Houston Calling

The cattle — I better tip them to my personal wisdom

April 2nd, 2006 · 4 Comments

Once again, a guy I work with recently began spouting off about the current state of music — he claims there is no good music coming out today.

The problem with his statement, other than being completely ridiculous and incorrect, is that what he really means to say is that there is no good new popular music being played on the mainstream radio stations he listens to. This is a guy who thinks that Counting Crows are cutting edge (presumably because “he has weird hair”) or that The Strokes are avant garde (because they wear trendy clothes and are from NYC).

What bugs me when someone takes this stance is that they really have no clue how wrong they are. Even worse, most often they’re unresponsive to attempts at broadening their musical horizons. It’s close-mindedness — not as offensive or blind as the sheep supporting causes overseas, but it runs a close second in my book. Music is such an integral part of our society — it pervades nearly every aspect of our lives. We hear it in cars, movies, on television and in commercials. It’s in stores, whether we’re buying groceries and hearing Bread, The Eagles, or America, or are buying clothes and hearing Thievery Corporation, Norman Cook’s latest beats, or some classic dance hit by Madonna. For someone to say there’s nothing good coming out in music today is truly an insult to my intelligence — and to musicians worldwide.

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This same person didn’t like emusic.com because he had “never heard of any of those bands” on there.

Isn’t that the point?

Finding out about new and interesting musicians is a highlight of my day/week/month/year. I know that everyone is different, and that every person has different tastes — if everyone thought the same or enjoyed the same style of music, nothing would be special and the world would be a boring place. I also understand that I am probably way more fanatical about music than the normal person. But this guy is a music fan — he approaches me to talk about music on a regular basis. But if he hasn’t heard of it before, he’s loath to give it a chance.

It’s sad, really.

Hopefully he’ll come around. I plan to give him some of my mix CDs I have made over the past few years. Maybe that will help to expand his horizons.

Your thoughts welcome and appreciated.

Tags: Music

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jeff // Apr 2, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    Dave, I totally, 100% agree. I have had this argument now for 2 years with people unwilling or uninterested in pursuing quality music. As I tell them, the radio is no place for good music any longer. If you want it, you have to work for it. I’ve posted about it in my blog, argued with people on message boards, disputed it with people on the phone and in person. It’s frustrating and, worst of all, it’s dismissive simply because people are often too busy or too lazy or too disinterested to do anything but complain.

  • 2 James // Apr 2, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    There is a lot of good music out there, but it’s a pain in the ass to find it. One has to wade through so much crap to find it. I basically rely on people recommending things to me.

    The cost/benefit ratio of searching for music on your own makes such an endeavor for most pretty unappealing.

    Radio, Record Labels, and I guess DJ’s of yore sort of act as a filter for introducing people to music. But commercialization blah blah blah blah blah. I think podcasts have a lot of promise for introducing people to new music.

  • 3 Charlie Yellow // Apr 4, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    My sister is the same way. She only wants to listen to songs she can sing along with along with a dozen other people in a crowded bar.

  • 4 Gary // Apr 4, 2006 at 3:43 pm

    James wrote:
    The cost/benefit ratio of searching for music on your own makes such an endeavor for most pretty unappealing.

    That’s probably true for a lot of people. It would be a lot easier to have quality music fed to you intravenously via commercial radio, but that’s wishing for something that doesn’t exist. But if someone decides that they don’t want to take the time to search out the good stuff, they should at least not be so silly as to that there nothing good out there when what really mean is that they don’t want to make the effort to search for quality music.