The Death Of Pop

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Heard a good new song lately? Given the demographics of this site the answer is most likely negative but there are some young people here. If their answer is yes, it is going to be something from the hip-hop genre. Of course, given the demographics of this site they would probably not admit to it. This was the number one hip-hop song last year, in case you are curious. This one was number two, suggesting that the worst form of music has managed to get worse.

When it comes to what most people reading this would call popular music, the results are not much better. This was the most played “rock” song of 2023. One cannot help but wonder if it was created by AI due to its generic power-pop sound. This is the second most played “rock” song, which is not terrible, but it sounds more like a country tune than a rock song. In fact, it was number three on the country charts. This song was the most played song on the country stations.

You can go through the music charts and listen to the top-10 in each category each year and find songs that are pleasant and songs that are hilariously terrible. Miley Cyrus should cut back on that five pack a day habit and spend the savings on some people who can write music that make some sense. The fun part about scanning these music lists is there are many comically stupid entries that got pushed into the top-40 by the mega corporations that control the music business.

When it comes to what most people reading this consider rock-and-roll, the landscape has been barren for a long time. Who is the best guitar player in a rock band that is under the age of forty? No one knows. He probably does not exist because rock music does not exist as a genre anymore. If you want to hear that sort of music you are going to be buying or streaming stuff from thirty, forty or fifty years ago. Even young people who want that style reach back to the oldies.

The question is why has the popular music landscape become a barren desert of corporate product? There are still plenty of young whites who would listen to knew guitar music. Blacks still like things like soul and rhythm and blues. Even blues music could have an audience if anyone bothered. This post by Brian Niemeier goes into the reasons why popular music, especially rock music, has collapsed. He did an earlier post on the same topic discussing different reasons.

Not discussed is the culture of the managerial class. The people running the music business are no different from the people running the other centers of cultural production in that they have had the antiwhite bug for a long time. The music industry went all in on hip-hop in the 1990’s. Part of it was the belief that it was a fresh market and part of it was cultural. For managerial types, hip-hop was cool because it was not white, while rock-and-roll was pale, male and stale.

One result of the money drying up for all forms of music that appeals to white people is white people stopped making that music. They stopped learning to play instruments, stopped forming garage bands and stopped cutting their teeth at clubs. Elementary school bands are full of Asian girls playing violin. There has been a steady decline in the sale of musical instruments over the last few decades, even though technology has made it easier to record at home and make it sound good.

For rock music, this has killed the feeder system for generating new sounds and new acts that made the genre possible. Even if young people were still dreaming of being a rock star, the clubs where they would learn how to perform have dried up. The culture around going to club to find new sounds and new acts has also dried up. When the music industry shifted to hip-hop and corporate pop, they also shut down the development system for creating various genres of rock music.

We are starting to see this in other areas. The military is worried that white guys from the South are no longer signing up as in the past. This decline in white participation is due to the same factors as the decline in white music. If you make your institution openly hostile to white people, they will politely avoid your institution. Before long, you will lose the ability to win them back. A good rule of life for institutions is that once you go black the whites are never coming back.

Race is not the only reason for the decline of rock music. As those Niemeier posts explain, the industry is suffering from systemic failure. There lies another useful example that applies elsewhere. The federal government failed in its duty to maintain a marketplace for music. They allowed corporate players to monopolize radio stations, which coincided with the consolidation of the music business. The result is a narrow system that operates as skimming operation.

We see this in tech. Microsoft has a monopoly on operating systems and office productivity products. Innovation is non-existent in this area. Apple and Google own the mobile telecommunications industry. Despite the hype, there has been nothing interesting in mobile computing for a decade or more. The whole tech space is consolidating to the point where every business will be forced onto one of a few clouds of the cloud computing leviathan.

Of course, all of this can be chalked up to the end of empire. Empires are the result of failed societies, not successful ones. The Roman Empire grew out of the rubble of the failed Roman Republic. For half of its existence the Roman Empire operated like a mafia bust-out operation. The same is happening with the American empire, which grew out of the republic that died at Gettysburg. The main difference with the American empire and prior empires is speed due to the state of technology.

