I learned to love music watching Top Of The Pops and taping songs from the Friday Rock Show back in the ’80s. The bands that first sucked me in – Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, The Sisters Of Mercy spring quickly to mind – have transcended the time and place of their inception but at the same time that sense of time and place is still very much there. Postmodernism muddies the waters of authenticity in a sense – are we hearing an original, a facimile or some kind of pastiche? What context did this combination of chords, beats and words arise in and what does it mean besides being a good/bad song? Because a song sounds like one that I like does that mean that I should like it? I don’t think so, and it would be easy for me to be precious, just like the dweebs who speak of artists ‘murdering’ a classic song, or George Lucas ‘raping their childhood’ by digitally tweaking his old movies. This guy has a more considered opinion.
http://blog s.hbr.org/cs/2011/10/how_mus … HBR.org%29
I’m drawn particularly to the idea that “Music doesn’t have to be the innovative media it was for Reynolds’ and other generations. That it worked especially well for earlier generations is due to historical chance and happenstance’.” It’s easy to scoff at a lack of innovation in music, whilst roundly ignoring that masses of innovations are happening elsewhere. Digital technology has undergone a growth spurt in the last thirty years at least the equivalent of the popular musical proliferation between the ’50s and the ’80s.
If you’re 16 this year then ’90s-styled House and sax solos aren’t necessarily going to sound good to you but they’ll probably sound original. The music you like isn’t necessarily going to dictate the way you dress and neither will bear so directly upon your social status as the technology you use to connect to the world – smartphone, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and so forth.
Me, I might be in the dark and in the slow lane but I don’t have time to worry about that. I’m too busy filling in my Floyd and Zappa back catalogs.