Posts Tagged ‘Lady Gaga’

MADONNA IS A JOKE

January 15, 2012

Madonna must be laughing at us.
Do you think that maybe, just maybe her insinuation that Lady Gaga imitated her with ‘Born This Way’ was a calculated ruse – again – to get us talking about Madonna? That’s her history isn’t it? The religious imagery for ‘Like A Virgin’. The nude book. Dropping the “F’ word on Letterman. The Britney Spears kiss. It’s the way Madonna works. Guess who’s got a new album about to be released? If you didn’t know before the Lady Gaga quote you know now.

But who is Madonna to accused Lady Gaga of being derivative? Was or is Madonna SO original? No. She rode the dance disco wave without taking too many chances, making too many inovations. Where Madonna WAS different was the WAY she presented her songs, not the songs themselves. We weren’t left wondering what she’d do next musically. We were left wondering what she’d look like, what her video would be like, what she’d say. There’s no doubt Madonna was a groundbreaker, but not with what she did on record. She exploited the media like no-one before, and obviously still does. Madonna gave birth to the Pop Tart. It’s Britney Spears, Ke$ha and Rihanna who must bow to their “creator” Madonna, not Gaga.

Where Lada Gaga IS the same as Madonna is that she is also a groundbreaker, and not musically, but as a packager of music. Gaga has opened the door to the next generation and closed the door on Madonna and her offspring – and that’s why Madonna needs to bring Gaga down a peg or two. Look at the web reports and you’ll see that we’re all singing Madonna’s tune perfectly. She must be laughing. I hope Lady Gaga can see through Madonna and is laughing too.

Gaga has a new album coming out too. Whose will be more relevant? Whose will you be more intrigued to hear?

2011 – WE WERE ROLLING IN THE DEEP

January 1, 2012

When we look back on 2011 in time to come we’ll see it as a watershed year for the music industry, when amidst  all the confusion and uncertainty the success of Adele will be recognized as either a turning point or a last gasp reminder of what was lost. Adele’s ‘21’ not only defied all the odds – the biggest selling album in the US since 2004, the UK the biggest selling album of the 21st century – when all the indicators seemed to be pointing in the other direction. And it’s a global story, so universal there’s no escaping its significance. Not even Kanye West would dare grab a Grammy from Adele’s hands in February.

Adele’s  is a story without the celebrity seeking Twitter fuelled orgy surrounding her contemporaries, an oasis of reality in a sea  of falsehood and audience manipulation, a distinctive voice in a time of autotune mediocrity. Adele has charmed the world with honesty all along the way, a refreshing nakedness. Our every contact with her has shone with integrity. It’s in her songs. It’s there with every performance, on stage or on television. It’s there in her every contact with the press.

As the major record companies shrink in number and pour their dollars into fewer artists, Adele has risen without them and amongst them, like a flower from a wasteland.

While Adele MUST be celebrated, at this point in time an aspiring musician coming into the “business” can’t hope for a living. A recent study  told  us that for an American artist to make minimum wage ($US1,160 per month) by just selling downloads, they would have to move 12,399 tracks on iTunes. There you see one of the problems. While the U2s and Paul McCartneys praised Steve Jobs loudly after his death, Jobs can be seen as one of the great villains in this story. When the record industry was at a loss at how to handle the digital age, running around like the proverbial headless chickens, Jobs offered them a one-fix solution – iTunes. In reality iTunes was a Trojan Horse. Apple’s priority wasn’t and isn’t selling music. iTunes exists to provide content to Apple’s other products. The cheaper the music the more viable the phones, etc etc. The record companies just handed over the whole shebang, getting sued in the aftermath for violating contracts they had with their artists.

Yes there’s been other successful artists in 2011, each of them in some other way illustrating the state of play. Lady Gaga’s multi-media assault. Her songs, her albums are one part of a complex success equation. Gaga’s using what exists to her advantage. Rihanna is slave to it. Katy Perry is a more playful participant. LMFAO point to the trend towards a single track music industry rather than one based on “bundled” albums. Good for the record companies, not so good for creativity and building careers. Harder for us to form relationships with artists and their music, artists becoming as disposable as hit songs.

Once apon a time a successful artist opened doors for others. A record company with a successful artist found themselves in a position of strength, able to grow and take chances. Those days are gone. Successful artists are now enterprises in their own right. That’s where the growth will go. There’s no trickle down.

