Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Is it all relative?

I saw Ryan Adams play the other night and it was a great show, although, during the show I found myself wondering the ever so pressing question--is music worst today than it was 30 or 40 years ago, or is it all just relative? When I think about the bands today, they always seem to come up short when comparing to earlier rock n roll bands...even the good bands today, do they really stack up next to bands like Qeen, the Beatles, the Doors, Bob Dylan, etc. Did the time period lend itself to more artists that seemed socially relevant, and timeless? Bruce Springsteen vs Conor Oberst? Queen vs Foo Fighters? There are some bands who seem to pass the test of time that might be rather suprising. It seems that what is popular today all depends on the cycle of trends, and when I say popular I mean mainstream pop success. We can go on all day about indie bands or some obscure artsy bands that speak very strongly to they very small fanbase it has. The Beatles, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix--these bands had mainstream pop success, and at the same time, their music seems to exist on such a deeper level than pop bands do today. I suppose there are a lot of variables to factor in, one being the change in the way the music industry works. It seems that today, the whole system is set up to capitalize on one song, not one band, and if you focus on one song, the bands loses it's value..the band is only as good as the single, which last maybe 2 months and then gets knocked on out by the new single. Honestly, the answers can go either way...who's to say that certain bands popular today won't turn into iconic rock legends? Only time will reveal the longevity of bands, not predictions or record sales. What is success in music? Longevity or financial stability? The question is not new, but the conversations and debates that follow the question is always entertaining? Has music actually gotten worse, has the industry become hurtful to music and artists? eh, who knows, does it really matter?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Lillie said...

zach, this is something i've often wondered about myself. what you said about the industry zeroing in on one song rather than one band really struck me, because that is so true. it's so irritating because 75% of the population only likes what's on the radio. in my opinion, most of what is on the big radio stations and the "top 40" is just crap. most of it is half drunk rappers demeaning women and making sex out to be a promiscuous free time activity.

i cant honestly say if everything is relative...i'd like to say it's just waht we all grow up with, but you and i didnt grow up in the beatles generation and we both can appreciate them as probably the most influential band of all time. i wish i had lived in the 60s when the top 40 wasnt always about sex and drugs and drinking.

anyway, that's my tangent for the day...i kind of got off subject of the actual point of your blog, woops! :) i like reading your posts man, you always get me thinking.

--Lillie

8:13 AM

 
Blogger Cathy! said...

Thats funny because yesterday, I went to see The Format at the Culture Room, and while they were setting up, they were playing The Beatles in the background, and I noticed EVERYONE singing, including the little thirteen year olds present. And I thought about this same thing, that The Beatles are such a classic band, their music has survived through all these years.

But then when they were playing Rock Kills Kid, no one knew any of the songs. So yeah, I think that all this music is classic and I will always love it, but I wonder if there could be another band like The Beatles, or if any present bands will one day be considered classic rock, and that every generation to come will enjoy it all the same.

1:47 PM

 
Blogger disneydin said...

i wonder if the bands that went down as legends owe some of that title to the changes in society at the time. music was growing at such a rapid pace back then, there were so many new styles. it seems like today not many bands stand out because they don't offer anything new enough to make a difference, like elvis or the beatles did. many bands now just talk about love, the pain of heartbreak, etc.; the same songs over and over again.
but maybe it's a decade thing. i was watching this show/musical thing and they went over the ages of music--showing many of the legendary bands. maybe people tend to look at music through those time periods...
interesting how music changes though. definitely have to say that a lot of the music out there isn't as deep and meaningful as it used to be.

3:58 PM

 

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