The shame of it is that like the remaining passengers on the Titanic, most Americans would enjoy some good tunes as the empire sinks under the water. That is not looking like it is going to happen, given the state of music. Who knows? Maybe Miley Cyrus will get lucky and made a good song for end-stage America. Or more likely, maybe a cage full of monkeys with some instruments will be the new Oliver Anthony and create an authentic anthem for this age.


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390 thoughts on “The Death Of Pop

  1. In case anyone is still reading this thread, I came across a pretty damn good “80s retro” band called Fire Tiger

    This is one of their latest songs, but quite a few of their songs from the last decade have been pretty damn good from what I can tell.

    Vocalist is female, gives off a strong Pat Benatar vibe with maybe even a touch of Annie Lennox or Belinda Carlisle with a rockier edge.

    https://youtu.be/bhpmGM07rQ0?si=wVwa_V2PPcG7IocH

    https://youtu.be/Rptz3grrHaE?si=ZK8dOTFYBuy8sIO9

  2. Sad how fast day-old posts drop to obscurity, but since there are so many strong opinions here, thought I’d ask if you understand just how inexpensively you can now produce music?

    When my son and daughter got good enough that they wanted to record their stuff, I learned a new skill — mix engineer. About $200 for the audio interface, $200 for an assortment of mikes (though you can pretty much get by with a SM-58, maybe a SM-57 if the male voice has the timbre for it, $200 for a pair of KRK Rokit’s or equivalent, maybe add in a set of gaming headphones. You already have a computer. Find a good vocalist, and midi up a basic melody for the vocals to sing to. Lay down whatever tracks you can, go to fiverr.com and drop $20 each on a few someones to play rhythm guitar, drums, or whatever you need to add. Then mix it.

    You know the sound you are looking for. You can have it. Just get off the pot and produce some. Or is some jooo or boooomer standing in your way there, too?

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    • Oh, and if you are afraid of doing the mixing yourself, drop another $20-100 to hire that done, and you should probably pay the $100 to have it mastered. It’s worth it.

      End of the day, you have under a grand in the equipment, and dropped maybe half that per song if you can’t do any of it yourself, and now have a song that you can peddle however you like.

  3. Spot-on, Z-man!

    When I was in high school, there were a bunch of kids who learned rock instruments so they (we) could emulate our (horribly depraved) heroes from Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, etc. Looking at the next generation, it’s all electronic/rave music and hip-hop. I know hardly any high school kids learning rock instruments. You’re right that this started in the 1990s. However, the 1990s was an incredibly creative time in music and cinema, and groundbreaking electronic acts like The Prodigy easily co-existed with groundbreaking rock acts like Pearl Jam. There was also the great Britpop movement with Oasis, Blur, Supergrass, Bluetones…and The Levellers storming up from the underground. Meanwhile, Los Angeles yielded its rock capital crown to Seattle: overnight, dudes went from looking like Wayne & Garth to Kurt Cobain lumberjack shirts. We didn’t realize how good we had it!

    The turning point seemed to come in 2000, with the world conquest of Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé. Corporate R&B, hip-hop and electronic music (house/rave/trance/chill/techno) swept everything before it. I think Radiohead may have been the last great original rock band.

    So, no good instrumental music anymore? Well, you have to look for it – in subcultures and even in other countries. There are many, many talented artists keeping the flame alive, but Hollywood isn’t throwing cash at them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJKJ1mDQ8-s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD6hKRB57b4&t=1s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp14O4kDmxs&t=1s

  4. The insanely prolific Australian prog band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is highly touted and very successful, selling out shows all over the place.

  5. Check out Lords of Metal on Netflix. Contemporary teen comedy/drama about some kids forming a metal band. I can’t help but notice how “white” the film is. Maybe Z can review it and do a Green Door post.

  6. It is a scientific fact that rock music reached perfection in 1987, when Guns n’ Roses released Appetite for Destruction.

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  7. Jews completely control the music biz, just like hollywood. Everything they touch turns to shit.

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    • Never heard of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Gustav Mahler, Simon and Garfunkel, Susanna Hofs, Leonard Bernstein……..

