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[P]
Musical cycles and the next big revolution in popular music?

By andrewhy in Culture
Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 02:42:14 PM EST
Tags: Music (all tags)
Music

Right now i'm sure there is much agreement about the sorry state of popular music today. Surely most of you are nostalgic for the days of your youth; after all, wasn't music much better back then?

Now I have this theory that whatever you're listening to once you hit the age of 20 is going to be the music you appreciate for the rest of your life. But generational differences aside, any avid music lover can recognise good music when they hear it, and good music doesn't just come from any one time-period.

If one accepts the idea that everything goes in cycles, right now the state of popular music is somewhere around 1989. Back then you had boy bands like New Kids on the Block, pop princesses like Debbie Gibson, and a lot of commercial rap and R&B music. Not to mention hair metal. Today of course, you have boy bands like the Backstreet Boys, and pop princesses like Britney Spears. There's still a lot of lame commercial rap and R&B. And instead of hair metal, it's rap metal.


It's obvious that history repeats itself, and any astute observer of popular music can tell you that every once in a while something remarkable happens that changes the face of popular music.

We've seen this phenomenon in the 50's with the advent of rock and roll. The late 60's, with it's changing mores and social unrest, brought us the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, psychedelic rock and lots of other great music. The economic decline of the late 70's and early 80's brought punk and new wave. And the angst of the early 90's brought us Nirvana and the grunge/alternative rock genre.

Therefore, i'll make a prediction. I predict that the next revolution in popular music will come within the next two years.

My basis for this claim? About two years ago, a writer for CMJ New Music Monthly wrote an article on the same subject. His theory was that there is roughly a 7 year gap between significant events in popular music. Although I think 7 years is a bit too short, the theory that it occurs every so often is one worth building on.

Another factor is that we are entering a period of economic downturn and potential social strife. The long period of relative economic prosperity that just ended has spawned a batch of sound-alike pop, rap, and metal bands. Artistic vision seems to thrive most in times of struggle. Witness the Vietnam war in the 60's, the economic downturns of the 70's and early 90's, and the Reagan-Bush policies of the 80's. All of these eras spawned a resurgence in underground pop culture and it's attendant effects on the mainstream. Even Marilyn Manson said as much when he proclaimed that he wanted Bush to be president: "I think music and all art really flourishes and becomes much more exciting under a conservative president because there's a need to react against limitations"

And going on my earlier claim that today's music is about the same as it was in 1989, the time period between 1989 and 1991 (the rise of grunge) was approximately two years.

So what will be the next big sound? It's hard to tell. No one anticipated that Nirvana would sell millions of albums in such a short time, nor did anyone think that punk bands would make the British charts and spawn a vibrant underground music scene. But whatever it may be, the next revolution in popular music will spring full-fledged from the underground. This should not be news to anyone who follows independent music.

Great bands aren't just "discovered" and signed to a record label by some sharp A&R guy. Truly great music gets recognised simply on it's own merit. Nirvana acheived success in that very manner. Even if the artist receives little recognition at the time, history will eventually recognize them. The Velvet Underground and Nick Drake sold far more albums after their time than they did when they existed.

Almost every significant revolution in popular music comes about when the sounds of the underground become the mainstream. This happened especially in the early 90's, when little-known bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, Janes Addiction, Green Day and others ushered in a sound that became the predominant form of popular music for the next few years. Even the legendary artists of the 60's came from a largely underground milieu, especially those from the psychedelic scene.

Baby boomers will assert that the music of the late 60's was the greatest, and that very little music since can compare to that time period. While there is no doubt that a lot of great music came from that short period in history, it is obvious that one tends to prefer music from whatever time period they grew up in.

I myself came of age in the early 90's and I've noticed the peculiar parallels between the late 60's and the early 90's, music-wise. Both covered relatively short periods of time (about 3 or 4 years), and came about during or on the heels of a war (Vietnam and the Persian Gulf). Both were sparked by the remarkable success of one band that wrote great, loud pop tunes (the Beatles and Nirvana). And both ended with Woodstock and the sudden deaths of it's most gifted musicians. Now while the original Woodstock culminated the 60's and it's "peace and love" ethos, Woodstock '94 culminated in the complete commercialization of what was briefly a vital and original movement in popular music. And both eras ended in toto with the deaths of Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain, and the breakup of the Beatles and Nirvana.)

Unfortunately with such things, the allure of success and the glare of the public eye tends to water-down the music and it's meaning, until it eventually becomes another musical commodity to be bought and sold by the major label record industry. Inferior copycats are signed in droves, and eventually today's big sound becomes tomorrow's bargain-bin CD. But such resurgences in popular music provide a brief respite from the manufactured corporate rock we've gotten all too used to hearing. Many otherwise unknown or unrecognized bands get a shot at recognition or perhaps even stardom.

If anything, the next revolution in rock music may be along the lines of the punk era of the late 70's and early 80's. Although most observers place the end of the punk era with the breakup of the Sex Pistols, the fact is that punk expanded greatly as an underground movement throughout the 80's and is still active today. Bands like Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Fugazi, Misfits, Black Flag and many others fueled an ethos that greatly influenced many bands that came afterward. Although punk didn't make a huge dent in the mainstream (unless you count pop punk like Green Day, Offspring and Blink 182), it's significance in the underground and it's vitality contributed much to the grunge and alternative movement of the early 90's. In fact, many artists who came to prominence in the early 90's were active for years in the 80's indie underground.

So perhaps there's hope yet that Generation Y (or whatever the hell they're calling them) will get their own Nirvana, Sex Pistols or Beatles, and rail against banal pop culture and suburban conformity. Although the underground never really stops creating great music, it too experiences occasional lulls in creativity. But before too long, the teenagers of today will be anxious to hear something new.

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Musical cycles and the next big revolution in popular music? | 129 comments (121 topical, 8 editorial, 1 hidden)
You're on the express elevator to hell... (2.11 / 9) (#2)
by ti dave on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 02:41:54 AM EST

for daring to hold Green Day in the same regard as Nirvana.

:[

Cheers,

ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

Bah. (3.00 / 3) (#48)
by broken77 on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:24:29 PM EST

Anyone who says that doesn't really understand Green Day. They think that they were just some bandwaggon-hopping band that sprung up on the scene out of nowhere, one day appearing on MTV. They don't know their roots. Bah!

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

"Bah!" - Bah! (2.00 / 4) (#56)
by Ex Machina on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 07:54:02 PM EST

Green Day, while decent, was just a cheap ripoff of other SF area bands like Samiam, Op Ivy and MTX.
/* ooka looka */
[ Parent ]
Op Ivy? (1.00 / 1) (#109)
by broken77 on Wed Jun 27, 2001 at 06:35:00 PM EST

Really? Even though they sound nothing like Op Ivy? What??? Yes, I have all of Green Day's albums. Yes I have all of Op Ivy's work. No, they're not alike at all. Maybe similar.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

Next Big Revolutions are all hype and bullshit (4.61 / 13) (#3)
by driptray on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 03:21:07 AM EST

And always have been.

They've always been a case of a record company and associated hypsters (music journalists, MTV, radio etc.) getting behind a band who represent a more acceptable face of a long established trend, and then presenting them as if they were new, radical etc etc. A mainstream audience is then exposed to something new (to them), they fall for it, buy it in big volume, and everybody makes a lot of money.

Nirvana and the whole grunge thing are a perfect example of this process. In my circle of friends and musicians we had been listening to grunge (and calling it that) from the early to mid eighties. When Nirvana supposedly invented grunge in the early 90s it was clearly a case of the mainstream eventually catching up with a 10 year-old trend, and selecting a band that was more accessable than your average grunge band due to Kurt Cobain's preference for nice melodies. Nothing wrong with that, but it was never the next big thing, more like a tired old thing with a very unrepresentative band at the "forefront", and a bunch of record company people convinced they'd discovered the new thing that kids loved.

And you're looking forward to this process being repeated?

If there is any interesting trend on the horizon, its the fact that musical tastes have diversified, the mainstream is no longer so homogenous, and everything has become a niche. In this environment it may make no sense to talk about "next big things" as every niche has its own "next big thing".


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
Interesting anglo-centric view. (4.37 / 16) (#4)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 03:33:23 AM EST

The economic decline of the late 70's and early 80's brought punk and new wave. And the angst of the early 90's brought us Nirvana and the grunge/alternative rock genre.
I notice you avoid the emergence of rap and R & B as major forces in the cultural landscape. I guess since it isn't music you are interested in then it didn't happen.
No one anticipated that Nirvana would sell millions of albums in such a short time, nor did anyone think that punk bands would make the British charts and spawn a vibrant underground music scene.
The same way no one expected first group to debut at number one under the SoundScan system to be NWA nor could anyone have anticipated that Master P's No Limit label would eventually sell enough records make Master P one of the world's highest paid entertainers currently worth upwards of $300 million.

Quite frankly this article strikes me as the ranting of someone who watches too much MTV and fails to realize that a.) the music on MTV is targetted at the most juvenile audiences [I happened to be speaking to some high schoolers today and they mentioned that the boybands and the bubblegum pop females are enjoyed primarily by the pre-teens and early teens and not the 16 - 21 set as I had earlier believed] and b.) MTV and commercial radio and the worst places to find real music of any kind.

Insightful comment, -1 vote (2.66 / 3) (#10)
by Luke Francl on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:23:55 AM EST

C4L, why do you often vote -1 on a story, then go on to write an insightful topical comment on the same story? If you have your way with the voting, your comment will be dropped[1].

I don't understand.

