Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Why I think the music business sucks

Here's a tangent I went on about the music business:

There's so much competition musically out there, it's really overwhelming to try and keep up with the new sounds and it makes it easier for me to just pick a couple musicians I really LOVE and just follow them, instead of updating my ipod every 3 days with the latest 'hits'.
But not even 'hits' as in mainstream popular culture stuff, because the general consensus now-a-days is that what's being commercialized is crap, which is true some of the time. But real good music is out there if you're ever so willing to look for it, bands who are actually substantially good that have done well recently like Arcade Fire and Fleet Foxes. In recent years I mean, I'm sure there have been greater bands released but my musical psyche is still stuck in 2009 so if you excuse me... 

In Almost Famous there is a quote that has really resonated with me whenever I feel sad about the music business, from Jeff BB (Okay I've seen it too many times, don't judge) about how the music that is popular is the best music that is out there. Which was probably true at one point, but since the 70s there has been a steady increase in the commercialization of music and for me it has become soulless and almost pointless (if I dare say) in some respects. I truly admire the artists that have been able to manipulate the industry to suit themselves, such as Fiona Apple. But of all the music documentaries that I have seen there is a common theme that becomes prominent; the importance of Good Timing. I would honestly think of nothing worse than basing my entire career on an industry that is purely based around subjectivity and relies heavily on people's approval. The whole success on an artist lies within their ability to build an audience, and quite frankly that is fucking hard to do. 

The real music that exists for me is music that is a collaborative experience. A few weeks ago I went to see Brian Jonestown Massacre and it might have been the crowd, or the alcohol, or even the suspicious smelling cigarette smoke wafting throughout the venue - but something clicked. As much as I appreciated the band and the music and being so close to the stage, I could literally see the bottom side of Matt Hollywood's guitar.. I felt disconnected. And I don't like feeling that disconnection, the idea that the musicians were performing for us. The best way we could express our enthusiasm for the music was by standing there and watch it happen before our eyes. 
Let me explain, 
A few years ago I was invited to go camping with my friend and her sister and her sisters friends for her 21st birthday. All of her friends were musicians and it was GREAT we just stayed up late making sounds and dancing around and it was really beautiful to be in the moment, with the musicians, no pretentiousness.. just love and love for each other and love for music. And I feel that now at gigs because there is such a separation between the music that is being made and the audience that a magic has been lost. And it's really really sad. 

Anyway, it's late and I felt like I had to rant. Posts of actual substance are coming up xxx

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