So, it’s Monday night, and I realized I really hadn’t written about what’s been happening in the world of music recently, as i have been out of the loop for some time.
It would be very simple to sit here and call out all of the bullshit artists that have records out these days. I have had people that don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground tell me that I am arrogant to think that my opinion is more valuable than others when it comes to music. To these people, I would recommend telling your mechanic he’s full of shit the next time your car breaks down, and see how well that works…I’m guessing that you’d be doing an awful lot of walking in the weeks that follow.
So, with all due respect, I feel that I should explain why I have such a negative view of music as of late. While most people just say “this new stuff sucks”, I can actually propose a theory as to why, and here it is.
I believe music, as well as mny other things in this world, moves in cycles. The whole reason that we have the whole “Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it” arguement, is because if you look at history chronologically, although technology changes and such, it is very easy to see the similarities in history, be it wars, government, or whatever. Music is the same way.
If you look at the history of music, everything that happened before 1900 had some sort of classical or blues oriented/traditional folk cornfield type of influence. Before music could be recorded, it was very difficult for individuals to be inspired by other forms of music, much less know that they were actually “musicians”.
So, flash forward to the early days of film and music. In the early 1900’s you had your blues (Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, et cetera) that pretty much influenced everything thereafter. The 12 Bar Blues pattern is something that bands still use to this day, and there wasn’t a lot going on other than that during that period of time.
Along came the thirties, and swing anthems that spoke of military support and innocent love ruled what would later become the airwaves and the jukebox. Then, the fifties came and pop music exploded on to the scene with the introduction of commercial radio and then…
Came the Beatles. They were everything that you could possibly want from what we would later come to know as a rock band. They were attractive, wrote fucking amazing songs, and took advantage of just about every form of media available at that point in time. I almost wonder if all of those English fuckers that our soldiers had killed during the Revolutionary War all collectively stood up in their graves at once and said “This is REALLY taxation without representation. It took a while, but we got you fuckers good.”
The Beatles eventually discovered LSD, and a new movement of music and exploration started as bands like The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, and the band that I believe is the best band in rock history, Led Zeppelin, began to really squeeze the juice out of old school blues, put an inspirational twist to the 12 bar pattern and actually make a living out of it. And then, Black Sabbath came along and got the Heavy metal thing started. And then…And THEN…
Then Something happened…Or in this case, something didn’t happen. Somewhere in the mid seventies, music stopped being a lifestyle, and started to be just something that you could listen to in your car on the way to work. If you really look at music sideways and begin to examine the things that happened in the mid-seventies, you can see that at some point, things stated to go south really fast. So to all of you people think that think I am just a hater wanting to sound off and bitch about something…here is a list of events in music (and in the world) I have compiled, although mostly vague with regards to exact dates, anybody with half of a brain should be able to understand what I am talking about. And it all happened when music statred to go south. Get ready, because this is pretty rough.
We begin in 1977, where the soundtrack to the widely popular movie “Saturday Night Fever” hits the top of the charts and everyone everywhere is exposed to a new genre of producer-driven, force-fed bullshit. Disco becomes the biggest thing in the fucking world. Everywhere people throw their inhibitions to the wind and begin to gyrate like total fucking morons to music that would later give birth to rave and house parties.
1978: Disco becomes even more popular than previously predicted, causing record companies to sign every drag queen in America to a one album deal. Out of all these bold young men, Donna Summer becomes the most successful. We cheer him on.
1979: Ozzy Osbourne is replaced as the lead singer of Black Sabbath by Ronnie James Dio from Rainbow. A world of steel workers recoil in horror as ten percent of them accept the fact that they are infact, gay.
In 1980, John Bonham dies from excessive alcohol consumption. It was either that or he heard the final mixes of “CODA” and just told his liver that he was going to pack it in…
Later in 1980, John Lennon is shot outside of his apartment in New York. If only he had imagined better security, I might be talking about how awful the new Beatles album is.
January 20th, 1981: Ronald Reagan takes office, giving life to thousands of after school programs and pieces of drug decriminalization lesiglation only existent on the street in our minds.
1982: The Human Immunodeficiency Virus calls a press conference and declares that it isn’t fucking around. Thousands of homosexuals march in parades all across America and shout “We’re here!!! We’re Queer!!!, Get…” and then they keel over and die.
1983: Wham! exists. (Which is very contradictory to what happened the previous year…Guess we won’t need a new irony board for a while…)
1984: “Pink Floyd” releases “Learning To Fly”, the worst song ever recorded, according to a survey of people who aren’t deaf. All zero original memebrs of the band concur.