The digital age has also made music much more global at the top level. If you take a look however  you’ll notice that the world’s audiences are in fact quite territorial. Wherever we live we are very still and increasingly keen to enjoy our local produce, but we have to do so under the growing weight of the need of the major international labels to make as much out of their stars as they can – and that (Adele again against the tide) means American stars.

So here’s another problem for the rest of the world. What America wants is not necessarily what the world wants. Country music is an American staple. It isn’t and never has been for the rest of the world. Same applies to a lot of rap. This is music that America wants, needs and will support, so that’s what THEIR record companies NEED to and DO provide. That’s THEIR territorial music, but because of the American industry’s strength and place in the music industry, THEIR record companies are also EVERYBODY ELSE’s record companies. Adele could not have come out of America!

That’s leaving less and less room for what the rest of the world might want. What we’re looking at is what Hollywood has done to the movie industry. With Hollywood dominating available screens other countries struggle to sustain healthy movie industries.

At the end of each year there are the inevitable ‘best of’ lists. 2011 wasn’t an impressive year for music. It was out there but we’re being denied access to it, and it’s being denied access to us – an ironic thing to say in the days of YouTube. Five minutes of fame is not what we’re talking about.

Music is in era of great change. We’ll look back and see this time as being as significant (maybe more) as the change from 78s to 45s, vinyl to compact disc. Change is change. It isn’t necessarily progress. The introduction of the CD was when record companies started killing our engagement with music, not intentionally but in effect. The change into the digital age could have been exciting. It may still become exciting. But it didn’t have to be like this. It didn’t have to force so much out of reach of consumers. It didn’t have to drive so many of music-makers into poverty.

There were a lot of factors, but a lot of the blame has to lie with the music industry itself. No courage. No imagination. No love for music?

VIDEO KILLED THE MUSIC STAR

March 3, 2011

The role video is playing in music is clearly changing. Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ has already topped the charts around the world. NOW she gives us a video. Same with several prominent videos in recent times. Eminem and Rihanna didn’t REALLY get together, for the video,  until AFTER ‘Love The Way You Lie’ had become a runaway hit. So what’s the rationale here?

It used to be that music video clips were made to save artists from appearing on every television show going to promote their latest release – when there were still television shows to appear on. Video didn’t kill the radio star. It killed the music star. We saw them more often, mouthing their songs accompanied by eye candy  often so memorable we talked about “seeing” someone’s new song. But we stopped seeing them in their raw state. Live performances on video and on television shows became boring.

But I digress.

Videos USED to promote songs. If you create a high profile big budget video for a song with already proven sales traction what’s the purpose? It HAS to be to promote the artist rather than the song, to make them more famous than they already are. For what purpose? Isn’t Lady Gaga’s video going deflect our attention AWAY from her song? We might look at the video again and again. Will we want to buy the song – if we haven’t already – to play the song again and again?  Playing the audio has been made a partial experience.

In Lady Gaga’s case the strategy MIGHT be to raise our expectation for the album waiting for release. Maybe. Hasn’t the music industry destroyed the album’s pride of place as the artist’s ultimate gift to their fans – a body of work in a collectable package?   

For some time we’ve been in an era of fame for fame’s sake. The music itself is a sideshow, the bait when there’s bigger fish to fry.  Sponsorship. Merchandizing.  Get a hit. Make a video to raise the artist’s profile even further, with product placement if possible. Create a platform from which to sell merchandise. How did someone who can hold a tune – not that all of them can – suddenly become a fashion designer or perfume mixer? More dollars in that than the pittance iTunes has forced the music industry down to.

And yet those top music artists are making much more money than music artists ever made. It ain’t just about music any more.

For artists who ARE about music the video still serves the traditional purpose.  Go visit YouTube. But where do you start? And how long with that forum last before it goes the way of MySpace?

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO

The Waifs (Temptation):  There’s more to music than struttin’ and  dancin’ and posin’. There’s self-expression, emotion, melody and performance. There’s the Waifs.

Britney Vs Gaga: No contest

February 20, 2011

(I’m back – excuse the interruption)

So here we are, waiting (eagerly?) for major new releases from pop princesses Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. The contrast couldn’t be more different.