But then, I'm a big proponent of what Philip Greenspun (yes, I know you hate him) calls multiple truth worlds. The author presented his view of the situation; as a hip-hop fan, you presented, another, entirely contradictory and 100% true view. That doesn't seem like a reason to vote a story down to me.

[1] OK, technically, it will still be here. But no one will be able to find it.

[ Parent ]
Why I comment even though I vote -1. (4.00 / 4) (#11)
by Carnage4Life on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:33:04 AM EST

C4L, why do you often vote -1 on a story, then go on to write an insightful topical comment on the same story? If you have your way with the voting, your comment will be dropped[1].

I like giving feedback on why I voted against a story to the author. Every time I submit a story and see a bunch of -1's without a justification as to why, I'm always slightly curious as to the motivation of the negative voters.

As for people being unable to find my comments, I don't much care if my comments are dropped or not since I'd probably remember what I said if it was important. Also if most K5 users are like me then people still stumble on my comments from my User info page, that's why I always try to quote what I'm replying to so as to provide context.

[ Parent ]
motivations (in my case) (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 06:03:45 PM EST

Sometimes I'd rather see a story die, but must resign myself to the fact that it will get posted, and thus I must say what I think needs said. There is just no point to posting an editorial "-1: (reason)" to a story that is 8 votes short of going up.

--em
[ Parent ]

suburban cycles (2.00 / 3) (#30)
by alprazolam on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:47:02 AM EST

combine carnage4life's point, spiralx's point, and the fact that he missed the blatantly obvious rise in the popularity of crossover country music and you have an article about what music has been popular among white suburb dwellers and a guess at when the next big 'new' thing will hit them.

[ Parent ]
duh! (1.50 / 6) (#55)
by Ex Machina on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 07:28:19 PM EST

Actually, the 16-21 crowd I know mostly listens to shit like creed, fuel and other "modern" rock. THey target demographics now with music
/* ooka looka */
[ Parent ]
Oops, my bad. (4.33 / 3) (#57)
by andrewhy on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 08:19:00 PM EST

Yes, you're right. I did fail to mention rap music (although you're right that I don't really listen to it, and don't know enough about the history of the genre to adequately comment on it). Actually when I thought about it, there was a lot of previously underground genres that broke ground in the 80's (rap among them). Even metal, regardless of one's opinion of it, came a long way in the 80's and splintered into various genres (hard rock, glam, thrash, death, grindcore).

My primary motivation behind writing this essay was that: first, it's about time for the landscape of popular music to change and i believe it will do so soon, and second, it's peculiar how historical trends in popular music share some basic charateristics.

And contrary to your opinion, I dislike MTV as much as you do, not to mention what passes as popular music these days.

If "Noise" means uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me -- Masami Akita, aka "Merzbow"
[ Parent ]

Beatles and Nirvana (3.12 / 8) (#5)
by Bad Harmony on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 03:41:57 AM EST

I think it is stretching it to compare the Beatles and Nirvana. I like Nirvana but the Beatles had the rare ability of creating music in a wide variety of styles, and being very good at all of them. The really good groups evolve and change, instead of recording new and improved versions of their first album, over and over again.

Sometime musical genres just die, at least as forms of popular music. Big bands died after World War II and Jazz self-destructed by the early 1960s. Surf music died very suddenly in the mid-1960s.

54º40' or Fight!

Well, Nirvana had no time... (none / 0) (#102)
by TheNefariousNoodle on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 07:08:40 PM EST

Nirvana was really a very short-lived band, compared to the Beatles. IIRC they were around for about eight years and were in the spotlight for what... three of those eight? The Beatles had alot more time to reinvent themselves, Nirvana had none.
"Do you have the time/To listen to me whine/About nothing and everything/All at once?" --Green Day, "Basket Case"
[ Parent ]
Don't forget electronic... (3.16 / 6) (#7)
by discodeathrace on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 04:28:53 AM EST

Electronic music will become the next big thing in pop music. It is actively being used in many pop songs such as Madonna and Cher. If you haven't noticed most commercials feature it. Even some actually good electronic music.

I do have to say that this worries me. Being an ex-raver (raves have died) I have grown to appreciate electronic music for what it's worth. Quietly sharing the same music with other people that actually like it is something I will never forget. The problem is when someone like Cher makes some absolutely terrible song that rapes electronic music for all it is worth is what pop does to all music. When your favorite underground "sound" becomes the pop "sound" the entire music gets a bad rap. In ten years when the post pop-techno really begins to get ridiculed for what it is(crap) hardly anyone will remember what started it and how good the sound really was.

I don't listen to pop music for a reason. I get enough marketing hype as it is. I don't need anyone telling me what I should enjoy listening too.


Life is too short to be me.
electronic music? (2.25 / 4) (#24)
by gold tone ranking monkey on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:00:35 AM EST

Electronic music will become the next big thing in pop music.

you're of course referring to 'white' pop music here, i'm assuming? because, coming from my limited USian perspective, most r&b and hip-hop sure sounds electronic to me these days. if timbaland isn't electronic music, what exactly is he?

or did you mean the more rhythmically and texturally monotonous rave sound? i don't think there's much potential for a huge crossover between rave and pop due to the 'dj-tool' phenomenon - record after record of the same beat to act as an operating system for unimaginative djs at overpriced raves for weekend candykids.

that british 2-step/r&b sound could probably swing it, with the similarities between it and the current "ooh, shiiiiny!" state of r&b/hiphop production.

-b.
close the drains. please.
[ Parent ]
Electonic Influence on Hiphop (3.50 / 4) (#25)
by asreal on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:12:28 AM EST

Lately hiphop has been borrowing more and more from the sounds of techno and house.. and even in some cases trance. Tripped-out blips and tweaks are coming up in a lot of mainstream hiphop.

I read an article in Muzik magazine about this, suggesting it is because ecstacy is the new drug of choice for hip-hop artists and fans. In addition to the more electronic sounds, the BPM of hiphop has also been increasing, making it more dance-able to the new e-head hiphop fans.

i trust i can rely on your vote
-asreal
[ Parent ]

Ghetto-tech (4.50 / 2) (#29)
by spiralx on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:44:17 AM EST

Speaking of which have you heard of ghetto-tech? It's a fusion of hip-hop, booty and techno, with 150-170 BPM beats and the incredibly sexist language of hip hop and booty. It's pretty funny actually, and fun to dance to - there's a small bar in London called the Clinic that plays it. It started in Detroit, the home of techno, and has become quite popular there.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

booty house (none / 0) (#60)
by discodeathrace on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:17:15 PM EST

Booty house rocks.

The first booty house dj I watched spin was a guy named chocolate chip. If anyone remembers grade school dances where they would be playing some Sir Mixalot and then switch to a slow song. "Alright guys grab your girl, we are going to slow things down a bit." In the middle of his set when it was starting to get good the dj got on the mic and said..."Alright guys grab your girl, we are going to slow things down a bit." I was watching him spin so I turned around to watch the reaction. The entire floor cleared in about 2 seconds. He mixed in the slow song back into booty house. Crowd went crazy. Sorry for the ramble.
Life is too short to be me.
[ Parent ]
Heh (3.80 / 5) (#28)
by spiralx on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:40:03 AM EST

or did you mean the more rhythmically and texturally monotonous rave sound? i don't think there's much potential for a huge crossover between rave and pop due to the 'dj-tool' phenomenon - record after record of the same beat to act as an operating system for unimaginative djs at overpriced raves for weekend candykids.

Spoken like someone who has never been to a decent night or heard anything other than the commercial tip of the iceberg... :)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Amen (none / 0) (#61)
by discodeathrace on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:31:49 PM EST

I've recently started going to what we will call "parties." There are alot of very good dj's out there still. Dj's that are good enough to easily sell records but don't. With more on the way in my opinion. I haven't been able to go to rave's since about 98, even though they started to die much earlier.

The thing about "monotonous" rave music is how you listen to it. You can't listen to it the way you hear other music. You don't listen to the words for meaning because quite often there are no words. They way I have always felt is that it is more of a background then a foreground thing. Kind of like your very own movie soundtrack. You experience things, people, emotions all to a form of music that doesn't distract you from what's going on around you. It helps keep you in your experience. And when you listen to the music later you recall everything. I get that tingly feeling you get everyonce in awhile that I believe is you remembering something for what it was at that moment in time.


Life is too short to be me.
[ Parent ]
Well I'm lucky (none / 0) (#70)
by spiralx on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:13:31 AM EST

Very lucky, in that London has probably the best clubbing and party scene in the world, especially for the more underground stuff I like. Even with that, there's still usually a choice of three or four nights to choose from every weekend :)

The outdoor rave scene died years ago though, hence the depreciation of the word. It's also associated with a form of music that came after acid house and then split into hardcore and house some years later - I've got some at home somewhere...

They way I have always felt is that it is more of a background then a foreground thing. Kind of like your very own movie soundtrack. You experience things, people, emotions all to a form of music that doesn't distract you from what's going on around you. It helps keep you in your experience.

Yeah, unless you're completely into it to the point where everything else starts losing importance...

And when you listen to the music later you recall everything. I get that tingly feeling you get everyonce in awhile that I believe is you remembering something for what it was at that moment in time.

