On Sunday I got the flu, which seems to happen to me more than I’d like. Actually wasn’t I just blogging about being sick a few months ago? Ok, that was back in June so I guess I don’t get sick that often…but what’s an acceptable amount of sick days per year?
I was really out of it yesterday and stayed in bed most of the day. I did dedicate some time bettering my knowledge of the world around me (i.e. browsing the internet). It started by checking my email, where I found a note from Matthew Forsythe, recommending I check out this post by Seth Godin called Music Lessons, about the realities of the flailing music industry. It made me feel better about everything, so you should read it too (if you care about that sort of thing).
This, in some obtuse way, led me to Free! Why $0.00 is the Future of Business. At least you should watch the little movie which makes the interesting conclusion that: “…evey industry that becomes digital eventually becomes free.” I mean it only makes sense: especially in the music industry, which is why many labels are scrambling to find other sources of income.
Yesterday Apple dubbed its own iTunes the Number Two Music Retailer in the US, second only to Wal-Mart. Which is pretty sad, since Wal-Mart censors the CDs it stocks and doesn’t cater to indies. The reality of music sales, though, isn’t that exciting:
“Meanwhile, an estimated 1 million consumers did not buy CDs in 2007, and 48 percent of U.S. teenagers didn’t buy any CDs during the year, up from 38 percent in the year before, according to NPD data.” – Business Week
Several clicks away later I decided to get hip to what the kids are listening to, and, thereby, not paying for. I went to Pitchfork’s Best New Music page and listened to all the bands they gave props to. Wow. I was really astonished how unimpressed I was. While the bands I heard were obviously talented and inspired, I wasn’t hearing any songs. Everything is derivative of the derivatives, bits and bobs of this and that musically, lyrically and in production. DrownedInSound‘s latest reviews didn’t offer much better, but I think that at least the quality of music coming out of the UK is second only to that which is coming out of Canada.
Does that make me “old school,” having the desire to hear a good song? I know some of my readers have shared in this frustration, saying that music just isn’t created like it used to be. There’s little emphasis on quality, because the musical milieu is completely saturated, and a lot of people are in music for the wrong reasons.
I don’t know if I was in some kind of flu-induced delirium, but I recall reading a story on Canadians and…oh, wait I just found it in yesterday’s Montreal Gazette…this is so astounding and telling of the world we are living in:
“Given a choice, 34 per cent of Canadians would rather be government bureaucrats than any other profession … followed by 27 per cent of Canadians who would rather be rock stars.” – Montreal Gazette
What? 27 per cent of Canadians would rather be rock stars? Has the celebrity-obsession permeated our culture so? People must think that it is an easy job. I mean, it definitely beats sitting in an office all day, every day (though 34 per cent did say they would prefer to do that), but it is astonishing that just anyone thinks they have the ability to do it. I can guarantee that that same 27 per cent of Canadians also have zero musical or artistic ambition: they just want an excuse for a better haircut. Guitar Hero is distorting our sense of reality. Big time.