Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD
If you painted something that you felt like wasn't your best work or far from your best work and yet there was a market for it all of a sudden then yes I bet you would sell out and mass produce this "less than me" art, collect the money, and smile all the way to the bank. Such is todays music. High school bands or talent shows with more talent than half of the garbage for sale in todays market, but if your hair is long enough, you have enough tattoos, and play loud enough or fast enough the youth of today will buy the crap. I couldn't count the number of people who come on here asking, How does my band sound?, and they start out nice and then all hell breaks loose. You can't understand any lyrics even if you can hear the singer and it gets louder and faster as it goes. The drummers have no rhythm, they aren't playing with the band, and they think it's music. Just too much of it. And now they can record their own CD's and act as if they are recording artists without a clue as to how much work actually goes into a professional recording. Just makes me want to scream.
We have some interesting stuff going on here. Before getting to that, GD, "crap" has always been with us. Remember bubblegum in the 60s? There's not a whole lot that's as crass as Sugar Sugar
and Yummy Yummy Yummy I have Love in my Tummy
- lol. BTW, long hair stopped being interesting a, um, ... few years ago. And hey, I have long hair!
There is the same trend going on in music as there is in movies, and sport for that matter - once someone is the loudest and fastest then someone else has to try to be louder and faster still. And there's always new generation who thinks the loudest and fastest of the day is the benchmark and tried to go further again, and all the old loud and fast guys are booooring.
LimpingToad hit the button. Visual art vs music. Music seems so much more conservative than art, which was coming up with wild stuff in the mainstream at a time when Benny Goodman was considered radical. Not a lot of music as "out there" and arty as Picasso or Van Gogh being is as popular with the general public as Pablo and co were/are.
So we're probably more conservative with music than with art. We're also more tolerant of commercialism in art; few people see art in those terms. Maybe because commercial art is mostly a marketing tool which is maybe equivalent of musical backing for a TV ad? I've worked in web and graphic design too and I know commercial artists who would love
to have more time to get things how they want it, but the time pressures force you to compromise. Maybe like pop stars are required to keep churning out the hits?
Unlike commercial art, commercial music exists more often as just itself - with little utility value other than serving as a backdrop for dancing and/or socialising, maybe the equivalent of those terrible mass-produced landscapes you see that are produced by painters who churn out one after another. But people are less likely to actively HATE it, and are more likely to just ignore it.
But Ferret... who's to say playing commercial music just for the $$ is more "prostitution" than, say, working in an office or in sales, where we almost completely
subsume our innate creativity to commercial ends? After all, people have bills to pay, kids to feed etc. I expect that plenty of musos would rather play sub-optimal commercial music than work in an office and play music on the side.
This brings us to Ken's thoughts about how some commercial music includes stuff with artistic merit, his example being Walking on the Moon
with its tasty atmospheric parts and Stewie's fantastic sticking. It's fair to wonder when hearing some commercial music, "How can these guys resist slipping ANY cool stuff in their songs?". Just something ... ANYTHING!! The answer is probably, "Because they can't". But it does
keep them out of the office :)
Music is a bit more personal and speaks more clearly to our souls (or whatever) than art does and that's maybe why people seem less tolerant of music they don't like. Maybe that's why there's talk of "musical prostitution"? There's maybe a bit more "sacredness" about music, sacred like relationships. Our ears are more primal sensory organs than our eyes so maybe it speaks to something deeper within us?
So if someone wants to use music to make a living and avoid 9 to 5 work, without treating it as something special, part of me wants to say "Good luck to them". Another part of me is offended because at least working in an office doesn't despoil something that's supposed to be beautiful or exciting or poignant or even transcendent.
Personally, I really like the idea of creating music with broad appeal but retaining some artistic merit. Most times you want to pick up gigs to enjoy the full musical experience and that means being discipline and compromise, but at the same time you want to really enjoy what you're doing. I suspect that's the space many forum members are at. Others might be hoping that their unfettered expression will strike a chord with the public so they don't have to be wage slaves, tho' that's a bit like buying a lottery ticket.