Wednesday, 13 January 2016

I've seen this meme going around, and like no offense to anyone that has liked or shared the picture but I think theres some decidedly dodgy false equivalence here. I left some decidedly bitchy retorts on the comments thread of the original posting from Freakangel that I'd like to share, with some further thoughts:
"Well if you want to cherry pick you could stick the Nolans, Englebert Humperdict and Gary Glitter in the top part of that picture and then put Bjork, FKA Twigs and Kode9 in the bottom to make the opposite point. There's always good and bad music in any era." response to people giving off about auto-tuning and how all popular music was good back in then:
"John Lennon used to dub and reverb the fuck out of his vocals on his solo work because he didn't like the sound of his voice on its own, and it worked in his favour but essentially we're talking about the same thing as auto-tuning. And, if you know anything about the history of popular music you'd know that since it began in earnest in the 1950s theres always been terrible cheese-y manufactured pop, which if you listen to it now it has a certain charm, the way that people listening to One Direction and Bieber in the 2060s will find that it has a certain charm too. You think only good music got airtime back in the day? Were you around, just look at the best selling artists of any decade, it is by no means the best stuff from that time period. Lets not forget that for every David Bowie there were dozens of epigones, and he managed to spawn them with each transformation, and he had his "questionable" periods too (the wilderness years between Space Oddity and Ziggy, Tin Machine some would argue the 90s Rave / Industrial inspired stuff but I like that stuff anyway so I'm not going to argue against it). Motorhead were always a deeply underground band, got little radio play and rarely charted, actually aside from that time The Ace of Spades was in an advert in the early 90s i don't think they ever top tenned, but I could be wrong. Don't tell me their shit was popular, it was always niche and underground, and all the better for it, there are fucking amazing underground niche music scenes all around you. So yeah, if you're only contact with music in the modern age is listening to radio 1 in work, then yes, you are in grim times, however there's so much good stuff around with ready access given to it by the internet I honestly don't believe that you've a right to complain. If you're not listening to sick new music all the time in this day and age you've no one to blame but yourself."
Technology wise we are living in sight of a potential golden age, production and distribution are being liberated from the traditional music industry, fucking good too, they are scum-bags and deserve to die. What would really create a serious golden age for music and musicians would be a sharp rise in the disposable income of the proletariat and lower middle classes, because historically thats when huge shifts in music and the beginnings of new forms of popular music have occurred. The more and more varied them amount of people with surplus income to spare the more funds normal people have available the more and varied the musical output of any era in terms of the social scenes that supports the artists would be. Also, get the fuck rid of copyright, all the great western electronic music traditions of the last 40 years have spun off from Jamaican soundsystem culture, one of the foundations of which was versioning and pinching other peoples tunes and riddims, as it was in the acoustic folk traditions for millennia before. Liberate sound itself and fuck copyright.
So aye, lets celebrate the icons of the past and our beloved stars as they pass into history and particularly those like Lemmy and Bowie who kept it fucking real right to their last breath, but also, FUCK NOSTALGIA, there is no time but now.