Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Aug 08 2005

How To Really Rebel Against The Establishment

I was a teen when hundreds of bands got started. It was usually four guys with some guitars and a set of drums. Other instruments crept in and out: pianos, harmonicas, saxophones, tambourines. A "music video" was the band playing their music and having fun doing it. Band promotion was creative, interactive and often cost little or nothing to produce. The best of the best aspiring muscians worked long hours and developed their own sound. If you didn't see them playing you still knew who they were by their sound.

Now young music hopefuls are sent to the gym to work to make their butts look sexy while sound engineers work to make one singer sound remarkably like another. I had almost resigned myself to the fact that the recording industry now contracts and controls singers the same way the movie industry once contracted and controlled actors. It's been as though the two industries changed places and recyled control to the next generation of a few elite people who control creative choices. And only a few performers who can be molded to fit the idea of the recording company executives' cash cow will have big money spent on them and be marketed to the public. This recycled monster that once stood as part of the evil "establishment" reaches right into consumers' wallets and even attempts to limit our music choices by pouring advertising and marketing dollars into fewer artists' work. It starts to sound pretty bleak.

But life is, after all, essentially a series of cycles where only the details change. And every generation has its true artistic rebels, who see past the crowd mentality. They don't rely on what everyone else is doing. Marketing is whatever is "in", but hard work and heart never go out of style. To my absolute delight, I think I ran across at least one bunch of guys who are helping to revive the creative scene of rock. And instead of just working on their butts, they work their butts off making music. Ok Go.

posted at: 10:03 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry

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