Date: Thursday, June 13, 1996 10:06PM
Subject: spooky puppy children
What happened to all the good music? Every now and then, some decent tunes come along; but on the whole, it all is a horrible conglomeration of corporate management dictating musical styles to underpaid hacks that live the high life and die young and broke. Now don't get me wrong, there is quality music out there. One only has to look for it to find it. That is what the real problem is. One must look for it to find it. Back in the day, one just turned a knob and there was good music playing. Now I have to search all through the FM bandwidth to decide on music two centuries old, because it is the only thing on there that isn't the tripe called album rock (why is it called album rock? The stations only play one, maybe two tracks off an album.) or the Garth Brooks Radio Network. We need a fundamental change in the both the recording industry and the broadcasting industry. You just can't find good music on the radio anymore. If you want to here some good ole' rock-n-roll, you are left without any choice but to tune in to the Jefferson-Led-L-DC-Leppard-Hootie-Who-Smith station. Now once you get to this abomination of radio, you have to listen for hours on end for the one or two songs that everybody knows by every single classic rock-n-roll artist. The inherent problem with this is that when you know every subtle nuance of a tune, every riff on the axe, every slight vocalization; you don't need to hear the song. You want to hear a B-side, well then you are just plain out of luck. When will the powers that be realize that even though I love Alice Cooper, I want to hear something off of 'Welcome To My Nightmare' or 'Zipper Catches Skin', not 'Billion Dollar Babies' or 'No More Mister Nice Guy'. Granted that I enjoy both of those songs immensely, but they should have more than one damn album per artist. Idiots.
Radio is not the only cause for the death of good music. Mtv has caused music to degrade to the point of advertising. If you pay Mtv to play a video a million times, you will sell a million albums. This is the only reason why bands like Poison and Slaughter ever got themselves to the point of being a single-parent household name. Video killed the radio star, indeed. Sure they cater to the twenty-somethings by showing the goofy spring break dance party alternative lifestyle nation game shows, but if people wanted to look at stupid women prancing around in underwear I would go to a strip joint and see the real thing, or at the very least watch USA's Up All Night. Another problem with Mtv is that artistic merit plays second fiddle to ravishing good looks. Without the video medium, we would not have nearly as many whiny chick or bubble gum metal bands littering our sacred airwaves. Do you think Jon Bon Jovi would have ever gotten big enough to be an actor if there wasn't a million teenagers fondling themselves in the name of Jon to his picture on the back of an LP. I doubt it.
Now I can't say that this tripe does not have a place in the marketplace. If that many people swallow it down, there must be something to it. I just don't really see what is so appealing about something that sounds just like everything else. But hey, if Trent Reznor can make money off of playing the same song only a little different, go for it dude, make your money, sell your tripe, nice shoes Miss, eat that cheese.
I guess that the last person to blame, who coincidentally holds most of the blame, is you, the consumer. As the consumer, it is your duty to purchase good music; but as you have no taste, you usually purchase the latest garbage from SuperPop. Sure SuperPop had a good tune about a decade ago, but now that they put out an album every 3 1/2 years they need to make each one count. To do this they have to first make all the songs as good (or bad) as every other one. That way two years down the line they can sound just as popular as before. And since all the songs sound the same, you love the whole album. You go out and buy it, play it 'til its warped, and buy it again. Meanwhile, the good bands have put out two or three excellent albums, but since all the songs are different from each other, you don't want it. Too much variety. Why buy an album when only three songs will make it to Mtv?
I dunno. The kids today need more of a 2x4 education. I'm just gonna go home, dig through my tapes, and pop in an old Ozzy tape and cry in my beer over the music of yesterday. ciao