1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Is The Best Music Behind Us?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by The Golden Boy, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. This is something I've been thinking about for a while, just seeing Hambone's "A Prediction" thread kind of prodded me to start another thread.

    All the time you hear people talking about "the good old days" and such. As far as major FM radio in this area, there are 2 "rock" stations, a "pop" station, but 3 "oldies" or "classic rock" stations. The stuff on one of the "rock" stations is so formulaic it's not really fun to listen to. When you listen to the music used for commercials, the stuff that's recognized is the "classic rock" songs, used by car companies, the cruise lines, and what really got me thinking is the remix of a classic rock song by a chicken fast food restaurant chain.

    Here's my thinking on this- yes, a commercial should have music that's memorable- but wouldn't it make more sense to have 'new' music, maybe something unknown, or currently popular to attach to a 'new' product? Besides that, even a remix (that you have to think before you figure out what it is) you'll have to pay royalties on. Besides that even, why 'disguise' the song anyway? And what the hell does a song about Alabama got to do with Kentucky chicken?

    As a musician, I want to be able to say, there's billions of musicians around the world, putting ideas to music. Out of all these musicians there's got to be at least a few who are creating amazing music that a large segment of the population can "dig." As a person listening to music I want to be able to turn on the radio and hear some great music most of the time. I have a better chance turning on a "classic rock" station and hearing something I like. Maybe it's just because I'm old and that limits the way I think, but radio and TV should be a general barometer of what's happening, and I don't see anything happening.

    This also gets to the music "industry." I've seen jaw droppingly amazing bands that didn't get signed, or just faded away. As long as selling music means touring behind it, there has to be money in it for bands to survive- as long as the "industry" is forcing formula the new and different things aren't going to make it.

    I'm not saying there's no hope- good music crawled out of Frankie Avalon's shadow, and Disco subsided, bad haired "new-wavers" went out of style, and flannel shirted grungers accepted their life sucks before getting real jobs.

    I guess what I'm asking is where people think we can go.
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    The best modern music isn't mainstream any longer (read over-hyped savior of some form of music). If I want to hear something that blows my mind I certainly wouldn't look for it on any Clear Channel station.

    I think that good music is trying to come back, but it won't happen until the major labels file Chapter 11. They can produce many bands that all sound the same with bitchy lyrics for the less than cost to bring up a great band with an original sound and let them rein in on their signature sound.

    There are diamonds in the ruff to be found in mainstream, but they are as rare as rocking horse crap.
  3. At the risk of being too blunt:

    Who knows what the future holds? It's impossible to say as of yet simply because we don't know. If you take bass as an example, for an instrument that's roughly 40-50 years old in it's electric form, it's progressed hugely. Who knows how music will progress from now until "then"?
  4. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    My rant in Hambone's thread seems more pertinent here:

  5. FUNKonthewall

    FUNKonthewall Nailing The Groove

    Sep 29, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Endorsing: Fodera Guitars, Aguilar Amps, Dunlop/MXR Accessories
  6. The past definitely had a bunch of classics, and probably still has a lot more good music than you'll find today. But the best music is definitely not behind us. You definitely won't find it in the mainstream, and the artist is probably unknown, or not even born yet... but you'll find him eventually. And by him, I mean the hundreds and thousands of real musicians kicking it today and tomorrow. Don't let the mainstream or popular mislead you - there is great music out there, you just have to find it.
  7. Thanks guys, I appreciate the honest replys and not some indignant responses.

    Four out of Five TBr's surveyed said good music isn't in the mainstream.

    Therein lies the conundrum. At one point good music was in the mainstream. As recently as the early 90's. Maybe it's skewed vision, but I look at the first wave of "grunge" bands as being "real" until the industry gobbled up the clones of those bands. Since then, with as many indie labels there are putting out great stuff, the mainstream has been the realm of clones and "industry" hype.

    This doesn't really apply to "pop" "divas" or "boy bands" as they've been around and disappear into the mist of time. Think of this as bands that are being touted as "original" or groundbreaking. A few years ago I remember reading something about the probability of hearing Limp Bizkit's "Nookie" 20 years from now. Yeah, that'll happen.

    I really enjoy Against Will's apparent taste in music, some of it I'm familiar with, a lot of it I don't have the slightest clue. At what point does great underground music cross over to the mainstream? A lot of the cool stuff I hear on the college radio station here I really like, but I don't see a lot of it with the major market crossover appeal. That's what will change where music is going.
    I'll agree there is some really cool music in a lot of different places, but I'll disagree that the bands are free from any need of marketing. Writing and recording the most stunning record in history means nothing if nobody hears it. Making rock and not looking to support anyone but yourself isn't insuring a long career in making great music. Bands like Fugazi are the exception, not the norm, even then, there's a fair portion of people who haven't been exposed to them, but they do all right- even though they own their own label.

    I'd just guess that someone somewhere would be using these kickass indie labels as their farm system and try to get them major label exposure- but that doesn't seem to be happening.
  8. First, allow me to second Against Will's post. I prefer watching bands (live) that have just crawled out of the garage. I've pretty much stopped seeing famous "talent", unless someone else is paying. To me, you have a better chance of catching a good band at your local bar (or college radio station) than you do on any TV channel or commercial radio station.

    That's a bit subjective. Many on this forum might argue that some amazing music has been created that a large segment of the population got into...it just might not have been what you wanted to hear.

