It's been quite an eventful week when it has come to discussion pertaining to the music industry. But more importantly, it's been eventful to have ourselves a good ol' rowdy discussion (read: Holy balls Batman! We made it through with no one getting banned!) While I still stand by some things on both sides of the argument at hand, it's the fact that I stand on both sides that's needed. See, I'm not a person that believes in a definite truth to anything. There's always an exception. To me, it's never about finding the right and wrong of a situation, it's doing your best to understand the full spectrum of it. Keep asking questions.
Curious George, you were the man...err...monkey!
Better than an argument about how kids spend their money - fuck it, blow it on hookers and candy I say! - is when you read something that really grabs you. When someone says something that you've been screaming in the back of your head for most of your life.
Property of Zack ran a new guest blog this week with booking agent Matt Pike. Pike has the attitude that anyone in the industry should have, let alone anyone wanting to do anything with their life: "You see, I NEVER expected anything to be handed to me. I have always lived with the mantra that if you want it done you better go and do it your fucking self. Iíll take that mentality to the grave."
Think about it. It was rewarding to be second in line and snagging what I was hoping to grab this year at Record Store Day. People sometimes ask how I have this cool little job, it's simple, I worked my ass off in other media outlets four years prior - this ain't my first ro-deo! I did it all on my own terms, and reaped one hundred percent of the reward.
If you really want something bad, you'll do whatever you have to do to get it. It may mean mowing a few lawns (Do kids still do that?) to save up for that one concert you've been waiting to see or a small shitty part time job to fund your vinyl addiction. The point is, I think in anything in life, it's your path to your goal. The minute you let someone else start molding your decisions, it's no longer your goal, it now is morphed into another goal with another path that may or may not be your own.
I've been thinking a lot about what Geoff Rickly said about Omar Rodriguez Lopez's reaction to new material being unleashed onto the world. It's no longer yours. That's anytime you throw your ideas out into the pool, it's no longer your meaning. It's interpreted and possibly not interpreted wrong, but just in a different light.
Along with the new site, I would really like to see more open discussion about the changing of the guard in the music industry, but I would also like to see all sides of any argument to open themselves up more to opposing views. Even if in the end you don't agree with that view, at least you have a new light shined upon the discussion at hand. It's the only way we'll truly grow and make a difference, because sometimes you do need someone to guide you a better path to complementary goals.
I think I have a knack for either making great discussions or just starting shit storms. Today is no different, and teeters that fine line of most dramatic news/opinions/editorials I post on the front page. The person in question: Lady Gaga. If you don't know who Lady Gaga is, then you either a) have been living under a rock that's covered by a mountain located on an island that has not been discovered by any other human except for you or b) see choice "a" on this one as well.
My thoughts on Gaga is simply this: It's commercial pop music with mass appeal. We saw it with Leif Garrett and the Osmonds. We saw it with disco. We saw it with Corey Hart and those damn sunglasses. We saw it with Madonna, Britney Spears and so many other acts that have come before it. So why does anyone care whether Lady Gaga is successful? For one, I don't really give a shit. In fact, if Lady Gaga keeps producing sub par albums and this whole neoncore bullshit fest thing is dragged out back and shot in the face - tomorrow morning would be a great day.
I think what Gaga fans and haters are at each others' throats about is the fine line between art and entertainment. Then it's "What constitutes as an artists?" or "What is a true musician?" and so on. The bottom line is this: Stefani is just another pawn in the corporate cycle. Sure, she is being artsy (which is argumentative, and believe me, after living in Austin for a year, I've seen my fair share of this discussion...) but at least she's got the gull to do it. What has she done? She's stirred talk. Did you look at that thread? Am I not sitting here writing this instead of doing something way more important? She has succeeded in creating controversy and conversation.
What's the final verdict here? Does Gaga deserve a place in music history? If so, is it because of her work, or the way she shows it off and is outspoken both off her tongue and what she wraps herself in? When it comes down to it, it's what you pay attention to that will effect the outcome of her legacy. If she puts out a really great solo album and tours in jeans and a t-shirt for two years, would you re-write your opinion that she's a talented artist, or would you write her off because she's too "plain" or "conformed" in the next act.