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      • Yes, those (((artists))) exist. And yet, we are drowning in a sewer of rap and greasy R&B nagger noise.

        So the existence of ((((artists))) with talent obviously doesn’t serve to prevent “everything turning to shit”, and doesn’t undermine his point in the slightest.

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  8. “Not discussed is the culture of the managerial class. The people running the music business are no different from the people running the other centers of cultural production in that they have had the antiwhite bug for a long time.”

    Identifying the managerial class hive mind remains one of your most vital observations. As you’ve said, they are a black box to us, and we’re a block box to them.

    The recent release of a certain degenerate cartoon on a major customer-gouging streaming service drives home the point. The girl artist behind this slop got started around 2017. It got picked up back when Tumblrites were marching from victory to victory. But bureaucratic corporatism slowed production, so the gay agitprop debuts after the Mulvaney backlash and DeSantis’ tussle with Disney.

    And yes, those and other incidents were token Republican noisemaking. But studio execs with a shred of social awareness outside their epistemic bubble would have read them as warning signs. Instead they charged obliviously ahead, and the show is getting panned.

  9. I wrote about this I think years ago. My take was that the decline was due to the lack of “enough” young White men and women to sustain the clubs that formed the JV for rock talent. What you had with the groups that made it in the 1980s was a bunch of clubs to play in. That started during High School, got serious after, and there was a whole ecosystem that depended upon having enough White people young enough to want to go to the clubs and listen/dance to the music. It was not rocket science and did not require huge amounts of capital. What happened after say, 1988 was a collapse in “enough” Whites ages 18-24 to sustain the clubs.

    There used to be a whole bunch of places in Southern California where bands would get their start, all gone now. Because there just are not enough young Whites to pay the admission and drinks for the place to make money.

    This is, at its core, a manpower issue of White people. You cannot have a White civilization with all the things that are nice: rule of law, cool new music, films, books, safe drinking water that won’t kill you with dysentery, safe food to eat, general public safety, without a constant set of “enough” young White people to provide the energy. It is like trying to sustain a chemical reaction without enough of the elements.

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    • Along the same lines, I wonder how much raising the drinking age to 21 had to do with it. Happened early to mid 1980s. Around the same time white youth demographics took a nosedive. And roughly the same time music took a turn into the toilet.

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      • Oh, there were plenty of fake ids . . . at first. Long term, you probably correct to point out the upping the drinking age destroyed the rock scene. Also, as rock n roll parents started to take their 14 yr olds to rock camp, how cool can rock really be?

    • I believe you are right. Despite what you might have seen of the Brat Pack movies, women started becoming dangerous about that time. City women specifically. It was much safer to go with a large group of both sexes than it was to somehow end up in the company of just one and end up in a “he said, she said,” egged on by the new wave of feminists.

      That dynamic was much less away from cities, in some places, practically non-existent. While city boys were discovering that their music made both them and their women mopey and maudlin (lookin’ at you, Nirvana), effeminate (boy bands, and, no, she didn’t really think you looked cool lip syncing to them), or, best case, just turned dancing into moving with the music, ideally without ever coming close enough to risk a sexual harassment charge, cowboys never stopped two-stepping with their ladies. And the ladies had a blast following her man’s lead. You know, the more traditional gender roles. Which work, BTW.

      Rock lost its utility as a dating and mating ritual, while CW retained its. Not a big shocker how that worked out.

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    • Young Whites go to country music clubs to dance these days. And country music – thanks to garth Brooks, that f*gg*t – has become corrupted by rock & pop’s worst habits.

  10. Goethe observed that all genius was provincial. Original music in the 19th century was easlily identifiable by country, and so were performers. A great french violinist or singer was easily sorted from great artist in other locations. That is no longer true. We hear everything in the world from a young age and worse still there is vanishingly little local flavor to draw from.
    Classical music was dead but 1950’s, ’60’s, maybe 70’s were the last drink from that straw for other forms of music. Homogenization is the opposite of provincialism. As we see spectacularly demonstrated in politics.

