Sunday, 31 December 2017

Rock n Roll is Dead! Long Live the Dead!

Take a few breaths and calm yourself to this

I tend to avoid talking about music on this blog for two reasons. The first is that it is easily the least popular topic and garners the least amount of attention, and the second is that it's just very subjective. I don't know anyone with similar musical tastes to each other let alone mine. Discussing sound is difficult outside of prose, especially when you're talking about a song you like and someone else just might not care for.

This is different. I want to talk about the dumbest music related quote I've seen in years. And if you've ever seen some of the stupid things record executives had said since they destroyed their industry back in 1998 then you know how idiotic it must be.  And in an industry that houses Ariana Grande and Katy Perry, and their millions of clones, that says a lot .No one takes these people seriously anymore, and for good reason. Whether you like Pop, Jazz, Metal, Rock, Rap, Classical, or Funk, I think we can all agree things in the industry are not looking up.

Ready for this quote? Your brain will not be able to handle this level in inane blather.

Though I suppose if you still listen to Pop music in 2017 you're probably already brain damaged to begin with. How many times can you listen to the same stale beats and hack lyrics, anyway?

Here it is.


Someone actually thought this was an important thing to say in Current Year. Someone thought this was worth saying. This is absolutely real.

Now I'm no genius but I think anyone who has turned on a radio or MTV in the last 50 and 30 years respectively (whoever there is still doing so) would be hard-pressed to tell you a single female pop star who doesn't write about the topic of sex. Because they all do. All the time. Incessantly. Without pause.

And yet this sort of thing is still said all the time. Is there an industry more out of touch with reality than this one?

But, you see, this industry is full of Important People who have Important Things To Say and we will cheer them on and swallow whatever they tell us no matter how objectively retarded it is, and how often it has been repeated, because they give us peasant ear candy that make us smile. They are above you and me. At least, that's what the record labels tell me. I haven't bought an album from them in well over a decade so you can forgive me if I'm a bit out of touch with their stagnant and unchanging practices. So little ever changes even after so many decades.

Because nothing in this festering boil of an industry has changed one bit in at least two decades. And I'm being very generous with that number.

Let's disregard the fact that all modern female pop stars are interchangeable. Let''s ignore the reality that mainstream music hasn't changed one iota since 1998 and is still praised as revolutionary by the hacks in the music press. Let's forget that Gangsta rap has left the world worse off both culturally and sonically and yet is still praised for recycling the same three topics ad nauseum after a quarter of a decade into its existence. Let's just bypass the uncomfortable truth that Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke destroyed rock music with their terrible influence and obnoxious, holier-than-thou fans. Forget all that for a moment. All of that has contributed to the death of the music industry, but there's more to it than just that.

How out of touch with your own industry do you have to be to believe this? How dumb do you have to be to not know that hack musicians (and some good ones) have been writing solely about sex since the industry began? Name me a single female Pop singer with a hit from the last decade that that isn't about sex in some fashion. You can't unless you want to be pedantic. Because that's all they write about!

What else do modern female Pop singers sing about? What 95 Theses are they nailing to the door of their precious industry? What revolutionary message do they have to share with their fellow hacks? What are they doing that is different or worthy of praise?

Nothing.

They are doing nothing new or interesting. They have nothing at all to say, but they'll say it anyway.

And that is why this industry is a laughingstock and has been for so long. Mediocre thinkers that peddle tepid musical swill with 3rd grade lyrics and tired loping beats to kids and addle-brained pop culture whores are completely unaware of the very swamp they created. The very same creatively dead environment they still champion as if anyone outside their circle cares. Let's also not forget certain artists protest along political lines by withholding concerts to deliberately drive a wedge in their fanbase to get what they want. These musicians are a bunch of children.

And the record execs and "journalists" just nod along to it all like a '60s folk song that sounds deep but is actually about nothing.

Lester Bangs might have been a blowhard, but at least he was self-aware enough to know stupid when he saw it. Unfortunately, you won't find any music critic worth their salt these days calling out the stagnant and sour taste the industry has been reveling in or their undeserved diva behavior. When was the last time you heard of a popular music critic? there's a good reason you haven't. The record companies can't have anyone making them look bad, after all.

