Music markets in everything


WHEN does the hologram of Jimi Hendrix play his Woodstock "Star-Spangled Banner" for the Super Bowl halftime show?

That was an ingenious performance! And subversive! He told a story without words and it's meaning was clear.

Yes. Also, ABBA is going on tour as holograms in 2019, but will be de-aged and look as they did in their 1979 tour.

At local music venues near me (350 seat, 1600 seat), tribute bands are very popular. I think I would prefer a live tribute band over a hologram, at least now. When the holograms can work as avatars manipulated by live musicians, the whole experience would be more realistic . Of course, by then, the target demographic will be dead or in nursing homes.

If I were a really big fan of The Big O, I would attend a concert of his music put on by anybody or anything, because I'd get to mingle with other fans. I would need a Shelling point of something officially sanctioned to make sure there was critical mass.

Music is about touring and fesitvals. The explosion of music festivals has been rather spectacular. Doesn't really square with music being unimportant.

Music is fine. It's just the UK's global influence going down. These days, you can go anywhere around the world and listen to the same mix of hip-hop, reggaeton, the local rhythms and singed in the local language.

The author is too sure on making a difference between a youtuber and a pop star. But the list of the most played videos on youtube, it's composed entirely of pop stars.

1985 Live Aid is not possible to repeat because today we have the perfect term to describe it: slacktivism. It's not that popular music lacks pulling-power, it's just that today it's more relevant to look at NGO's overhead costs and goal assessment instead of giving money blindly to a pop start with god-complex.

Ps. I cared about my vynil/CD collection until I started working around the world. It makes no sense to carry these boxes, they're quite heavy.

To me, the vinyl itself is not interesting, but the packaging of the vinyl was. The album covers of yesteryear had interesting art and stories that have no analog today.

That was also the only way to get the lyrics generally, couldn't just google them.

I think the main point of the article is that music does not influence culture as much as it used to.

My limited view is that the popular "musicians" themselves are not connected to or interested in music itself - they are celebreties, front-men, and sex objects. Popular music is created by producers, not musicians, using drum machines, samples, and synthesizers. Later, they find a pretty face with a hot body to "perform" the song, hire a choreographer, and record a video. The performer doesn't even need chops because any errors can be fixed with software. There are no more studio bands with real musicians providing the backup like there were in the, say, Motown era. The whole enterprise is soulless.

There are exceptions of course.

Jazz and classical music is still largely populated with people who genuinely love music and are not generally seeking fame and stardom. They are seeking money to pay the bills of course. Everybody has to do that. Jazz and classical are the least popular forms of music today.

IMHO, popular music today is almost all commercial junk.

I see the decline of music as part of a larger story where the internet and globalized capitalism combined to expend cultural capital without generating meaning in return. Music was culturally important, something that people authentically interacted with and related to, etc. From my perspective, the author's timeline is off: Napster comes around, and the widespread access to music is invigorating. It may have set the stage for the eventual decline, but from 1999 to 2008ish there was a flood of great writing as people came to have widespread access to both great music and an engaged collection of fans to discuss it with. The ecosystem had thoughtful larger sites, a proliferation of independent blogs. But this was ecosystem was replaced by the instant dopamine hits of Twitter and Facebook; a generation of online writers who could write meaningfully because they had experienced music before it was exclusively an online performance were replaced by a fleet of underpaid freelancers churning out thinkpieces on Beyonce.

Music may have always been tied up with a performance of one's identity, but at least, in the past, this came alongside genuine interest -- listening to albums front to back multiple times was an actual thing people did. Now it's all signs and signifiers; music itself becomes relegated to mood-appropriate backgrounding (see: Spotify playlists) or as grist for the culture war. Some subcultures have the gravity to escape (afaik metal is still doing pretty well), but most dissolve into noise and entropy.

'I see the decline of music as part of a larger story where the internet and globalized capitalism combined to expend cultural capital without generating meaning in return. Music was culturally important, something that people authentically interacted with and related to, etc.'

This echoes the same sentiment expressed in an article Tyler posted a couple of weeks ago about how Kurt Cobain/Nirvana was the last time people were really concerned with "authenticity" in musicians. In the 70s, 80s, and the first half of the 90s, music used to have "scenes", and being in on the scene was really important: New York punk at CBGB, West Coast rap in South Central Los Angeles, Bay Area thrash metal, Sunset Strip hair metal, Seattle grunge, and so on. This emphasis on place and scene for genres really declined in the 2000s (Eminem, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, all the pop-punk bands, and more weren't a part of any real "scene"), and is virtually dead now; Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar don't have much connection to a specific time or place, and since nobody really got in on the ground floor with them, no one cares about selling out anymore.

One word - vocaloid. Japan is way on this.

One striking feature of the sixties was that youngsters who had no interest in music felt under pressure to fake an interest. I'm surprised that this pressure continued to be felt for so long.

The 19th century had printed sheet music, but the 20th century saw affordable sound reproduction of good quality with the mass production of vinyl records. With the introduction of digital storage mediums such as CDs towards the end of the century reproduction could be almost perfect if desired. The falling cost of computing power allowed low cost computer synthesis of sound.

Now, we we are seeing the same thing with images, both still and moving. We have decent visual reproduction. It's a bit iffy on the third dimension, but having been exposed to TV from a young age that doesn't seem important to me. With various high definition formats it is approaching the sort of quality we see with sound reproduction. And while the computing power required is vastly greater, we now have relatively low cost computer synthesis of images. We have come a long way. In the past I did not care about the quality of computer graphics in games -- it all looked artificial to me. But the latest stuff knocks my socks off. I no longer have to use my imagination to decide what the objects represented on screen would "really" look like.

So it's not surprising that music is taking a bit of a back seat. Or rather that sound & vision is taking over from just sound. After all, Childish Gambinos This Is America is (was) popular because of its visuals and sound, not either in isolation.

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