“The Devaluation of Music: It’s Worse Than You Think”
No more pure rock legends. Only hard-working talented musicians and competition.
I am afraid I have to disagree with the author of the post-link-link. I mean, I can understand his point, kind of, but I think it’s no different than the point that this one Progressive jazz rock artist was making back I think in around 1991.
Let us recede…..
I was a punk rocker when punk rock was starting to get popular; for example just the decade prior to Green Day. And yes, I am saying that Green Day was the beginning of punk rock being lame (even while Green Day still was cool) . And then blink-182 basically announced to the world that punk rock has lost all legitimacy and authenticity. Lol
Now, I’m sure you guys are thinking totally the opposite. Of course the cool way to talk about things nowadays, as the example of what I am saying, is that once a thing becomes too cool then it becomes not cool, and the new way to think about this is that that is just stupid .
In other words, the idea that if too many people like something then it is not cool is just a plain dumb idea and that in fact the more people like something the cooler it is– or that’s what we think nowadays.
and yes, OK, I’m being a small minded anachronist right now. ✊🏾. Yes; anachronist.
But, I would say that if you really want to understand what this philosophical post about making A living playing music is really talking about when you might be interested in someone who is of the same ( or close) generation as the author of that article.
His argument is that musicians should be able to make a decent living; I’m saying sure, but they now have to work just as hard as everyone else, and maybe harder (is life fair? Should it be fair??).
For sure, when something becomes too popular, it does indeed suck. That is just a matter of uncommon knowledge.
But then I’m not saying anything about the people who like sucky music. 🤣 On the contrary, I am basically telling you about the people that the author of this article is commenting upon. It is a plain fact that most people just want to groove, they just want to sing about something that makes sense to them, and they want to have a break from their regular day.
To me, that’s just the plain fact of things.
The author of this philosophical post is basically saying that somehow we need to educate people to expand their version or their idea of what art and music is that somehow they might more thoroughly enjoy music but as well be willing to pay a little bit more perhaps, and likewise be able to be more discerning about what good art and music is.
Now back to this jazz progressive artist of around 1991. But back a little further….
(I have a feeling this post is going to get kind of long. but oh well, maybe someone will hang in there and read the whole thing)
I was and always been a musician but I was also somewhat discerning of music, meaning, I would find what I liked by happenstance and then I just love that music. Whereas, I had friends who just loved music in general and would go to the record stores, the local record stores and then even the first big chain of record store called Tower Records, and they would go to the record stores and spend hours just flipping through records. And they would just pull out various albums that looked to them to be good. But also, somehow they were connected to people even in high school, who somehow had their finger on the pulse of what good music is. At least from the American European standard (I don’t really know anything about music that comes from other places about how they discern what is good and bad, but maybe it’s a similar thing).
So these people would listen to a ton of music all the time and then they would find the good shit and then they would turn us onto it. For example, U2. I remember I think it was the album “boy”, A friend of mine came over with the record and was like, you got to listen to this band. And no one knew who these guys were. No one. The same with the band Midnight Oil, which became really popular in the late 80s who is now drifted off into unknown Ness. And Hüsker du. Bad religion. The damned. X. The talking heads. The Police, And many more.
Anyways, I’m getting off topic..
I don’t think good music has anything to do with education on the arts or whatever the fuck. I think it has entirely to do with numbers. And maybe there’s some racial component in the past. But for this post was just going to stick with the numbers.
I do not believe that prior to the year 2000 there was tons and tons of people in the world who were super talented musicians and it just so happens that Led Zeppelin or queen or cream or Jimi Hendrix, are any of those big names became so big. I don’t think it was just a question of that there was limited opportunity or something like that. I think that given the condition of resources, technology and society and culture and everything like that, there were very few people who are actually musically talented, by the simple fact that most people did not have exposure to anything that would make them want to pursue being a musician in the sense of “popular music” such as we have now, Which is to say, before the jack black “school of rock movie”. Lol.
