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The Death Of Popular in Pop Music

Disappear Here

Disappear Here

The problem with pop music isn’t that Ariana grande is at the top of the charts, the problem with pop music is that Jenny Lewis isn’t also at the top of charts, the problem isn’t that Drake is at the top of the charts, it is that he isn’t followed by Rawkwon. What I am trying to say is that while in the 60s and 70s art-pop crossed over, in 2014 it doesn’t appear to cross over. each slice of the pie is too slim, semi-popular artists can’t sell enough.

In indie pop it has been deadly, and the trickle down effect has been worse. while part of the problem might simply be all the side deals the majors made with streaming service, the rest of the problem is semi-popular music doesn’t sustain itself well enough to feel much more than a hobby by professional musicians.

Last year Maria Taylor, promoting her excellent album for Saddle Creek mentioned how sales were such that she couldn’t make a living off music any more. She claimed people would come to shows knowing all the words to songs not yet released and when the album went on sale, everybody already owned it.

The truth is, the current music business doesn’t kill hobbiest, it helps them, and it doesn’t hurt the biggest stars, though it doesn’t help them in the same way as it used to, it kills the middle class working musician; it kills off the middle class of ockers, people who should be able to make a comfortable living as working artists and can’t. They either quit or supplement their income.

do you think Lewis will go Gold? Do you think Spoon will? Maybe Lewis can sell out a 5000 seater (she can certainly sell out a 2000 seater) but she can’t crossover, she is a cult artist when 30 years ago she wouldn’t be. It leaves all these indie stars, only stars in their own minds, if you are selling selling 30,000 copies in a country of 300 Million, what are you starring in?

The loss is to an audience who has all these choices but can’t hear anything for the clutter.

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