albums you’re listening to?
We do not discuss the music we listen anymore. The point is to download more and more, listen to a huge quantity of bands, to become a live music encyclopedia. But, by doing this, we don’t have time to feel the music anymore. It’s not worth losing time searching for a band’s discography while many new bands are popping up around the world, is it?
The so-called “music experts” in this days aren’t more than slaves of their own addiction.VIII.
When Last.fm turned into a game
Some days ago, my friend Sylviofurtado
showed me a girl’s profile. It was normal, except for a thing: she was registered for not more than one year and had around one million tracks played. Yes, one million. Funny, isn’t it? What a person like this have in mind? I bet she keeps her ipod on 24/7 just scrobbling music, but…why!?
It’s not only about tracks played, we have many competitions in here: how many obscure bands you’ve got in your top 50 chart, how many friends you have, your number of posts, just to name a few.
I could bet (I’m feel like betting today, I know) there are people who listen to a mainstream band a lot, but are afraid to scrobble it to their profiles. In this case, the problem is not linked to music, but to personality (or the lack of it).IX.
If you read the whole think, I should thank you. There aren’t many people interested in reading big texts, especially by me.
I’m very interested in your opinion. Did I disrespect you? Did I mention in a bad way some band you love? Is Franz Ferdinand better than Television? Are you reading my final considerations before the text itself? Have you watched Babel?
Take care you all.