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Thread: If music is dying, why are there so many great releases and live shows in 2018?

  1. #1
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    If music is dying, why are there so many great releases and live shows in 2018?

    Yes, I know there is a similar thread going on right now, but I feel this is a different take, and it is something that has been on my mind for awhile now. Clearly, a lot of people are concerned that the huge nosedive in physical product sales, streaming and outright stealing of music will kill it off, but I just don't see it happening. The landscape may have changed, but people will still find a way to make music. This year has seen a ton of great releases in multiple genres, including Koenji Hyakkei, Far Corner, Weedpecker, Sonar, Karmic Juggernaut, Progger, Piniol, Haken, Go Go Penguin, Vak, etc, etc. And I have been to lots of great live shows this year too, so nothing seems to be stopping there.

    I think we need to consider that most young people starting bands right now, don't have any direct history to refer to, of being signed to huge label contracts, selling tons of albums, CDs, whatever. Sure, there is still the odd Ed Sheeran and Greta Van Fleet making money, but basically younger musician's have about as much expectation of making big money off of music, as they would making horseshoes, for all the horses that will pull covered wagons all over the place. They see the world for what it is now, not what is was, and many of them still want to make music, and are very good at doing it under the current climate. Human beings adapt and evolve, and there are more talented players out there than ever. Just as Usain Bolt runs much faster than Jesse Owens did, so too, are there more and more younger virtuoso's out there, doing incredible things with their chosen instrement(s).

    Bandcamp is a great resource for both listeners and musicians to get paid for their efforts...and many who love this genre will still pay, as opposed to steal, and I don't buy the argument that all it does is allow a bunch of amateurs to get their music out there. Sure, there is some of that, but there are also a huge amount of highly skilled artists out there putting their (often superbly recorded) stuff up, as well. And it seems to me, that through a network of web sites (like PE), connections, friends with similar tastes, it is not that difficult to find great music to listen to.

    I mean, of course, for sellers of physical product, bands touring, etc. it is harder than it used to be, but again, human beings adapt and will find ways to keep making music, if that is what they want to do, and certainly, based on 2018, that is what they want to do.

    neil

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by boilk View Post
    Yes, I know there is a similar thread going on right now, but I feel this is a different take, and it is something that has been on my mind for awhile now. Clearly, a lot of people are concerned that the huge nosedive in physical product sales, streaming and outright stealing of music will kill it off, but I just don't see it happening. The landscape may have changed, but people will still find a way to make music. This year has seen a ton of great releases in multiple genres, including Koenji Hyakkei, Far Corner, Weedpecker, Sonar, Karmic Juggernaut, Progger, Piniol, Haken, Go Go Penguin, Vak, etc, etc. And I have been to lots of great live shows this year too, so nothing seems to be stopping there.

    I think we need to consider that most young people starting bands right now, don't have any direct history to refer to, of being signed to huge label contracts, selling tons of albums, CDs, whatever. Sure, there is still the odd Ed Sheeran and Greta Van Fleet making money, but basically younger musician's have about as much expectation of making big money off of music, as they would making horseshoes, for all the horses that will pull covered wagons all over the place. They see the world for what it is now, not what is was, and many of them still want to make music, and are very good at doing it under the current climate. Human beings adapt and evolve, and there are more talented players out there than ever. Just as Usain Bolt runs much faster than Jesse Owens did, so too, are there more and more younger virtuoso's out there, doing incredible things with their chosen instrement(s).

    Bandcamp is a great resource for both listeners and musicians to get paid for their efforts...and many who love this genre will still pay, as opposed to steal, and I don't buy the argument that all it does is allow a bunch of amateurs to get their music out there. Sure, there is some of that, but there are also a huge amount of highly skilled artists out there putting their (often superbly recorded) stuff up, as well. And it seems to me, that through a network of web sites (like PE), connections, friends with similar tastes, it is not that difficult to find great music to listen to.