Yup, once you've been clubbing the music begins to mean a lot more, because of the weight of memory behind it, all those great times. And there are certain songs that start me rushing, just from listening to them... :)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

iceberg...? (none / 0) (#106)
by gold tone ranking monkey on Wed Jun 27, 2001 at 09:59:17 AM EST

Spoken like someone who has never been to a decent night or heard anything other than the commercial tip of the iceberg... :)

if you can point me at some club-oriented trance/techno stuff that isn't just monotony created to 'move tha crowd,' please do. and i do like monotony - plastikman's _consumed_, brinkmann, basic channel, etc. - but to me that's walking the fine line between disco and hoity-toity minimalism, whereas most trance just seems to be about a certain BPM favorable to wack DJs.

i will concede i've probably never been to a 'decent night,' though. i like my nights indecent.

-b.
close the drains. please.
[ Parent ]
What exactly are you talking about? (none / 0) (#108)
by spiralx on Wed Jun 27, 2001 at 10:41:39 AM EST

if you can point me at some club-oriented trance/techno stuff that isn't just monotony created to 'move tha crowd,' please do.

What kind of dance music are you talking about here? You save "rave" music, which over here describes a certain kind of music from the mid to late 80s, but you're using it in a generic manner. As for club-orientated, again, what kind of club? There are clubs that cater to every kind of dance music around.

And if you're talking about the four-four style of dance music (US garage, house, trance, techno and hardcore and all their sub-genres) then well yes, there is a level of percussive and bass repetition, that's sort of the whole point isn't it? And again there's minimal techno which has repetitives rhythms in the lead sections, but again that's the point of that genre.

There's plenty of dance music out there which is less repetitive if you look...

"Moving the crowd" is the point of this sort of stuff. If you play a set full of random tunes at wildly differing BPMs, you're almost certain to put people off and you can't beat mix, which is why sets tend to stay at a set BPM.

... whereas most trance just seems to be about a certain BPM favorable to wack DJs.

Errm, all dance music comes at certain BPMs. Most four-four stuff is between 140 and 155 BPM, with some hard house stuff being a bit faster and hardcore pushing 170-180 BPM at times (and up to 250 BPM for gabba...). How is that "favourable to wack DJs"?

i will concede i've probably never been to a 'decent night,' though. i like my nights indecent.

So what is a good night for you? All of the best nights I've been to have been in grotty underground venues with large sound systems rather than in purpose-built venues, those always feel somewhat sterile to me...

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

You need to hear better electronica (4.00 / 5) (#34)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 12:51:38 PM EST

Sounds like you haven't heard any Dust Brothers, Alpha Conspiracy, VFX, Massive Attack, or other electronic artists who don't just have the same repetative crap for the whole 15 minutes of an E-induced tripout. :P
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Good source... (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by QID on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:07:39 PM EST

I've found a bunch of good music on mp3.com, although it takes some searching to find stuff I can repeatedly listen to. Some of my favorites are Simulacra, Skylab2000, and Kinetic Science (I thought they used to have their own page, but I can't find it). Prodigy, Crystal Method, and VAST are all good too. Anyone else care to share their suggestions?

----------
Grampa must be saved. Grampa must go down the stairs.
[ Parent ]

A note on mp3.com (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by fluffy grue on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 06:58:31 PM EST

Avoid their top 40 artists. They tend to be worse than the over-commercial dreck that the person who wrote my parent comment was bemoaning. 303infinity and Trance Control are both pretty damned crappy, for example.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

repetattive crap (none / 0) (#73)
by WickedET on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:33:45 AM EST

That repetative crap you are talking about is the heart of electronic music! So, you need to hear better electronica!

In my eyes (better, ears), the monotony - or, what people refer to as monotony - of electronic music is what's most exciting about it. Electronic music must not - by my definition - fit into the traditional blues song scheme (aba'), as pop music does. Although rythmically, all electronic music is black music. So, there is some kind of feedback loop between black and white conceptions of music in electronic music.

[ Parent ]

Dance music (none / 0) (#77)
by spiralx on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:52:08 AM EST

So, you need to hear better electronica!

Ye gods I hate that term :(

In my eyes (better, ears), the monotony - or, what people refer to as monotony - of electronic music is what's most exciting about it. Electronic music must not - by my definition - fit into the traditional blues song scheme (aba'), as pop music does.

Well if you actually look at it, especially some of the more progressive house stuff (especially say, William Orbit's "Adagio for Strings") it is far closer to classical music than any other form of music in the last hundred years has been. The main differnce is the equal emphasis on percussion in dance music.

Although rythmically, all electronic music is black music. So, there is some kind of feedback loop between black and white conceptions of music in electronic music.

Yeah, but so is pretty much every form of music around (except for country, the only form of music I find has no redeeming features).

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Timbaland (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by spiralx on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:04:01 PM EST

Okay, another point. Timbaland is pretty much breaking new ground with his production - it's a hell of a lot more dance influenced than the mainstream of hip hop and R&B. Just listen to the way the latest Missy Elliot song (Get Ur Freak On) is put together.

However... as I say he's pretty much out there, and it's only very recently other artists have been following his stuff, possibly due to the increasing usage of MDMA in the hip hop and R&B scene. House music has always had a very bad rap with the hip hop scene, and it's only very recently that there's been any real crossover.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Well, here... (none / 0) (#71)
by WickedET on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:16:17 AM EST

in Germany it is quite common to cross over between Hip-Hop and House music.
For example in Stuttgart there's the label 'Four Music' which is based in the Hip-Hop scene. (It is run by the members of the "Fantastische Vier", maybe the most famous german Hip-Hop band).
Recently, the DJ of the "Fantastische Vier", Michi Beck and another Hip-Hop DJ released a House record.

On the 'consumer' side, this is even more common.
Many kids start listening to Hip-Hop and then switch over to House music as they become older.
I, myself, am a very good example for this.
I was once a real Hip-Hop fan. I still listen to Hip-Hop (well, actually at the moment I'm listening to Erykah Badu), but over the time I have started to listen to all kinds of electronic music, too.

I don't know, but this may be an european phenomena, as electronic music is much more commom here, I think.

[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 0) (#80)
by spiralx on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 06:20:33 AM EST

As I said, until recently the USian house scene has been pretty reviled by the USian hip hop scene, who consider it to be beneath them. Things are apparently changing, and ecstacy is becoming quite popular in the hip hop scene right now (witness Enimen, Xbizkit and so on) and so I think the barrier between the two in the US is thinning.

But as a whole dance music never took off in anything like the way it did here in Europe in America. It's only pretty recent that it's begun making inroads, and the DEA seems intent upon stopping any kind of legal club scene.

My musical tastes have gone from hip hop to death/black metal and now dance music. Still like them all though, and lots of other stuff. Only country music makes me start twitching without fail :)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Very US-centric (4.46 / 13) (#8)
by spiralx on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 04:36:44 AM EST

Because the 90s here in Europe have seen a massive rise in the various genres and flavours of dance music, from ambient to house to jungle to techno to trance to drum and bass and all the other different styles that can be found in any good record shop. And while its influence in America is still very slight compared to rap, R&B or rock, in Europe it easily outsells all of those, and has been pretty much solely responsible for keeping vinyl alive as a viable medium.

Certainly over here there's a gradual progression from the horrible, horrible depths of Europop up to the grinding noises of 250BPM gabba, but pretty much everything has been influenced by dance music in some way.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey

Yeah, but... (2.75 / 8) (#9)
by Luke Francl on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:12:55 AM EST

Yeah, but...he was talking about good music. ;^)

[ Parent ]
But also ... (2.20 / 5) (#12)
by amanset on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:35:12 AM EST

Yeah, but he mentioned Soundgarden :oP

[ Parent ]
You Forgot Someone (4.33 / 6) (#13)
by sventhatcher on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 07:14:44 AM EST

You forgot to mention the band that more or less set the stage for the "alternative revolution" that Nirvana struck off in popular music.

R.E.M.!

They were making good music in the 80's, and they're still making good music today.

U2 falls basically under the same category.

There have always been genuinely talented bands that have remained steady against the stream of pop, and the stream of pop is always there. Even after Nirvana broke and labels everywhere searched for new "alternative" acts, micheal jackson's new album didn't drop off the charts.

Undobutedly the best bands to surrive the alt-rock era are Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails who both obviously have been heavily influenced by electronica in their more recent endeavors. =)

U2?? (2.50 / 6) (#15)
by DesiredUsername on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 09:24:49 AM EST

When I first heard U2 I thought, and I quote, "Huh. Pretty good." Then I heard the second song--and I thought, and I quote, "Didn't I just hear that song?" Same for third song. Same for next album. I'm so sick of U2's one song that I switch radio stations whenever I hear it.

As for REM: They'd be a lot better if I could ever figure out what they hell they were saying.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
Hmm (none / 0) (#67)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 03:38:02 AM EST

U2's musical style does get a bit repetive sometines, but they do change. U2 was one of the first vastly popular rock groups to delve into synths and stuff.

I've never personally had trouble understanding most of Stipe's lyrics, but when I do... I like to thing the music makes up for it. =)

[ Parent ]
What about... (3.00 / 5) (#23)
by unstable on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 10:47:18 AM EST

Rush.... they have been making quality music for about 20something years at a rate that i havent seen any band match (about 1per 2 years)

i dont know of any other band that has done this at all.




Reverend Unstable
all praise the almighty Bob
and be filled with slack

[ Parent ]
Rush (none / 0) (#66)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 03:35:21 AM EST

Rush hasn't really spent much time in the public spotlight though, so they're somewhat irrelevant in a discussion about what's popular.

[ Parent ]
nostalgia (4.00 / 1) (#42)
by dr k on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 04:54:04 PM EST

By invoking REM and U2 you demonstrate the generational lock-in of the article. But that's okay, because this kind of discussion is pretty much bait for anyone who wants to get a plug in for their favorite group(s), we can all be hipsters and get all smug about our record collections... what, you don't collect records anymore? Shame on you.

