WARNING: Lots of ranting and rambling that will probably not make any sense below.
Yeah, let’s face it everybody. This little thing called the music industry is becoming more and more disconnecting with reality. But what is it that makes it so irritating. Well a lot of things: there’s the business’ ethic, the arrogance of certain subcultures, the ignorance for anything new. Frankly, we’re all to blame. Yes even you. So let’s scoff at this crazy thing called the music industry.
Pseduo-Feminist Pop Rock Singer-Songwriters That Ironically, Only Sing About Boys
Hey! Did you here? Women are no longer objects of affection to men! I know right? So put down those frying pans and vacuums and bon-bons (women still eat those right?). You are free. You are independent. You are woman! Hear you… sing about your super lame ex-boyfriend all the time. Okay, let me just say straight up that I’m not being sexist. I’m all for equal rights and what not but this is just cashing in on a trend. A trend that’s based around how people find it mindblowing that women can make rock music too. And ever since artists like Pink, Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne broke out in the mainstream any girl that can so much as hold a guitar can get big. This is not the problem though. The problem is that they can’t go beyond the “HOLY CRAP I’M A GIRL ROCKER” phase and pretty much continue to make mediocre pop-rock about broken hearts.
I mean look at Orianthi. She can play guitar really really well. Damn well. She can shred like a mo-fo. And while her first album had this awesomeness:
The rest of it consisted of Kelly Clarkson b-sides with guitar solos tacked on. I mean don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with a little moping in your music. I’m pretty sure some these girls have gone through all kinds of “pretty serious and sad stuff” but why lyrically do you have to be so vauge and bland about it. I don’t feel your break-up. All I got is that: “there’s this guy, he did something lame and now I don’t like him anymore because he’s stupid.” Be personal, be raw, make us feel the pain you felt and for the love of Ray J don’t use live journal worthy metaphors like “my heart has turned into a coffin that is covered in thorns and dirt and other gothic stuff”. And to be honest, if you really are totally over this one guy, then why do you keep singing about him?
In fact, if Janelle Monae and Jenny Lewis taught us anything, it’s that girls don’t always have to sing about boy problems or love in general. There are so many other great things you can sing about. For example:
- Fresh dew dripping off leaves
- A lovely slice of blueberry pie
- Talking dogs with jetpacks
- What is Victoria’s Secret?
And these are just a handful. There is more to this world than falling in and out of love girls (this can all apply to dudes too… I’m looking at you generic skinny dude with acoustic guitar).
Okay, I know I’m being really facetious. I know that most of these artists don’t write these songs, they’re mostly just written by producers of the album. All the people behind the curtain probably coerce pop rockers to sing these songs cause they’re easy to market (hey every angsty teenage girl needs a soundtrack right?). I mean hell, Lady Gaga, being a massive pop icon, has only written one song entirely by herself. So maybe this should be directed to the businessmen telling Kelly Clarkson she should refer to some boy that made her mad as her muse. But still to everyone involved, let them girls rock and roll (or whatever) but please don’t use your high school poetry book for song-writing inspiration that much.
Classic Rock Refusing to Die
Let’s say, hypothetically, you’re 10 again. Puberty is aflame. You ask out of curiosity about the birds and the bees. Out of nowhere, some old guy you barely even know starts going on a tangent about sex, talking about stuff you really don’t care about. You tell him, “Well that’s nice and I’m sure you have fond memories, but I want to hear the 20-somethings perspective on the subject.” That is what I feel like whenever classic rock is on the radio which is, if you didn’t know already, all the f—ing time. And if that’s not enough every hard rock band from the 80s is still making records despite it being years past their prime. Nothing against the classics, artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are all time favorites of mine, but I really don’t want to hear AC/DC state how they know how to rock and/or roll for the 18th billion time.
Not only that but they’re are so many “new” bands out there like Airbourne or Jet that are big solely because they mimic the sound of a classic rock band. There’s nothing wrong with using past sounds to influence your own but when your songs sounds almost exactly like something that would be on the new AC/DC record, there’s something wrong. Now if modern bands were getting as much exposure as “classic” bands, this wouldn’t be a problem. But their not. Eventually, a bone is thrown and a band like Muse or Coldplay or Kings of Leon reach immense popularity but for the most part, new rock music is ignored. We get it guys, you defined a generation, probably birthed a new genre and influenced a myriad of bands. But come on dudes. Lend someone else the spotlight. There’s plenty of illegitimate children you probably can be taking care of right now.
