People argue passionately about music, but some discussions keep cropping up even when they're a load of bulls--t. Is music as good as it used to be.
Posted on Aug 31, 2012 03:41 pm
People are passionate about music. It's why we're all here.
But sometimes these passions can erupt during a discussion and lead to full-scale arguments. It's never pretty, and people are rarely willing to back down when they think they're right.
Cracked recently posted a breakdown of four common music arguments, then translating them to expose what they really mean. We're giving it a fresh lick of UG paint to help arm our younger readers with a sensible open-minded attitude to the music world and its many facets.
01. "Music isn't as good as it used to be"
Translation: "I'm old and don't know how to use this computer thingy."
We've all remember hearing our parents say it. If they're a classic rock fan it might be true, but that's because classic rock has a specific historical meaning. But even so, there's plenty of awesome new music being made, and sweeping modern tracks under the carpet because you haven't heard them is a big fat fail.
Do you long for the psychedelic 1960s? Try Tame Impala. Miss the riff heavy 70s? Get some Black Moth on. Anyone longing for 80s style hardcore will probably get a kick out of Daughters. There's plenty of great new music out there if you can put some effort and time into using music services like Last.fm, Soundcloud or Spotify. It's easier than complaining.
On the other hand, old recording techniques worked really well, and the prevalence of digital recording has lowered the barrier of entry so that bad producers can pump out music too. There's a plus side to making production accessible, but it's fair to say old recordings had really high standards.
02. "I only listen to [insert obscure genre]"
Translation: "There is nothing interesting about me other than the music I listen to."
It's perfectly normal to align yourself with one area of music. A lot of people here are rockers, for example. But when people rant about how their niche collection of Radiohead b-sides is the only collection worth hearing, or how their Aphex Twin acid bass rarities are the greatest thing since a TB-303 and they only listen 24-bit master files to preserve all the original lo-fi nuances (groan), they're really saying one thing: "I have nothing interesting that defines me other than a snotty elitist iTunes catalog that no-one else will ever care about."
03. "I only liked this band before they were popular."
Translation: "I only care about myself"
Some popular bands really do suck, but plenty of them deserve credit for achieving their long held dreams of being a rock star.
Take Green Day for example; they started out as many of us did, writing catchy punk songs as teenagers. They made their fame in the 1990s, but over the last decade they really hit the big time and became an all-time classic act. So why do people still complain about how they used to be better? A lot of these moaning losers seem to forget that Green Day were already popular before they knew how to hit a play button.
How about this: last weekend, Green Day played an impromptu set at Reading Festival. It was an immense display of showmanship from a band at the top of their game. Would a younger Green Day be able to pull that off? Not a chance. Sometimes the pressure of fame makes performers better, whether you want to acknowledge it or not.
04. "American Idol ruined music"
Translation: "Seriously, American Idol ruined music."
We're not going to counter this one. Cracked argues that it takes talent to get on these shows, and it helps the winners become real stars. That much is true, but the fact remains that American Idol (and its ilk of dead-eyed talent shows like X Factor) have done a world of damage to the music world.
How could it be so bad? Two particular problems come to mind.
First, millions of young talented singers start to believe that the only way to 'make it' is to get through these auditions and make it on the show. Anything that counters the reality of hard work and networking is bad for the real music economy it's like that condition where millions of people genuinely believe they're destined to win a lottery to make their millions, and idly wait for it to happen rather than get up and put any effort into improving their life.
Second, it makes a parody of people who can't sing. We all know some entrants are bad, but to mislead them into getting through to a second round of the show after passing an off-camera initial audition, only to have the celebrity judges slam them is genuinely cruel. It's no way for a modern society to entertain itself and should stop.
Do you disagree with any of these counter-arguments? What music myths would you like to dispel? Share your comments below.