REM and U2 have much bigger catalogs that either Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails. I'm trying to come up with a theory why so many quality bands have such small output, why they are silent for years at a time. Were they too sucessful, did they make too much money and lose their motivation? Or are there some hidden legal (XTC) or political reasons why bands aren't recording?


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Longer Existence.. (none / 0) (#65)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 03:34:00 AM EST

"REM and U2 have much bigger catalogs that either Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails."

Of course REM and U2 have been around about 8-9 years longer than either NIN or Radiohead.

If we want to steer clear of generational issues, I could always mention Bob Dylan who has been making great music consistently since the 60's.

My interest in REM is (BTW) retroactive, since they were fading from popularity rapidly when I really started developing musical tastes.

If I *really* wanted to flaunt my personal favorite band, I'd bring up They Might Be Giants.. but they have no place in the discussion of what's popular. =)

[ Parent ]
catalogs (none / 0) (#99)
by dr k on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 04:29:24 PM EST

This may be a completely false trend (in other words, I'm not going to spend three hours trying to verify it), but in general bands release albums more often early in their careers.

Now this may just be a music studio strategy from the 80's that has faded away, or it may be a popular change in how long of a "gestation period" the audience will endure. But the pickings of NIN and Radiohead are rather paltry for two "top" bands in this new century.

In fact, their new stuff kinda blows. There, I said it. I use Kid A as a coaster, and Fragile keeps my chair from wobbling.
Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#110)
by sventhatcher on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 02:33:29 AM EST

It's kinda funny how I completely disagree with that. =)



[ Parent ]
An alternative view (3.83 / 6) (#18)
by jd on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 10:10:31 AM EST

I believe that there are literally thousands of different music sub-cultures, each going through their own music evolution and music cycles, totally independently of anyone else.

Classic example: Heavy Metal (of the ilk of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon, etc) has gone through a very observable cycle. In the 1980's and early-to-mid 1990's, there was a much higher emphasis on theatrics, special-effects, etc. In fact, at one point, Iron Maiden's tours were costing almost twice as much as they could make, even with sell-out appearances.

This has declined. Some. At least to the point where Heavy Metal groups are actually breaking even or even making money occasionally.

In a completely different field - Classical Music - it is no longer a Heinious Crime for Nigel Kennedy to look like a street bum that got dragged in. That's a revolution, in a musical field that is so Elitist and Upper Class that it can trace its origins to performances of Elgar the Eldest by 144 protozoa.

But these two revolutions are totally independent of each other. Nor is the rise of the "girl bands" (like the Spice Girls) related to anything, except an increase in painkiller sales.

Look for cycles all you like. If you look in a cycle store, you might even see some. But you won't find them in culture, at large, any more than you can point to a clock cycle if you look at a computer at large. In systems, cycles are internal to specific sub-components, not general to the system as a whole.

Duuuuuuuude, I can't believe you wrote this. (4.57 / 7) (#19)
by yankeehack on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 10:18:34 AM EST

Where do I start on this? Disclaimer: This will be a very US centric response, so forgive me.....

  • NIRVANA was NOT THE SECOND COMING OF GOOD MUSIC. They were just one of the first bands played on top 40. Pearl Jam hit at almost the same time...Get over it. The makings for something different were in the works for years before Kurt and company came to be (and I like them, but I don't think that they were that important).

  • "Something different" had been discovered in the musical backwaters for a more than a few years before Nirvana was grudgingly played on top 40. For example new wave was being played on smaller college and independent radio stations (like WDRE in Long Island, NY and WHFS in Washington, DC) . I used to listen to Echo and the Bunny Men, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths/Morrissey, OMD, New Order, PiL and all of that great stuff before we knew of Kurt or of Eddie. Heck, I remember listening to Faith No More, before I ever heard of Kurt.

  • Also, I think my husband would probably have great issues with you concerning your outlook on Bay Area punk. How could you have NOT mentioned one of the greatest punk bands of all, Operation Ivy, who with Green Day, predates the Seattle music scene? (And if you remember, Op Ivy spawned other great bands...) And how dare you place Blink 182 anywhere near Green Day....

Anyway, those are just my recollections. Yes, the state of American popular music sucks now, with a few notable exceptions (Moby). Thank god for the Brits.

Here's hoping that this Democratic Senator will run for President in 2004.

Not to mention... (4.00 / 5) (#22)
by KoanMastah on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 10:45:46 AM EST

How the hell do you talk about grunge without bringing up Alice IN Chains? "facelift" was a brilliant groudbreaking album. And what happen to Indie? Sonic Youth has influenced most real bands you hear nowadays, everything from Blink 182 to Korn.

Dinosaur Jr. Even hit the top 40 for crying out loud. That's one style of music that's been going strong for several years, and is due for another upswing into the mainstream.


---
And if you quote the jargon file at me I'll come right through this monitor upside your head.

[ Parent ]

True, true... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
by andrewhy on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 09:11:02 PM EST

In fact, many artists who came to prominence in the early 90's were active for years in the 80's indie underground.

Ok, it was only one sentence, but I did try to recognise the fact that all of the bands mentioned in these last two posts had a lot to do with the point I was trying to make here. The whole alternative rock thing never would have happened if it weren't for all of these bands. Perhaps I could have focused on that more, but oh well.

And I noticed a lot of people took issue about the importance I placed on Nirvana. Sure, they weren't the first band out of the underground to do great music, and they may not have been quite as talented as the Beatles, but I still think their significance in popular music after 1991 still stands.

Perhaps our perceptions are colored by our own individual tastes, age and environment, but I was 17 when Nevermind first came out, and I remember distinctly the effect that they had on the kids at the time (including me). Many of the kids i knew who were into metal, punk or modern rock (which was what they called alternative music prior to 1991) ran out and bought that album. And as we all know, people who weren't quite as hip bought it too. Before that, all there was in the mainstream was hard rock, metal (or at least the dying remains of it) and rap.

And certainly there was the fact that many of the bands you described (Alice in Chains, Sonic YOuth, Dinosaur Jr.) were making music for years and were already on major labels. But that fact aside, many other bands that became popular after 1991 probably never would have done so if it weren't for Nirvana's success and the stampede that accompanied it. The Meat Puppets had a gold record and a hit single, the Melvins got signed to a major, and bands like the Vaselines and the Raincoats had albums reissued simply because of the fact that Kurt liked those bands and wanted to expose people to them.

If "Noise" means uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me -- Masami Akita, aka "Merzbow"
[ Parent ]

Nirvana (none / 0) (#75)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:42:17 AM EST

What he's saying, or should be if he isn't, is not that Nirvana were some uber-great band that revolutionized music, but rather that Nirvana was a good band that for some reason grabbed immense popular appeal, basically overnight. What was popular, especially with the MTV crowd, literally did pretty much change overnight.

Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, STP, etc. might have been climbing up the walls slowly and steadily, but Nirvana smashed the wall and made way for the Seattle scene to take over as it were.

Obviously, most trends in music devlop underground before the pop machine embraces them, but we are talking about what's popular here right?

[ Parent ]
Blink's not that bad (none / 0) (#105)
by thryllkill on Wed Jun 27, 2001 at 08:40:24 AM EST

I bought the new Blink record the day it came out, and I consider myself to be a pretty true to self, old school punker. Truth is Blink hasn't really changed since they came out, well Tom learned to sing somewhere between Cheshire Cat and Dude Ranch, but as a whole I do not understand how they came to be top 40 material. Most of their material is damn raunchy. I don't think they have in any way sold out, just enjoying the party, and when the pop music scene gets tired of them, I bet they will STILL be there telling incest/fart jokes, and having a good time, with or with out your daughters and their disposable MTV fashions...

[ Parent ]
PiL as in Public Image Limited? (none / 0) (#127)
by decaf_dude on Wed Jul 04, 2001 at 06:19:09 AM EST

Sex Pistols legacy continues!

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
a better look at how music is made popular (4.55 / 9) (#20)
by cetan on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 10:35:52 AM EST

The PBS series Frontline did a spectacular show called:
The Merchants of Cool.
the sub-title is: "A report on the creators and marketers of popular culture to teenagers."

The webpage devoted to this episode of Frontline is here, on the PBS.org website: Merchants of Cool.

If you honestly think that bands that make it to the top 40 are there because they're "good," you'll probably want to take a look at this show. (shameless plug: you can buy it here: at the PBS.org online store.)

Needless to say (which is why I am saying it) I was pretty shocked at how "manufactured" a groups rise to fame is.


===== cetan www.cetan.com =====

On your theory... (4.16 / 6) (#21)
by hading on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 10:38:19 AM EST

I didn't start listening to bluegrass until I was 25 or so, and now it probably makes up over a third of my listening, and I think I appreiciate it. :-) Conversely I find myself somewhat less interested in much of the music (or even style of music) that I used to listen to. It's pretty easy to imagine that in the future I will become enamored of yet more styles of music that I can't even comprehend liking at this time. (If you'd told me some ten years ago that I'd wind up loving bluegrass, I'd probably have thought you ill.)

(Parethetically, Duke Ellington said something to the effect that there were two types of music - good and bad. I like to view the world that way. :-)



A common mistake (4.27 / 11) (#26)
by trhurler on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:15:25 AM EST

It is a common mistake to use the scientific method to attempt analysis of something which has no underlying principles and is essentially random. You've done it again. Congratulations.

