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The Best Of Times For Popular Music

I don't suffer from nostalgia and as a species i think we improve from generation to generation, at least for the most part.

But that's a species.

Art forms peak.

19th century was great for literature, 20th century for movies, philosophy never much improved on the Greek era. And pop music? Pop music is peaking as we speak.

I wrote about pop music in the 1980s and I thought I was a right miserable bastard. I hated the charts, hated Limey synth ands, yawned thru Springsteen and though Prince and Costello were both excellent, two artists do not a generation make.

Jazz was dead. Country was a disaster area.

The decade was so crappy that the Replacements, a band on par with, say, Black Lips were THE SAVIORS OF MODERN ROCK.

30 years later and it is the wild west out there. For a music junkie like me, the scene is so wide and so deep it is like multi-tracking: infinite. I listen to music all the time, think about it constantly, and have huge trouble keeping up. I am a music junkie who is flooded by musical heroin. I can't shoot it up fast enough.

And it is cheap.

The cheapest music has ever been.

It is infinite, it is great and it is dirt cheap.

The Hot 100 is on fire; this is meant to be disposable crap but from Beyonce to Kanye to Pitbull to all points, everybody is releasing the best music of their career.

Country is in pretty good shape, the guys have taken it over to my mind and if Lady Antebellum and Sugarland are the face of MOR country, Eric Church and Jamey Johnson can hold down the forte.

People seem to think that ubiquity has lead to a weakening of quality and I just don't see it. Maybe because there are so many specialists for every subgenre, you can find the best of each.

Maybe the wild wild west aspect… it is like Russia after the fall of Communism. Anything does, will, can and shall go. Everybody is listening to everything.

I am a very, very lucky guy. I decided to start up a music website at the very moment I needed one to organize my thoughts. I write about music while music is exploding all around.

It is like being in London in the 1850s, or ancient Greece, or being part of NASA in the mid-1960s. It's like we have everything at our fingertips with all the immediacy and joy imaginable. Every moment of my life there is something worth listening to.

There is a trick to life, and it is a tough one. It is the inverse of Conor Oberst's old line, "sorrow gets too heavy and joy it tends to hold you / With the fear that it eventually departs ". Sorrow departs eventually as long as you know that you're happy at the time that you are happy.

I am very happy to love music right now. It's the best years of our life.

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