Monday, December 1, 2008

Music & The Cyber Age

Remember when music used to be the most important thing in the world? Remember when you discovered a band you liked and listened to their album over and over again, memorizing every word, getting to know the band via the album artwork, buying other albums to see if you liked them as much as the one you had and then eagerly awaiting the next album? Tracking the band in the LA Weekly trying to follow every show they played cos every song they sang meant something to you and seeing them perform live made you feel like life meant something?

Then remember when Napster came out? The Limewire? Then iTunes and every other imaginable internet downloading option out there?

Does anyone else feel like their relationships with bands has come to an end in the computer age? I mean, I felt like back in '98 I was in a musical heaven and then bands started to change. Music started changing in '00. Emo started to become popular. By the early end of the millenium, indie rock was the thing, and now everyone wants to sound like an indie rock band and now you have these art bands and music just doesn't make any sense anymore cos everyone complains that this is too mainstream and these people sold out and it's almost as if people are intentionally trying to sound like they're singing around a campfire in hopes of bringing back some form of originality.

That was sort of a tangent. But ok, back to my point. I feel like everyone is so into downloading music now days that we don't know our bands anymore. I mean, how many people who download a song or collection of songs from their online sources actually do any research on their bands? Does anyone go to websites? Or look at lyrics? I mean, back in the day, you could get a real sense of what a band was like by looking at their album art. Remember back in the day, browsing through the Rock & Pop aisles at Tower Records looking for punk bands before the days of Green Hell when you would get an idea of what a band was like based on their cover? Then going over to the listening station to hear the CD and see if it was worth your while or if you were going to pass? Or reading the Thank Yous and liner notes in CDs of bands you did like to see who they liked and check those bands out?

Does anyone remember the days of the cassette tape and making mix tapes from the radio? Now people just make mix CDs of songs they like and burned, or create playlists for their myspaces or things of the sort. But remember the day of the mix tape? Remember how you were so cool if you had a dual deck cassette player cos you could copy over your tape and make one for your friend simply by playing it on one side and recording on the other side? Or how you would listen to the radio all day waiting for your favorite songs to come on and tape them for an ultimate playlist of all your favorite hits? And the best part about tapes was you could record over them over and over again! You got sick of one mix tape after a month and you could just make a new one.

Don't get me wrong, I like the whole instant satisfaction of downloading music and how available things are and easy to find but I just feel as if I've lost touch with my old favorite bands. Maybe I changed musically? Maybe some of them aren't around anymore. I just don't feel like I have the relationship I had with bands I liked 10 years ago with bands I like today. Come to think of it, there aren't too many bands around now days that I do like. I find myself listening to stuff from years ago. Possibly trying to hold on to the past? Who knows? It just makes me feel so old and so uncool. Do bands even write Thank You's anymore? I mean, where on their websites would that be? At least myspace has a section for influences. Althogh maybe the band's top whatever friends are their ways of saying thanks? Who know?

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