I would dare to say that popular music today is a product, a comodity and as such it was not even created to be an artistic expression.
In the same time the everpresent internet has created even more ways to reach people around the globe, meaning the market for such products has expanded.
More disturbing is that true nature of such deception is not widely recognised among more people
I'd say that it depends on what you mean by "pop" music. If you rely on TV and radio (which nobody listens to anymore) to define current "pop" quality, you're going to be depressed.
But there's still great music out there, you just don't hear it from TV and most radio stations, which all seem to be run by Clear Channel and are just marketing to the lowest common denominator.
But the guy in the video is basically correct; they are feeding us recycled nursery rhymes and familiar rhythms in the hopes of tapping our subconscious and triggering sales and clicks. Music that is too original or radical gets defined as something other than "pop" and doesn't get the airtime.
This means you have to hunt for good music, which most of us find in the past. You also.have to realize that we are comparing a very narrow slice of time, now, to all recorded musical history. It's not surprising that "now" doesn't hold up in terms of quality.
A lot of the "best" music has always flown under the mass-market radar, subsiding on a cult level; Gram Parsons, John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, Richard Thompson, Marshall Crenshaw, Dave Edmunds, and Nick Lowe, for instance. Their ARE artists of quality with a young audience around, you just have to look below the surface, like on the No Depression site for Americana music.
Gentlemen, gentlemen....time and tide changes all...
Tastes change, as does the medium by which one gets to play it on. The industry (and it is) responses by modifying how and what gets 'tweaked' in the process of recording for the means of playback. Twas always thus....
I hark back to a movie, "The Phantom of the Paradise" with Paul Williams playing the Devil (or his stand-in...and a diminutive one at that *L*). He's in a studio, recording a man whose had all his teeth removed singing a song in a voice that's barely better than a frog croaking.
After running him through the parametric EQ's and various other 'devices' (most of which have been superseded, as it IS an old movie...), his original voice is restored to it's glory....
When I read discussions like this, I *L*, and move on to the next forum...;)
I've spent many years as part of the "unpopular" music business (a phrase coined by my friend Harvey Reid) as both a musician and concert producer/sound mixer. The brilliant singer/songwriters who work the small coffeehouse or club gigs can put out some astonishing art. A perfect example of this is when I recently saw Anais Mitchell (look her up) in a 3/4 full show at a nice venue near where I live in MA…she's a more interesting singer and a better songwriter than pretty much anybody you'll hear in "popular" (commercial? promoted?) music…and I bet almost nobody here knows who she is. And she's more well known than most (NY Times had a rave review of her off Broadway musical "Hadestown"). Pop is pop, and is anybody really worried about how lame it generally is? If you are, get out and see somebody less well known and great…follow 'em…buy their stuff…get into jazz…get off yer couch.
I know a guy my age (67), a bass player (if you consider a Rickenbacker a bass---I don’t ;-), who does nothing but p*ss and moan about how "good" music isn’t popular anymore, like it was when we were young. It has never occurred to him that he sounds exactly like the WWII generation did when Rock ’n’ Roll replaced Big Bands as the Pop music that sold. I have tried to tell him that we had our time, that the present now belongs to younger people, but he just doesn’t get it. All he talks about is the British Invasion (especially the da*n Beatles. Enough with The Beatles, already!) and new music derived from it. Your living in the past, maaan.
With the big record labels now obsolete, and small-time recording so affordable, there is maybe more new music being created than ever before. Everybody I know has recorded themselves and pressed up CD’s, which they sell at their live shows and on their websites. Just because you don’t like what’s on mass-market radio and television doesn’t mean "good" stuff isn’t around. It’s all over the place!
The unpopular music business---love it, Wolf! Popularity is relative, and as long as an artist is able to sell enough tickets to travel the country (or world), they still are doing it. Joan Osborne has been to Portland (Oregon) twice in the past 18 months, and she filled the medium-sized theater she played. Dobroist Jerry Douglas (from Alison Krauss’ band) did the same awhile back. Nobody at that level is getting airplay or screen time, but so what? Neither did NRBQ, Rockpile, or Captain Beefheart!The music I have liked most has long been on the cult level. Jazz is a marginal music (in terms of visibility), as is Classical, Blues, Bluegrass, and many other forms. Let the kids have their fun, who cares? That doesn't stop me from having mine!
