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A theory on the State of Music today

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by harley_ou812, May 3, 2004.

  1. I have been thinking about this for a while. Now I was born in 1980 so I didnt get to listen to the radio much through the 80s but the music I have listened to since then has seemed that you would have music that all sounds the same on the same radio stations. Grunge then moved in. I heard older people complain that musicallity was down everything sounds the same cant tell one band from another yada yada yada. move down the road and you have numetal come in and whatever genre you want to call what else is out now and again by the older people we hear musicallity is down everything sounds the same yada yada yada.

    I have been wondering does this come from people not caring for a particular genre and anything that will fit into that genre is going to have a similar sound to it so then all the music sounds the same so i dont like it? or has music truely been in a steady decline over the years. I truly believe that people feeling the songs sound the same are not familar with the music. I know personally I can tell if metalica plays a song because I know Kirks sound I picked him out in Echobrains song the first time I heard it I was like thats Kirk playing. Same goes with Nickelback, 3 doors down, Puddle of Mud, Linkin Park Creed and many many many other bands... I am not saying i care for them but I can tell who it is by hearing it for the very first time. But yet I hear over and over again all these bands sound generic and the same and everything.

    What do you all think about this. Do we all just bash the music we dont care for saying it is generic and sounds the same and has no musicality? or is it all going down hill and people standards keep going down?
  2. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I say, listen to what you want and bollocks to everyone else.
  3. I say get on a high horse and dislike whatever you dislike. Just reserve the right to listen to it 10 years later when all those crappy songs become "nostalgia."

    FWIW, I thought the "grunge" revolution was fun and fresh at the time. But by the time the "new rock" revolution came around it seemed like it was the record companies and the radio stations getting bands to sound like what they think the kids want to hear.
  4. IMO, there is a ton of good music out there...you just cant rely on the radio to provide it for you. ;)
  5. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I think right now is a great time for music. Recording equipment is cheap, and the internet allows you to reach a worldwide audience without the need for a record label. It's just a bad time for radio and record companies. There's always good music and bad music; but there has never been a time when corporate interests were so prevalent in media outlets, thus lots of "bad" music gets played ALOT. Don't worry; the system will eat itself.
  6. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I have always considered this to be a bad thing. Kid's these days have too much. In my personal opinion comfort dosn't inspire creativity. And that's what a think is a major problem in the "commercial" market for music, major lack of creativity. There are like 10,000 bands that all sound exactly the same and do the same formula in most genres of music. I'm not trying to sound old, i'm only 21. But my friends little brothers band already has a CD out they made themselves. When i was 14 this would have been almost unheard of. But this is just how I look at it. Of course this would be a great era for hobbyists who play for fun have no real care or desire to be in a serious band. (i.e me)

    I don't think this is the music is any worse today, i think the media is what is worse. Today "popular" bands are not popular because they have talent, they are popular because they sell, espically too people who don't know any better (music is not a hobby for a majority of the masses). There is plenty of original talent out there, just gotta look in the right places.
  7. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    pop culture music is on a steady decline for sure......but there are always good people making good music everywhere all the time (just don't look to MTV and the radio to find it). :bag:
  8. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    In regards to talent, most of today's bands do not hold a candle to bands from the sixties and seventies.

    The reason they seem to sound the same is because at the core of their sound is their radio friendlyness (sp). Easy time signatures, Cobain-inspired vocals, simple playing, wrapped up in three and a half minutes with huge, easy to sing along to choruses dispersed throughout. Ever seen a newer band, live on television, most of the time the vocals are totally off from the recorded versions. Also the topics addressed in most songs are either; anrgy songs about being depressed or bad childhoods, or love songs.

    I like most older radio stations over those that play modern stuff. The reason I think that most older, radio-friendly bands are better than those of today is because most of the time, back then, most bands getting signed were extremely talented and had been playing for longer than bands of today.