Britney – not matter what she has in store for us – promises more of the same. Gaga is the best thing to happen to music in a long long time. I’m sure even she doesn’t know what will happened tomorrow. That’s part of why she’s so interesting. As the music industry salivated over the then forthcoming ‘Hold It Against Me’ single I found myself wondering “why”? Who could possibly be interested in Britney any more?

You could understand it once. New girl on the block, a prospective rival for Madonna. That jailbait thing while she was telling us about reading the Bible every day and saving her virginity. None of it was true. She’s given us the odd good tune, made some entertaining (provocative) videos, but it’s all been a big fat lie. We’ve been deceived. The trainwreck of her personal life is sad, but no reason to deserve loyalty. What’s she got for us that we’re not also getting now from Katy Perry (saucy, but cheeky with it) or Rihanna (sexy and striking)? Britney’s music comes from the same production line (literally). What does Britney herself have to add and offer?

These days singer are often like fashion models. Someone else is responsible for the clothes they wear. Pop stars have become “clothes” horses. Here’s what you’ll wear today, get out on the catwalk and sell.

There is just one of Lady Gaga’s differences. She generates what we hear and see – with help of course , but she’s the engine. While others helped her become what she’s become amd she relies on a team to help her be what she wants to be, behind the craziness there’s a REAL Stefani Germanatto, with her feet on the ground. Her father is her business partner, but not her manager like others we could mention whose parents have pushed them into the spotlights mindless of the consequences. How many of the “problems” we perceive in others can be sheeted home to opportunist, bad parenting? Gaga is control. She’s running this show, at her own break-neck speed, not the industry’s.

There shouldn’t be a ‘Fame Monster’. She was simply supposed to add some new tracks to ‘The Fame’ to breathe extra sales life into that debut album, forcing her biggest fans to invest again. But the ever-excessive Gaga came up with TOO MANY tracks. She came up with another album! As her fame grew so did her shows, not just in number, but in extravagance. Lady Gaga hasn’t deceived her fans (her monsters). She’s shown her gratitude and devotion to them all the way.

The whole controversy about ‘Born This Way’ – is it or is it not Madonna-like? – is almost laughable. This singer constantly shows herself to be more than a song. It’s a package. It’s an event. It’s an adventure. While the music industry moans and groans about its fortunes, manufactures and manipulates, losing its “love” for music, Gaga providing everything that’s missing. Excitement. Passion. Commitment.

And she sings and dances.

If music is a carnival, Britney is the old Ghost Train (I’m not scared any more), Gaga is the Plunge of Death. ( Aaaaghh!)

What I’m listening to:

The National (High Violet) – Just can’t get enough of this album. The drama, the poetry, the intelligence!

Julia Stone (Memory Machine) – Raw, honest, almost agonizing emotion on display.

(Please come back for more)

The Gospel according to ARCADE FIRE and KATY PETTY

August 14, 2010

There are no rules governing the music industry – that’s what I enjoy about my continued involvement, you never quite know what will happen next – but right now we’re looking at a great divide. While the industry’s number crunchers watch the ghost of past fortunes slip through their fingers, there is no obvious road to Damascus on offer. Look at the two artists dominating our attention at the moment – Arcade Fire and Katy Perry.

As I’ve said before – again and again – the music industry itself has much to answer for. Pirating is just part of their (our) problem. With the same steadfast we-know-what’s-best determination with which they engineered the shift from vinyl to compact discs, having completely mishandled the arrival of mp3 files, they’ve put music’s future in the hands of the online retailers, possibly killing “the album” in the process – good for the retailers, bad for music.

So here are Arcade Fire, against the odds, delivering an “album”, a conceptual assembly of songs. In years to come Arcade Fire, unlike many of their contemporaries, will potentially be able to perform “The Suburbs” in its entirety, just like their predecessors, Bruce Springsteen and so forth more and more now find themselves paying homage to their classic albums in concert. “The Suburbs” has been created as an entity, we’ll listen to it in its entity to get its full impact and that’s how we’ll see this group of songs for the rest of time.

Arcade Fire have delivered an album when the album is supposed to be dead, when vinyl is supposed to be dead. “The Suburbs” has debuted at No.1 in England and the US.  Incredibly vinyl contributed 4% of the first week sales in America.  How did Arcade Fire launch ‘The Suburbs’? With a webcast live concert from Madison Square Garden.

If Arcade Fire were listening to the industry this is probably NOT the way they would have been told things ought to be done.

