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The "Alternative" Music Conspiracy

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posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 12:09 PM
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I have no inside knowledge about this conspiracy. This is an observation that I felt was worth sharing. Maybe someone here with inside knowledge of the music industry can shed some light.

I am a fan of Alternative Music. It has struck me for some time that a high percentage of "Alternative" Music is actually more "Pop" than what is played on the Pop stations. What I mean by that is that the tunes are catchy, easy to listen to. Get stuck in your head.

I've also noticed over the past few years that an inordinate amount of Alternative Music shows up in commercials as well as on television shows and movies.

Here is where the conspiracy enters in, in my opinion. I believe that the music industry segregates some really great songs that would actually be quite popular into the category of "Alternative" in order to preserve their marketability for major corporations.

Because they don't play on mainstream Pop stations, corporations get to go out and pick these catchy tunes to brand their products with, before the general public has identified the songs with something else.

The "alternative" bands lose out in radio play, but gain in corporate endorsement licensing fees.

I feel that radio play today is more controlled even than it was during the scandals of the 50s. I believe that true popular choice is dead, and that by and large consumers are told what is popular, while certain really good tunes are virtually suppressed for corporate benefit.

Obviously, sometimes these tunes break free from their commercial attachments and become hits on their own. Many others, though, can never shake the stigma of being seen as a jingle. Many of the artists, I feel, go along with this because they would rather get some money and be able to keep playing, than be starving artists.

What say ye? Anyone else noticed this or have an opinion on the matter? Or am I the only one
?
edit on 9-2-2013 by notquitesure because: misspelling




posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 12:15 PM
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I just think companies let hipsters run their marketing departments, and there's an inner competition among marketing firms to be both hip and trendsetting.

BTW, most of those songs in commercials that you speak of are awful. Hipster goofball corporate audio teams, if you're reading this post, stop using "ironically" crappy music in your commercials. Please.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 12:19 PM
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Funny you should say, I just posted in another thread that "music isn't on the radio because it's popular, it's popular because it's on the radio". People do not excercise free will and make choices as much as the believe they do. They follow.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by DaTroof
I just think companies let hipsters run their marketing departments, and there's an inner competition among marketing firms to be both hip and trendsetting.

BTW, most of those songs in commercials that you speak of are awful. Hipster goofball corporate audio teams, if you're reading this post, stop using "ironically" crappy music in your commercials. Please.


It depends on who they are targeting. You are not going to hear alternative music in a hoveround commercial. If the target demo listens to alternative, then they are going to be presented with an appealing message that includes their music preference.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by AwakeinNM
It depends on who they are targeting. You are not going to hear alternative music in a hoveround commercial



A Hoveround commercial with a Sex Pistols backing track?

What an awesome idea.




posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 12:48 PM
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I have despised the modern music/radio industry for years because of their lack of variety.
theoretically in a capitalist system different vendors offer differet products and let the customer choose. What I see in today's radio industry is multiple stations in the same market playing the same music. The persons who decide this, I think, are either afraid of stepping out so they go sheeple, or the figure they'll get a guaranteed minimum listening base.
part of the problem is that very little of today's radio is 'live'. chances are you're listening to a computer-generated playlist interspersed with computerized psas, ads, announcements, station ids. if you hear a human voice, chances are it's some guy in Colorado. it's cheaper for stations to buy pre-formatted blocks and canned talk, than pay a living human to be at the mike.
(then there's 'public' broadcasting, aka elitist broadcasting.)
so most markets only have three or four real choices; urban/top40, country, Christian, oldies.
Thank God for internet and satellite radio.
(as I type this I'm listening to 'Faded Seaside Glamor' by The Delays, playing awesome music I've never heard on the radio.)



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 12:58 PM
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FM music radio is a dead zone, and of course, like with "conservative" (Republican) AM radio (especially under Bush), and the rest of the 'MSM' (TV) it is completely thouroughly utterly --controlled-- .
I'll bet if I offered to give you a $100 bill if you showed me where radio allowed an anti war song (even the old anti Vietnam songs from 4 and 5 decades ago) I'd wind up keeping my bill forever.
One night though, very late (early am) 1 or 2 am maybe, I heard a DJ --DEIGN-- to play Killing In The Name Of by Rage Against The Machine. One...............night. A long while back.

by 'works4dhs'

Thank God for internet and satellite radio.


YES
edit on 9-2-2013 by Eedjee because: #



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by notquitesure
 


Nah, there are plenty of commercials that use popular radio play music.



jay-z - no church in the wild



eminem - lose yourself



nicki minaj - moment for life



NERD- rockstar

It really all depends on who the ad is trying to target. Corporations pay huge money for their ad campaigns, it is down to a science, literally.
edit on 9-2-2013 by WaterBottle because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 01:29 PM
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reply to post by WaterBottle
 



I agree that popular music is sometimes used as well. My question is about when more obscure music is used. Why is the music obscure? I've usually heard these songs before they show up on commercials, but I seek out that type of music.

