Friday, September 20, 2013

The Day the Music Died. When was that again?

Today I reserve some space to speak of personal matters instead of your latest social media primer or how to reformat a USB stick. I even chose a friendly font :-). Today I wish to speak of music and it's less than favorable condition. Lord I hope by the end of this I do not look like an outdated grumpy old man. So lets have at it, shall we?

What is happening to music I ask!

Dude, I'm old, I admit it. I was old enough to go to the show when Led Zeppelin last played Boston, just couldn't get tickets. Boo hoo hoo. Here I'll show off a bit about the music I've seen. Check this link for my Ticket Stubs Collection

I've seen lots of different, excellent and not so excellent genre's of music come and go.

I was on the backside of the era of love and Woodstock, The Beatles, The time of the legendary serious rock band, 80's, Disco, 90's grunge (wow!) and this thing called Rap. All those genre's had something good to offer. Hey I have C & C Music Factory as well as Depeche Mode, The Cure and All of Zeppelin (plus a million other Albums & CD's).

Then something happened.

Music became an electronic replacement for talent and musical skill (IMHO). Hey I like some of Eminem. The guy writes some tunes that are more than just empty BS. I'd say he's got talent. I've even heard a Kanye West song that's OK.

But there's this new crop of Kanye Beiber's and it's all the same mish mosh of corporate music for the over medicated masses who suckle from the industry teat. 

Oh hey let's not forget Mumford and Bums and their new era of "Americana", corporate music for the over medicated masses who are sick of corporate Pop for the over medicated masses.


Here's a graph from Google that shows popularity of the search term "music" since 2004. Notice anything?

Will someone send a copy of this to the music industry and let them know what they have done? There is a steady decline of interest in music. I personally believe the backseat that music has taken in early education is the starting point for this. On the flip side I know parents everywhere who expose their kids to the music they love and am thankful for that. I do have a dream that music rises high again to be an enriching part of everyone's life... But the graph does not lie.

Well it might lie. There's some considerations for interpretations on why the graph skews down:

- Perhaps it's too broad a term to make assumptions about (likely)
- Perhaps it just doesn't represent the way people find music in the world of iTunes(likely).

In the absence of understanding those maybes it's hard to be sure. In fact this post is predicated on not much more than personal feelings. This post really is a knee jerk reaction but I hope it spurs some discussion.  Also this is a conglomeration of feelings on this topic that should probably be separated into different discussions, but anywho...

Most of this post is personal feeling backed up by "The Graph" but I'll tell you this, I really see a disinterested music listening population lately. On the local level they put TV's over the bands head so people can watch sports and desperately ignore the band. I have kids ranging from middle school to collage and music is just not that big a deal and this IS A MUSIC Household!

I see glassy eyed kids who are more interested in the biggest subwoofer listening to music with no soul. Actually they are not really listening, they are making sure we are all looking at them. Minions for the devil??

Maybe I'm all wet.

I just really see a vast majority of the next generation listening to stuff I can't imagine will have the staying power of a Beatles song. 

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night" 

That phrase starts a tune in the head of most people. That's staying power.  Song released 11/22/68 BTW.

How about this:

"You see it’s leaders and it’s followers/But I’d rather be a dick than a swallower”

Yeah, I think that will have the same effect 45 years from now. I actually feel the need to point out that the last sentence qualifies as sarcasm. That is my case in point that today's music is total crap.

I have had the pleasure of getting to know some incredible local talent in the Boston area. There are musicians out there who have Hendrix level talent. Who have Aretha level vocal skills, who do justice to Clarence every time air passes the reed.

These musicians scrape and claw in a local system that, well for lack of better words is not very forgiving. I personally feel that by this time a good local music support system would include something it seems it will never have:
  • An established path to get heard and have a chance at regional or national success
  • Club managers, booking agents or whoever that hears incredible talent and say "I've got to help these folks get famous". See established path.
I'm not knocking the local level here. It seems to me that a group that goes by the name "Recording Industry" would take a vested interest in researching the local level to find great talent but they clearly do not. In this age of websites it's so easy to have a form to submit music to but who would be listening on the other end??

OK, for the sake of argument I went to the Atlantic Records website and here's what I found:  Careers at Atlantic Records. Instead of finding a contact method, I found a laughable method to use fans to be talent scouts. Not laughing at the idea, laughing at the web round robin set up they have. You can never get to the point where you ask to sign up as a scout. Hmmm....

I did find a contact page at Atlantic Records but it clearly stated they do not accept unsolicited music demos. They had a link for those who wanted to but it went back to the first link I provided which has no method to submit a demo. Again, scratching head.

Boston (and I assume other locales) have great fan base support at the local level but that unfortunately does not equal mainstream success.  So as far as "Record Companies" are concerned it's:

Give the people what they want!

Or is it tell the people what they want...  I don't really know but how do you get people who drink Kanye Bieber from the record industry corporate teat to want to check out some really good music? I just don't know.

So how does local talent get found these days?

You'd think in a society where we turn out a procedure for everything that this would be common knowledge but it's still a closely guarded state secret.

Look, Maybe I'm misinformed. Feel free to tell me. I surely don't want to be the older generation saying stuff like: "I remember when we had to walk to school, uphill, both ways!" and "you're music sucks". Again, feel free to tell me.

Article written by Adam Signore
Adam Signore is the owner of Signore Web Design. A company providing Web Design, Social Media Marketing and Custom Facebook Application Development. To learn more about Adam check him out on:

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