Friday, September 11, 2009

So Pick Up the Tempo Just a Little and Drive it on Home

I don’t exactly know how it all came about, but sometime in the past 9 months I fell asleep and music revolved. I’ve been plugging ahead in my own life oblivious to this monumental happening unfolding one crucial element at a time. A few posts back I made a satire of sorts of the current state of Indie music, numbering its essential days until the likely evolution of ‘next’ occurred. Perhaps why I find myself so dumbfounded is two-fold in explanation.

First, this is exactly what I thought was going to happen; I just didn’t really believe that it would.
Second, everything that I love about music is more ‘now’ than ever.

Somewhere between Miley Cyrus, Lil’ Wayne, Rascal Flats, Radiohead, Whitney Houston, Kanye and Animal Collective lies one fundamental truth: music is derived from a multitude of various sources, created for a multitude of various consumers who will listen and interpret in a multitude of various ways all for a singular reason – music makes us feel good and people like to feel good.
I feel best when I am hit by music that is rough around the edges, with soul, grit, inspiration, voice, story, ambition and hint of southern twang…with smidgen of pop sensibility and punk nonchalance. It seems of late that I am not alone.

I’ll start big and work my way down. The most popular band in the world of date is The Bealtes. I’m not talking a ‘best ever in the world ever’ ranking of soci-economic-pop importance, I mean there are more people in 2009 buying Beatles albums than any other band. How fucking crazy is that! Just who do these Brits think they are? Don’t they know that the Black Eyed Peas have an album out right now!?!

Think about this. A band that emerged from England in the late sixties playing teen bob diddies and r and b covers who eight years later called it quits from an utter internal collapse and loss of meaning is the best band in the world 30 years later. For all intensive purposes The Beatles are a boy-band. They made some of the most rudimentary music into anthems and the most complex music seem mundane. So what’s the draw? Why are people still turning it on? Have we not masterfully evolved enough in the last 30 years to find no such use for some acid dropping, girl chasing, Elvis Disciples - Dylan wannabes? No, my friend, we have not.

Why? Because the Beatles are good. Really good. People like feeling good. People LOVE to feel really good.

In an age where auto-tune and Adobe slabs have sucked the virtuosity and life out of most music, fans are headed back to where they once belonged. Folks will never forget how good songs from The Beatles make them feel, just like we’ll never forget the way Michael Jackson makes us want to dance. What people need is a reminder that what was good yesterday is still good today. It’s been coming for years now. Ray Charles and Johnny Cash re-entered the American conscience and people began to look for sounds that were more pure, basic and with heart. In the past year America has been through a lot. Nowadays we just wanted to be reminded of what makes us happy. We don’t always need to be challenged, alienated, assimilated or bored, we just need something that hits us the right way.

To get to my point, music is going back to its roots and so far it sounds great.
More dead on for my readers, Indie hasn’t died, She’s Gone Country.

Think I am ridiculous? Here’s a list of some of the most exciting bands in Indie today: The Avett Brothers, Elvis Perkins, Heartless bastards, Felice Brothers, The Low Anthem, Bon Iver, … What do they all have in common? Admit it, they all sound like they are playing music from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s pop, sure, but more than anything it is southern in spirit and it plays like the folks songs we were raised on.

I don’t think I’m crazy, I just think every aspect of music that was so great in the 60’s and 70’s became so pasche that it was abandoned and when it tried to resurface in the late 90’s it became so commercialized that any music fan with any dignity turned away. Problem is, the essence of this music is undeniable, it’s in our blood and like the Beatles, it makes us feel good.
I told you so!

So, who’s doing it the best these days?

We’ll discuss next week…

1 comment:

Smell The GLove said...

The Beatles WROTE THEIR OWN MUSIC. I listen to the Beatles for a refreshment after being bombarded with all this prepackaged crap all day long.

Would love to see an American Idol type show with singer/songwriters, instead of a glorified karaoke contest.

Don't you want to see Beyonce try to write a song? Hilarity would ensue.