September 01, 2007
Against Narratives of the (Musical) Fall
We've fallen from the Ideal World. We've fallen from Eden. We've fallen from Nature. And music is lacking because there is no single defining band.
Bullshit, says the blogger Arduous, a young woman named Ruchi, who describes herself only as "difficult." Ruchi wrote about the ambiguous state of popular music, fall narratives, and Break Through, and her prose and argument caught my eye.
Here's the opening of Arduous' "Why I have Hope."
Why I Have Hope
About a month ago Mouse and I were at a music show, and I brought up my standard diatribe about the music industry and how there are no seminal artists for this decade. Every decade has had its share of landmark artists who have defined that decade. Imagine the '50s without Elvis. Or the '60s without the Beatles. Or the '90s without Nirvana. You can't right? But the '00s without ... Coldplay? No offense to Coldplay, but it seems like the decade would be much the same as it is today.
So here I was lamenting the state of the music industry, and to be honest with you, I pretty much assumed that Mouse was going to agree with me. I mean, come on. Isn't it an article of faith among music nerds that the State of Music is a sad one, and that once upon a time music was so much better and so much more original, etc, etc?
So you can imagine my surprise when he disagreed with me. Oh, don't get me wrong. He agreed that there aren't really any "landmark" artists of this decade. But where I saw this as a sad thing, Mouse, because he is much smarter and also more positive than I, saw this as a great thing. Because, in his opinion, it wasn't music going downhill that has led to a decade bereft of 'seminal artists.' In fact, it was because there was TOO MUCH good music that it was now impossible for there to be just a few definitive artists.
To read the rest, click here.