    "Classic rock" stations have the luxury of choosing the very best from 2-3 DECADES for the bulk of their selections. More "modern" stations have to stay in step, and must play music released in the last 6 months, peppered with a bit of older stuff. Of all the songs released this year and played on Station X, how many do you think will be remembered in a year? Two years? Not many. But that's the game...staying current means spinning music that listeners realize is crap before the industry does.

    Lastly, I don't think radio or TV are a good barometer for anything, except maybe the lack of taste that entertainment executives seem to embrace.

  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    A lot of Classic Rock was underground at the time. Black Sabbath was unheard of for the longest time, radio wouldn't touch their "devil rock."

    I think a lot of Classic Rock sucks as well, so when I'm an old man, listening to classic rock radio, some Staind song will come on the radio and I'll throw my cane at it.

    I mean, a lot of classic rock is three chord "oh baby oh baby." The only difference between modern rock/classic rock... extended guitar solos.
  10. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    My opinion, every possible note that can be played has been played. Every possible combination and rythm probably not. While music has it's I like and don't like for each of us. Each generation finds a way to express itself in music.

    It may be nothing more than a big circle in future generations. I think maybe 20 years from now big bands may be the hit again. What they play may be rap. Who knows? Certainly not I.

    Until there is no end to the human there will be no end to creation of music. This I do know.


  11. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    and each generation looks down at the next one coming up.

    If you cannot find current "good" music, go write and perform some yourself. I find new stuff I love everyday... it just takes open minds and open ears :bassist:
  12. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003

    why didn't I say that too?

  13. Just to stimulate discussion, some random thoughts and questions... what role have advancements in technology played in turning mainstream music into a wasteland? Stuff like auto-tune, Pro-Tools, etc... would Ashlee Simpson have been able to perform 25 years ago?

    As much as a lot of the stuff I hear on the radio sucks, the production on most of it.. no, all of it, is excellent. Sometimes, I'll listen to a song that doesn't do much for me just to hear the pristine studio bass tone (like American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson's single that is all over Top 40 radio right now.. it's fluff, but the bass sounds great)

    I recently got XM satellite radio for my mom. It's 1000% better than FM in every way. I can't say enough good things about it. I think XM and Sirius are gonna take off big time over the next few years as listener alienation grows and grows.

    I recommend that everyone read the book "So you want to be a rock and roll star?" by Jake Slichter, the drummer from Semisonic. I just finished it. It's fantastic and will give you insight into how f^&ked the music business is. Even music business insiders these days know that things as they are now are not sustainable.
  14. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    yeah, you said mostly what I was gonna say... I just finished my thought ;)

    as long as cats like the ones here on TB are creating.... the best is always "Yet to Come"
  15. I agree with James and tk. I think the rough songs our band has made over the last years are very special... of course they are, right? But there's just a charm to them that I enjoy. It's a unique sound, in my opinion and experience. And playing them never gets tiring. I can't wait to be able to play them to a new audience. It's not that the notes or rhythms are unique, but the blend of them all does sound like its own beast. And if we can do something like that, imagine what countless other bands are doing, better, at this very moment. It's quite inspiring. Think about what your band is doing, and if it's something you're proud of, just imagine that many other bands are finding their own sound as well, hoping to break through.
  16. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    there has ALWAYS been fluff!!!! My Mom loved "fluff" in the 50s - 60s when she was buying 45s of the latest singles of the day... her Father was a farm boy from Iowa that played Country & Western.... He played "sing a long" type gigs all the time that had some major old "fluff" in the sets... Granny's use to eat it up.
  17. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I suppose it is kind of idealistic to think that most underground bands make their music without concern for marketing. However, there is a larger proportion of those groups that you might first assume. A number of groups are out there making incredibly unmarketable music; Black Dice, Animal Collective, Wolf Eyes, Prurient etc. They're all still very small time, but their fanbases are growing slowly. Of course, it's hard to say just how long they'll last. Most of them live in lofts, or off their parents, it is very difficult to make a living being in an underground band, especially one that has minimal chance of mainstream success (then again...stranger things have happened).

    It is sad that the industry is still stuck on the idea of 'trends', that if a group of people like one great group, then they'll like knock-offs of that group. I guess whatever they can package and sell they go for, which I guess is why nu-punk is so popular now.
  18. tkarter


    Jan 1, 2003
    Unmarketable music won't get marketed. If music does get marketed someone has found a fan base.

    I don't care for most of the newest music. I am old LOL. I like old I like my bands originals which probably sound old. I like lots of music like Jazz, blues and well you probably get the idea.

    I almost hate with a passion Rap. Still I find myself getting the rythm and tapping a foot along with even it. I guess I don't hate any music. I do hate some lyrics however.

    It is a time thing and a generation thing.



  19. Hopefully by then there will be a way to eliminate such a risk.
  20. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    The classic rock/oldies/80's/whatevah type radio stations will do well because they can pick from a whole decade or more's worth of music, rather than the offerings of the moment... yes, they're gonna play some GREAT songs, because they have lots to choose from, and it's not hard to know what people will enjoy hearing.

    Don't expect good music in advertising... but pay attention when and if you encounter it. Advertising shouldn't define our culture... but it is its job to try (yes, I work in advertising).

    And remember... folks have been saying that things have been going downhill since... oh... the bronze age, maybe?