New independent music and alternative music seems to be in a bit of a rut at the moment.There are some cool new bands, but not as great as the classics. Is there really a band out today that can top nirvana. Alternative songs like black hole sun were original yet influenced by classic rock. How many bands today will be round in a decade? Many of the popular groups and musical stars will bite the dust. Independent music and alternative music needs a new kick in the head. Perhaps a new exciting band is right around the corner that offers passion, originality, great songs and style. Many of the best new bands do not even have a recording contract. Many post their own songs on my space or facebook. If you check out many of the free up online music social media websites you might find a diamond in the heap.
There was a time when ‘alternative music’ actually meant something. You always had your mainstream chart music, consisting of the usual mixture of cheesy, commercial tunes and a smattering of a few quality pop songs. Then there was always the ‘alternative scene’, consisting of bands, usually signed to independent labels who were doing something a bit more adventurous. In the 60s, alternative music could have referred to psychedelic rock, in the 70s to glam, in the 80s to German industrial funk, in the 90s to techno, and so on. It was never that difficult to locate ‘alternative music’. All you had to do was walk into an independent record shop and start rummaging through the albums. Or even tune into certain ‘hip’ radio programs- the John Peel Show on BBC Radio One being one fine example. Such shows no longer exist and although independent record-shops still proliferate, they tend to sell the vast catalogs of vintage releases which still remain popular enough with the public.
From the very beginning of popular music to the present computer generation there are notable differences in how music is marketed. In the present alternative music is so swamped with record companies and bands using the term “alternative music” there is no telling what the music is really all about or if it alternative music at all? with the advert of social media sites for music promotional stratagems like myspace and facebook many bands just label the music alternative for attention. if you spent days searching the internet for alternative bands you would come across hundreds or thousands in the category. Many music styles that would be categorized as retrograde or sounding like music of the past is now considered a form of alternative music.
Contemporary singers like Nick Cave are one of the few music writers who a creating contemporary alternative and original music styles. He sometimes creates new music scenarios drawing from the past but in the end it is an original take on a form of music like folk, blues or alternative rock and roll. if you think about it artists such as Nick cave may have a hard time getting a record deal now as the climate for new and original alternative music artists is not really what is on a record companies mind. New pop stares like Lady Gaga may dominate the scene with visually stunning stage shows. She seems very fond of true alternative music stars and artists like Iggy Pop and David Bowie however, her music is tightly wound up in dance, house and modern pop, not alternative music.
Taking the optimistic view, it seems impossible that somewhere buried in cyberspace are at least a few genuinely alternative bands and artists- but how can anyone find them? Aside from the net, there is always the live scene which, in recent years, has increased in size significantly. There are now more festivals worldwide then there has ever been. Concert ticket prices have rocketed accordingly as the major record companies seek to compensate for dwindling sales of CD albums. The free-download frenzy continues to grow and become the norm for most of the younger generation who obviously represent the largest percentage of the public who have an interest in popular music. So who is currently ‘alternative’? Ask even the most switched-on twenty-something and they would be struggling to come up with a convincing response to alternative music.
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