    I mean, of course, for sellers of physical product, bands touring, etc. it is harder than it used to be, but again, human beings adapt and will find ways to keep making music, if that is what they want to do, and certainly, based on 2018, that is what they want to do.

    neil
    I dont think there are as many new decent artists as you think. Nowadays people value a persons skill at guitar Hero than actually playing a guitar. The bar is lowering, and there is a race to the bottom
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  3. #3
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Yes it has again been a wonderful year for new exiting music. I don't hear a decline in quality or indeed in quantity.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

  4. #4
    Could be there are plenty of people like myself who never did make any money from their music, so in that regard, nothing much has changed. In fact I sometimes find myself feeling glad that I never made anything from it, so I haven't got anything to complain about!

    BD
    www.bdrak.com

  5. #5
    In Ancient Greece, 5th century BC is the Golden Age in arts, literature etc.

    In the 4th century BC lots of great art was still being conceived and executed, in greater numbers than before and - sometimes - of the same quality.

    The ripples extended in time until they disappeared. We are still very close in time to whatever happened in the late 60's, early 70's in music. But moving further away.

    That's a possible answer to your question, although I am not too sure myself.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I dont think there are as many new decent artists as you think.
    I don't think there are as few new decent artists as you think he thinks, seeing as he mentioned a set of given names to which his liking isn't only about what he thinks but what he personally feels and means. And none of those are particularly prone to 'guitar hero' idolatry.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  7. #7
    Amen to the OP and ditto to the dear Bob Drake.
    If youíre not hearing brilliant new music the problem is with you, not the artists or the industry.
    Yeah, itís all changed, itís not the 70ís, 80ís or 90ís but if the question is ĎAre terrific, original and beautiful recordings still being made?í The answer is unequivocally YES.
    I do a monthly two hour radio show on NTS and can barely keep up with the fantastic new releases. And now theyíre coming from around the world rather than primarily the UK and US.
    Guitar Hero my eye!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    And none of those are particularly prone to 'guitar hero' idolatry.
    Muppet idolatry? 😂😂😂

  9. #9
    ^ Yeah, because, uhm, it's all so fast and abstract and strange and alien and 'difficult' and, er, kinda lacks mmm... M-melody. At least ones that *I* can recognize.

    Therefore I seek revenge.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  10. #10
    ^I told you Nietzsche's genealogy explains everything.

    Well, except cosmic love.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Kavus Torabi View Post
    I do a monthly two hour radio show on NTS and can barely keep up with the fantastic new releases. And now they’re coming from around the world rather than primarily the UK and US.
    Ditto Kavus and OP.
    I would also add that during my solo tours throughout 2016-2018 in the UK I shared the bill every night in a different town with an endless variety of bands and soloists, mostly but not all (sometimes significantly) younger than me, a good 99% of them amazingly great and original. Some so good I was embarrassed to go on afterwards. Even that one percent which weren't especially fresh or thrilling were still entertaining.

    BD
    www.bdrak.com
    Last edited by Bob Drake; 1 Week Ago at 06:16 AM.

  12. #12
    Member SunshipVoyager1976's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    ^I told you Nietzsche's genealogy explains everything.

    Well, except cosmic love.
    Good old Nietzsche.

    I think the old model music industry is half past dead, but have no such fears about music. Mass market driven culture is not, in my opinion, a particularly good framework through which to measure amount of good new music ( or lack thereof ) ...

  13. #13
    Member ashratom's Avatar
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    Agree with Neil. There's more new progressive music than most can handle I think (there's probably 700-800 listings for 2018 alone): https://newprogreleases.blogspot.com/p/2017.html

  14. #14
    Because music isn't "dying".

    Old business models and label structures are dying. Certain formats in the mass-market culture, for music, are waning. Older, classic bands are aging out.

    But music isn't dying. It can't. It won't. Smaller, more sustainable labels will take over. The ultra-mega pop-tart ringtone "stars" will flame out. Music will return to true fans of it. I maintain that "most people" are not actual fans of music of any actual genre. They're fans of culture. As pop-culture goes, so they go. That leaves us music fans to consume and absorb music from artists who love creating it. That leaves artists to create music they love, not music that's marketable to the LCD. That leaves labels to cater to their audience, not throwing money at a dozen wannabes hoping one or two will stick.