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  11. It’s not so much that music that appeals to whites is no longer being created, but many of the artists who do create it are doing it very self-consciously and deliberately in order to be “retro.”

    One of the things I’ve discovered from listening to Spotify while at work is that no matter what genre of music you like, there are people out there who are still playing it. There is a whole subculture of bands out there still playing 1980s-style hair metal, for example, and a lot of the musicians doing it look young enough to be the grandkids of the original hair metal musicians.

    The problem, of course, is that there’s nothing really organic about any of this. It’s an attempt to clone a particular look and feel, but because that look and feel doesn’t arise from a pre-existing ecosystem, it can’t really grow and evolve and eventually birth something new. Nobody set out to create hair metal; it grew out of a particular ecosystem, and the grunge that responded to it and eventually supplanted it grew out of its own ecosystem (which nevertheless had many links to the ecosystem that birthed hair metal).

    All this is great if you’re an old guy like me who is very set in his ways; I now have a seemingly endless stream of musicians who are eager to cater PRECISELY to my tastes, which were formed and set in stone long ago. I wonder how it must be for younger folks, though, who no longer seem to have any music to call their own. And of course, over the long term this kind of creative sterility is bad for all of us.

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    • “It’s not so much that music that appeals to whites is no longer being created”

      Consider the possibility that it was deliberately killed and replaced with hip hop. A small number of people determine what music gets promoted, which affects what is created.

      The “Who Killed Rock?” post that Z Man linked to has a link to a video that explains it with an interview with an insider.

      https://youtu.be/reesdiAbvk4

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    • “Mother Father” from Houston, November, 1981. Absolutely insane vocal control and range. Unfortunately, by the end of the Escape tour his voice started to get a little toasty and he never again had that immaculately clean register that he’d possessed through the Gregg Rollie years of Journey.

      https://youtu.be/3kx24YtwPKA?si=K6mITmIhi4JzQPo0

  12. Here’s a short theory of entertainment; ad IQ has fallen music has become more simple to play and to listen to. And as the industry has become more streamlined and managerial, they have formulas for “popular” songs. The combined effect is that they all sound more and more alike. This is even more pronounced in films where most are remakes or poor girl boss remakes. Bur the convergence on similar designs os also seen in cars, restaurants and many other products. The great corporate convergence where everything ends up looking like a shopping mall or airport or something that belongs there. Ugly and bland. Just like the life they plan for you

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    • People used to call Soviet culture bland, soulless and ugly. True as far as it goes, I suppose, but the homogeneity and hideousness of GAE’s culture puts it in the shade.

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      • The red madmen of the Kremlin never had the idea to move all of the third world into the Soviet Union or its satellites. There were limits to their madness. Limits that do not apply to our overlords.

        We are run by certainly the most treacherous, and possibly the most evil, people in history

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      • The new cookie cutter apartment blocks that have gone up in many American cities remind me a lot of Soviet apartment blocks.

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        • Yes, those things are everywhere! Even sleepy midwestern college towns. Who’s going to live in them? And the rents just keep going up too! it’s almost as if somebody important has a plan to transform society. nah, that’s crazy talk, right?

      • Corporatism is the end point of capitalism, and it turned out to be no better than communism in the long run. Perhaps we should go back to mercantilism or palace economics instead.

    • I’ve heard that all the current crap by people like Swift and Cyrus is written by about 3 people. And soon it will all be AI

  13. One of the foundational laws of life is the easiest way to improve your looks is to hang around ugly people.

    I think of that adage every time I hear some new rock, country or soul someone recommends.

    From the 30s through 80s young musicians and songwriters were surrounded by top rated talent whom they could learn from and compare themselves to. However now a mediocrity can sound like a genius compared to the norm. If you spend a lot of time listening to modern drek your standards slip. This is true not just for pop music but for classical music, literature, movies and art.

    I enjoy Zs film reviews of classic films and while I think every now and then something high quality is done now, overall, modern movies are made with the assumption that the audience isn’t bright and doesn’t have high standards. The same with music

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    • That was what I thought about the popularity of the Top Gun sequel. It was appealing (to many) only compared with the utter trash that surrounded it. The buzz it got also convinced me that word of mouth on movies wasn’t reliable anymore.