    It really is all based on trends, this Sad at my father/angry at the world/my life is so bad trend will eventually disappear (hopefully soon) and a new one will start, causing countless bands of this style to get famous and ride the wave.
  9. I kind of agree with you.

    There's great music and songwriters everywhere. Take a look at commercials and jingles and such. Say what you will about Barry Manilow, but you still know the Kentucky Fried Chicken Jingle ("We do chicken right") long long after that ad concept was abandoned. Jingles are the cat's pajamas, all hook no filler.

    In the case of the 3 minute song... if you can't turn on the radio or mass media outlet, what's the purpose? One golden needle of a band in a sh*tty haystack of the internet is pretty much the same as not being there at all. And besides, if you find it you get your hand all poopy pulling the needle out- golden or not. Word of mouth can propel something, but not a whole progression of things. Besides, as well rounded as any of us like to think we are, we need stuff pared down and organized for us. Ever listen to real college radio? Too much of a mix, while it may be really good at what it is, if I don't like what it is- it sucks. Radio does serve a purpose. It should be about getting the best music on the air, what needs to change is all the politics of getting something good on the air. In the 60's and 70's deejays made bands, they had a record they liked, they played it. Now a deejay gets his playlist and sticks to it. Rodney Bingenheimer made bands just by playing them. Now he'd just be a guy with a schtick.

    Will the system eat itself (like Pop? :p )? In the past trends on a national level came and went with media. I think media is pushing the trends instead of passing them along. With the monopolization of Clear Channel, Cellar Door, and the like, large corporate entities that have a stranglehold on entire markets, the game has changed. For a trend to fail, only the people on that trend go away. The corporation that brings you the trend is not going away, nor are they going to turn away a single dollar thrown their way. It's not in the corporations best interest to fail, or eat itself.

    In summary... music sucks because as long as radio is controlled by a large corporate entity there is no room for risk takers to damage potential profit.

    This completely non-thought out tangental post was brought to you by Rice-A-Roni, the San Franciso Treat!
  10. The only radio I listen to is a calssic rock station that plays all the classics from the 70's. Thats when music was at its peak in my opinion.
  11. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    I heard the Wayne Shorter quartet (John patitucci on bass) a few weeks ago and was pretty convinced that it was some of the best music i've ever heard in my life . . . wayne, a master of compostion and saxophone, continues to grow at age 70. Maybe you should look outside the realm of guitar driven rock into some other genres, there's probably piles of recordings you've never heard that would blow your mind if you looked into them. I've been listening to trumpeter Ron miles duo recording with guitarist bill frisell "Heaven". it's so amazing, warm, emotional, and Ron live on the other side of town from me, we played together a few weeks ago. There's people out there doing amzing things with music every day right outside your door, you just need to find them.

    Do musicians you know really listen to the radio? I gave up on that stuff about the same time Kurt put the shotgun to his head. . . i knew there had to be something better out there then the stuff that corporate media is selling to 14 yr olds, and there is . . .
  12. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Wow, Wayne Shorter's 70? that's amazing.
  13. Moongarm


    Apr 10, 2004
    I think these have been major topics of songwriting since the caveman grog first hit a stick against a rock about his failed love interest with cheg the beautiful young cavewoman. Or maybe about when he smacked out a rythm of frustration after a day's hunt with no prey.

    The biggest problem with music is that the diversity is outstripping the media's limitations to invest in providing more space in the particular medium, like TV or Radio. Coupled with the fact that most record companies are purely greed driven is a bad thing. Steve Albini(Music producer of In Utero) has a good write up, and damn accurate considering I've witnessed it first hand, on just how bad the average record company gougues artists. I also think the RIAA is a lying flaming pile of ____.

