Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our music: Shoveling through the candyfloss and depth will be found

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. Bob Marley wrote this. And bands like Sublime and Jack Johnson went on to cover those words. When I hear what spews out of the bubble-gum machine that is our generation’s music industry I feel the exact opposite of Marley’s lyrics. To put it bluntly I feel like I’ve been smacked over my soul with a shovel.
Popular music or “pop” reflects endless sets of generic platinum untalented barbies and ridiculous gel-haired she-men filling our ears with the musical equivalent of dog shit. Gone are the days of the pure blues influence of legends like Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Johnny Lee Hooker and BB King that led into the magical rock ‘n roll generation of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Cream , the Jimi Hendrix Experience and equals of their caliber. What happened to the lyrical genius of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Roger Waters and Neil Young? Our generation’s music taste as far as  large- scale society is concerned died with Kurt Cobain. After blues came rock ‘n roll and then punk and grunge. And for most of the nineties and the 2000s pop has dominated. I ask myself, How did this happen? How have we been engulfed in this embarrassing sorry state of music? Is it a mirror to the fundamentals in our society? A throw-away culture where superficiality rules, from plastic on our faces to plastic in our hands, money is what money makes. Don’t get me wrong. The amazing music from the 1960s and 1970s did not disappear. There are bands today that can still make your soul ache in joy. There are still bands who are true to their beliefs and musical desires. Punk bands still reflect the deep political messages and hypocrisies of our society in their chaotic yet insightful music . Pennywise, NOFX, Propagandhi to name a few. Chilled out tunes of Ben Harper, Xavier Rudd and Jack Johnson still make us feel like dipping our sandy toes in the ocean and smiling. Lyrics by bands like Jack Savoretti on one end of the spectrum all the way to Raconteurs on the other still are beautifully poetic and thought-provoking. Asa from Nigeria is another example of hidden magic and can easily be compared with talented female singers like Tracy Chapman. The thing is, I only mention a select few that just happen to randomly pop in my head as I write. In my feeble collection alone there are hundreds of bands that are comparable to the legends of the 1960s and 70s. And I wouldn’t want to even think of the seemingly endless bands that manage to escape my awareness. That notion could depress me endlessly. Yet, somehow, when I switch on MTV the same music reflects off the shiny screen, lyrics that always echo some teenage boy or girls childish feelings, or even worse, ramblings about physical possessions and money. Are these so-called role-models really chosen by the people, or do some society head-twisters force this music onto us and the vast ignorant human population is in turn spoon-fed this chosen music. I say that we need to make a choice, and this can be used as an analogy within any aspect of society (like, for instance, we are fed news that is important to whomever broadcasts it, we are ignorant to so many important actions in the world that affect us because we don’t actively broaden our perspective). I call it an “international awakening”. Wake up! Instead of only watching music channels, go and find out what music there is out there, listen to random live bands, go on youtube and search different genres. Music that is put in international media should be chosen by US based on OUR preferences. Gone should be the day when a music video that is terrible is put on by some hotshot producer and played and re-played until we have it engrained into our minds to the point that we think this is the music to listen too…let me go and waste my money on this shitty mp3. No. We need to take back our generations music so that our decades can also be remembered for the music, and not for the tits and ass it represented.