Digital downloads, Myspace, reality T.V. and lest we forget crazy frog. Steps forward?..or substantial blows to the head of any integrity that was left in the greatest art-form?
In order to delineate just what happened over these dauntingly brisk 10 years we have to examine an epitome
" I still miss the days when a haircut was just a haircut. It was only your mates you had to face. Now there’s a whole industry centred around people analysing your ‘look’. I just cannot understand how anyone could get so worked up by… hair", these somewhat hypocritical words are uttered from the mouth of Arctic Monkeys lead man Alex Turner.
You could not find a better example of an archetype of todays music (pending Chris Crocker tributing Britney on the X- factor and releasing the Christmas number 1 album) than the scruffy-headed Sheffieldians. Soon after delivering their first single, "Bet that you look on the dance floor", on the popular social-networking site MySpace they shot straight to number one in England and have never looked back.
Despite how beneficial this seems, as does any get rich quick scheme, it does have major drawback for us mere listeners. The main problem is,since they previously had not gone through the system we are without a fully fledged polished "band"
What is this system I talk about? Well this system can be seen as a filtration, a pura if you will. It separates the Kaiser Chiefs from the Kinks, the Blizzards from Buffalo Springfield. It toughens a band up and gives them time to recognize their own original sound. Experience that can only be avowed to groups who tour and beg and borrow their way to the door of a record company.
The Arctic Monkeys, however, put a chink in this chain. By bye-passing this the monkeys opened the stuffed closet and the aspirants came flooding out. Armed only with nice haircuts, devilish good looks and catchy riffs. Due to this we are challenged to find a recent band with a genuine classic back catalogue. In lieu of this we have nice sounding but generic attempts by "alternative" groups to empty kids' pockets or temporarily satisfy music novice's appetites.
These bands are as beneficial as the microwave oven. But where do those of us who revere slow roasted, acuminate music turn? Well, fortunately the powers that be can't take our ability to spread word nor hear it. What they can do, however, is stop signing hard working bands in favour of some handsome metros with a new style, fashion style that is rather than any musical contributions.
From there on in it seems these bands don't even get time to work on their sound as they are forced to throw out their second album in order to pounce on the success of their first. Like laim, wobbly kneed geriatrics on a treadmill, once they get to move forward they are shot right back into the wall.
It is in this lay person's opinion that it is time for a bit of regression before the entire charts are filled with pretty people singing from the same sheet. I implore people that if you have any love for music you should, nay, must seek out struggling bands and show them your support. Buy their c.d.s, don't download. Hell, even just enjoy some of their great live music in your local pup with a relaxing pint. Let this be the decade where we turn it around and we will all reap the benefits.
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