Let’s look at Katy Perry instead. We’ve graduated from wanna-bes, to wanna-bes-graduating in “Fame” schools to the Lady Gagas and Katy Perry’s who’ve served apprenticeships INSIDE “the machine”. Both were looking for careers in music and wound up writing songs for other artists who had “the machine”s attention before they won that attention for themselves. In Katy’s case, on whose terms?

Katy Perry’s new album ‘Teenage Dream” will dislodge Arcade Fire from the top of the album charts around the world.  How did she launch her album? By lying naked on a cotton wool cloud.

What I’m listening to:

Frazey Ford (Obadiah): The Be Good Tanyas singer in bluesy Bessie Smith low fidelity

Damien Rice (O): In retrospect the string arrangements are a bit cheesy, but a magnificent work of singer-songwriter introspection

New York Dolls (New York Dolls): One of the great rock albums. Every time we thought rock’s fire had died, someone breathed a hurricane onto the embers. This was one of those moments.

Eminem and Lady Gaga: IN ANOTHER PLAYGROUND

August 7, 2010

The role of the music video has clearly changed, as illustrated by the unveiling  of Eminem’s ‘Love The Way You Lie’ video this week when the song featured has already been No.1 around the world for a month a half. Lady Gaga’s groundbreaking ‘Video Phone’’ also appeared subsequent to the song’s release. Clearly the strategy has changed.  Once videos were made to promote songs. Now their purpose seems to be to promote artists. There’s a difference.

We’re talking of course, in the case of Enimem and Lady Gaga, about artists who are in a position to keep us hanging on, so that the release of a video can become an event, separate from the issue of a new song or album.  Others still need a video as their possible one shot to attract our attention to their latest song and themselves.. What Eminem and Lady Gaga have had spent on  ‘Love The Way You Lie’  and ‘Video Phone’  represents would might have been spent on opening the door for a newcomer. Nothing new there, but the gap is widening. More and more  it’s a case of the haves and have nots. Only stars like these can create such elaborate promotional tools for the sake of it.

There’s another aspect to both  ‘Love The Way You Lie’  and ‘Video Phone’. They legitimize the star unions involved. So much of what happens in the recording studio is a lie. Again and again we hear artists featuring on the songs of others without ever physically being together. In fact that’s rarely the case. Again it’s a done more to get our attention rather than for creative reasons. Lady Gaga with Beyonce? Enimen with Rihanna? Katy Perry with Snoop Dogg? I’d like to heard that. And we did. And if you’re big enough, if you’ve got enough clout, you can make that audio lie a reality in a video compounding the illusion.

What I’m listening to:

Tired Pony (The Place We Ran From) – Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody finds an alternate vehicle for his melodic outpourings

The Editors (in This Light And On This Evening) – An (over?)  melodramatic update of Jim Morrison

Matthew Sweet (Girlfriend) – One of the most satisfying pop albums of all time.

ADJUSTING THE VISION

July 21, 2010

 A couple of days ago I prematurely buried Pearl Jam – taking Eddie Vedder’s Portugese “farewell” too literally. I was ready to do the same to American Idol, taking news of the shortening of the tour dates on top of the low ratings of the most recent series as signs that this chapter of “popular” music might be over. In this case I hoped too soon. It’s not over. Recent Nashville auditions for the next series of American Idol drew the biggest turn-out in the show’s history. Doh!

Britain – who invented to “reality television talent show” genre – has long ago left “Idol” behind. In Australia the show is being “rested” for a year. Britain switched its attention to the wider (older?) demographic X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, and verified the shift with the discovery of Susan Boyle. On the other hand, although with each successive year the American Idol contestants have had less and less impact – only two were signed to recording contracts this year – America has continued to favour this concept. What does this say to us about the difference between America and Britain’s music cultures? Anything?

America doesn’t have a great tradition when it comes to supporting contemporary music on television. Why else would such great acts have to bother appearing on the various Late Shows? Recently we had the spectacle of Lady Gaga, pop’s biggest attraction of the moment, performing on the streets of New York for the Today show. Britain on the other hand – thanks to the BBC – has a long and proud tradition when it comes to music and television. It was the Brits who invented video clip generated television. The US was well behind on that score.

Idol was Britain’s latest “contribution”, and they’ve moved on. America hasn’t. I hoped they had but they haven’t.