Yes, every now and then, something different happens. No, this is not some regular cycle - it is just the occurrance of a series of events of low probability.

Yes, many people quit listening to new music when they hit their twenties. No, this is not some special thing about people; many people quit learning or doing ANYTHING new at that age. Those of us who didn't and won't are not fundamentally different - we're just not mentally lazy or contented.

I can tell you right now that the next "big" thing is already here; it is the nasty-ass lame "punk-rap-rock" that makes up 80% of local bands these days. Granted, when the Offspring does something vaguely like it, that works - because the Offspring are good, and because they're funny. Generally speaking, other acts doing that genre suck and are not funny. How did it happen? Well, I'll give you a hint: it is not some underground. The fact is, record labels decided on the strength of a few bands that had some common elements in their sound that "this is the new thing!" and will now sign any lame act that claims to represent it. The lamer the better, because that's "underground credibility." Why is this a "big thing?" Because that's where people with money(record labels) are spending it right now.

By the way, if you're looking for something different and can ignore the highly Americanized fake of Irish culture, so-called Celtic rock is often quite good(though often quite bad; find a good band,) and will never be popular - which means there is no impetus towards suckitude for the purposes of getting rich:) Also, alt-country. There are some fine metal bands today, though not the rap-metal wannabes. Then there's acts like Pete Droge(imagine Tom Petty crossed with Cracker) and a handful of well known acts that just don't fit into the popular categories(Cake.) There's always music that doesn't suck. The problem is, most people don't want that. They want the same music "everyone else" is listening to, so they can be "cool." And we all get what they deserve.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Cake (none / 0) (#79)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 06:08:50 AM EST

Actually, Cake was reasonably popular during the _Fashion Nugget_ era.

"Going the Distance" and "I Will Survive" saw a good deal of MTV airplay.

[ Parent ]
celtic music (4.00 / 1) (#97)
by cthulhain on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 03:50:43 PM EST

if you want to hear some good so-called "celtic" artists, start here:

http://www.capercaillie.co.uk/
http://www.anuna.ie/
http://martynbennett.com/
http://www.maryjanelamond.com/
http://www.kornog.net/

none of these artists are of the cheesy, new-agey, ancient-standing-stones-at-the-dawn-of-the-mists-of-time variety (hello riverdance!). they are the real deal.

it's some of the best music i've ever heard.

cheers,

tmk

--
nothing in his brain except a ruined echo of the sky.
[ Parent ]

Irish Music (none / 0) (#123)
by crankie on Mon Jul 02, 2001 at 11:03:18 AM EST

If you can get hold of it, Heartworm by "Whipping Boy" is well worth a listen.

IIRC, "Whipping Boy" were formerly known as "Lolita and the Whipping Boy", but Lolita had to leave because she was trying to force Catholicism on the rest of the band. So to dispell another great rumour, not all of us Irish are Catholic.