Top 40 Radio is Still The Only Way Most People Discover Music
Now before you cry foul about how I’m some hipster douche denouncing anything mainstream, let me defend. I am not every metalhead on the internet screaming “I never listen to pop music but I know it sucks”. I like pop music. A lot. I’m down with Gaga. Kanye is probably one of my favorite artists of all time. And Drake’s new album is one of my picks for the best album of the year so far. I don’t hate Top 40 music. Just the way Top 40 is organized. It’s still one of the only ways the mass public discovers music. And they say with great power comes great responsibility, well that responsibility made Ke$ha the breakout artist of the year and continues to push auto-tuned overproduced music that have nothing to say besides hitting the club, eying some sexy thing dancing on the floor, boning someone and simultaneously falling in love (because that always happens). It’s music that’s probably on the The Situation’s and Snooki’s playlists. And no that’s not a good thing.
I mean I had some embarrassing tastes back in middle school. Right before I started getting into bands like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday, I only listened to Linkin Park, Nickelback, Good Charlotte and Evanescence. I legitimately thought those bands were underground. Yeah. I know. But I was not only young but as far as music I wasn’t exposed to anything besides Z100 (the top 40 station in my area). I just started to watch MTV and Fuse during this time, I would subscribe to Spin within a few years and I only used the Internet for AIM and games. It was 2002/03. I had no iTunes Genius or Last.fm accounts or Pandora Radio introducing me to new music, expanding and broadening my taste.
It’s 2010. And we have all of these things. Radio has succumbed to something people listen to in their car when they forgot their iPod. Yet still, even with the endless music-related information on the internet, people still only restrain themselves to what’s on the Top 40 format and dismiss everything else simply because they don’t know it. It’s kind of weird how the Top 40 crowd are turning into elitist hipsters only instead of praising Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend, they’re listening to Ke$ha and Jason DeRulo. It’s like being fat and having a horrible personality. But the new-found top 40 elitism is just a result of a much bigger disaster…
Our Generation has A Serious Elitist Problem
Okay let’s face reality for a bit. Everyone isn’t going to like what you like, particularly music. Music is probably the most subjective art form ever. One person’s favorite band or artist, is another person’s most hated. In this day and age, there are so many genres and sub-genres and subcultures and desire for solely what’s “indie or underground” (or vice-versa) that there isn’t really a general consensus anymore. This isn’t a problem. At all actually. If you’re that passionate about something you should display that passion with expressing what you think about a certain band, album, song etc. It crosses into a problem when you become a complete douche about it.
There’s a difference between being opinionated and being an elitist. Opinionated is saying you don’t like a certain band. Elitist is saying a certain band sucks and has no talent. Hey, it’s one thing to hate a band but when you, some kid on the internet who isn’t in a band and probably never even picked up an instrument, are saying that a band, one that probably makes more money than you ever will and has a massively dedicated fanbase, is a talentless hack; you just sound like an idiot. I mean the internet brought a new age of elitism. Anyone can voice their opinion on something and on the net, the more ridiculous you sound, the bigger impact your voice will probably have. This results in the internet occasionally becoming a pool for elitism: Gaga fans hating Kesha fans, Metallica and Slayer fans hating Bullet for My Valentine and Trivium fans, Taking Back Sunday and Brand New fans hating 3OH!3 and Cobra Starship fans. It gets ridiculous.
But alas, this isn’t even the problem. After all, it’s just kids bored on the internet trying to piss people off. This all changed though in 2008 when a handful of violent riots emerged in Mexico City and Tijuana. Why you ask? Political oppression? Racial/social ignorance? No. Apparently, the “metalhead”, “punk” and “goth” kids of Mexico were really mad that there are kids out there who dress in tight clothes, makeup and like My Chemical Romance. Oh. And then they got like 20 thousand of their “non-poser” friends to gang up and beat the ever living crap out of like three “emo” kids. By the way, the said 3 “emo” kids are probably 5-10 years older than them.
There were also reports of a gang of 10 “metalhead” beating a teenage girl unconscious because she has the basic characteristics of what an “emo girl” is. And, surprisingly, this started as a result of a slew of anti-“emo” groups that emerged online in Mexico. All the threats and plans of an “emo holocaust” went from internet joke, to actual reality. I mean first off, if you actually believe that “emo” is a relevant subculture or genre in 2008, than you A. know very little about music and B. are kind of an idiot but that’s even besides the point. Anti-“emo” groups are all over the net and still exist but very few actually act out in such violently disgusting ways.
This isn’t about what genre is better or what genre sucks. This is about acting like a sane logical human being. You’re looking down on and sometimes even physically hurting people because of their taste in music. It makes our generation look like a bunch of violence-prone, mentally bats–t brats that have absolutely no concept on how human beings treat each other in civilized society. Which maybe is why the industry keeps classic rock over saturated because knowing what we do to each other, they’d want nothing to do with it. And maybe that’s why today’s music world is filled with so many idiotic pop tunes, stupid people need stupid music right?
So stop sipping the haterade and acting like a jackass. Because maybe, just maybe if we act a little smarter, the music industry might give our generation more respect.