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      • Before watching a movie, I like to read reviews on imdb. I find most entertainment now is way overrated so I pay attention to the negative reviews as well as the positive because they are usually more accurate.

        I find this especially true with restaurants. For example, I just moved back to the US from Thailand where I lived for years. All the Thai restaurants in my town have great reviews online. Nearly all the reviewers stress the authenticity of the Thai food. None of the restaurants cook food like in Thailand. My wife is a Thai chef and we have given up trying to eat Thai food out. Even the Thais here in the US rave about food that no one would like in Thailand. That fits my point that your looks improve when you are around ugly people.

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        • My commiserations!

          Landing in Bangkok tonight. Lunch at Somtam Nua tomorrow. Or perhaps Rad Na downstairs at Central Chidlom. Doncha hate me? 😀

          Then Chiangmai next Wednesday for a week of Khaosoi excesses.

          Can’t beat Thai food in Thailand but never trusted a restaurant review there either — having your national libel laws come under the criminal code *will* do things to the tenor and quality of reviews. Thai word of mouth though… can’t be beat. If they collectively decide a place is good then it’s great.

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        • I was in NYC several years ago and my friend took me to a place out in Flushing that was getting rave reviews for its noodle dishes. Next to us while we were eating was a Chinese girl who was loudly complaining in Mandarin, “These are supposed to be good? I can get better noodles from a street vendor in China!”

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    • Agreed. Whenever I listen to modern pop music that somebody who really cares about music recommends to me ardently, my response is, “Well, that’s not too bad.” But does it compare to the pop music produced from 1965 thru 1988? Not only no, but hell no.

  14. I think this is off a bit. Rock and metal didn’t die but with the rise of the Internet, things splintered off into niches and sub-genres that only hard core explorers are going to learn about.

    Meshuggah and Sikth invented “Djent” and Sikth in my opinion were the better of it. Those two bands inspired the vast panoply of “Djent”, bands. There are plenty of great guitar players who emerged in the past 10-15 years who are all coming from different angles: Plini; Andy James; James Richardson; Guthrie Govan; Tosin Abasi; Widek … …

    Bands are tougher to find because there just are never more than a few true innovators with something to say at a given time.

    The other thing that happened is that some really good bands also started coming from non-whites (Abasi and Animals As Leaders; Mansoor and Periphery; Skyharbor) It is just that with the Internet, the industry fragmented. It is very difficult for innovative musicians in innovative styles to come up. Even bands that became relatively successful do not tour the periphery of Europe, Asia … because the record sales to justify doing those expensive tours where you make up the money on the records sales of the entire back catalog aren’t there anymore. Some very talented people are making music but many can’t make money from it. The business model is now to endorse gear, make and sale your own gear and to sell your services as a producer.

    Z, I sent you some stuff that you pulled out of the mail and just ignored/snubbed because it came in CD. Don’t be so old brother. 🙂

    I do agree that pop music is absolute garbage. Of course during the racial reckoning everyone only plays hip-hop. I was on a plane at the gate during boarding and hip hop and r&b were on the speakers. Everyone has to prove that they love blacks by loving black culture now so it is everywhere. Maybe they like it. I don’t know.

    I think the OS comment is off. Inside of the cloud data centers is all kind of innovation in OSs and distributed networks and OS’s that is incredible engineering. It is just hidden in the data center. The innovation isn’t taking place on the desktop it is taking place in the data center itself. The big data center is a marvel of hardware, software and network engineering that has plenty of innovation in OS going on.

    Still the point is taken. For the masses songs and culture is in an advanced state of decay.

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    • Hip Hop and Rap were about the worst thing to happen to modern youth. I live in Switzerland and this shit has even reached here. Funny to see rich white guys doing the walk and giving you the look. Ah, those awful Swiss ghettoes!

  15. Folks, do me a favor before you go down the whole “rock is dead” path. Again. It’s an imperfect method, but just tell your phone to play the Rock station on your iPhone, or even the Alternative station. Just let it play while you work in the garage. Sure, there is some crap. Thus has it always been. But there is still great rock music being created and played.