    Outside of that I feel that the more people playing music, the more people will find their certain niche that they enjoy the most. Which is a good thing. If you like it, you have no need to justify it other than "it sounds good to me". Ultimately that's all that matters.
  14. mishi_ono


    May 7, 2004
    Oakland, CA
    preach it.

    was that wayne shorter show with brian blade and denilo perez? they were the best live performance i've ever heard. it's too bad that the only wayne shorter on the radio was a single weather report tune.
  15. Robin Ruscio

    Robin Ruscio Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Denver, CO, USA
    forget radio, forget trying to reach the masses with music like that. Someone told me the average american is on a 4th grade musical level. What with the gripe with the RIAA specifically? The only experience i have with them was that they paid me a lot of money to play IAJE a few years ago, out of there 'Performance Fund" program.

    Did you notice that Wayne's band seemed to be having a lot of fun- senilio was practically laughing the whole time.
  16. Radio? What's this thing you speak of? I have not turned on one of those things in a very long time. I don't like hearing Linkin Park 50 times a day.
  17. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
  18. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    I agree wholeheartedly. We've just seen a major revolution in technology, and now we're just starting to see the beginnings of people learning how to use it. Very few people need the record companies anymore. Why, when you can do everything with a computer in the comfort of your own home? And then market it directly to the public on the Internet? The record companies seem to be "just now" catching on to the idea that the Internet is an opportunity and not a threat. This whole copy protection thing displays an incredible amount of stupidity, not to mention lack of understanding of history.

    I predict several trends. First, the Internet radio thing is going to start taking off. Pretty soon we'll starting seeing wireless Internet radios in cars. (XM is already there, that's satellite by subscription, but the real deal is going to come here shortly, when wireless access points start expanding, we're already seeing them on every streetcorner in several major cities, and IMO this trend will continue). Second, the record companies are going to have to shift their focus away from the bands that are charging 200 bucks a ticket for a show, that's just the marketplace and as someone mentioned that whole concept is going to collapse of its own weight eventually. And third, the proliferation of radio stations that aren't owned by one of the "big three" is going to add considerable depth to the range of music that's available within a particular genre. We'll start seeing more specialization, like instead of three radio stations devoted to "classic rock", we might have one with hard rock, one with blues rock, and one with southern rock. That will allow each particular station to get into their genre in a deeper way, like instead of playing Linkin Park 50 times a day, they're going to have to start expanding their play lists (or lose their listening audience, although there are those who "want" to listen to Linkin Park 50 times a day, but those people will be better off buying the right to listen whenever they want).

    I agree, this is a very exciting time for music and the music industry. There is an unprecedented range of opportunities for both musicians and enterpreneurs. The face of the music industry is changing even as we speak. Nevertheless, we'll still be faced with the usual verticalization, 'cause the people with money get to buy up all the smaller competition that needs money. It'll be really interesting to see how this develops.

    Me, I'm gonna focus on the creative side. The bottom line is that we're in need of good original songwriting, and creative composing and arranging. After that, it's mainly a matter of technology.
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I haven't listed to radio (Internet or no) for close to 4 years.

    Just keep your ear to the gound, and you'll know what's coming.
  20. I am back dredging up this old thread. It was 4 years ago when I initially posted this and I have gone through alot in that time. While I remeber why I felt the way I did back then and in some aspects still agree with what I said back then I do understand the reason we say all "commercial" music sounds the same. Take a band like Fuel for example before they hit it relatively big they were decent had a variety of different sounding songs then they had a "breakthrough hit" Now I believe the record companies are saying ok you got a hit with that do it again the same way with the same sound and wer will get more hits. I mean look at nickelback for petes sake ( for those not knowing what I am talking about click here) and you can say the same about 3 doors down andStaind.

    Now dont get me wrong I am not saying these are the second coming of Floys or the Beatles. But early in there careers I apprecitated and could enjoy what they were doing.. That is till they had a hit.

    I have come to the conclusion that I will never enjoy radio unless there is a huge change in the way things are run. I am not saying there wont be a song played on it spattered amongst all the cookiecutter stuff that I enjoy but as a whole it sucks.