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dvdhawk Fri, 06/08/2018 - 18:58

I've seen this as a suggested video on YouTube lately but didn't watch it because it just looked like half-naked-chick-click-bait with no substance. But since you posted it, Chris, I thought there must be something worthwhile about it.

I'm glad you shared it, because it turns out to be a fairly thoughtful study of the trends and forces behind the dumbing down of music over the years. Not a lot of surprises to anyone that's been paying attention [loudness, attention spans getting shorter, need for instant gratification as a society]. I think they may have missed a thing or two, but still very thoughtfully presented - which I appreciated.

So in the end, I can't help but be struck by the sheer irony - wondering why they would choose such an eye candy image to represent their seemingly serious research.

KurtFoster Fri, 06/08/2018 - 21:43

i've seen this floating around on eww-toobe in the past few months. i watched it. i don't agree that all music these days is awful. some of it is just god awful .... stuff that would have never seen the light of day in times past, some's not so bad and then there's some stuff that is really good!

there's just a sh*t-load for people to wade through to find the good stuff. no filters. no more "Top 40" or Billboard charts.

when the driving force for music was to provide content for radio, ( "theater of the mind") where time and frequencies were finite, that created a particular environment for music where there was only room for what was deemed "the best". i'm grateful i was there when things were at that zenith.

today the impetus is to provide content for "devices" with no limits on uploads or how many hours there are in a day. different demands for different circumstances. images, portability and self publishing are king, bandwidth is plentiful (currently) and there's very little filtering. but things will change with demand or circumstances. we are beginning to find that a unfiltered wild west approach may not be the best ala' Facebook.

while i am still very interested in the game, i'm content to watch from the sidelines, particularly as its' very difficult to make a buck in production in these times.

water always seeks it's own level, all things eventually find balance.

audiokid Fri, 06/08/2018 - 22:03

I share a similar view as you, kurt. I'm so thankful I grew up in the day I did, guitar bands and real drummers but I'm also grateful for having opportunity to embrace the early digital world that has kept me busy programming music and familiar with how they are doing most of it today. But, I sure have a hard time listening to mainstream. I'm so sick of the all vocals and wall of sound in everything. Gawd, please give me a guitar solo once in a while.

dvdhawk Sat, 06/09/2018 - 08:35

The digital-age has brought the democratization of music, which means (as we all know) anybody with a computer can make a recording. Obviously some of it's going to be terrible, but some of it might be brilliant. I think there's still plenty of good music being made too. We just have to look a little harder, outside of the mainstream, to find it. Digital has irreversibly changed everything about the business part of music, I don't think it has stifled creativity or reduced the talent pool any. We can all probably name dozens of great musicians, great bands, great recordings that never did as well as they would have if the system was based entirely on merit and musical talent. But, it's not. It never was.

paulears Sat, 06/09/2018 - 10:36

Musicians of all genres come in all standards from talentless to exceptional. Popular performers also come in the same range of standards. The best performer can be a mediocre musician, and vice versa. Being the best doesn't equate to being popular. At all. ever! If you look at the people who have been around for years - they are high on both scales. This seems to not be linked to the genre either. If such a scale could be worked out properly, it would be interesting to see the scores popular people get compared to one-hit wonders, and also see how the TV celebrity folk fare.

dvdhawk Sat, 06/09/2018 - 18:09

To be fair (on the flip side) the digital-age has democratized the distribution process too. So if you have something worthwhile you have a chance of finding your niche.

I was in two indie bands in the early-mid ’90s that had product in a national chain of record stores, dozens of little record shops, and some distribution in Europe and Japan too. We sold a few thousand CDs that way and it was exahusting, but suddenly people were calling us instead of the other way around. It was a handful tracking inventory and keeping things going on top of playing several times a week and selling merch at the gigs.

Anyway... compare that to a project some friends and I launched a couple weeks ago. We used a service called Tunecore and with one click it launched on virtually all of the major download and streaming sites worldwide. Within a day or two we had people suggest we also list it on Bandcamp, because there you can download full-fidelity, uncompressed files. We were happy to oblige and a few hours later we were on it. We found that their fee structure is better too and buyers can actually pay you over the selling price if they really like it and want to show their support (which has happened). We also got numerous requests for physical CDs and/or vinyl. There have been enough people ask that will probably do a short-run of CDs, but vinyl would have to be some sort of crowd-funded situation.

Until this all unfolded I haven’t had any reason to pay much attention to Bandcamp. And although most of the download sites are still pretty “corporate”. I've found Bandcamp to be a good example of a bright spot in the digital-age. It proves there are still lots of people who want to hear (and will put some effort into finding) music that's different than what the mainstream music machine is trying to force-fed them. It reminds me of going to a record store and searching the bins.

The music is loosely categorized and you have a chance to skim through the album covers and titles until you find something you want to look at closer. Or you can narrow your search by sub-genre, or watch the “Selling Right Now” feed at the top of the homepage and see what’s hot.

You get a chance to hear some samples and decide if it’s worthy of your hard-earned money. So unless you really miss condescending record-store clerks, it’s a pretty familiar way to shop for and sell your product. I've been pleasantly surprised.

