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They Don't Make Them Like They Used To

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Contributor:
Scott Newman
Scott Newman

Have you noticed that a majority of the bands and artists coming to perform in New Zealand are musicians that are attempting a comeback or have reformed for another tour after an extended break?

I think that it is funny that bands that my parents, aunties & uncles got excited about when they were young are now the bands that I am relishing to see.

Except that I don’t get to see them in their heyday but alas the state of music at present shows that this is the time to make quick money as the scene is quite a lot different from how it used to be.

I am a big fan of different genres of music and have been lucky enough to see some big acts in the last few years. In the last decade I have been finding that most of the music that I idolise and relate to is from the bands of the past that had built the foundations for the artists that I like today.

There does not seem to be as many revolutionary or extraordinary artists as there had been from say the seventies and eighties. It is not a case of everything has been done before as there is an endless flow of ideas surfacing each year, I feel that these are mostly coming from established artists who have back catalogs of recordings and understand the Industry.

It must be so hard not to play homage to the influences of past bands and show that the sound given is not stale and is new. In the modern era of making music so much is changing toward an interactive movement where people can download tracks to hear and preview new tracks before deciding buying an album online or at a music store. There is also the importance of music videos which can drive the fashion, Image and promotion for the music. It is seen that sex is a big seller of records as a lot of popular artists make hot videos where people often talk about the video as a selling point. Ah, clever marketing eh.

I think the proof is always live as this is all about how the sound is delivered from our ears listening to the studio cut to how the artist defines their tracks. Pure success of a career in the music Industry is defined through live performance as well as the record sales.

There is a demand from fans of different generations for our favourite musicians not to sell out by conforming to the record companies wishes to sound a particular way and change the sound to a generic radio-friendly singles band which some of the mainstream bands have resulted. If you check out the website www.myspace.com (Which is a social networking site among other things) you can look up new label and independent artist among all of your favourites. Another undoubtedly good resource for looking up the status of musicians is www.wikipedia.org (which is also a brilliant search engine for almost anything)

Well, take a look at the up-coming shows like The Who, Eric Clapton, David Byrne & Brian Eno, Nine Inch Nails, Simply Red, Jimmy Barnes etc…  There are a lot of newer impressionable artists coming as well like The Killers, Fall out Boy, Duffy, Kings of Leon, Pussycat Dolls, The Kills etc…

I think that it is still very important that we support the bands that we love by going to gigs, buying cds/vinyl/mp3s and merchandise. I adore the artwork and personal touches put into the packages that the labels put together now to keep people buying the records. Seeing a band play live is great and will always attract generations to follow up with new ideas to contribute to the endless sound waves through the timeline of life.

I am not trying to say that the state of modern music is that bad. I am sending a salute to the bands that have helped change music and will hopefully get the respect they deserve when they play their final shows.

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