What has happened to contemporary music?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by patrickroberts, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. patrickroberts


    Aug 21, 2000
    Wales, UK
    Why is today's music so poor, i know this might of ben posted on numerous occasions. But i mean when can you honestly say that a classic record was written, or that an awesome riff (like Whole lotta Love) was played. I mean is it too commercial today or what? Or have the avenues of music been stretched as far as they can go - is there nowhere for bands and artists to go?

    I mean i keep finding myself listening back to much older music. I am currently listening to the Beatle's and the Stones etc........which aint a bad thing. The beatle's typify simple songs - you know 2-3minutes of pure class, without it seeming naff or commercial.......do today's artists have to go back to how they were recording music in the 60's and 70's, rather than making their music too pure with the aid of computers or what?

    Well we'll wait and see - all i know about today's artists is.........their making a hell of a lot of money by making ****e songs!!!

    Thank you and good night!:bassist:
  2. Do a search; I think we've been over this. The answer is roughly "There was just as much bad pop music in the '60s and '70s; it wasn't all Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and the Who."
  3. I think there is just as much great music being made today, just none of it is considered commercially viable by the record labels or radio stations. Go support some local bands in your city, I'm sure you'll find a whole bunch who are far better than anything you hear on MTV.

    I'm in the same boat, haven't bought a CD by a new band in years (other than local acts) but I'm going gradually farther and farther back, my fave is probably the '70s music.
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I think there are just as many bands today that are not only good, but commercially viable. Just as I believe that there were as stinkers in the 60's or 70's as there are today.

    I can think of a ton of great, original bands with great songwriting and music who have national or international distribution just off the top of my head - Medeski Martin and Wood, Ben Harper (who comes up with plenty of acoustic guitar riffs that are truly classics IMO), King Crimson (yes, they are a modern band!), Beck, Outkast, Tool (not my cup of tea in many aspects but they are very original and great musicians), Primus/Les Claypool's projects, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon (yup, both of those guys are still making new music - it's good too!), Radiohead, etc, etc... You may not agree that some of those bands are good but I'm tryin' to cover more than just a couple of genres.

    Not sure where this concept comes from that we no longer have any good bands left. In my mind it's just plain ridiculous. Maybe you're just listening to pop-radio too much, thus avoiding the really good stuff. I don't know. Also, you asked why there are no more great riffs like "Whole Lotta Love." Well, I think that there are still great riffs being written but at the same time a lot more music has become less riff-oriented. Radiohead is a good example. A lot of the music out there is going to a more textural feel (I think U2 played a big part in that). In my mind a great riff doesn't automatically equal a really great song. That's just a very small part of one aspect of music and hopefully any given song will have a lot more depth to it than just good riffing.

    brad cook
  5. vegaas


    Nov 6, 2001
    Check out the Queens of the Stone Age cd. Pretty good stuff there.
  6. They had rubbish back then, too. It was far worse.
  7. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Maybe the rubbish was worse, but it was offset by music that was much greater. From Louis Armstrong to the Beatles, the mainstream was mainstream because it was good.

    Nowadays, the business aspect of music has taken over bigtime. Mainstream music no longer represents or reflects a culture, but dictates it by making artists fit withing a certain image and format, seeking a certain niche. There's no way in hell Bob Dylan would get a gig, much less a recording deal nowadays. Imagine a world without Bob Dylan. We would have been robbed.

    If we are to believe that music's just as good as it was, there must be at least one person of the caliber of Dylan out there whom we are not getting access to for one reason or another.

    Students are calling. gotta go.
  8. I think Blackbird is on the right track, and I think MTV had a lot do do with commercial music's demise. You would never see a band like the Mommyheads, or P. Hux, or Owsley on MTV. Why? 'Cause they're not sportin the bling-bling and singing about bitchslappin yo ho while you burn a tree and pound a 40.

    Something's bound to happen to turn that around, I just don't know how long we'll have to wait.

    I'm going back further than the 70's. There are some Wonderful recordings made in the 60's by Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter, Wes Montgomery, Miles, et. al. (even as far back as the mid-50's)
  9. I am going to repeat the famous conversation between two SF authors, Sturgeon and Asimov that went something like:

    Asimov: "90% of SF is crap".

    Sturgeon: "90% of mainstream literature is crap."

    In ANY genre and time period 90% of EVERYTHING is crap. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. We all should be looking for the 10% - even tho we may have varing opinions on what the 10% is.

    The second thought I have is this - historically - in the 40's and 50's the record companies controlled what was recorded and thus what was played on radio and TV.

