It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


I Proudfully Commit Genre-cide

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 08:01 PM
If there is one thing I would like to get people thinking about:

How the idea of "genres" is LIMITING the quality of the music that is heard by the masses and it's only becoming more and more obvious..

sound like a bold statement? think about this..

In this culture where just about EVERY recording of music (and otherwise) EVER, is available through a laptop or PC in most places in the world, but somehow MOST of it remains unheard, misunderstood, and just plain unappreciated..

..why is this..?

It seems that at least before the 50s, music was fairly well-understood by the masses as an art-form that was all about innovating new ways to create..
Even when the music was mostly interested in impressing aristocracy through novelty and gimmicks (western music's entire history haha..), professional musicians consisted of people who spoke the "language of music" and needed no help in songwriting or performing..
they didn't always have the freedom to do what they wanted, but at least there was the DRIVE to innovate, whereas today, I couldn't even claim 1% of musicians out there (and i'm just counting "the professionals"..) have any interest in changing the current state of how music is understood and heard by the masses..

There are many aspects of music that are traditional (most established cultures have some form of "music theory" or other..) but whether intentional or not, the music does evolve with time..

and it is NOW in this particularly unique time of networking technology, that the individual can expose themselves to ANYTHING within mind's-reach..
I know this is nothing new to those of us born after 1980, but seriously.. EVERY recording by EVERY musician that has EVER recorded is available..
and what do people do with it?
think about what most people ACTUALLY listen to and how they find it..

The simpler it is to classify any one musician, the easier it is to promote and sell on iTunes, get on the radio, play at award shows, get on movie soundtracks, etc etc etc..

but it seems that BY DEFINITION, if a band that is easy to put into a genre, it usually isn't a very progressive or sincere product..

I know, I know.. Most people don't even LOOK for progressive songwriting or new sounds when they seek out new music (seems like most people don't even SEEK music at all, and just kinda.. absorb what their friends expose them to..) but is that GOOD..? I truly hate the word "good" (and "bad") but what I mean is.. it helpful..?

If I have regular access to the internet and really have a niche' i'm researching, i would say that I download and listen to between 3-5 new albums a week. sometimes i'm looking for spoken word albums, sometimes i'm looking for science-fiction soundtracks, noise-music, Japanese koto music, greek orthodox chants, gnostic lectures, or free-jazz but I really don't have any rhyme or reason to HOW I find what I download..
I just follow my curiosity and I've found tons of music few people know of THAT IS TRULY AMAZING..
I know that "obscure music" is one of the red-flags for identifying a "hipster" but no.. I have no interest in any one scene or somehow impressing people with how "obscure" my music collection is..
in fact, I could say that I love a lot of Frank Zappa and David Bowie just as much as I enjoy Einst├╝rzende Neubauten and Scott Walker's entire career haha.

and the funny thing is that my computer is no more full of music than most people's, and in fact I know many folks with TWICE as much music as I do.. but it's almost always full of "the classics" whose discographies span decades.. mostly diluted crap..
I'm talking about when someone 20yrs old has a collection something like:

AC/DC, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Genesis, Eric Clapton, etc etc etc

and the poor computer's hard drive is full of nothing but discographies of these generic outdated musicians that really haven't WRITTEN any music in DECADES...

I think something is wrong..

..or at least weird haha.

I'm a firm believer that people do what they WANT no matter what they're told/taught, but.. golly. When bands like the Insane Clown Posse and "dub-step" "artists" have some of the bigger festivals, with the most enthusiastic fans.. something is definitely weird..

I suppose this might belong in the "rant" forum, but oh well! Perhaps others see this in a similar way, or perhaps not.. just hadta get it out..

posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 08:24 PM
Nah...I don't think it's genre although I dig your creative title. Heck, last night I was listening to Gangsta-Bluegrass with a friend. Pretty cool, but the technical virtuosity ain't what it used to be.

What's probably killing it all, is that there are very few musicians anymore who do the necessary work to bond with their instrument and have the knowledge of what it means to be "a tight band."

Everything old becomes new again. You want real music? Skip the electronica age and delve into the oldies.

edit on 18-11-2013 by The GUT because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 18 2013 @ 09:09 PM
reply to post by The GUT

Couldn't agree more! I do love synthesizers and have considered myself to have connected with synthesis in an intimate way, but I would say that synthesizers have definitely helped in people taking acoustics for granted. It used to take years just to produce a nice sound on a flute or a sitar, but synthesizers have been used to imitate them all as if to say "modern times have transcended the fascination with acoustic instruments and must strive for the 'new!" but this has led us to this limbo of automated electronic music and overly-genrefied acoustic bands (the only ones I seem to see around anymore are "folk-punk" and "rock" bands and maybe the occasional jazz band..)