To go to the other extreme, there is the _very_ Irish, "Kila" who sing "as Gaeilge" (in Irish)

~~~
"The great thing about hardcore socialists is the silence they emit once they start earning a decent wage." - tombuck
[ Parent ]
Perhaps a new metal revolution! (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by MicroBerto on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:33:27 AM EST

I'd say that it might be time for the REAL metal out there to resurface - although I know it won't ever happen. I'm referring to bands such as Opeth... death metal and power metal have been favorites for years! Join dalnet #mp3_death and #mp3_metal for some discussion/samples of what's REALLY out there - not the garbage that they call "metal" on the radio!

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
head up ass alert! (2.30 / 20) (#31)
by tarsand on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:57:33 AM EST

Last I checked, the 'music' coming out of the USA counted for about 5% of the world's music, and 0.000000000001% of talent and culture. Please don't assume the rest of the world and its music doesn't exist, it makes you appear as an ignorant wanker.

Thank You.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
non-usians whining again (3.12 / 8) (#35)
by typhatix on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 03:28:46 PM EST

Let me see if I can make it clear to the rest of the world how most americans I know would respond to such a silly comment to explain our attitude about being US-centric. We don't care about you. Our culture historically went from isolationist to a hybrid globalist/isolationist where we want to export our culture but don't want to import anyone elses. Not out of some "we'll taint our own culture" rant like the chinese historically have done, but because we frankly don't give a damn. Yes I'm sure there are some really talented swahili <whatever> and some ground breaking indian <whatever> and some genre busting french <whatever> but ya know what? I don't give a damn. Most americans don't give a damn. We listen to whatever we have heard that we decide we like. Here that usually means virtually nothing foreign (except tejano in various regions). If I can find and listen to music easily that I like, why should I spend a great amount of effort to find out if I like something from a place I don't care about that is far away?

Now we know that there is an entire whole world out there somewhere that does things very differently. We are aware that they probably have very different (and some very talented) music. We just don't care. And because we don't care we don't think about it. And because we don't think about it, why would it even cross our minds to discuss it? For people who whine constantly about how people don't give their little countries enough attention, you guys sure spend a lot of time telling americans how they ignore you too much. We know nothing about you and until you write some articles that make me care I will continue to not care. Go write an article about how <wherever you are from> has some great new music with links. Or great whatever you want me to know about. If there is great music outside of the US by all means, paste a couple links to mp3s and I'll happily give it a listen. But don't just complain.



[ Parent ]
nice, moderate down but no reponse. (1.00 / 1) (#37)
by typhatix on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 03:58:35 PM EST

Yes I was a bit offensive, but so were you :}

However, moderating me to a -1 instead of reponding is sorta childish. I was actually interested to see what music I was missing out on. Guess it's my loss then.



[ Parent ]
baaaa! (1.00 / 2) (#41)
by tarsand on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 04:37:48 PM EST

-1? no, 1 yes, quite offensive, and frankly, wasn't worth responding to with a list of good stuff from outside the USA. If you want a list and links, ask nicely, and I may take some time to compile one.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Well gee... (2.50 / 2) (#101)
by ucblockhead on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 06:52:11 PM EST

You call people ignorant wankers, and then you want them to ask politely?
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Glad someone said this! (1.00 / 2) (#62)
by gte910h on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:39:57 PM EST

I have felt this way for a loooooong time. I really do pay attention to other cultures, countries, etc, but I get pissed off and stop looking around an area on the internet where I stop to hear this damn counter-US sentiment. You don't want us more isolationist then we are. Trust us. We have big guns, and if you keep pushing, GW probbably would be stupid enough to use them. But if you stop being ignorant fuckwits, we will try to do the same. Until then, kiss my yankee ass. :)

[ Parent ]
who's head is up who's ass? (3.33 / 6) (#38)
by conraduno on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 04:06:26 PM EST

Sorry, I hate to continue a flame here... but having done some traveling and having numerous friends in countries all around the world (the joys of the net), I must say that you are wholly incorrect in your numbers here. Most english speaking countries have a fair amount of american pop on their top 10 charts, and even more non-english speaking countries (middle east and India come to mind) are hugely influenced by american pop. Ever listen to the Indian top ten chart? It's punjabi (sp?) remixes of backstreet boys. And the songs that arent remixes are essetially american-pop with hindi/punjabi lyrics. Same thing with China (well hong-kong at least) and Japan... listen to their pop. Sounds pretty american to me.

In fact the music scene least influenced by american music is the european club scene, and assuming you're a part of that (british, "ignorant wanker"), then you are looking at this with a decidedly euro-centric viewpoint.

In conclusion, if we do a quick numbers check, we realize that american pop is much more than the measly 5% you claim. Unfortunately I can't really argue with the second percentage. ;)
non.
[ Parent ]
aye (1.00 / 1) (#40)
by tarsand on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 04:34:12 PM EST

Music as a whole, not just top X or whatnot, then the number goes down to 5%-ish. I typically don't find the top 'hits' from any country of origin especially good, though there are exceptions, and heck, even some American music is good! But it's not nearly all there is out there, and if you want to analyse what's happening in music, you've got to look a little beyond your own backyard.

Oh yeah, Euro-club isn't my cup of tea, I don't wish to be associated with it ;)
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Influence (2.50 / 2) (#54)
by inpHilltr8r on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 07:13:12 PM EST

> In fact the music scene least influenced by american music is the european club scene,

Not strictly true, as the whole of the "european club scene" has its roots in, and still draws influence from, the clubs and urban electronic dance music of Detroit, Chicago, and New York.

[ Parent ]
Roots of dance music (1.00 / 1) (#72)
by spiralx on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:30:47 AM EST

Well the early house scene started in Chicago, and was influenced largely by the gay disco scene of the late 70s, the early techno scene started in Detroit, although that was influenced by European groups like Kraftwerk and the early garage scene started in places like Paradise City (IIRC) in New York. So you can't entirely claim that dance music isn't really influenced by American music, although the influence is pretty minimal today, with genres like jungle, drum and bass, hardcore, trance and so on having started here in Europe.

So whilst the direct influence today is pretty minimal, dance music does have a lot of its roots in America. Unfortunately, America pretty much ignored what it had, whereas Europe embraced and extended it with fervour :)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

To Be Fair (1.00 / 1) (#82)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 06:38:17 AM EST

Popular British and Canadian music has a history of doing relatively well in America as well.

[ Parent ]
true (1.00 / 1) (#111)
by tarsand on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 10:29:02 AM EST

That's true, thought it tends to take a few years to make it in, music from all over is a good thing, a diversity of musak is better than a pop monoculture.


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Ignorant wanker is as ignorant wanker does (1.00 / 1) (#95)
by /dev/niall on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 02:38:53 PM EST

I've lived in other countries; All have had bands and/or artists from the USA, Britan, Canada etc. in their "Top 10" lists on a regular basis, all falling into the category of "Popular" music. There's nothing ignorant about it, besides your pissy post. "Popular" music (note the capitalization please) is not necessarily the most popular music in the world.
--
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]
When, oh when... (2.50 / 2) (#114)
by ubu on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 02:57:15 PM EST

Are we going to annex all these whining backwater podunk countries and be done with the bitching about US-centric talk? The only thing separating them from us (apart from dental hygiene) is the fuckin' ocean.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but this is *truly* US-centric. (2.58 / 12) (#32)
by Estanislao Martínez on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 12:00:05 PM EST

Well, actually, more like "anglophone-centric". May I remind you that there is far more music in the world than just boring repetitititive white anglophone rock?

Of course, I'm a polyglot and have lived in 3 countries, so I have somewhat of an advantage over your average 20something USian kurobot in this department.

For the record, my CD player right now is playing Caetano Veloso's Livro (which is pretty good, though it could have been much better). When it finishes, the next CD is Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys' Happytown-- *really* cool.

--em

yeah... (3.16 / 6) (#39)
by gibichung on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 04:33:23 PM EST

The nerve of those Americans, focusing on music that people in America listen to and can understand! If you'll notice, the title of the story is "Popular" music.

And please, the word you're looking for is "American."
Thanks Babelfish:

Y por favor, la palabra que usted esta buscando es "American."
Et s'il vous plait, le mot que vous recherchez est "American."
Und bitte, ist nach das Wort, das Sie suchen, "American."


-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

ha (2.00 / 7) (#86)
by tarsand on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 10:13:31 AM EST

Woah, then like, I guess music is only popular in the USA, it doesn't exist elsewhere. In fact, I bet you think people eat each other and there are dragons outside the USA.

Ah, the stench of trailer trash ignorance.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Listen and understand (none / 0) (#119)
by Teaflax on Sat Jun 30, 2001 at 07:07:13 AM EST

Alright, so even if you're discussing popular music as it applies only to the USA, it's still rather short-sighted to ignore the fact that almost all actual development in music comes from Europe and hits America very late.

Apart from the original explosion of Rock n' Roll and Grunge, most genres that are actual developments or have some groundbreaking aspect have been formed in Europe - usually the UK - and not really made an impact on the other side of the Atlantic pretty much until the genre itself has solidified and is on the downturn creatively.

Sure there's still lots of mainstream stuff that clutters the Top 50 in Europe, but you're far more likely to find underground music in respectable chart positions (and to hear it on the radio) there than ever in the USA.

Bred on a diet of Classic Rock and pre-manufactured Pop, Americans seem to think that there is little new under the sun, musically. Which is understandable, because when something "new" does come along in the states, it's quickly confined within the limits of Rock, with similar tonalities, structures and harmonies.

For all its cultural exporting, the US is almost always half a decade or more behind the curve, musically.

[ Parent ]
What the hell is a "USian"? (3.20 / 5) (#83)
by democritus on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 09:45:49 AM EST

What exactly is a "USian"? Sounds to me like some weird four fingered purple alien or something. I don't know about the other citzens/residents of the United States of America, but I am a "God-damm American" or maybe on a good day a "Fucking American" but I have never been and never will be a USian.

And for all those morons who say "well Canadians are Americans too" you're wrong. They are Canadians. And Mexicans are Mexicans.

I'll be dollars to donuts you call it GNU/Linux also. Moron.


[ Parent ]
knock knock (1.33 / 6) (#85)
by tarsand on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 10:10:28 AM EST

In fact, anyone that lives in North or South America is an 'American'. Just because those who live in the USA are so ignorant and egotistical they think they're the only ones on the continent(s). However, I'm sure Canadians and Mexicans would rather be called Canadian or Mexican, and avoid the possibility of being mistaken for residents of the USA, and consequently beaten or killed.

I'm sure if you ever stepped out of your trailer you'd find out that many people call themselves 'American' and they don't mean residents of the USA. I was in Brazil recently and I found that to be quite common there.

Though, I agree, USian sounds stupid, I prefer 'pig', 'yank', 'yankee', 'scum', 'wankers', or something fancy like 'lazy ignorant fucks'.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Cultural Diversity (3.40 / 5) (#87)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 10:53:02 AM EST

You know. Advocating cultural diversity while being an enormous cultural bigot is a little.. oh... I dunno.. hypocritical maybe?

Rapid patriotism is pretty sickening, as are all "true believers", but this is almost worse.

