I reviewed some music I really liked in 2016. I also reviewed music I hated.
What I realize now -- though I did not then -- is that a lot of the hated music came from rich kids goofing off because they could. ("Kids" may be used kind of loosely.)
There were two things that helped me realize it. One was reading about Mumford & Sons, including discussions on their shockingly wealthy backgrounds, and how it allowed them to persevere until people started listening to them.
The other factor relates strongly to doing this retrospective, in that I have been going through and checking links for old bands.
I can't say quite when the change occurred, but there was a time when it was pretty common to buy a web domain just for your band, if you could. Not only does that require someone with some basic skills designing it, but there is expense in hosting the page as well.
A lot of those old band sites don't exist anymore. Sometimes the bands don't either, but sometimes they do. Instead of the old site, they are using a Facebook page (less commonly Instagram or Twitter) as the main point of information. There are often other sites for obtaining the music, like Soundcloud, Bandcamp, or Youtube, but some social media site will have taken the place of the original site.Some of the bigger bands -- that came out at times before free streaming and did well -- still do maintain the personal sites. I don't deny there are a lot of factors.
However, when you released an EP five years ago, and you haven't done anything since then, but you still pay for a home page? (Which often promises new music coming soon, or has new cute photos.) That indicates money to burn.
Then you see that they say Beverly Hills instead of Los Angeles, or notice other subtle indicators that this is not someone desperate for success.
I recognize the signs better now. I also think it makes sense.
I didn't know back in the day when I reviewed them and hated their music. I always tried to point out good things when I could, or advise who might like it, but they tended to be negative reviews.
It is probably not a coincidence, but this was the first section where in checking links I found someone who blocked me.
That was a sad case, actually. She came across as so tortured in the time where I was just following her, before I got to the review, and then there was no emotional depth. You're not tortured; you're self-pitying and bored. This might mean that when you were looking into trying an activity that appropriates the Sun Dance ceremony of the Plains Indians, that you are really just sensation seeking.
(I am sorry your father was a jerk, but understand that a lot of other people have that same problem.)
I also recently realized that with someone from the first 100 -- who is a great musician but that I just can't like -- it's because he is not really a kind person. He has suffered and I feel compassion for that, and he has depth, but he is also kind of a jerk.
This is not saying that jerks can't make good music; lots of examples disprove that.
I am also not saying that rich people can't make good music, though fewer examples come to mind.
I do feel comfortable saying that coming from wealth makes it much easier to be shallow and superficial. It makes it much easier to be satisfied with middling efforts instead of really digging deep. That would be an obstacle to making great music.
That makes it more chilling how hard it is getting for anyone who is not already wealthy to pursue the arts.
I should probably go back and re-read Scott Timberg's Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class, but I did just read this essay in Sarah Kendzior's Flyover Country that you can read here:
For now, let me once again plug universal health care and basic income, for so many reasons.
But the songs for the week don't include anyone I hated. That was the most obvious theme for the blog, but it wasn't the whole story of the year, for which I am grateful
Blinking Underdogs -- For a week in which I was writing about Star Wars stuff, I reviewed Oscar Isaac's old ska band, which takes some digging. Because some of the files are hard to get at, I almost didn't include them, but someone posted a performance clip, therefore I had to. It appears he was in yet another band as well. I suspect I will check that out.
Heroes Like Villains -- I am anticipating this being a beautiful Saturday, and that goes with this sweet video from a pretty sweet band.
by Faded Paper Figures -- Also a good video for a sunny day, this had a sweet sound and is the song I remembered most from this band, though they have a lot to check out.
“Breathe Me In”
by Consider Me Dead -- This one got stuck in my head back in the day. I think it holds up.
by Sighs -- Usually I pick songs that I still remembered years later. I had kind of forgotten this one, and it was a pleasant surprise. That is why mentioning specific songs in the reviews is helpful.
Bird” by Scott Barkan -- Scott Barkan comes off as such a curmudgeon, and I am fond of him for that. My favorite song of his is "Crank Radio", but this is a pretty close second.
by Dear Boy -- This one had to be last because I associate it more with a group of songs in 401 - 500. It was a song that I loved instantly, and still do.