    There’s this weird subculture that thinks the same 25 songs on their local classic rock station were the peak of music. Queen, AC/DC, Ozzy, and like two other bands. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    I’m always finding a terrific new band just shredding it.

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    • Listening to guys shred on guitar was fun for about 20 years but eventually I wanted something different. Maybe that’s more about me than about them. But I don’t think it’s entirely about me. You said it yourself, the new guys are “shredding.” Well, so were the old guys. It’s about all you can do if you’re going to remain within the genre.

        • Which illustrates another problem with rock: there has been very, very little branching off from the basic 4 instruments of guitar, bass, keys, drums. If somebody was shredding on the oboe I would give it a listen but that doesn’t happen. Even horns have been very limited in the rock genre.

          Some of that is just about money. Get too many players in the band, and nobody makes any.

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          • There’s definitely been a surge of “power duos” bands like The Black Keys and Royal Blood. They’re not really power duos…they have a small army of studio musicians. But it’s less money to share and fewer personalities to manage.

            There are bands that layer in synth or horns, but it’s expensive and it does start to bend the rock rules a bit. That’s where Prog and Alt rock came in and adult contemporary loves the sax.

            Royal Blood flirted with a very “Muse” synth dance club sound on Typhoons, but seem to be coming back to more straightforward power chord rock on their current record.

            I love it in School of Rock when Jack Black hands Yes: Fragile to the keyboard player and tells him to listen to the keyboard solo on “Roundabout”.

  16. It’s important to separate mainstream pop from actual music. From a rock perspective, we’re just cycling back through another round of “rock is dead” before it comes back again.

    Plenty of great bands out there. Black Keys, GVF, Mammoth WVH, Cage the Elephant, etc. it’s a bit of a 70’s revival right now. We have our aging bands like Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam still cranking out good material. Back in the 80’s it was Aerosmith or Rush. There’s always a lull as older bands die off until new ones emerge. Or the old ones reinvent themselves.

    I understand the pop charts theme, but again those charts are created by people selling the things on the charts. Make a list, put songs on it you want people to buy, and people read the list to see what songs they should buy.

    The real idea behind this post is that most of what you are told is popular ISN’T actually popular. There’s a reason why grocery stores put impulse purchases close to the cash registers.

    Once you drop the pretense of something having to be advertised as “popular” in order to be good, a world of music opens up to you. Pop music has been mostly garbage for 50 years and every decade had top singles that you listen to today and recognize as hot garbage.

    Lastly, the democratization of music has massively changed listening habits. You simply don’t have to have as many people listen to a song in order for that song to have more listens than others…because listenership is flatter and wider today.

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    • I’m not one to shit on boomers, especially since my own generation is just as bad and probably worse BUT, there are some important things that many boomers seem to refuse to acknowledge about how the world has changed since they last paid attention to it and these cause a lot of discord between the generations.

      One thing, and this is pertinent to the theme of the article, is that boomers grew up in a time where culture was much more centralized. Everyone watched the same few television stations and the same few shows, listened to the same few songs. The internet has changed that fundamentally,

      (though the international finance class has been taking major steps to change that as of late since real democracy scares the shit out of them, notice any change in things like google results recently? They have been somewhat successful in making the internet less free unfortunately)

      what has happened is a sort of cultural diffusion where instead of one mass culture(still exists but is much diminished) there’s ten thousand little niche cultures based around various interest groups. So you have a situation where everyone under 40 has heard of the mega slut Miley Cyrus, but not many have actually listened to her music for more than a few minutes. Also don’t forget that corporations can easily buy millions and even hundreds of millions of fake views. Bots are everywhere and they are all for hire.

      Going off on a ramble here so I’ll just finish up with what I think is the main generation divide and cause of boomer hate.

      Almost nobody under 40 will ever be able to afford a home anymore in much of the country. The American dream is dead for us, doesn’t matter how aggressively we pull at our bootstraps, most of us will never be able to own property. Rents are egregiously overblown and housing prices evenmoreso, we are basically fucked if we want to have a future oriented mentality. This is very depressing to us, and we are envious of a generation who had it much easier than we did.

