Recently, one of our writers worked on a piece to be published in a few DIY music newspapers (one in particular to be published by our good friends at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen) around New York City (truly an honor). The Meme Movement also printed hundreds of single copies, so if you see one floating around the city, grab it. Here the article in entirety:
Death of Music (by Andrew Alexander Prieto)
Growing through some of our most impressionable years during the 90’s was a battle. More than a battle, it was a war; a war for artistic integrity (a sentiment we were never formally taught,) for purity and passion. We didn’t know it then, but having been indoctrinated with the MTV cafeteria menu of bands that, in reality, were corporations selling products of pre-assembled angst, love or whatever banality marketed best, set a foundation that would be hard to alter. The foundation is not a mystery; it is an extension of the embedded, corporate-capitalistic philosophies that hold our society together by a thread. It’s a foundation that preaches instant gratification, and while the majority of us were being sold on that disillusioned pleasure, a minority labored in the service of music that held on the idea of artistic purity.
The 90’s, while giving birth to a whole arrangement of abominations, also gave rise to the indie label and, in-turn, the indie scene (a scene fueled by an already seeded new wave aesthetic). And, over the last twenty years, the idea that music should not be monopolized has given a platform to some of the greatest minds of our musical generation; minds that might have otherwise gone unexposed. However, as the indie label became mainstream (for better or worse) its motivations changed.
The year is 2035, and there isn’t a soul on the planet who gets singular recognition and mass acclaim on par with today’s superstars. No, this is not a dystopia; it’s the coming of artistic salvation. Somewhere along the way, the independent music label lost its innocence. They say a rising tide lifts all ships, and it did. Insert power, money and influence into anything and it slowly rots with corruption from the inside out. The result: a three tiered music industry fighting for your love which, in the first two tiers, translates directly to: your money.
You’ll be familiar with the first and second tier. They are the major and minor record labels (respectively) and they thrive as businesses. Integrity resides in the third tier, a level of music distribution that rises above popular demand and nearly all free market constraints. It is not a dog eat dog model, there is no competition because there is room for everyone. Born out of the leveling power of the internet, distribution of anything, not just music, is now possible from anywhere you can get wi-fi. It’s this equalizing force that is pushing musicians all across the globe to live out their vision, communicate their fantasies, and be heard, potentially, by the entire world. Without executives to tune a song to a market, without marketing to tune a genre to product, musicians everywhere, bound to their work only by their hearts and not their wallets, are driving progress. And, as always, in response to the change in creative method, the consumption methods must shift too.
Now the music world sees a rampant growth of personal music publications that consciously avoid even the indie-mainstream, in search of the new artistic frontier. Of course, not all are equal, and some are more vigilant curators than others. But the DIY sentiment that is slowly settling into the market, while imperfect, refines itself daily.
With the redefinition of the music market, the consumer now has access to a limitless stream of creative energy, and can decide for themselves what they connect with and what they don’t. It is the re-localization of the art world.