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  • I Can't Stop Making Lists, or, 4 Things I Hope For The Future Of Music

    Yes, I cannot tell a lie, I'm aiming to be the Buzzfeed of music, so as a result, on this lovely Tuesday morning, I'm going to write yet another list that I hope gets scads of page views (scads is a greek term meaning "more than 11").

    While I never claimed to be a futurist, as I evolve my business, I think a lot about how I consume music, how others might consume music, and just what kind of music is being consumed and will be consumed. 

    In honor of these coffee thoughts, here's what I hope the future of music brings.  Please note that any of these lists I publish are not meant to be complete.  Their just what I could think of at the time. 

    1.  HOPE: Walk Back Genre Creep.  As backwards thinking as this may be, I miss specific genre classifications of music.  I miss when indie rock was guitars, and metal was denim and studs and hip hop was the black CNN.  I think we need to go back to that, if only so that radio programmers will avoid putting tweaked out electronic female vocaled wanna be white Rhianna's on my indie rock radio.  I have no problem with the music, I just have a problem when it interrupts my "white guys with guitars mood" on satellite radio. There's enough of it to create its own genre.  Let's call it "Electro-XX-pop"

    2. HOPE: Less Band Festival Reliance:  I've mentioned this before, but bands are relying too heavily on festivals for their touring and less slugging it out in the clubs or in underplays.  I get that you only have a short time to make money in this ever-decreasing business, but one sure way to continue to manifest that issue is to only play big festivals and a few tourdates around them.  No one became a better songwriter or performer by playing less, and to crowds that are only partially yours.  Go out, headline a smaller club, sweat a lot, drink bad beer, get screwed over by a promoter and pay your dues.  It's the only real way to roadtest your band.

    3.  HOPE: Less Fan Reliance on Festivals:  I remember a few years ago, I had a (not in the music department) co-worker whose only experience seeing any artists was if they played Coachella.  Granted, this is a great way to see a lot of bands in a short period of time, but i'd be like gorging yourself once a year at a buffet and not eating til next year.  Probably not a healthy way to live.  I think to truly be a great music fan, you need to spend some time in theatres, in clubs, and really experience a band at their best, which usually is at 10pm (or sometimes later, damn bookers, i'm OLD, make those shows earlier), in the dark, with everyone focused on the band at hand.  Not at 4pm in the daylight while everyone's too busy looking for sunscreen to focus on that one song they heard once on Hype Machine.

    4. HOPE: Fall In Love With The Artist, Not the Song:  I firmly believe people fall in love with a body of an artists work.  This is why the album was so vital to the long term successes of artists who built strong careers.  Right now we're heading back in the singles world that dominated music prior to the Beatles, Dylan, etc. Folks are still releasing songs at a time.  Unfortunately, I believe that people don't fall in love with an artist a track at a time, but rather on a whole album basis.  It's why, love him or loathe him, Kanye made a lot of sense releasing Pablo all at once.  Same with Drake and all the other 'Secret surprise" album drops that have been going on.  Why give away the milk when people would listen to the whole cow.  I love mixed metaphors.

    That's today's message of Hope.  Tune in tomorrow, or whenever I'm not too busy/lazy to write.