Heck, how Rolling Stone is even still in business despite being wrong about literally everything for the last half century is a mystery to rival the Transfiguration. Remember when they called Justin Timberlake's first solo album a masterpiece? Of course you don't, because you, like anyone with two brain cells to rub together, don't read the rag! And yet they're still running. Funny, that.

If you want to know why the music industry is a pile of burning oil rags you have your answer in that one tweet. Every aspect of the industry is that brain dead.

A simulation of the Modern Pop Artist's life

You might notice my tone is particularly rough on this subject. That is because the music industry is a whole other different kettle of fish from other entertainment sectors when it comes to stupidity. I've also been dealing with them longer than any of the others. There is no industry full of such complete ignorance about the future and such hatred of its own roots and none filled with anywhere near as many undeserved egos. Which says a lot when you remember that I'm including Hollywood in there.

The publishing industry is out of touch, but it has an independent and mid-tier world that are not. The television landscape is on life support, but it has growing competition in the online space. The video game industry has a thriving fanbase who aren't afraid to call a spade a spade. Even the movie industry is beginning to get push-back from online services and independents. There are wheels turning.

The music industry has none of that. There are independent artists, but they get far less exposure than they did even ten years ago despite the explosion of online streaming. Because it's all backwards. No one in the industry is going to give them a look. Not when they pay to manufacture their own artists and hits.

But what do you expect? The music industry is a rubber room of post-modern morons staring in mirrors, seeing their drooling faces, and thinking women should continue doing what they're already doing as if it is some radical statement. It's easier than ever to put out music with creative and bold sounds but no record company has taken advantage of it. and if they did they'd bury it like their late '90s culling of everything not bubblegum, gangsta rap, and rap rock from their artist roster. Twenty years later and how much of that has changed? One less genre.

They'd rather still push their swill peddlers who go on about the same stupid topics from the 1960s as if anyone still cares. You will never see another Michael Jackson or Elvis Presley again because of this. If they're this dumb is it any wonder that they've lost so much relevance?

Pop music is dead, Pop fans. We killed it. We let the record companies dump and screw bands and artists because they wanted to push their corporate mandated and manufactured stars on us. One day we were seeing the Smashing Pumpkins in arenas and the next they were replaced with a New Kids on the Block clone, and we shrugged and did nothing about it. We allowed payola to take Swing, Blues, Alternative, New Wave, Metal, Ska, Punk, and Rockabilly off the radio and didn't bat an eye. For all crap about how shady (oh, and they were shady) record execs were to people like Bob Dylan or Berry Gordy, the same exact thing still goes on today and is completely ignored. We razed this whole industry to the ground, but it still refuses to roll over and die.

But younger fans are smart enough to simply go indie to get what they want and make a career out of that. There is nothing to gain by feeding that fattened beast. Better to walk away and let the whole house of cards crumble at this point.

I'm also at fault. I walked away from the whole mess years and years ago. Stopped going to shows. Stopped hanging out with music snobs. Stopped hoarding CDs. Stopped dealing with musical elitists who couldn't stop huffing on their copy of OK Computer for the 500th time while ignoring the crumbling scene around them. I ceded the industry and walked away.

So let this be a warning to you, fans of various forms of media. Cede ground and you are giving it to the sort who will destroy what you love. You will be left with an industry of vapid fools who think stating something that has been happening for over 50 years is revolutionary. Fight for your hobby and your interests, because they will be taken away from you and ground into the dirt by clueless fools who are as brain dead as the product they put out.

The music industry is the lesson we need to learn, and oh boy is it a lesson to learn.

Happy New Years, everyone!

Reclaim what we've lost


*Note: Hey look, three songs in this post and not one about sex. Amazing what you can you do when you don't live in a box.*


My novel actually does have a lot of musical inspiration, but from far older than the current crap era of pop music. If you're a big fan you might even recognize a bit! Give it a look.

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