By Paige Thompson
Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, it took a lot to get into the music industry. It used to be that people would look for talent and originality in the bands and musicians they would sign. The classic rock ‘n roll music we know today was the only music teens our age would listen to. But anyone can break into the business these days.
Take American Idol for example, the contestants in previous seasons have not even had to win to get a record deal. Some of the castoffs have been more successful than the actual season winner before. Has the music industry become desperate?
Music companies are looking for anyone that people will listen to on the radio. They can be just the normal person, with an average voice, who doesn’t write their own music, and people will fall in love with their music because of their “story,” and how they are just “your average Joe.” That is all fine and dandy, but now they just want to sell something instead of caring about how their artists actually sound.
But what ever happened to talent? There are a great deal of talented musicians and bands out there, but I am talking about the radio. Our radio stations like 99.7 and 98.9 play all of the music many people listen to. Ke$ha, for example, writes a lot of her own music, and I do like that, but does that really matter if she can’t sing? All Ke$ha is a girl in a trash bag, prancing around the stage, talking in weird voices. She never even sounds like she is singing. I thought that a musician had to be able to sing.
The music industry has changed drastically. I know I was not alive, or even a thought, in the 60’s and 70’s, so what do I know about the music industry then? Well I have heard a lot from my dad, who was there, and I listen to a great deal of classic rock. The industry wasn’t commercialized back then like it is today. You would pay a whopping fifteen dollars for a concert ticket, and t-shirts would not be the thirty-five dollars you see at concerts today.
Today everything is materialistic with music. In the 70’s, there were not Led Zeppelin barbie dolls or huge televised competitions to find the “next great artist.” Music was just music, and the industry was not full of commercialization like it is now. The way the music industry is now just goes to show just how much it has changed. I love the music I listen to so much because it isn’t commercialized. I like not hearing about it every day on TV or the radio, and I like not going to Target and seeing my favorite band plastered all over t-shirts and magazines.
I find it hard to be able to like someone so much, for such a long time when everyone else does and when they play that person’s music all the time. I avoid the radio as often as I can because I am afraid that if I do, I will hear Lady Gaga too much and I will not like her anymore. Sure, Lady Gaga can be commercialized as well, but at least she is talented. She has the ability to write good pop songs, she went to Tisch School of the Arts at NYU at age seventeen, and learned piano by ear at age four.
The music from the 50’s-80’s was so great because most of the bands and musicians were talented back then. They did not seem like they were concerned with being super famous or rich. But while there is still going to be commercialized music in the music world, I can only hope this dies down and the days of future music become more like the days of past music.
SADD club will have various activities at after prom this year.
Fatal Vision Obstacle Course
-Students will be able to drive a course wearing fatal vision goggles.
“Cruisin’ Cooler” Course
-An indoor version of the above activity.
-Students will be able to drive a remote control car while wearing fatal vision goggles.
-Students will be able to interact with a device that will show them the length of time the body is effected by alcohol.
Very few times in my life have I been so taken aback by an album as I was by Samuel Beam, more commonly known as Iron & Wine’s fifth album. When I popped Kiss Each Other Clean into my computer I was fully expecting the same folksy tin can sound I love and everyone else thinks is boring, to come flowing back at me. What I actually heard was jarring. The usual acoustic guitar was replaced with a piano, a drum set, and electric feedback on “Walking Far From Home,” causing me to write question marks followed by exclamations after almost everything in my notes.
The funky baseline, psychedelic electric guitar on the following track “Me and Lazarous” actually made me double check the album cover to make sure I was in fact listening to Iron & Wine and not Peter Framton’s Frampton Comes Alive. But as my confusion and shock subsided, I realized that my foot was tapping happily along with this strange Shaft-inspired tune.
While I approved of this funky, fresh sound I heard, I was still waiting to hear the poetic lyrics that make me love Iron & Wine so much. My wish was granted in the song “Tree by the River,” an upbeat track featuring a xylophone. With lyrics like “Mary Anne, do you remember the tree by the river when we were 17? Dark canyon road, I was coy in the half moon. Happy just to be with you, and you were happy for me,” it became evident that his lyrics are as romantic as ever.
Not all of the poignant lyrics on the album have to do with young love. The track “Rabbit Will Run” makes a statement about keeping faith with lyrics like, “We’ve all heard the rooster and all been denied and we’ve seen through the spit in our eyes and I still have a prayer, a well-weatherd word to the wise.”
Even though this track sports ideas typical for those of Iron & Wine, the sound is far from typical. The most unique song on Kiss Each Other Clean, however, would have to be the track “Big Burned Hand.” With an introduction featuring a jazz saxophone, the song was different from anything Iron & Wine had ever done from the very beginning.
While this album is far from the norm, loyal fans like myself will realize that different can be a good thing after overcoming the initial shock and confusion. As for listeners who have been bored with Iron & Wine’s albums in the past, I urge you to give them another chance. If anything, I can guarantee that the album is everything but boring.