I get really, really irritated when people assert that there is absolutely no ‘real music’ anymore.
Anytime I’ve engaged in conversation with somebody who makes that sort of claim, it comes to a bit of a stand-still because I’ll just list a bunch of bands/artists I love that they aren’t aware of and they won’t have any particular way to respond.
If you aren’t aware of any good music, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It more than likely means that you are NOT LOOKING HARD ENOUGH!
I don’t post this to get in a debate regarding the current state of the industry now vs. ‘then’, I have little doubts that it’s more challenging now than ever for interesting music to get made (I found this piece by Mike Doughty, on how Radiohead wouldn’t exist as we know them if they had just started their careers recently, quite enlightening).
But that doesn’t change the fact that great music DOES exist. And I personally believe it will ALWAYS exist, as long as there are people who want to hear it. I don’t think I’m being naive here. I think that making blanket statements about music being ‘dead’ is being willfully ignorant of so much exciting culture, and ultimately being incredibly insulting to those people making that interesting music that you refuse to seek out because you’ve decided it doesn’t exist after hearing some songs you didn’t like on the radio.
If you think modern music lacks invention, you really need to listen to That 1 Guy. If you think it lacks emotion, check out Julia Nunes.
Seek out underground music festivals. Spend 20 minutes poking around sites like last.fm - find people who like bands you like, and ask them what are other things you might like. With the internet at your disposal, finding new cool stuff is ridiculously easy, if only you’re willing to put a little bit of time into it. When I discovered that as a teenager, my life got so much better.
I’d be shocked if anybody following me is the kind of person that needs this advice, so I apologize, but I needed to vent.
Valid debates about the merits of the modern industry = a-okay!
Closed statements about how ‘music is dead’ = arrogant bullshit.