Every few months, there’s another article containing a music veteran stating that “rock ‘n’ roll” (whatever that is) is in some sort of dire circumstance because “the kids” today care more about image or money or fame or who-knows-what than the previous generations and that there is little innovation or even passion. Well, I hate to report to our heroes that they’re wisdom is flawed.
First off, very few of these rock stars have much to do with “the kids”. Even the so-called down-to-earth guys rarely have access to the real next wave of innovators. Why? Because those innovators are underground. Remember that word? It’s what many of you folks used to be before ya “made it”. I’m not trying to say that you’re out of it because you sold out or something. What I’m saying is that after one reaches a certain level of popularity (with or without actual money to show for it), access to a certain subterranean level is more restricted. Your view is also likely to be obscured by the all-image/no-substance bands and performers standing in the front hollering for your (and everyone’s) attention. Those idiots have always existed, it's just that now they're blocking the view. Or drowning the sound. If your band has ever mimed at the Super Bowl, you probably don't have garage-paled noisy nobodies opening for ya at festivals. You get pop or a "pop" version of something.
Music is easier to create, record, and distribute than ever before. There’s a lot more of “the good stuff” than ever before. It’s just that you have to sort through even more crap. But it’s worth it. I'm not gonna pull some bullshit like trying to imply that these folks are too old to "get it". I can't. Where the Hell does that put me? Where does that put any of us? The idea of musical revolution being a youth-oriented phenomenon does have some truth to it. Young adults are often trying to find their way through art that deviates from that of their parents' generation. Popular music being directed/crafted toward a teenage demographic, however, was instigated by Major Record Labels. But the way many fans get their music today is just different from before. We're talkin' digital downloads. Teenagers, who typically have less income, are going to get their music by the cheapest, easiest means. Digital is the route many will take. Especially now that smartphones are often their main music playing devices. If you're in your 50's and you don't see kids buying CDs, that doesn't mean that music is stagnant. Record Stores are dying. I hate that. That doesn't mean the music itself is in danger. The Record Industry is dying? They just committed slow suicide. Unfortunately, they're inconsiderately trying to take the Stores with them. Keep going to the stores and encourage (pressure mercilessly) your friends to do the same. Artists want to be heard. They will go where fans are listening.
The "Music Industry" is in a transitional period. It's scary. That's good. CHANGE IS SCARY. There are kids (of all ages) everywhere making a racket. Some of that racket will change music forever. -Adam Harmless