    Music will endure.

  15. #15
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I know the OP qualified the occupation in regards to covered wagons, but I know a (seventh generation) farrier who seems to be way better off (financially) than most musicians discussed on this site.
    Let's blow this dinosaur heap.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ashratom View Post
    Agree with Neil. There's more new progressive music than most can handle I think (there's probably 700-800 listings for 2018 alone): https://newprogreleases.blogspot.com/p/2017.html
    Yeah, even in just the sub-sets of sub-sets that most interest me there's more stuff coming out than I can keep track of. At the fringes where the freaky stuff lives people have always been making the music because it's what they want or need to do, and they've not made much money out of doing it anyway, so the demise of certain business models in the industry probably isn't going to stop them.

    What clearly is at risk is the kind of professional curation that we get from good specialist record labels like Cuneiform, Soleil Zeuhl, Altr0ck, Moonjune, etc. And the sheer volume of music that is coming out makes that more rather than less valuable IMO. So, we know what we need to do...

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mascodagama View Post
    What clearly is at risk is the kind of professional curation that we get from good specialist record labels like Cuneiform, Soleil Zeuhl, Altr0ck, Moonjune, etc.
    B... B-but we'll always have K-Scope and OutsideIn, right? Right!??
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by IncogNeato View Post
    Smaller, more sustainable labels will take over.
    Which is pretty much what Fripp was saying 45 years ago with his "Small Intelligent Mobile Units."
    Do not bug a wombat, 'cause wombats bug back,
    and no-one can live through a wombat attack.

  19. #19
    Yeah there's more music coming out than ever, and it's more easily possible for anyone to release their music. It actually creates a challenge for an artist to get people's attention with some much out there.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by zeprogmeister View Post
    Yeah there's more music coming out than ever, and it's more easily possible for anyone to release their music. It actually creates a challenge for an artist to get people's attention with some much out there.
    Getting attention is the hard part. It's a universe of artists, all clamoring for a moment of your time. It can be exhausting, and discouraging.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Drake View Post
    Could be there are plenty of people like myself who never did make any money from their music, so in that regard, nothing much has changed. In fact I sometimes find myself feeling glad that I never made anything from it, so I haven't got anything to complain about!

    BD
    www.bdrak.com
    What he said.
    And the code is a play, a play is a song, a song is a film, a film is a dance...

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by IncogNeato View Post
    Getting attention is the hard part. It's a universe of artists, all clamoring for a moment of your time. It can be exhausting, and discouraging.
    How is this different than the 00s? I'm not saying it isn't but am curious how.

    I remember Tom Petty telling the story of how he went door to door to record companies in NYC with each telling him "Your songs suck!" and he'd reply something like: "Oh, cool man!" and go to the next guy who would tell him he sucked.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by IncogNeato View Post
    Getting attention is the hard part. It's a universe of artists, all clamoring for a moment of your time. It can be exhausting, and discouraging.

    The so called great artists being referred to are hobbyists. They have to work other jobs, full time jobs to get by and do music in their hobby spare time.
    Who is going to do all this self promotion? The artists themselves of course.
    All of this is spreading musicians too thin. Too many hats to be wearing all at once.

    All this is a huge dig into one's time and energy, often creating discord into their personal lives.

    Exhausting and discouraging would be more the theme than an anomaly.

  24. #24
    ^ And yet, under these conditions staggeringly original and inventive music still gets recorded and released and I still hear and buy it.

  25. #25
    Aren't artists supposed to be poor? Or not being able to live from their art? And in fact outside the context of pop-rock music this is the rule, writers starving, painters unable to sell. Of course in a perfect world there shouldn't be any such mundane worries for them, but I really don't think that primary motivation for a musician is to make money. Self-expression is.

    If music is dying it's not because less money is involved. It is because the world is steadily becoming more materialistic, and the crowds intentionally driven away from all forms of higher culture and spiritual achievement.

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