Over the past couple decades there’s been a lot of talk about what’s killing the music industry. Way back in the day (at least it sure seems like back in the day) CDR’s struck fear in hearts of many who make their living in the industry. Then came the infamous file sharing network Napster, which made record companies and Lars Ulrich alike wee their brand name leather pants. These days with apps like Pandora and Spotify becoming massively successful, the listener now has an alternative source of music where the artist still gets paid. Even if it is just a portion of a penny per stream. An artist on Spotify will make approximately 600 dollars per 100,000 streams. Well that turns out great for major artists pop/rock artists getting millions upon millions of streams, but what about small time bands who can’t even muster the 100,000 streams to get their measly 600 dollars? This is where laziness truly plagues the 99% so to speak.
Maybe this is a bit of generalization, but the younger generation who listen to top 40 do not have either the interest or the attention span to dive deeper into the veritable ocean of music. They are perfectly content to wade in the kiddie pool that is pop music. They’re certainly not going to dive any deeper than pop radio takes them. How could one find the time when bouncing between social networks? The amount of information that gets thrown at us by these forums can make for a rather short memory and an even shorter attention span. The internet is so over-saturated that it can be hard to sift through all the recycled nonsense that lays on the top. Which brings me to my next subject; The antithesis yet the same at heart of the ADD plagued younger generation. A generation that’s grown tired of looking for something new.
There is one statement I hear from a lot from folks who were around for the last couple generations of music, even from people closer to my age in their mid 20’s. It’s a truly lazy statement and it drives me insane. They tell me something to the effect of “There’s just no good music out there anymore”. They’ve just given up completely. Not only is it lazy to say, it’s wholly untrue. They were the same kids as this generation, only the mainstream music is no longer “Grunge”. They never really looked any deeper than the kids do now. Of course they’re not going to like what they hear when all they hear is the top 40. Don’t look at MTV and proclaim “music is dead”, don’t be the belligerent old guy who says my generation doesn’t know good music, and don’t be surprised when everyone just rolls their eyes at you.
In the end, what I’m saying is music is not dead. It was just buried by the cynics as they continue to piss on the grave. But underneath it all the music thrives. If you don’t take anything else away from this, remember this one word: Dig. Bring the underground to the surface. Bring those to the spotlight who deserve it. The ones who put their heart and soul into their music and those who play the music just to play it. Sure sifting through the noise can be difficult, but in the end when you find an amazing record, it’s rejuvenating. You have something fresh in your life. You have something filled with someone’s soul and connecting with them on a deep, visceral level is so human. Don’t be lazy, let go of the distractions, and find something that could have a true impact on your life. So delve a little deeper in Spotify. Make a trip to a local record store and pick a random album. The first thing that catches your eye should lead you to click on the related artists. Find out what the bands you listen to like. The tools are all around, don’t let them go to waste. Don’t let the music go to waste.
It seems to me that much or most of the ‘new’ music we hear today is formulated and therefore sounds very much like the song one heard before. The lyrics in many cases are totally inaudible and the melodies instantly forgettable. I sent one of my songs titled Katie Katie to the BBC here in the UK and though they like it they said that it sounded like a demo and would therefore not get any plays. It is a simple fun R’n’R song which everybody who has heard it agrees is a lot of fun. Because it doesn’t meet with today’s sounds it gets shelved. Here’s a link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obcFnQQILZY
Here’s another which I wrote hoping to energise people especially younger ones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFoSJYoMJAI
I keep trying but it’s just so hard to crack it at 78 years old : -)