You're critizing Americans for not being more culturally diverse, but then you're turning around and blasting American culture as worthless. It's sad dude.



[ Parent ]
culture? (1.40 / 5) (#90)
by tarsand on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 01:46:35 PM EST

Sorry, it doesn't count as culture, a pale attempt at it perhaps, but when you've experienced real culture, it doesn't count, unfortunately.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Europhiles... (1.40 / 5) (#94)
by beergut on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 02:30:49 PM EST

Good. Now, go and take a bath. Fucking Euro-pig.

i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.

-- indubitable
[ Parent ]

ah, the little people show themselves! (1.00 / 6) (#96)
by tarsand on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 03:31:06 PM EST

Sorry you pathetic yankee git, I'm not European, though I've been all over that continent.

Beergut? I remember the last time I had yankee beer, it gave me a horrid case of gutrot. Nothing remotely related, but mentioned nevertheless.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
beer and yankees (none / 0) (#113)
by ubu on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 02:49:57 PM EST

Sorry you pathetic yankee git, I'm not European, though I've been all over that continent.

Not all Americans are fuckin' Yankees. Some of us are Southern gentlemen. Believe it or not, the South actually will rise again. I promise.

I remember the last time I had yankee beer, it gave me a horrid case of gutrot.

Shiner Bock. SHINER BOCK.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
yes, I'm aware of the internal distinction (none / 0) (#118)
by tarsand on Sat Jun 30, 2001 at 01:38:41 AM EST

I'm aware that in the USA itself "yankee" is not universal, but the first use of the word by the Brits was to refer to the entire lot, and throughout the Commonwealth that usage remains.

If you're civilised person, no quarrels.
And as for your strange-named beer, I imagine that there must exist something approaching palletable in that country somewhere, but I was thinking more along the lines of the mass-produced/mass-marketed stuff, along the lines of this "Budweiser" aka Budwater, hickpiss etc.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Precedence (3.50 / 6) (#89)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 01:08:49 PM EST

Please note that when we first started calling ourselves "Americans", the citizens of all those other countries were legally either British, Spanish, or Portugese. Their independence (slightly debatable still, in the case of Canada) came later.

Interestingly, the official name of Brazil is "Republica Federativa do Brasil". By analogy with "USians", should they be "RFians"? No, somehow "Brazilians" seems perfectly appropriate.

Mexico is of course, "Estados Unidos Mexicanos", or roughly, "The United States of Mexico". Surely they are "USians", then, as well as we.

[ Parent ]

bah (1.00 / 4) (#92)
by tarsand on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 01:51:19 PM EST

It doesn't matter who was 'first' or whatnot, the point remains, in Brazil, they refer to themselves as Americans, and they don't mean residents of the USA.

I suppose if one wants to get really anal about it, residents of the USA weren't here first, they slaugthtered the native inhabitants in a greed motivated massacre, then claimed the land, oops, but they weren't the first there, so they can't be 'Americans' either.

I won't do that however, I'm not going to follow your lines of rediculous un-logic.
<BT>


"Oh, no, I agree with tarsand!" -- trhurler
[ Parent ]
Anal? (3.50 / 2) (#93)
by davidduncanscott on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 02:17:53 PM EST

If one wished to get really anal about it, one might consider that a great many individuals in the USA are in fact direct descendants of those native inhabitants -- in spite of the Seventh Cavalry, a good many survived and live here today. They may well choose to call themselves "Americans".

However, I wasn't suggesting that any of current residents here (or in Brazil, for that matter) were living here or anywhere in 1776. I was instead suggesting that the political entity that was founded that year and continues to exist has some sort of claim to the non-exclusive use of the term "American", simply because, AFAIK, nobody else at the time was using it. Naming this country "The United States of America" made a fair amount of sense -- back then it was the only country per se here, because everything else was somebody's colony.

As for Brazilians who refer to themselves as "Americans", they of course have every right to do so. I certainly don't claim that we have the exclusive right to the name, merely that our usage is at least as good, and arguably better, than theirs.

"USian", on the other hand, seems to suggest that we have some sort of special claim to the idea of being a confederation, and that really is silly, as the Federated Republic of Brazil or the US of Mexico would doubtless agree.

[ Parent ]

So what? (4.16 / 6) (#91)
by trhurler on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 01:49:59 PM EST

Penis envy may be pathetic, but I think nation envy is worse; at least guys with small dicks keep their mouths shut.

(More seriously, ever notice that if some guy decides to post something about his home country of Whatthefuckistan, nobody feels obligated to point out that nobody gives a rotten rat turd about that place, whereas if someone posts something related to the US without explicitly begging for mercy, the "we hate the US" crowd, which so obviously DOES care about a great many US happenings, proceed to flame him mercilessly despite the fact that the story is relevant to the majority of the k5 readers and interests a great many more?)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Heres a theory... (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by Zeram on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 12:25:18 PM EST

I predict that rap-rock (or nu metal to the truly lame) will merge with Electronica and come out something like Pop Will Eat Itself's glitzier moments (ala RSVP and Ich Bin Ein Ouslander).

I do have to say that good old school Indie (like Yo La Tengo, Jawbreaker, or anything that gets labeled Emo these days) is probably due for a resurgance too.
<----^---->
Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
There has always been good music (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by exa on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:05:12 PM EST

If you know where to look. Predicting the next hype in music is difficult, but I don't think it will be rap-metal.

I wouldn't really think that "good and creative music" will ever be popular, but my feeling is that it will be a dumbed down version of industrial-IDM if you know what I mean.

I'm surely hoping that R&B becomes history as well as the sloppy style of new generation rap music. Where is Public Enemy? That was rap.

Thanks,

__
Eray Ozkural
__
exa a.k.a Eray Ozkural
There is no perfect circle.

R&B (none / 0) (#74)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:35:41 AM EST

I like good R&B.

A lot of R&B, especially popular R&B, is kinda generic, and it can become kinda difficult to tell one group or song from the next.

I really like what (and this is an odd combo) Destiny's Child and Tricky are doing (if Tricky is R&B.. I think so).

[ Parent ]
Tricky (none / 0) (#76)
by spiralx on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:47:27 AM EST

Well his early stuff after leaving Massive Attack is definitely trip-hop, although his later stuff is getting odder and harder to pin down :)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

And (none / 0) (#112)
by ubu on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 02:46:55 PM EST

Moloko, Morcheeba, Portishead, and Smith & Mighty.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Yup (none / 0) (#115)
by spiralx on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 07:50:08 PM EST

Portishead and Massive Attack pretty much started the whole trip-hop scene (aka the Bristol scene since that's where they're both from). Who are Smith & Mighty?

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Bristol (none / 0) (#116)
by ubu on Thu Jun 28, 2001 at 08:10:24 PM EST

Smith & Mighty are also from Bristol. They were part founders of the "Bristol scene" from the mid-eighties, but didn't break out internationally until 1998. Morcheeba's from Dover, though.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
We already had IDM (in-dumb-strial?) (none / 0) (#100)
by PopeFelix on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 05:57:15 PM EST

We already had this a couple of years back. Viz:

  • Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral and the next album.
  • Stabbing Westward
  • Orgy - Their cover of New Order's Blue Monday in particular.

There may be more examples - I'm not a big listener of commercial radio anymore.

Good industrial is coming along nicely, though... :)


Post No Bills


[ Parent ]
things to consider (4.00 / 4) (#46)
by dr k on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:10:00 PM EST

  • There is no unified popular culture. There are various "Top 50" charts, compiled in a variety of ways, to capture the largest demographic groups.
  • These charts aren't designed to capture the newest trends, rather they reinforce the well known trends, providing a kind of security blanket for people who love, say, boy bands.
  • A music revolution can occur within a demographic, or in some as-yet-unknown demographic.
  • Different groups get their music from different sources: radio, Napster, dance clubs, the rave scene.
  • Aphex Twin.

Destroy all trusted users!
Aphex Twin (3.50 / 2) (#49)
by broken77 on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 05:43:07 PM EST

I'll agree that RDJ makes some fantastic music. However, it will never be accepted by the masses, because most people can't/don't want to understand the complexity in the music. It's just too "weird" for them.

I'm starting to doubt all this happy propaganda about Islam being a religion of peace. Heck, it's just as bad as Christianity. -- Dphitz
[ Parent ]

bleepy static (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by dr k on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 06:35:20 PM EST

It's just too "weird" for them.

The hard-edged 16 bit aesthetic has already bled into some radio genres. Radio-edit hip-hop was already getting chopped to ribbons to remove the profanity. Now those silent gaps have become, ah, signifiers for profanity and censorship. In some current mixes you can't really tell if the gaps are due to the lyrics or just there for style.

There's also something about music where people say, "I myself like it, but there is no possible way that other people will."
Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Autechre (2.66 / 3) (#63)
by mathematician on Mon Jun 25, 2001 at 11:53:33 PM EST

Squarepusher & Amon Toben. Innovative and stimulating.

[ Parent ]
mmm tasty (1.00 / 2) (#64)
by dr k on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 01:44:27 AM EST

Nobukazu Takemura

Farmer's Manual


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Faulty Reasoning (4.00 / 2) (#78)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 06:05:32 AM EST

There is a unified US culture.

The Billboard Top 100 directly reflects album sales across the country. Some types of music (at different periods of time) consistently does better than other types of music.

Odd things do often happen with the Billboard charts such as Nirvana's Nevermind knocking down Micheal Jackson.

The reality of the situation is that the world at large is going to find it relatively difficult to keep up with the underground trip-hop scene in San Fransisco or the emerging acid-rap scene in Denver or whatever. The only ways I really have of getting exposed to new music are radio/VH1 (no MTV or M2), soundtracks, and from friends. I usually don't trust the musical tastes of my friends very far either. =)

The popular music scene does have trends, and they do matter to some people. Rap would never have been seen on the top 40 if not for three artists: Blondie ("Rapture" was probably the first rap video MTV ever played =), Run DMC ("Walk This Way" with Aerosmith was great exposure for them), and sadly Vanilla Ice.

It would be nice for people who actually do have taste in music if the popular music scene did show a trend towards something new, just so we could get exposure to some new bands. As it stands now, the top 40 is largely held by rap and/or R&B groups which is definetly the current trend in music.

I think R&B influence is a wonderful thing personally, as long as people actually do interesting things with it (see Tricky).

[ Parent ]
Next big thing (3.00 / 2) (#68)
by Pillow on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 04:02:28 AM EST

radiohead Nuff said! -pillow
-- pillow
For Fun and Profit (2.50 / 2) (#81)
by sventhatcher on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 06:30:35 AM EST

I decided to go to the Top 100 Billboard albums and point out the ones I currently own or intend to buy.

The point? Not much of one, besides possibly trying to provoke a reaction from people who are anti-pop and refuse to like something *because* it's popular so I can try to convince them that it's not a good thing. =)

#3 - Survivor / Destiny's Child
#4 - Moulin Rouge / Soundtrack
#8 - Amnesiac / Radiohead
#9 - Lateralus / Tool
#16 - O Brother, Where Art Thou? / Soundtrack
#35 - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider / Soundtrack
#45 - No Angel / Dido
#50 - All That You Can't Leave Behind / U2
#58 - Reveal / R.E.M.
#66 - Exciter / Depeche Mode
#92 - Parachutes / Coldplay



hmm.. (none / 0) (#121)
by lucid on Sat Jun 30, 2001 at 05:41:00 PM EST

Radiohead... R.E.M.... nice choices. I approve. ;)

I love Amnesiac, particularly "Dollars and Cents" and "Pyramid Song." I listened to that CD for three weeks straight before I started to get bored.

[ Parent ]
learning to like new stuff (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by Locke on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 10:07:39 AM EST

