I apologize for the brevity of this post in advance. My initial intent was to cover a few serious social topics of which I had already started to develop, but after repeatedly channel surfing to avoid celebrity gossip and skipping through my playlists comparing phenomenal artists like Smokey Robinson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Carol King to our most popular artists today something occurred to me. We are a society that idolizes and reveres mediocrity. Much like child athletes who all receive a participation trophy, we actually allow acts dripping with digital work and pyrotechnics to stand beside the true winners. Now I will be the first to say that I listen to nearly every genre of music, if I have not heard it–I will listen to it, (although it may not happen a second time.) I will even admit that I find myself “bopping” my head and shoulders to a little “Just Dance,” from time to time—so it does not entirely go without merit, however do I consider it revolutionary by any means? Absolutely not.
Perhaps the fact that marginally decent singers and songwriters are proclaiming themselves to be “revolutionary,” (even her poker face cannot pull of that statement,) should be considered a serious social issue. As I mentioned before, I listen to a variety of music. Just for a point of reference lets mention a few examples of artists/groups I might actually call revolutionary: BB King, Janis Joplin, Lynard Skynyrd, or Aretha Franklin; maybe revolutionary is not the word I am looking for here…The point is if you are going to claim to be a certain caliber of performer/musician, please attempt to have some real talent.
Which brings me to another curious tidbit, according to a recent interview I read with Lady Gaga–the glitter stricken diva has had classical training. At what point do you throw out classical training for beats and synthesizers? I assume it was probably around the same time she rebelled against her parents, moved out, and started stripping to really create a voice for herself. I completely support exploring your identity and some mild grade rebellion, but perhaps GaGa should have left the face paint and glitter for the pole. Seriously, the dance music/wild outfits have been done, (Madonna, Cher, Britney, Fergie–need I go on?)
Speaking of rebellious pop “sensations,” lets discuss the current reigning “mouskateers.” I am not even certain this new Disney brood could be labeled as mouskateers, but they are certainly not very different than their earlier counterparts, (Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera.) Although each one of them seems to think they have highly unique qualities. With Disney molding their appearance, sound, and looks–much of the existence is in fact cookie cutter. Unless of course you count miss country.
Miley Cyrus has only one advantage over her peers, (Billy Ray fans would say two,) her Disney alter ego actually offers her the opportunity to pull away from Disney. Miley is able to easily market herself seperate from Disney’s bubble gum character. However, the current Hannah/Miley pandemonium is not by any means justified. Again, marginally good talent, (think karaoke bars, county fairs etc.) with the attitude of a super star.
Sorry Miley, your songs about life and your upcoming memoirs will probably not actually save the world. Its a good thing your dad had all of that on the job experience from Doc. At least people have had sense enough to not let him revive his career by peddling his daughter to every talent agency and booking agent $20.00 dollars could buy.
I think my rant needs to be wrapped up at this juncture. Essentially, I think it is important for tasteful minded individuals to avoid popular music, avoid the gossip columns, and avoid tabloids. Apparently what you need to sell records today is a really good gimmick and a little flash in the pan. The Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, and Akon’s of the world are making the local band scenes the place to be. Artists like The Jonas Brothers may be an easy sell to preteens and mini van mothers, but to call them revolutionary is sort of like saying Samantha Ronson is revolutionizing the art of the disc jockey. For the Northeast Ohio area, I happily suggest Peabodys in the flats, the Spitfire,or The Carriage House Concert and Nite Club in Louisville.
Hey, media, yea you…cover someone who has talent, not someone who perfected the panty slip for your photographers.
eelliso1 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.