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A few interesting views, if a slightly one sided view. Thoughts anyone?
I think there is a problem with marketing music in this country...
Once a style of music starts selling well, the record labels want to push it like its pop, and in the case of more indie stuff, the kids buying it DO NOT want to feel like they are buying pop...they want to feel like what they are listening to is 'real'...
the other side of it is selling pop like its indie- see Jack Penate and Kate Nash on the cover of NME this week. I truly think that the record buying public will see through that...
that's my theory on why music in this country is so 'scene' driven, with each thing existing for a few years and then burning out. America seems to be better at longer term marketing
hmm, that was a bit clumsily put, but so was the original article (i bet that guy got married or had kids three/four years ago, cos that's when his 'contempory' musical knowledge has remained)...when I say the 'record buying public will see through that' I mean that has GOT to be alienating a certain number of NME readers/indie kids. Innit? I might go onto their forums and see what they think of Penate/Nash
therefore his opinion is largely irrelevant. yes british 'alternative' music is shit right now, but in reality its just taken the place of pop music and has guitars. on a level away from the mainstream i see no problem
thats what i was getting at.
Was it written 5 years ago ?
It reminded me that whenever a broadsheet wrote about an American guitar band they'd always put in a line about how they represented "a refreshing change to the Coldplay, Keane and Snow Patrol dominance in Britain", never suggesting that some people might not be listening to those bands alone.
What's worthy of a debate completely missed there is how bands like the Shins and Modest Mouse are, in a country with no national music radio station, making such a chart impact from the ground up. He's made that point about the underground (although even there he's struggling if he thinks Elephant 6 is still going) and then just let us assume that there is no alternative in Britain.
that article is sort of right.
in particular, there are very few alternative bands who are making it big who are much good.
certainly when you stack up the names of the shins,modest mouse,spoon,bright eyes, who are not small by any stretch of the imagination, in fact if you go on last fm plays, just off the top of my head, bright eyes have like 25 million or something and i think the shins are close and modest mouse too.
arctic monkeys are probably one of the only credible alternative bands to become 'huge' the last few years.Bloc party as well maybe
i think one reasons why britains music seems to be so cylical and 'sceney' is maybe success is certainly more attainable riding on the crest of a wave of other bands, eg indie rock post libertines and i think as a result britian has quite a few bands who would be considered(and often are) bad if they werent so attatched to a scene or genre. certainly the shitness and worsening of the NME doesnt help this.
Also i think the point about record labels indie-ying up pop bands and pop-ing up indie bands is very true.
'Bigger than merely cult bands, they amount to a coherent and credible scene with a following. '
thats a bit rubbish though, i dont see them as a scene really, the bands they mention are merely connected by the fact they are alternative ish and american bands.
but the thing is, it admits at the end that there ARE british bands that do well
and we're a much much smaller country
called Arcade Fire American.
And I have no doubts that his concerns are genuine. But he can't write to save his life. He's struggling to articulate his opinions properly, and the article (and overall message) struggles as a result
Any one of us could write that article
these things go in cycles. I've been reading articles mourning the decline in British indie, followed by articles cheering the new new British invasion of America, since I got into music in 1985. We're in a quiet spell at the moment, for sure. But all will change in a year or two. It always does.
the points about nostalgia on the UK music scene are very true. It's very backward looking at the moment. The amount of bands about at the moment that are lifting sounds from the eighties without really adding anything thing new is staggering (I hate to mention Nu Rave - whatever that is).
It's not that there aren't UK bands out there that are doing something genuinely fresh, just that they haven't made any inroads into the mainstream consciousness. It's probably in part due to the influence of the NME, which of course is catering to a much younger audience - an audience which probably has more of an ear for more poppy stuff anyway. It's easy to dismiss the NME as a spent force, but you can bet radio programmers and broadsheet writers pay more attention to it than a bunch of disparate music message boards.