The Idol years have been more about television than  music, but it’s the music industry that’s allowed itself to be distracted. The whole Idol philosophy is based on repeating yesterday. No contestant with an ear for the future was ever going to survive that series of public hurdles. Music lovers looking for tomorrow aren’t hanging out for what Idol serves up next. The Glee phenomena is going to put a big dint in the Idol audience.  Glee? That’s America!

In the end television has probably emasculated rock and roll. When the video did take over as the all-important promotional vehicle for music, rock and roll had to temper its evil ways in order to secure programming support. The odd video by Nine inch Nails and others crossed  the line, but in general , to get shown on TV rock deserted its place as a cultural maverick.

In recent times – thanks to social networks – the video has made a major comeback. Remember all the reaction Lady Gaga created with her “Telephone” and “Alejandro” videos, but we’re dealing with a new environment for the music video. The audience for today’s new event videos is not necessarily then going to spend their money on music. They’ve helped Lady Gaga’s fame agenda, helped her create her larger-than-life image, and maybe bolstered concert ticket sales, but it isn’t the music the music is promoting any more.

What I’m Listening To: Arcade Fire (Suburbs), Cyndi Lauper (Memphis Blues), Soundgarden (Badmotorfinger)

Justin Bieber : BIELIEB IT OR NOT

July 18, 2010

Are we excited? Justin Bieber’s music video for ‘Baby’ is the most-watched video ever on YouTube. More than 246 million have watched Bieber’s video, exceeding the previous pole leader, Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’.

 He’s got lotsa fans, we know, but not that many. This is one of those modern-day stats that we just have to look at, accept, and then wonder what we can measure it against. We’re looking at the passion and obsession of Bieber’s fans. ‘Baby’’s sales figures are not nearly as impressive. All we can say is that Bieber’s fans watch him more often. Or listen to him. That’s always been the case with pop heart-throbs. We’ve known it but we’ve never had a stat to prove it to us.

Another set of statistics we’ve been given to consume in recent days is Forbes’s list of the world’s richest musicians. Between them U2, AC/DC and Beyonce Knowles have “earned” a combined $US 333 million in the past 12 months. U2 and AC/DC added to their catalogue cash with turnstile takings between  June 2009 to June 2010. Beyonce was also busy, promoting her ‘I Am ..  Sasha Fierce’ release.

 U2 and AC/DC represent the old school, the days of the album-tour-album-tour routine. Beyonce represents the music business that has evolved, where a small handful of artists, by whatever means, have risen to the top and reap every advantage of being placed in that position. Beyonce has access to the proven hit songwriters and producers, her releases promoted by lavish videos, outfits  and carefully planned strategies. She’s a “product”. So much goes into everything “Beyonce” it can’t afford to fail. She’s pulled in $US88 million in a year according to Forbes. How much was spent?

 Justin Bieber celebrated his milestone with the inevitable tweet, to thank the “Beliebers” and to remind them of his humble beginnings in the same forum, YouTube. Maybe his manager Scooter Baun really did discover the singer through videos posted for family and friends on YouTube, but from that moment the story gets a lot more involved and less innocent. Baun didn’t just come across Bieber by chance alone. Baun was already part of The Machine. He’d been a marketing executive for Jermaine Dupri, and was now doing some consulting work for Akon, looking at YouTube for a singer they were interested in “developing”. It just so happened that THIS singer linked Scooter Baun to ANOTHER YouTube singer, also performing Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’. Justin Beiber.

 Scooter Baun had recently told a friend of the three acts he wanted to find for himself, one being a young kid who “could do it like Michael Jackson-sing songs that adults would appreciate and be reminded of the innocence they once felt about love.” By chance he stumbled on just the thing he was imagining – Justin Bieber. He saw what he was looking for. Bieber was hardly a YouTube phenomenon. His ‘Respect’ was one of “six or eight” videos he’d posted with a few thousand views each.

 With Baun’s guidance Bieber instantly left his “humble” YouTube beginnings behind. He moved to LA with his mother, crafted and recorded eight songs with experienced help, and was presented to “kingmaker” LA Reid.  Reid signed off on a $US50,000 budget for just the video for the first single, ‘One Time’. Compete with THAT all you YouTube wannabes!

 That’s how it’s done now. Gone are the days when a radio dj finds a song on a B-side of a single and the artist hears themselves on the radio while working on a construction site. Those life-changing one-in-a-million lucky breaks have been ironed out of the system. Not even radio takes chances any more. We’re either led by the nose to the Beyonce/Beiber trough – or we’re on our own, missing a lot of music we might have loved if we’d known about it.

