I’ve been wandering the Internet and newsagents on a quest. Many moons ago, I used to keep abreast of popular music, current affairs in it, new releases, next big things… All of this nonsense. I used to read Melody Maker and the NME avidly, amongst other stuff. And they were good, really good, genre spanning, eclectic, impartial and most importantly, about music. I love music. I’m no genre hermit either by any means. I’ll just as soon listen to rock, metal, folk, indie, electronica, classical, world music, jazz, whatever. The genre is not important, just that it’s good. Now “good” is of course very subjective and purely based on one’s own tastes, however certain things are apparent regardless of taste: effort, production values, originality, plagiarism, good/ bad songwriting, musicianship, the ability of the song to change your mood, lyrical content. What I’ve gleaned from my visit back to the world of music journalism and the fruit of it’s orchard, is that the fruit got GM’ed. It’s almost impossible to find someone reviewing albums, gigs or singles that isn’t some kind of scene-biased media whore. Everyone’s so desperate to find the next big thing, or jump on the credibility bandwagon that no-one seems to care about what they’re actually writing. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is, where did they all go? Has the accessibilty of the Internet meant that all the good people, who cared deeply, and most importantly, were educated about the industry, have been diluted by all the dross and subjectivity of everyone and his wife with a blog? Or have they gone into hiding?
One thing that has become apparent, and one thing that terrifies me, is that people actually like these opinionated, biased ramblings. What’s started to become more important than the music, is the image. Look at the plethora of cloned indie bands and cloned emo bands and cloned metal bands and substanceless hip-hop and R&B. If they look the part, who cares what they sound like?