I just know punk rock. What Gaga is doing is...well...it may be punk rock. In the end, there's nothing shocking about any of her actions. It's been done before by the Coopers, Reznors and Mansons of rock. Rob Haltford shocked fans when it was revealed his studs were for studs. Iggy Pop would mutilate himself on rednecks at bar shows. Madonna and Neil Young were pulled from MTV for some of the dumbest reasons ever.
We all watched. We're all looking to be entertained. Honestly, I don't give a fuck. I'm going to listen to post-hardcore and sing "Telephone" at karaoke night. I'm not persuaded by Gaga's fashion and swagger because my history lessons have taught me it's been done before. As for her music, whether she wrote it or not, it's not anything beyond commercial pop to me. Enjoyment when I'm drunk, but I won't go out of my way to listen to it.
The real winner in all of this...Stefani herself. She did something. We (and a columnist) reacted to it. There's NO arguing that action.
I want to one day be able to write like this. I loved this article and the way it was written - whether you agree or disagree with it.
It just has the power to make people think and discuss. The idea seems logical, but it's self indulgent at the same time. It's egotistical and inward, while actually attributing to outward dispute and talk amongst those who do not see through the writer's eyes.
I don't ever want to be the end all, be all. Sometimes I just say things (even in interviews with artists) just to get them to think, to talk, to mingle if you will.
I don't care if you agree with what I or the staff have to say about anything. Let's just talk about it like civilized adults.
Dear Klosterman, I'll buy the coffee, just give me thirty minutes to pick at your brain.
I missed my weekly blog this week. Sorry. I still haven't caught up since this weekend on sleep/work/site contributions-interviews.
I brought up this thread today as an offshoot of that. I wanted to talk a bit about this weekend at Fun Fun Fun Fest; about the many continents of music that have been blended into so many different forms. This decade has been exciting. I'm excited about avenues such as Bandcamp and Lala. I'm excited about bands going back to a D.I.Y. - though digital/viral - attitude they have about their band, their brand, their company, their life.
I want to bring up this quote one more time from my review, as not to sound self indulgent.
We are all on this site for one reason: Our love of music. Fuck the genres. Fuck the bullshit. We can argue about who's better and who progressed well and who didn't. In the end, we all feel as passionate about the artists for who we feed off - and vice versa.
Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has come on as I'm typing this. Who knows what the next decade will bring. I'm sort of sick of rehashing this topic myself. So the above are my final words on the subject.
Pretty good little discussion today. Some very valid points made in there. For the record: Yes, I know Al Gore didn't invent the Internet.
It has been ten long years. Let's see, I'm 23 now. so I was 14-15(?) at the beginning. Wow, the days of Blink-182, my introduction to Drive-Thru Records and two years away from discovering Thursday's Full Collapse.
Then came high school - eating up some of my favorite bands today: Thursday, Brand New, Further Seems Forever, Less Than Jake, Rx Bandits, Refused, At the Drive In, Taking Back Sunday, Blood Brothers...and the four years progressed onward, each year discovering something new.
Discovery changed in its progression over the past ten years. First it was sticking to labels of favorite bands and who was opening for the headliners I was going to see. Then it became, well, what are my friends listening to.
Then the Internet thing happened. Then before I knew it, I was in college. I was working for KLSU. I was going to way more shows. I was spending way more time interacting with friends who were playing music. All these channels happened at once. As soon as I discovered one band, I was listening to three new ones.
In the last two years, something happened. A brick wall. I've listened to mainstream. I've listened to punk. I've listened to rock, metal, folk, hip-hop. Now it takes something special to grab my attention. I'd say in the last few years I've been rediscovering the past like everyone else, and reliving the bands that made me the music freak I am today.
I'm not so sure if there's a definitive answer as to what this decade was about. I'm not sure if there will be an answer as to what lies ahead. One thing is for sure though - music is going to exist in some form, whether we love it, hate it or obsess over it. We have more records that will make good and bad memories when listening to because of its ties to certain times in our lives. We have more bands to discover, and ones to relive.
I think we get caught up in the hype of the fast paced ones and zeros sometimes. Just listen to the half and whole notes, the crescendos, the timbre - listen to what you love, and fuck all the rest.
Yes, I said scene instead of seen. It was a foolish mistake, but I think a subconscious one, so therefore I'm not changing it. Create your own memories, the music is just background anyway.