I don't typically listen to top 40 music, I personally can't stand it. I've been listening to college radio instead, and they tend towards a lot of alt-rock during the day. Though there are ocassional overlaps it usually isn't the same stuff commercial radio is playing. This is basically a continuation of the music I grew up with.

They also have specialty shows including Tuesday night's Torch and Twang, which is alt-country, zydeco, americana, etc. I've never liked country growing up, and when I first started college, Tuesday was the only day I felt compelled to change stations or put on a CD. I'm 23 now and I've just started to appreciate this music. Sure, every now and again a song comes on that's just a little too country for me, but I no longer feel like I have to change the station or I'll get a headache. I really don't think of it as "Torture Twang", as my girlfriend calls it, anymore.

Anyway, I think it is definetly possible to grow musically, it's just kind of scary because there isn't that familiarity with the music you've always loved. Not to mention sometimes you have to break through prejudices against music you weren't raised on.

Well, I still have trouble with my girlfriend's love of opera, but maybe in a couple years I'll get over that too.

Nirvana (5.00 / 2) (#88)
by guinsu on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 11:43:05 AM EST

Why does it seam than in any discussion of music, bringing up this band automatically causes people to lose sight of the discussion and focus totally on harping on that band? Half the comments here seem to be related to the mention of Nirvana and how they weren't that great/influential, etc.. That wasn't the point of the article.

And for the record, they DID help change the face of popular music back in 1991, Teen Spirit was one of the most played videos on MTV at the time, and it was all over the radio. It did change the style of music that radio was playing and they opened the doors for many other bands to become more popular in mainstream culture. No, they weren't the most talented bunch of musicians, and even they said they weren't the most original. But they were one of the first "alternative" bands to become hugely popular.

Iduru (none / 0) (#98)
by moggo on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 03:54:57 PM EST

As most of you should know, the inspiration for the book is a
story about how, in Japan, teen idols come packaged
with a record etc etc. and that there would be a new
model out to fill the boots every month or so with a new
record .. and how one time they got all the public relations
going and the album recorded but somehow didn't find a
girl to play the latest teen idol .. and there was all this
product already out .. and this faceless teen sensation
became one of the most popular and successful.

*burrp*

The return of Rock-and-Roll (none / 0) (#103)
by DrEvil on Tue Jun 26, 2001 at 07:35:14 PM EST

I agree that music works in cycles. We are finally nearing the end of the boy band crazy! The new popular music is starting to shift to punk music. Bands like Blink 182 are leading the way to this new trend. Thier recently released CD went to #1 on the charts instantly. Now whether Blink 182 are even punk is not the point, but when people go looking for similar artists they will get into the punk in it's true sense.

Tune into any music delivery provider now-a-days and you are bound to hear atleast one punk song. Why it was just yesturday when Much Music played some Ramones during prime time! Punk music can be heard on stations all the way from Much Music (mostly on The Wedge and to a lesser extend Loud) to Much More Music (I've seen some Sex Pistols and Ramones on there) and what I've found to be the best source of punk music is CBC Radio 2! Radio Escapade, heard on CBC Radio 2 on Saturday and Sunday nights play alot of great punk, some of which is underground up to the more popular punk. Sorry for the Canadian bais but that is what I'm exposed to, I'm sure the same applies to other countries too though.

Canada has a very strong punk music scene now so if you are a punk fan I suggest checking out some of the music! You wont be dissapointed.

As for the old punk scene, it is still alive and well too, but it now has a different form. Yesturday I heard that Jello Biafra, former lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, is now doing a stand-up comedy like performance about the same issues he delt with when he was a part of the Dead Kennedys. Some of the issues he is dealing with is VERY interesting, I would love to go see him if I have the chance!

I will soon be 20 years of age and according to this article I will be a fan of punk for the rest of my life, somehow I can't see myself going to see a punk concert in my old age, but anything is possible eh?

Music styles blend together which leads into the new phases of music genres. I mean what is the real diffence between say Johnny Cash and Social Distortion? The twang, and not much else. Social D and Mike Ness' solo works did a good job at demonstrating this point. This blending of music genres is what I believe leads to the changes in popular music.

Old Punkers (4.00 / 1) (#104)
by thryllkill on Wed Jun 27, 2001 at 08:30:41 AM EST

I'm 24 years old and have listened to and gone to punk rock shows for years. Not very often, but sometimes you see older guys there, still ripping stuff up. I've even seen older punk bands, like guys who went bald from age, not razors, still kickin out the jams. So don't think that just because you will be old some day you can't still enjoy it all, you just might not be able to spike your comb over.

[ Parent ]
Self satisfied Bullshit. (5.00 / 3) (#107)
by Kasreyn on Wed Jun 27, 2001 at 10:38:11 AM EST

So perhaps there's hope yet that Generation Y (or whatever the hell they're calling them) will get their own Nirvana, Sex Pistols or Beatles, and rail against banal pop culture and suburban conformity.

*cough*BULLSHIT*cough*

Rock's success has always, from the very start, been based (commercially, at least) on the proven business model of taking a disaffected consumer group and telling them what they want to hear (that they're cool and hip and nonconformative, that they're special and others don't "get it"). It was bullshit in the 60's and it's equally bullshit today. The reason why parents are so unimpressed by today's "rebellious", "cool" music? I'll tell you why. Because they saw the same kind of music in the 60's, and what happened to the hip, defiant teens who chilled out to those tunes? You guessed it - they got haircuts and now they drive their SUV's home to suburbia after work.

People regularly make the mistake of thinking Rock has sold out. What they don't realize is that rock was ALWAYS a sell-out, it was designed as such by commercial interests. This is not to say it didn't produce some great music. And this is not to say that many bands actually *believed* in their own music. But the system as a whole is a ridiculous money-raping engine based on filling a generation with the feeling that their music is elite and cool, and then ruthlessly leveraging that belief into a consumerist frenzy.

Dave Barry put it best, I think, in his humorous book, "Dave Barry Does Japan". In it, he mentions a visit he paid to an outdoors rock festival in a major Japanese city. As this was in the late 90's, "grunge" was catching on in a big way, and all the bands were playing loud screechy music with groups of fans dancing. Aside from his obligatory, Baby Boomer, derogatory description of the music, he also described something that seemed really sad to me. He told how each band would have almost a "uniform" - a method of dress, a particular KINd of tie-dyed shirt. And all the fans of that band would be dancing in the area around that band's stage. And they'd all be dancing the exact same dance, wearing the exact same clothes. Said Barry, all checking each other to make sure they were being different in unison.

That's how I see rock. Being different, in unison. No thanks. =P


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
My question is, will there be buyers? (none / 0) (#117)
by otis wildflower on Fri Jun 29, 2001 at 11:18:06 AM EST

Maybe my tastes don't matter, but I find there's been no real single force or style influencing my CD purchases over the last year or so. I _HAVE_ been buying, but nothing that has been listed on any chart AFAICR, except for some hip-hop stuff.

My recent favorite discs:
  • Camilo & Tomatito: jazz piano + spanish guitar
  • Groove Collective: started as afrocuban jazz fusion, and has turned into a wonderful monster
  • Moxy Fruvous: strange Canadian band with lots of styles and influences ('You Will Go To The Moon' is my favorite of theirs)
  • Thievery Corporation: spy downbeat masters from DC.. Their DJ Kicks 'sampler' is already pitting from laser damage :)
  • DJ Dave Trouble: Big Dave loves to kick it with samba/bossanova mixes and cracklin' bread soul.
I can easily fill my days and nights with music that will never appear on MTV or on Clear Channel radio. But MTV doesn't do music anymore and commercial radio is all fucking commercials anyways.

When in New York, on a saturday, tune in to 89.9 FM. It'll probably be funky, and you won't hear any commericals (though Phil Schapp seems to go on and on a little too long some days...)
[root@usmc.mil /]# chmod a+x /bin/laden
What's this with the cycles and all? (none / 0) (#120)
by nollidj on Sat Jun 30, 2001 at 12:59:33 PM EST

So are we due for a renaissance of music in the classical style? How about Bach? He hasn't been on all the popular mixes for a while. Wait! What about Shostakovich? Everybody loves Shostakovich!

muahaha. MuaHaHA! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAA!!!!

cycles... (5.00 / 1) (#122)
by lucid on Sat Jun 30, 2001 at 06:15:08 PM EST

I've read a few articles about cycles in popular music by different critics, but I don't really buy it. It doesn't really mean anything, and probably isn't falsifiable.

However, it sounds to me like a clever device for trashing the musical contributions of bands/individuals whose music you can't or don't appreciate. Don't like 'boy bands?' Say we're on a low ebb of the X-year cycle. Really miss Nirvana? Say they were on a flow. Mark the years between the two, and make your predictions.

That way, it isn't you saying that the Backstreet Boys suck, it is "the cycle" or some other nonsense. You can also avoid dealing with the fact that good music is released all the time, just as bad music is.

If today were Apogee Day of the Apogee Year, does that mean I can't find recently released music that sucks? No, it means a band you like just released something. If it were the Ebb Day of the Ebb Year, does it mean I can't find something recently released, that was good? No, it means someone you don't like just released something.

It's all relative ... (none / 0) (#124)
by ryry on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 10:58:17 AM EST

A well thought-out editorial, but you can't really say anything about when "good" music is going to be released, because the term good by itself is relative. Not only that, but "good" has come to be equated with "popular" (because that's what drives record sales). Bands are somehow elevated to the status of "good" once they've sold a million records, and they're guaranteed a second album, even though they may have no talent whatsoever. So what you think is good, may just be popular, and not really good at all (to someone else). Tricky, eh? My point is, music's ALWAYS going to be in a "sorry state" - to the people who don't like it. If you *liked* boy bands and pop princesses, you would have written a completely different article, saying how the musical revolution has come full circle and our expectations have been fulfilled because the "next big thing" - ie, what YOU like - would already be here. There's really no point in talking about "cycles." But, I do appreciate the numerous references to Nirvana - best band ever :-)

-ryry
--too lazy for a .sig--
*sigh* (none / 0) (#125)
by NovaHeat on Tue Jul 03, 2001 at 04:38:57 PM EST

Well, as long as we're all posting our "favorite super-cool underground bands that have been making great songs for years and need to come to the forefront real soon!!!", I figure I ought to throw out a few names:

1) Anything by John Zorn (Masada, Painkiller, Naked City, solo stuff, etc.)

2) Just about anything by Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, solo works, etc.)

3) Tired of boring pop-industrial? Try Einsturzende Neubauten.

4) Tired of 'music'? Try Merzbow.

5) Boredoms.

6) Ruins. (THEY HAVE THEIR OWN LANGUAGE!)

7) Godflesh is coming out with a new album soon, so the legends say.

8) Cryptopsy is always fun.

9) Check out 'Metal Machine Music' by Lou Reed

10) Can't forget Godspeed You Black Emperor!

11) Certain Test Dept. albums (Materia Prima, Gododdin)

So there you have it. 11 things that will make you look really cool, avant-garde and hip in front of all your friends. I for one am waiting for Merzbow to make the next "Smells Like Teen Sprit"

-----

Rose clouds of flies.

The War Against Silence (none / 0) (#128)
by markpasc on Sun Jul 08, 2001 at 02:36:38 AM EST

Found this similar comment while perusing The War Against Silence, in a musing about Placebo, and remembered this article:

You can plot a water-slide graph of guitar intensity from early Radiohead to Oasis to Travis to Coldplay to Badly Drawn Boy, and all these bands are so far back at the top of it that they may as well be wearing embroidered flamenco costumes and crooning libidinous power-ballads in which the only words I reliably recognize are señorita and corazón. If they are the future, it's a cyclical-history loop that deposits us back around 1993, with Pablo Honey still new and the implications of Nevermind and Loveless still being worked out.


I agree with you on your theory (none / 0) (#129)
by sexyblonde on Fri Jul 27, 2001 at 12:16:04 AM EST

You wrote: Now I have this theory that whatever you're listening to once you hit the age of 20 is going to be the music you appreciate for the rest of your life.


When I think about it I have to laugh. When I'm 70, 80 years old I'll be listening to ACDC, Stevie Nicks, Quad City Dj's, and my husband will be rocking out to Metallica & Megadeth. Oh' what will our grandchildren think :-)

Musical cycles and the next big revolution in popular music? | 129 comments (121 topical, 8 editorial, 1 hidden)
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