[My Gang] Wonky Pop. Bahahaha


4 jan. 2009, 1h03m

Continuing my little series of observational journals.

* Is Pop The New Avant-Garde?
* RIP Indie : 1982 - 2008

The press, notably the BBC now, have caught up with me at last and most of my points in the above journals are now vindicated. Yayy me. Great start to my new year!

I think overall, there's a sense of tongue-in-cheek humour about the music that's coming to the fore now. This new 'genre', , what is it? It's basically music that's a bit wrong. So wrrrong and yet so rrright. Artists aren't taking themselves so seriously. They're having fun, escaping, inviting us to join them. It is hardly surprising, given the current economic climate, that so many of us are taking them up on it. (I still can't get over one commentator last year who challenged me on my observation of the economic climate. Denial in the extreme or what?? He/she still thought we were in the boon years. Dear me.)

So now my predictions are mainstream, I'm already thinking what's next. There has to be something leftfield. What am I putting my 10p on this time? I think classic rock. U2 are due to release a new album. I don't know why so many pop pundits are looking forward to Green Day but they are. Guitar music as in indie/shoegaze that came out of Britpop might be over but that doesn't mean that's it for rock. Proper rock has been sidelined for a while now, and all its variations. We've seen appropriated rock - rock 'n' folk, rock 'n' world, rock 'n' dunno avant garde Senegalese 'n' stuff. But proper rock. Harder to find.

Actually, here's one that's great fun and pure rock: Mammoth Mammoth. They are members of my group, Central Point: where artists and listeners meet. When you stop headbanging, come look, the group is primarily music discovery for us, and a platform for shameless self-promotion for bands.

I totally expect to be booed and hated. Bring it on my dears. ;D

Babs My Gang

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  • Soundhog

    \m/ Socks, rugs & rock'n'roll!! X D Makes sense. I've been noticing a lot more guitars about in the last 12 months or so. Seems 6 strings might be coming back in fashion, lol. Actually, there was an article on the BBC website a few nights ago (...which I can't find just now...) which was talking about album sales in the US in '08. Although the numbers are down 14%, the genre which held up the best was, apparently, (heavy) rock. OK, that's probably a relatively small sample given the overall figures, and it's also down to the fact most die-hard rock fans are pretty loyal to the scene in general. However, as most labels (with some notable exceptions) seem to treat rock bands like lepers, it's good to know that rawk is alive, kicking and, if the label CEOs notice that they are not actually haemorrhaging cash, moshing into a venue near you, real soon ; )

    4 jan. 2009, 13h45m
  • Babs_05

    Here it is: Album sales across all musical genres suffered a downturn, with rock and metal holding up the strongest. Classical musical fared the worst, sliding 26%. My journal was totally based on gut instinct. I'm amazed I'm on to something already! Wouldn't it be funny if people suddenly went Status Quo? Do you know, in this uncertain time, it wouldn't surprise me. I think that's it. We need comfort music, and proper pop and rock are just that, old familiar friends. Not saying there's no room for experimentation, of course there is. The new Animal Collective - pure avant-garde experimentalism with a pop bent - is superb. But proper pop and rock. Back to basics. I think that's where we're heading. And concert tickets that don't cost the earth! Please. Actually, if we factor in all the people being made redundant around the world, who will now have more time on their hands, they are going to have quite an impact on the music scene. The dominant age group will most likely be older. Another reason for more rock. Last.fm will be a very interesting place this year. (hmmm... still thinking...)

    5 jan. 2009, 0h47m
  • maz35

    I must say I'm liking Mammoth Mammoth :D Sound like a "proper" rock band. Not that I find anything wrong with other rock types, but its such a varied and confused genre. Just try listening to the tag station :P

    6 jan. 2009, 21h44m
  • Babs_05

    I'm so glad!! Aren't they just the best? lol I'm not confused about rock as a whole, but there are a lot of developments, particularly in metal, that I don't know much about. Might have a nose, I think. I checked out last summer, wow it was fantastic. I notice things get a bit muddled as sub-sub-sub genres start borrowing from and referencing each other. But that's probably the same as any other main genre. Awww. Just watching the evening news. Woolworths finally closed its doors today. Staff in one store went down the aisles doing the conga. Class!

    6 jan. 2009, 22h17m
  • blackfeltfedora

    So you don't think the mainstream will make a visit by the post-rock scene before re-setting itself?

    11 jan. 2009, 8h35m
  • Babs_05

    Maybe. Why, what have you noticed? (I'm just speculating and throwing ideas around in these journals. All observations welcome.) :)

    11 jan. 2009, 15h26m
  • blackfeltfedora

    I think that music is fragmenting into smaller and smaller sub-genres, and that even the "big" acts like Coldplay and Radiohead are not nearly as well known as bands of their stature were 20, 10, even 5 years ago. That could just be my projecting what I am personally experiencing upon everyone else though.

    13 jan. 2009, 5h33m
  • Babs_05

    I think you're absolutely right. There are far more acts around than we ever had before. At the same time, there has been an explosion in media / communications. We've gone from 3 tv channels where we all watched Top of the Pops on a Thursday evening, to 100s of channels. In the UK, the shows with the most viewers are the soaps, with around 13 million a week, give or take, out of a population of 60+ million. That's about as good as it gets nowadays. In music, I'm not sure, but I think they lowered the figures required to reach no. 1 in the charts, and for gold/platinum records. Simply because sales weren't reaching the old standards, Our attention is scattered so it's harder for everything to reach us, including popular music, which itself has undergone its own evolution from a very basic folk tradition through to something sophisticated and vast. So we have musicians who explore the effect of the single note and the spaces around it, to musicians who explore noise. Then we have musicians borrowing from and referencing others, who may or may not be within the same style, creating new sub genres, or sub-sub-subs, or even standalone little genres that are connected with no one, sui generis. You could say it's fragmentation but you could also say it's natural progression. If you look at it like that, then you can maybe make intelligent guesses as to what might happen next. We're already global. It's easy as anything to listen to popular music from other continents. We're already seeing musicians around the world take ideas from each other. Could it be that eventually everything will come full circle and meet, so we have the one style the world over? It's a thought! If that were to happen, I wonder what it might be? Folk again?

    13 jan. 2009, 14h56m
  • Babs_05

    AC/DC and Iron Maiden bring heavy metal back to the Brit Awards, 21 Jan 09, TimesOnline

    21 jan. 2009, 23h27m
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