Davedog Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:35

Are we talking the actual music part or the business end of things?

There's really excellent music being put out. I would say just in an off-hand comparison, the percentages of excellence over crap isn't a lot different than the "olden days".....The biggest difference being those really special artists who made music that will live forever. The music I'm hearing today, while some might be an immediate like due to whatever factor makes it work, I still don't hear anything melody-wise that catches your attention and keeps it like some music from 'back-in-the-day' did and still does.

As for the business....the delivery systems and the internet have made DIY possible for anyone. A band can make their songs, produce product, get attention if they market themselves, sell at the live venues, and basically do all the jobs the AR staff did back then. It's a horrible grind and the dedication to work it has to be in place and losing that focus is the most likely scenario for bands losing their momentum and falling apart.

But it can be done.

However there aren't any Beatles starting up anywhere........

cyrano Thu, 06/14/2018 - 03:36

Kurt Foster, post: 457629, member: 7836 wrote: perhaps that's the best thing they ever had to eat? i'm becoming convinced there a whole segment of people who have only heard music over a phone speaker.


There are two factors overlooked in the video:

- Since the 50's, the affectivity of placebo's has doubled from 25% to 50%. And in the same period, IQ went down by 7 points per generation. Very nice for marketing. Music doesn't behave differently compared to fastfood, when it comes to marketing.

- Environmental noise has gone up by around 20 dB in that same period. In the 50's, most living rooms were quiet. No TV, no stereo, no road noise, no noisy neighbours.

And because today everybody is listening through earphones, nobody notices that noise level increase. We just up the volume. Hence the need for compression.

pcrecord Thu, 06/14/2018 - 08:10

With the amount of people who thinks music is easy and is free for the taken or they shouldn't have to pay to see a live performance.
Why should we be surprised that music has gone cheap ? In bars, restorants and local small venues, we've gone from live full bands to solo artists to karaoke. Ironicly, venues started to think the artists should be in charge of the promotion but would not even give the money that was given to publicists in the past...
Money earners of POP music today are just trap in the hands of big societies who has only one interest, making more profit.
Guess what ? Nirvana would never be signed today. Of course there is some talented pop artists. John Mayer definitly knows how to play guitar but he said himself, some songs I wrote are for me to be challenged and to enjoy playing them and others are for the fans to enjoy (those are the ones which pays rent)

Thank god, there is still musicians that know how to play and are passionate enough to put the hours in to learn. Thing is, there isn't a lot of ways and places to earn money if you're not the typical POP artist theses days, so it's even harder to earn enough to go into as pro studio and get tools to promote. At that point it's a bit like the chicken and the egg story...

All that said, I still believe that music isn't dead and that we shouldn't abandon this craft. Even if there isn't good money to make, it doesn't mean we still won't have the urge to create and play music.

DonnyThompson Sat, 06/16/2018 - 05:57

Kurt Foster, post: 457629, member: 7836 wrote: perhaps that's the best thing they ever had to eat? i'm becoming convinced there a whole segment of people who have only heard music over a phone speaker.

I don't think that your statement is a stretch by any means. There are now plug ins that will emulate how a mix sounds through various popular play-back devices, including phone and tablet speakers.
It's pretty tough to hold interest in a craft/business when we are expected to lower our own decades-long ear training as audiophiles, our finely honed perception of fidelity... and be expected to mix to the lowest common denominator... Made even more difficult when what we are hearing in popular commercial music is done entirely with samples and loops, and with the exception of a vocal - which is usually mangled by autotune and other processing - lacks actual instruments recorded with a mic .

pcrecord Thu, 06/21/2018 - 04:48

DonnyThompson, post: 457758, member: 46114 wrote:
Personally, I'm not getting the whole ear licking thing, though.
Whatever floats yer boat, I guess...

I'm not getting it either, but if I were to guess, it may come to fill a need that the younger generations has to compensate for the lack of human contact.
Living in front of screens (cell, tablet and computers) isn't fufilling like gathering at a dance like we did in our teens. Even when together in the same room the just talk through their cell phones... lol

BusterMudd Tue, 06/26/2018 - 14:11

cyrano, post: 457701, member: 51139 wrote: Since the 50's, the affectivity of placebo's has doubled from 25% to 50%.

Presuming you meant "effectiveness", that statistic refers to pharmaceuticals. Are you trying to suggest that People's Tastes In Music Are Being Impacted By The Drugs That They Only Think They're Taking?

cyrano Tue, 06/26/2018 - 14:27

I shouldn't use a phone for posting. Sorry...

Yes, of course I meant "effectiveness". It's not only pharmaceuticals, though. Things like therapy have also become more effective.

One explanation for that rise is that our gullibility has also doubled. It's something I've also noticed in other statistics, so it's not only music. Sometimes it feels like people don't want to be informed. Look at present web design, fi. Hardly any text, any info, just some pics.

Making advertising, marketing, propaganda etc. more effective and product quality less important. It's why I fear things like Facebook...


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