When I was five years old I watched Elvis perform on the Sunday night Ed Sullivan Show. This was 1957 and TV was only black and white (but tube technology!). My parents watched along with me. My mom commented disapprovingly of Elvis's on-screen writhing. My father watched in silence, nonplussed! Are there ANY male singers today of Elvis's stature? I don't think so! Same for guitarists. Where is the next Jimi Hendrix? The new Beatles? We oldsters were blessed to live during a time of great musical change (and performed by young people!).
... If you rely on TV and radio (which nobody listens to anymore) to define current "pop" quality, you're going to be depressed.Perhaps. But you are mistaken that "nobody listens" to radio. In the US, it remains a huge industry. Data show that overall, radio reaches more than 90 percent of all persons age 12 and older every week. Some info is here, but there's a lot of other data available if you're truly interested.
I just read an article in the NY Times about the recent Newport Jazz Festival and it noted the presence of actual young people! Shocking! My daughter (she's 26) is into the EDM scene, has worked with promotion of that stuff, and it's all good. Dance yer ass off I say…I'm not bothered by what my taste decides is lame music as there is so much great stuff out there I doubt I'll live long enough to discover even a fraction of it...
Just don’t pay much attention to the really popular modern music. More good new music still being made out there some live, some recorded, more of it than ever being produced much faster than any of us will ever be able to listen to it. Lots of good or at least fun or enjoyable pop music still being made globally if one seeks it out. A few will still even make it big in the US. Gotta be diligent. There is a lot to weed through but the beautiful flowers and special treats are still and always abundant. Try internet radio stations for a easy and inexpensive way to sample it all, both old and new.
Wow, you are so opinionated here on the Gon. It also seems you know all and are always right. Hard to read your posts and feel your "know it all" attitude at times. This is one such time. I never mix up Elvis’s voice with anyone else. Fact is he has one of THE most recognizable voices in all of music history.
Using your argument I suppose no artist is original in the last 70 years plus. Like the Bible says " there is really nothing new under the sun". However, some artists do take and add to it and then own it!
Elling is great, no doubt. However, anyone listing to him within one album knows many of the influences he mimics. He also has taken, added to, and owns a unique style.
Schubert I picked up a Kurt Elling CD a while back on your recommendation. Still acclimating. With many years of exposure I proudly now get Elvis though. My wife is a big Elvis fan so no choice. We even did the pilgrimage to Graceland (and Sun Studios) a few years back. Does Elling have any mansion tours? :^)
All we hear is Lady ga gaAll you get is Lady Ga Ga?
Have you tried changing the station? There's usually a knob for that. ;)
@gdnrbob. I’ll try not to inadvertently violate forum rules.
I don’t know if there are stats on it, but do you think the kids are listening to and playing at a higher percentage than in the US (or Canada, Western Europe, etc.)? Wouldn’t surprise me at all. Just that China has a large population.
I had no idea but just thought it was funny, given a few now-removed comments, when I Googled what’s popular in China, the lists were peppered with music that would probably be considered the topic of this thread.
I suspect there are some good music history buffs, here. I think we can safely say that going back at least 60-70 years that there was a large contingent that thought the "new" music was terrible. Bullitt noted that the "parents said the same thing about the Beatles" and theirs the same about Elvis. Same with the subject of the thread and probably everything in between--punk, electronic, hair bands, grunge, etc.
But how about going back further on folks I think most now can and do consider masters and the greats. Mozart, Chopin, Bach, etc. Or when new instruments were utilized. Did a large contingent view them or music using the new instruments to be "terrible?" Was the piano viewed like the autotuner?
That there are so many talented musicians playing classical music in China and are being recorded should be indicative that the genre is alive an well.
Though I do agree that the majority of the population is probably listening to something more akin to current popular music, I think the proportion of US kids listening to classical is significantly lower.-Which breaks my heart.