|Skip to the End to Avoid Tiresome Tirade
||[Jul. 10th, 2012|10:50 pm]
still just a boy
|||||Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture. Yeah.||]|
Why does EVERY goddamn song on the goddamn radio have to sound the same? Yes, I know that claim gets thrown around a lot. I had that problem with Radiohead when I was young and stupid, before I learned to listen with more care and sensitivity. I guess most people are far happier avoiding anything challenging that might alter their conceptions of [EDITOR'S NOTE: This paragraph has been aborted due to excessive snobbery and whining]
I started avoiding pop radio years ago because I found it insipid and annoying and it had taken a long time to truly discover my beloved classic rock. But before I moved to New York, I had no idea it had gotten THIS bad. And it is baaaad. When you're ensconced in a college environment or a smaller town, you're not so thoroughly bombarded by modern popular culture unless you seek it out. But now I hear one overused pop drumbeat in dozens of delis, grocery stores, 99 cent shops, pharmacies, and any catering job with a DJ. And it could be part of any number of contemporary songs. They're even applying the "dance beat," with it's uniform pace in 4/4 time, to Adele songs! The horror! To discern exactly WHICH song, one must listen to the vocalist. Wait...no, they're usually autotuned beyond recognition. Man, singers used to be actual individuals. How about the melody? Nah, it's almost always bland and uninspired, with a lame chord progression. Granted, that sort of thing has popped up in music since time immemorial, but there would still usually be some inkling of personality to the tune, even in the uber-bland days of mid-1970s radio. With this overproduced sludge, just about everything is by-the-numbers. It seems there need only be effort put into one earworm that is scientifically proven and calibrated to torment listeners into submission. Well, maybe we'll at least get some creative lyrics to compensahahahaha I'm sorry there's no conceivable way I can finish that sentence. These songs ALL communicate one of the following messages: "I'm awesome," "You're awesome," or "Let's party!" Such verve and complexity! Makes "Won't Get Fooled Again" read like "I Just Called To Say I Love You" for fuck's sake! Genius!
Are we so far down the road of lowered expectations and lowest-common-denominator calculation that people actually LIKE this schlock? Can we stomach nothing but trite positivity reinforcing the humdrum expectations that record companies seem to have for us? Is the soundtrack of your life nothing but a mediocre dance party? Why am I forced to absorb this shit at every turn? Hollywood's doing the same damn thing with shit like Transformers, Twilight, and the films of Adam Sandler, people! Theater follow the pattern too, what with its celebrity showcases and jukebox musical shenanigans! The publishing industry seems to be veering in the same direction to gain some semblance of profit as it declines! Franchises, franchises, franchises! If this is indicative of the way we're all living, I guess I HAVE to support the doomsday emergency plan of sending a tiny smidgen of creative, productive, intelligent humans in a rocket to Mars while letting everyone else get immolated as the Earth dies.
OKAY, NOW I'VE CALMED DOWN. I am not the first to make complaints like these, and I won't be the last. Before I was born, hell, even long before my GRANDPARENTS were born, complaints about the decline of culture and the death of art forms ran rampant, especially from pseudo-intellectual numbskulls like myself who have little to no knowledge of history, sociology, or creativity. Pompous, pampered pricks like to think that somehow they're living on the verge of some Huxley-esque dystopian future where they'll be the only ones willing to refuse conditioning and shout, "Soylent green is people!" (Spoiler alert) But humanity has survived some pretty awful eras, socially, politically, and culturally. We're going to be okay. Hell, there are still some honest-to-God works of art getting popular attention, especially on cable television (although one could argue that there are plenty of reality shows to balance that out). The point is, I don't know if we're in any sort of decline or whether there really was once a greater fount of originality and truth in art affecting a greater percentage of the populace. I wasn't there. I can only hope for the best and maybe try to contribute something that really matters to me.
But I'll still run screaming out of any public place that plays "Moves Like Jagger" to the public. Seriously, taking a power drill to my forehead would be preferable to that wretched pustule of a song.