I feel that some music is packaged as "alternative" because that has appeal in and of itself. Being outside of the mainstream is sexy. But maybe some of these acts aren't so outside of the mainstream after all. Maybe they are simply pushed down a different channel and marketed differently. Clearly many of these acts have huge commercial appeal, hence their use in movies and commercials. Are we sometimes made to believe that they are obscure and off the beaten path because that's a better story?

I've heard Billy Corrigan of the Smashing Pumpkins give an interview where he lamented the "fake alternative" bands. It was funny to me. He was ok with bands who were blatant corporate sell-outs. The ones he hated were the ones who acted "alternative" but were really sell-outs behind the scenes. He didn't name names, so I'm not sure who he was talking about. Again, I'm no insider. Would love it if someone with a strong background in the industry could blow the whistle
.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 01:39 PM
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reply to post by notquitesure
 





Are we sometimes made to believe that they are obscure and off the beaten path because that's a better story?


Because there is a huge audience of people who find commercial music unappealing solely because it's popular.

Underground = cool

As soon as these music groups start to get a little bit popular you will hear these types going "I liked them before anyone else did!!!". Then hate anything new the band puts out...

edit on 9-2-2013 by WaterBottle because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by WaterBottle
 



That's precisely what I'm saying. I like alternative music, but I can easily identify much of it as pop by a different name.

I realize there isn't one simple answer to all of this. I wonder how much goes on behind the scenes to determine what is alternative, what is suppressed, what the story will be.

How many bands sell their souls to the devil in order to be painted as alternative icons? How many others toil in obscurity with really great music because they are unwilling to play the game?



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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I have no idea what "alternative" music is to any specific individual. After being heavily involved with music for a while, it seemed that even areas that were deemed "underground" and "alternative" were just as popular as the "pop" music, which was generally discarded as all being trash because of its popularity (very predictable in a counter-culture).

It is also interesting how incredibly insular the music community is. Most who are fans of specific types of music will think that other types take less skill, less creativity, etc. The truth is that isnt implied by any specific genre, but by the individuals making the music. The genre is the tool, no more no less. It is a lot like blaming guns for shooting people.

I still love how 90% of people claim they listen to "everything except country." Then they start to fumble a bit when you bring up specific music genres. I like a lot of genres, including ones that most people dont even find to be "music" per se, like IDM. I also find dubstep to be kind of the girly incarnation of drum and bass. Again though, that is because of most of the individuals making the music, it isnt implicitly required for the genre.

In the end, its all subjective anyway. It is a struggle, at best, to convince others to accept your opinion as their own unless they already agree.
edit on 9-2-2013 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by notquitesure
 




How many bands sell their souls to the devil in order to be painted as alternative icons? How many others toil in obscurity with really great music because they are unwilling to play the game?


Well there is now a rise of youtube stars. The internet has really made it available for anyone to get famous. No record label needed.


And of course the people getting popular off the internet are usually making alternative forms of music.

In the future the record label will be a thing of the past.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 05:07 PM
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The corporations follow the music trends and wait for a pattern to emerge when a new genre is created. Once a pattern or formula can be determined, they can mass market sell out bands with Pop like tunes. It is happening now with dub step. It has already happened to the 1990's Alt rock genre (which I think is what you are referring to in the OP) and it has been going on since the music industry first started. They did it to the Folk music in the 60's and later in the late 1970's you got what is called corporate rock. This rock was so formulaic that its genre was named after the corporations that spawned it.

This doesn't mean that formulaic music is bad, its obviously researched and perfected to appeal to as many people as possible. Its just not the place you look for when you are looking for innovation in music. I think this is the appeal of underground music, because these are the innovators who are pushing their respective genres and creating new ones with their techniques.

The internet and the switch to mp3's is probably the best thing ever to happen to the music industry. It effectively released the stranglehold the corporations had on music and allowed innovation to come back to the forefront. I'm sure you've heard your parents or their friends tell you that music was better in their day. That's because technically it was. Record labels were more interested in innovation and new things.

By the way, record labels aren't the only way to make music in this industry anymore. You should look into the live music scene. Bands that tour regularly tour enough (over 100 times a year) that it allows them to keep ticket prices down. They then release a cd every so often which gives them a few sales. Most of them don't even care if you record their concerts. Yet practically none of their music is ever on the radio, unless it is played on some college station,



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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I'm kind of into adult alternative album orientated type of radio stations,especially the commercial free ones.

www.wfpk.org...





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