I just mean to say that most of the REALLY creative music out there, truly defies genre like your gangsta bluegrass haha. I'm not saying that an artist has to defy every rule for them to be worth listening to (I do truly detest gimmicks..), but just for the intent behind the music to be sincere, really makes a difference in what is communicated in it.

as far as hip-hop goes, I think DoseOne's whole career has gone unnoticed or overlooked by many people who claim to be obsessed with hip-hop, and every project he's involved with is somehow different and innovative. He's also always putting out music through one project or another (Subtle, Themselves, and cLOUDDEAD to name a few..)
and the label he helped create (Anticon) does have some semi-well-known artists on there (such as Baths) but DoseOne has to work a day-job because somehow people seem afraid to delve into the depths of awesomeness haha.

I am one of the worst culprits of downloading free music from poor musicians, but I would like to think that if I ever have a surplus of moneyz, the first thing on my to-do list will be to buy plenty of ridiculously price-y vinyl from my favorite musicians, and hopefully my karma will be balanced

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 11:57 AM
I know what you mean, and you certainly got me thinking about this.

I like to brag to my friends that my taste in music is unusually varied, I like music from most genres. A lot of 20th century music, but also baroque and medieval and dubstep.

Personally I think most artists can never produce more than one or two really great songs. Most people simply don't have more than that in them. On the other hand, personal preference matters a lot. Who can really say which songs are objectively good or not so good? Most good songs in the history of mankind are lost now, right? ( well, not most, but most before the 14th century or something). No one remembers them anymore. Maybe they were even better than what we have now? It's all completely subjective. My point is that good music is subjective.This doesn't mean that some of today's songs aren't bad. A lot of them are bad. According to me.

"It seems that at least before the 50s, music was fairly well-understood by the masses as an art-form that was all about innovating new ways to create..
Even when the music was mostly interested in impressing aristocracy through novelty and gimmicks (western music's entire history haha..)"

To be honest I think most "main stream" music all through out history wanted to impress the aristocracy, not only in the west. The aristocracy had the money to buy good music. Of course today this is sort of broken. A "peoples musician" can earn a lot of money. In fact the old aristocracy has pretty much lost control of mainstream music in the west. Still, wealthy music labels have some control, but I think the internet is negating this. People have more choice to listen to the kind of music they like.

edit on 25-11-2013 by Subnatural because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-11-2013 by Subnatural because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 01:37 PM
reply to post by Subnatural

yeah, my music collection has absolutely no consistency but it seems that the more diverse the collection, the more I get out of it yanno? I'm a big fan of the "Shuffle" function when I'm sorting through a bunch of music I've just downloaded, and it seems like synchronicity usually is the best method for finding what I want to focus on and listen to the album.

My main point is that, even though perhaps you and I are using "genres" as descriptors which are applied to the music itself, genres are usually applied to a HUGE group of a bands/projects that really limit the scope of what people are exposed to.

for example: dubstep.

95% of what is called dubstep is NOT something i would say i enjoy (bassnectar and skrillex being obvious examples) but amazingly original musicians like Baths, Eskmo, and James Blake are labeled "Dubstep" often enough to where people such as myself would have never found their music if i hadn't just happened to HEAR their music at a friend's house.

Genres are essentially what DOMINATES the airwaves so any band is in-between dubstep and medieval music (to use your examples) is much less likely to be heard because they don't easily fit into one genre or another..


what I do find encouraging is how horrendously bad mainstream pop music has become and how obvious it is that these people like Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 are NOT even the same breed as musicians that really went for it as far as innovating music and taking risks with experimentation. Mainstream music USED to be mixed with these folks (because like i said, people did have an idea of what sincere music was.. until the 90s at least haha..)

We used to have people like Prince, Queen, The Who, The Beatles, David Bowie, Nirvana, and even Frank Zappa in the spotlight (obviously a random sampling of what i consider "sincere mainstream artists haha) and this was kind of confusing because, while a lot of these bands/people made some AMAZING music, it was still presented in a domineering way that overshadowed the musicians who lay in-between the "popular genres" of the time.

Frank Zappa doesn't really fit this mold entirely, and is by far my favorite in that list, but I would argue that even though he was VERY avant-garde, "avant-rock" actually became somewhat of a genre with him and Captain Beefheart, and i can only guess this somewhat helped contribute to nobody hearing about The Residents, R. Stevie Moore, Wesley Willis, Daniel Johnston, and Moondog during the 70s, 80s, 90s anddd.. well still not many people seem to know these folks!

I think mainstream music is still aimed at appeasing the "aristocracy" though i don't think actually Enjoyment is the goal for them haha. I just read this very stupid factoid (on TV of course) that "Usher's pants split down the leg during a performance at Bill Clinton's 65th birthday party"..

What the.. why the.. huh..?

Why would a 65 year old ex-president want anything to do with Usher, were it based on the music and "enjoyment" of some kind haha.

top topics

log in