1985: NASA announces that they will be sending Christa MacAuliffe, a school teacher, into space aboard the SpaceShuttle Challenger. To be fair, they never said anything about how she would get back. The aircraft is cleared for takeoff and NASA schedules a launch for January 28, 1986.
January 28th, 1986: America learns that astronaut corpses make excellent floatation devices, and that NASA isn’t very good at what they do. Neil Armstrong’s phone is off the hook for months. Russian people everywhere laugh hysterically.
Later, in 1986, hip hop finally emerges as a new genre of street smart music that can actually chart, if only for a little while. They even put out a group full of white kids from New York and still the majority of America doesn’t get it. (Look at the SoundScan figures if you disagree…) Eventually, this form of music will become watered down to the point that when you finally learn the dance that is all the rage at the moment, the 17 year old that can’t put his hat on correctly will come blaring through the speakers telling you to “move it like this” or some sort of bland statement similar to that. This may last for up to five minutes but the beat will never change.
And then…not a whole fucking lot…Suddenly, it’s over…
After this there are a few brief bright spots in audio hell. Guns N’ Roses bring back a lack of respect that the record companies hate in the boardroom but love once they get to the bank. Nirvana shocks everybody by knocking Michael Fucking Jackson off of the chart with four chords. GG Allin is GG Allin (If you need an explanation, look it up…) Slayer shows us Satan is huge is the U.S. We learn that those white kids from New York are really good. Alice in Chains comes out and announces to the world that there is plenty of heroin available and you can take it and play incredible music. Bands like Faith No More and Pantera sell millions of records with no singles and miniscule commercial airplay. But other than that…
Not really much has happened in music. Now the airwaves are ruled by a new generation of Starbucks-going twenty somethings that only purchase music that they know won’t alienate their friends and that they can sip a latte to…And the blogosphere is full of assholes like me who will spend time writing about it.
So, what, if anything is there to learn from all of this? How does this relate to the current lack of raw talent in the music industry? One of the most widely overused phrases in modern popular culture is “_______ is the new ______”. You hear it everywhere: “Pink is the new black”, “Gay is the New Black”, and so on…Well, in this case, this new wave of pop-punk horseshit is the new disco. Seriously. Think about it. All of these bands are advertising their sound to be “post-punk” (which, i would think you would at least need to be punk previously to achieve, but whatever…) with “big-beat and techno influences” and they crowd the arenas with young listeners who just fucking don’t know any better. I hate to sound like an old man, but really…When is this shit going to stop? Unfortunately for us, millions of their peers share the same opinions, and while they make millions of dollars…We sit here with this confused look on our face and ask “Has everybody lost their fucking mind?” I mean, really…all of the makeup and hair gel isn’t going to change the fact that when they kick all of the 18 year old females off of their tour bus, they’re going to blow each other until they can actually perfect those hairdos while looking at their reflection in their comrades’ shriveled, yet incredibly shiny cocks…
In conclusion, I feel I have adequately responded to all of those people over time who have said shit to me like “Shut the fuck up, I like this song” and “You’re an asshole” and my favorite: “Oh, so you think that since you play guitar you know more about music than me?” over the course of this blog. Nothing I can write in this blog will stop you from taking what little hard earned money you have at the end of your week, and shoving it into a machine that will play the new Tantric song. (Just as soon as the Disturbed songs that the dickwad sitting next to you in the Coors Light shirt requested are finished.) I guess it is your right to do that shit, and you work hard for your money, but you’re still a fucking tool, and no amount of money you could ever put into a machine could fix that.
So, one of the things that I would like my fellow writers to do is to come up with a decade’s worth of events starting with June of 2008 (next week) and leading up to May 2018…(Even though you probably hate me right now, I’m lookin’ at you RRC…this is your turf…) Let’s see if we can collectively assemble a timeline for the next decade based on the events that have brought us to this point. Instead of crying in our beer about this shit, let’s actually have a blast and mock all of it. I know it’s kind of juvenile to mock pop culture, but if you do it in the manner I do, people would be crazy to call you a sellout. No PG shit either, this is My Space and everybody here is encouraged to offend and humiliate as many ideas and beliefs as possible. Let’s ruin people’s lives and crush their dreams…This machine is my jukebox…Get on the fucking wagon…
Ryan P Meehan
P.S. I somehow got through this blog without mentioning how irrelevant U2 is. They are. Fuck Them. Unless “The Joshua Tree” refers to some kind of suicide pact where they all hang themselves, I’m cool sitting right here.