Mike Propst User Experience

Curmudgeons: get your facts straight

These days, there are more "solutions" to the problem of music piracy than you can shake a DMCA takendown at. While I'm somewhat in the Steve Albini camp of "we are passing the brief period of history where musicians were able to make a comfortable living," what I find interesting is the side discussions.

I saw this the other day thanks to a RT from a musician friend. I don't believe a word of it.

The author of the comment is betting that their audience lacks exposure to youth the same way they do. Young people are a scary, alien species who don't believe in paying for music.

But it's not because they don't value music of their time.

Some claims made in the comment:

  • The girls want to learn "One Direction, Fall Out Boy, and a handful of sound-alikes." I'd put a lot more stock in this if the two groups mentioned actually sounded alike themselves. This is where the audience's ignorance really pays off. Fall Out Boy is an American pop-punk band formed in 2001 (that's working on 15 years ago, kids) who helped bring pop-punk/pop-emo from the 90s style into the 2000s. They are highly influential and though I can't stand to listen to 5 seconds of them, you don't need a degree in Telling Death Metal Bands apart to know that they don't sound anything like One Direction, a boy group from England who don't write songs and don't really have guitar parts for these straw-students to learn. Comparing the two, at any rate, is the purview of YouTube comments, not kids who want to learn to play music.
  • Bon Jovi will never be cool.

Of course, people are eating this crap up.

Let's ignore the absolute sexist bent of the comment for a second, if that's possible, and focus on the wealth of amazing music being made by young folks (I mean really young, the Tumblr generation of bands if you will) who have no regard for any of the "rules" that we have always played by, regardless of how punk we think we are.

How To Dress Well, Odd Future, Janelle Monae, Grimes, and countless other young artists (you know, of the age that popular artists tend to be) are making music that seamlessly blends genres that we'd previously have considered verboten — imagine if Paul's Boutique was your Abbey Road — and they really don't care what some guitar teacher thinks.