I think it is that it is the sheer number of people who are now able to make music due to resources of technology money and just the vast number of musical possibilities with modern media, internet, etc…that everyone has access to now, that is destroying the music industry.
It is because of the situation of access to knowledge and equipment that almost anyone can make good music. We simply do not have the ability to look at music nowadays in the world and find a Led Zeppelin or find The Damned or Depeche Mode or New Order or find Bad Religion or Ministry or Nine Inch Nails. Because we do not have the criteria to be able to sort out which might be better than any other to distill a “best” (over the possibility of genre) out of because everyone is making good music, because of the multiplicity of groups making good music. The only way to discover who is great is to actually have a judged contest like American Idol or The Voice, which then basically kills the idea that a David Bowie Or Prince might or could arise.
(it is very possible to read the situation of the band Nirvana as that turning point between Being able to pinpoint and locate actually good And artistic music, and the coming of the saturation of platitudinous musical equity, greatness discerned by popular vote. The very story of Kurt Cobain is the story of the music industry as based in serendipity taking its last breath at in legitimacy. Never mind that Frank Zappa talked about it 15-20 years prior, as he announced the beginning of authentic music’s death, or Crass if the early 80s “punk is Dead”)
[[[and if you’ve never heard of these guys, then here they are, just FYI :
The significance of the degradation, say, of the music industry and people’s ability to make a living making music is because of the sheer saturation of people’s ability to make good music and produce it in a good way produce it professionally; it is pretty damn easy to make music that sounds really really good nowadays. Pretty much anyone who wants to can take the shittiest song in the universe and make it into a really good song.
But back to the 1991 jazz progressive artist. The argument that he made on the inside sleeve of his CD –back when CDs were still battling it out with vinyl and everyone was worried about how musicians wouldn’t be able to make a living anymore– This dude had a sleeve on the inside of his CD which was about 15 pages long and it had this essay about how good music, for a word, is not intellectual music. In short, he made an intellectual argument to sophisticated people about how intellectual and sophisticated music is not intellectual and sophisticated and that everyone is able to enjoy this kind and genre of music that he was playing becuase it is inherently not intellectual, that noone needs to be educated abiut music and art to enjoy the very artful music.
To me, the philosopher of this essay of the link is pretty much saying the same thing but from an opposite approach.
In our time now he is basically saying that people are not listening to good music Becuase they have not been exposed, not been educated enough to what good music can be as an art.
Personally I find no compelling force in either of their arguments.
The fact of the matter is that people just want to be able to dance, they want to be able to escape their day, and they want to relate a little bit and be able to hang out with their friends and sing the chorus. And in fact, even back at 200 years ago the people who are listening to classical music only wanted that also.
It is only the musicians who take themselves so seriously; at least, those who are not musicians who take it seriously are not the people that are allowing whatever musical group to make a living (hence the impetus, i gather, for this philosopher’s argumentation).
Despite what I may have thought is called music is not what made Bad Religion cool today, or open the door for a bunch of really lame punk rock bands (like blink-182; I actually like Green Day because they still had some a sort of legitimacy to them, I felt).
Because honestly, how long was I going to concerts to see these bands were five of them would play for 12 bucks in a big giant auditorium where there was no security and we were all just having a great time dancing and jumping on the stage, maybe even singing into the microphone with the singers and then jumping off again. In other words: community.
It was not us that made the music industry what it is today; it was the people who saw how much fun we were having and they wanted to have that kind of fun, Or for the most part, they didn’t give a shit about what the music really meant or what artistic quality it may have had to us or for them: Art in music is what ever they like.
The call to education or the call to “you don’t have to be educated” are really both based in pseudo-Marxist economical philosophical dogma being asserted upon a situation that is completely foreign to its (the theory and it’s argument) estimation of what is actually occurring.
So that’s my bit.
Hi Maylynne. 😄