Nothing good has happened in music since 1979.
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Stop hatin', justlisten...or not.
One thing I have found is that if music is not from our generation, our moment of connectedness we tend to be more critical, it's always been that way. To the kids of this generation it makes sense to them, it's their music, lifestyle and culture. Look back at every decade and you can find plenty to love and dislike about the music of that time. But ask the majority the people who grew up in that time and they will tell you it was the best music ever.
So basically, you're getting old : )
It is my opinion that young people today live in a state of abject artistic poverty. At least in my day some pop 'artists' ATTEMPTED to explore, aspire, push creative limits; porgressive bands like Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Genesis, Renaissance and others could at least LEAD you (if you had a thirst for more) to Classical music or Jazz.
As you look back twenty years from now on her statement recordings by Brittney Spears,Beyoncee, Cristina Agulara and others are what it is; Music that was meant to sell to the masses. look at Madonna,her music is already ancient memory. But hey Elvis didn't write lyrics OR music and he still is talked about so go figure. I mean to me Roy Orbison was the real king,he wrote,composed and sang his own stuff. No music will never be the same,it's all about image more so than ever because of MTV.
Well seems like you touched a nerve in some folks ! For my own personal opinion . I feel that mainstream music does have some good things happening but I have to agree that marketing is more important than the actual music these days . Mtv has aided that trend , look back to bands like duran duran... fashion and haircuts then music . One of our fello goners stated something about ignorance for the last 25 years of music . Well an awful lot of good music is out there but its harder to find mainstream because of marketing did not think it would sell or you would not buy it and more importantly they would not make the coin themselves . Some of the more influentional music from the late 80's and 90,s came from the underground and now influence more bands to play "their" music without marketing being the main rule . Only problem is finding it in a sea of american idolism garbage .
Most Mainstream Music has sucked since the mid 70's when Punk came around,Was getting real good until then with Psych,Prog, Art Rock etc..Since Nirvina hit it big and EVERYONE copied them to death Mainstream has really gone down the toilet with so called alternative music.Not to mention the popularity of spoken word/talking without real music called Rap which is found in a sewer,The biggest waste of Airtime TV & Radio EVER.Many kids today don't know what good music is because of listening to above mentioned garbage.The Best interesting music today is the international scene of Prog,Electronic and British Invasion revival going on.The best music since the early 70's for me has always been on then underground FM stations and now the Net.Top 40 is The major's marketing tool bought and paid for by them to promote teen acts etc. with the odd underground artist breaking through from time to time.All of the above IMHO only....JD
Having managed to reach the half-century mark, I have lived through a few of the changes in popular music. This argument has been around as long as I can remember. Each generation has their "benchmark" for what qualifies (for them) as good music.
I remember folks saying the Beatles, Who, Animals , (insert group name here) were crap. In the mid to late '70s disco was all the rage. Some thought that was crap. The '80s gave us boy bands, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and "big hair bands" (Whitesnake, anyone?) Some thought that that was crap.The era of punk with Sex Pistols, Ramones, etc. And so it goes, with each sea change in popular culture.
Actually/unfortunately the 70's brought us Whitesnake. I don't really think the argument is that one does or doesn't like a particular style of music or group, etc. but that there has been no good music in general produced in the last 25 years. That's a little different than say me being a big fan of punk rock and not liking Dream Theater. At least I'm listening and I know who Dream Theater is...know what I mean? I'm not so closed-minded that I just write everything else off as crap. I'll at least listen to it first before I deem it crap :-) By far the biggest misnomer is that there is no good rock anymore. Maybe on pop radio and MTV there isn't any good rock being played but there is some seriously great stuff in recent years. You like Neil Young? Try a Built To Spill album! You like The Who? Buy a Nuggets boxset and discover a wealth of bands who were just as good but didn't quite "make it". Like Pink Floyd then try The Orb or Porcupine Tree. People are just so lazy that it's easier for them to say they just don't good music anymore.
I have to agree with the sentiment that new music is in the dumper. Another big problem are the people who listen to it. It would go away if the ignorant mindset would change. Just drive down a main street anywhere and doubtless you will come across some idiot will have his windows down no matter what the weather and pushing mindless rap on the rest of the world.
David Sedaris is a regular "guest" on NPR. Along with being a writer, I guess I would call him a raconteur, or an observer of the human condition, he uses his own life experiences as examples. Amy Sedaris, his sister, recently had a TV show called "Strangers With Candy" in which she played the world's oldest high school freshman, returning to school after doing a long stint in prison on drug charges. Really funny and really disturbing.
I have Amy's book as well but my wife is "devouring" it now. Inside there is a very funny page showing the actual "Fu@# It Bucket" from several of David's stories. I'd recommend Me Talk Pretty One Day as the first book of his to read. Side-splitting from beginning to end. Holidays On Ice is also fantastic. I have ran book stores, video stores and record stores so maybe I have an unfair advantage. My wife also has a doctorate in literature so we have a pretty decent library.
Sad to say, Richard Brautigan committed suicide in the mid 1980s. I love all of his books, novels and poetry alike. Most famous, probably "Troutfishing In America," but also check out the more obscure, such as "Willard and His Bowling Trophies." A truly unique writer. That was a nice list, Synthfreek.