 What I’m Listening To: M.I.A. (Mia), Tired Pony (The Place We Run From), The Triffids (The Black Swan)

CAN’T TAME THIS MONSTER

July 11, 2010

The Grammy Awards’ rule change  to avoid another Lady Gaga phenomena failing to qualify for the Best New Artist has made headlines – because everything connected to Lady Gaga makes headlines – but the Grammys made another important initiative at the same time, another sign that the major records companies’ control  the recording industry is a thing of the past.

The Recording Academy has invited ALL record labels and media companies to register on line, the first step in submitting songs for consideration for the 53rd Annual Grammys.  The door has thus been opened for the ever-expanding independent recording sector to get more actively involved. Whether they immediately stand a realistic chance of challenging the entrenched powers is another thing, but this is the start, if that is ever going to happen.

The Grammys have always been behind the game. The awards were instigated in the first place as a reaction against the arrival of rock and roll, designed to highlight “quality” in  the hope of putting down the uprising. The Grammys were behind from the start and have remained so.  It’s only when there’s a glaring hiccup there’s an official  reaction – a tweaking of the categories, a lifetime achievement award to plug an omission , or a rule change.

Lady Gaga wasn’t the first artist to miss out on the Best New Artist award because success took longer than the rules catered for. She’d managed a dance nomination in 2009 which meant that in 2010 she  wasn’t “new” any more. There had been other examples of the same thing, but that was the rules then, and that was bad luck. This time the Grammys looked bad and something needed to be done. Sorry Gaga.

Something else will happen further down the line. That’s what I love about music. It just won’t be tamed by the system. Music  consistently finds a way of breaking the rules the “industry” sets for it. A Lady Gaga comes along and everything is suddenly different. While the business scrambles to catch up there’s someone somewhere out there dreaming up something which will make it all different all over again tomorrow.

Every time I put on a new song or a new artist I’m ready for my world to change. And I’m not talking auto-tune!

What I’m listening to: Sleigh Bells (Treats) , M.I.A (Maya) , The White Stripes (White Blood Cells)

DON’T KNOCK THE POP

March 31, 2010

Don’t look now, but the music industry has changed, and we have Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber to thank for it. Within the last few months they’ve changed how music has been marketed.

For years record companies have been getting away with ‘special editions’ of albums, adding new tracks to already released albums, making that release more attractive to consumers and potentially forcing dedicated fans to shell out money a second time around. Along comes Lady Gaga and her album ‘The Fame’ and new tracks are recorded to top up the already popular album. We’ve learned that Gaga is an artist of extremes and she came up with no less than  EIGHT new tracks. The record company was quite happy to exploit those tracks in the manner it’s  been done in the past, but Lady Gaga announced that the new tracks would be released as a standalone album, confusing release schedules around the world. Some countries were determined to stick to “tradition”. Others did Gaga’s bidding. ‘The Fame Monster’ is now officially Lady Gaga’s second album.

Suddenly the old ‘extended play’ is back in contention. Pop stars Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber have both employed EPs to keep they fan base happy.

Bieber’s marketing team has been especially creative and innovative, launching his career with an EP and pushing out a steady supply of ‘singles’ and an album. Within just nine months 18 tracks have come out. Bieber is a force to be reckoned with. He’s reported to have grossed approximately $US15 million in total recorded music sales, WITHOUT a Disney showcase.

It’s always easy to be cynical and dismissive about pop stars and pop heroes compared to “serious” artists. Bieber is not tomorrow’s Bob Dylan or Eminem, not that we know anyway, but it’s amongst his fans that the future of music is most likely to come. You can look into the history of almost any “credible” artist and you’ll find that it’s pop rather than indie or alternate music which first ignited interest. The young Axl Rose would hold “concerts” for his friends singing Elton John songs.  Interest in Aerosmith, the Stooges and New York Dolls followed.

It’s all about exposure. Tomorrow’s music enthusiast is going to first discover something inside the mainstream before discovering what the mainstream’s gatekeepers are hiding or afraid of. That’s the real deal of course. It’s a matter of getting there.

What I’m Listening To: She & Him (Volume Two), The Avett Brothers (I And Love And You), The Dirty Three (Ocean Songs)