    In the 60's that changed. The record companies were forced to sign acts that were popular - they could make money on them - but that they would not have signed them under normal conditions. I am thinking of the California based groups who went out and made an audience of followers long before any company signed them.

    A really good example of what I am talking about is The Jefferson Airplane. RCA execs were scared sh!tless by what the group was saying in their songs. The JA was opening advocating revolution against the government and the sexual morals of the time. Yet RCA signed them anyway mainly because the JA had already established its fan base and money could be made.

    In the 70's and 80's, the music business got back the upper hand in determining who would be signed and what music was to be recorded and played on the radio.

    Now that doesn't mean that the music of the 60's was somehow better - but it was more diverse. Now, with home recording the diversity is back, yet airplay is still controlled - and its mainly controlled through a type of "legal" payola - as in do you REALLY think that VH1 draws in enough viewers to continue to sell ad time to keep afloat?????? Naw, many programs on VH1 and MTV are subsidized by the music companies.

    The internet is helping with some of this, but don't forget that there has ALWAYS been great music that has been created and not widely heard for many reasons. Control by the gatekeepers is just one of those reasons.

    Finally, there exists over time a weeding out process that happens for ALL styles of music. The music that stands the test of time does so because there is something about it that continues to touch people in some way. It doesn't matter if that music is a Beethoven sonata or a Robert Johnson blues. If you look back more than 10 years or so, that weeding out process has already happened. But it hasn't happened for great music of today.....yet
  10. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I think there are many awesome bands out there today, writing great music. It just seems like they're either underground/local or already have established themselves in their nitche (ie. Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Bill Laswell, etc).

    The available venues and/or radio formats that seek out this type of music are hard to come by though. Local music radio programs are usually like 30 minutes once a week. Commercial music makes them more money, so their choice it to go with the money music.

    But with the new technology (internet, satalitte radio) hopefully the unknown composers will get their music heard. And if people are willing to go out and buy this music and go see live shows, it'll prove lucrative for the underground scene as well.

    of course, there is a lot of bad music mixed in the underground scene as well.:meh:
  11. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...my room...
    hmm Theres some good acts nowadays.

    I tend to think of, John Mayer. ALL, Descendents, Midtown. (They write pretty good hooks and just good straight honest rock and roll songs.)
    The Foxy Grandpas. They are the most best band in the world! and They rule on top of that! The best band Ive ever seen live! They Put on a show! The lead singer is really hot too and he likes to get girls phone numbers!

    But seriously, 90 percent of music is crap. So listen to the 10 percent and see what you like.
  12. I agree that the music business has changed a lot in the last few years so that a lot of great musicians aren't being heard. There is a lot of good music being made today, but we just have to go out and find it. A lot of great bands independently produce their own cd's and sell them off the web, so we should support them and buy their music.

    Bad music has been around in every period. Unfortunately this bad music often sells well so the big music labels keep churning it out. It should be interesting to see how these labels respond to all this file sharing and downloading in the next few years. I'm hoping that it helps the promotion of good music, but I'm not holding my breath on that.
  13. a good friend of mine always tells people that if they can't find good music, then they just aren't looking.

    good for cows
    tin hat trio
    sleepytime gorilla museum
    theory of ruin
    dillenger escape plan
    trio convulesant
    jon zorn
    kid 606
    the melvins (oh yeah)
    new ancient astronauts

    christ, don't get me started.
  14. Saetia


    Mar 27, 2003
    I'm a product of multiple generations of music, from early Pink Floyd to Led Zepplin to Zappa. From Classic Trip rock to Jazz and Blues to Hardcore, Punk, and classical. And indeed from what I've seen, each generation(even though I'm not from thouse generations) has their share of Great musicians and crappy ones. It seems though, that most of the bands/ artists that are taking over our air waves are what would be called one hit wonders, mostly derivative of the Pop Punk genre.

    I think people of other generations think that the music is so bad because its not the old stuff, like your parents used to say about your music and granted, what you will probably say about some of your kids' music. I was brought up with all the music you know 'cause my parents were the same way, but I do agree that there is a lack of talent in today's music, with the exception of a few national bands and quite a few underground local bands.

    For the record, Long Live Hard Core!:)
  15. You don't think they did that back in the fifties? C'mon, all of that stuff has at least a five decade history. Pretending that the nasty records companies just started to screw musicians and play with the public in the last ten or so years doesn't wash.

    As for the Bob Dylan thing, in my opinion really extraordinary talents, like earthquakes, don't pop along conveniently at the rate of one a decade. They occur at intervals which increase according to the size of their talent, in other words.

    If in another thirty years we still haven't seen anybody worth yawning about compared to Bob, I'll concede that somethings wrong.