      It’s not the boomers fault obviously, you don’t control the central banks, that’s the Js, but the dismissive attitude and lack of a willingness to think outside of your own experiences that many seem to exhibit is a very ugly look. My parents saved for 10 years to buy theirs, mine would likely take at least 30. It’s very likely I would be long dead before the mortgage was paid off…. so what’s the point?

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      • “and we are envious of a generation who had it much easier than we did.”

        Did we really? Dad bought his first home at the age of 38. I was 35. My son just became a homeowner at age 26, though to be fair, his mom and I picked up half the down payment. His best friend, also age 26, is already on his second house, a very nice 4 bedroom, and did it without assistance from his parents.

        I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying it never has been easy, with the possible exception of 2008 with the housing collapse. If you were a renter age 22-30 or so in 2009, you were sitting in the catbird seat.

        P.S. That’s not a boomer.

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        • Congratulations on your success. I think you missed the point entirely though. And proved it…

          How many 26 year olds do you really think on their 2nd house in the country right now? Dunno what that guy’s situation is, but he is doing better than 99% of the other 26 year olds. I don’t know his situation but I’d guess it’s highly likely his parents are very wealthy.

          Where I am, and it’s not a poor place… Most are spending over half their paycheck on splitting rent with roommates and interest on student loans. And if you’re white… gov’t and NGOs aint gonna help ya, unlike the POCs alliance. No free rides for a middling SAT score for us.

    • Technically, I suppose you could say rock isn’t dead, in the same sense you can say jazz isn’t dead, either. But jazz hasn’t ruled pop since the 50s, and rock hasn’t since the 90s.

      True, there are still people around that play the stuff (including myself), but as a cultural force, both are fossils. The last time a rock album appeared in the year’s top 100 was 2021, when Ozzy Osbourne edged in at #99.

      A few vestigal bands may still be hanging around, but there’s nothing pop about unpopularity.

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      • The problem is also that most things in rock that needed to be said have already been said. Even “good” modern rock bands are just standing on the shoulders of giants. It’s very hard to crank out anything truly original these days. Same with Jazz and even classical. It’s all been sung and played already.

        • ALL art forms go through this. It’s normal.

          I see people lamenting that rock hasn’t been on the charts in 20 years. But I look back at when I was a teenager and rock was definitely on the decline and see bands like Poison riding the barrel over the falls.

          Early 90’s alt rock put off the inevitable for a few years. But all art firms eventually fade.

          All the garbage music Zman laments will have the same problem in a few years.

    • Foo Fighters…?
      Pearl Jam…?
      Arghhh…!
      Nooooo….!
      (Neither were much more than tolerable in their prime- which is long past.)

      Try:
      The Beths…
      Wyze Blood…
      I could continue, but dare I say “Tin Ears?”

      1
      1
      • And therein lies another issue: a lot of even the great bands are left-wing wankers. That already makes their music unlistenable. Talking about you Springsteen and Young!

    • Yep, I agree. To that I would add Cage the Elephant and The Black Keys.

      My 17 year old daughter has GVF on her playlists and has really shown no musical interest in Led Zepplin or The Who. She just likes the music. Great rock is great rock.

      • I’ve heard them compared to Zeppelin, but I challenge you to also listen to Geddy Lee from Rush, and then listen to Josh Kiszka (GVF lead singer).

        It is immensely obvious that their musical style was influenced by Rush.

        • Modern music is awful, agreed, but maybe a hint of nostalgia is creeping in here. Geddy Lee? Jeez, who castrated that guy? Led Zeppelin? At least they kept all the nerds happy when I was a kid. Okay, let battle commence! 🙂

          1
          1
    • Greta Van Fleet von der Haus die Weiterentwicklung.
      (Manufacturers are putting v-8 sounding vibes through speakers in e-cars these days…were you aware? )
      A Les Paul and a Plexi, anyone?

    • There’s plenty of good music still. I follow over a thousand artists on Bandcamp. But the ’90s saw the last new-*sounding* music in the Western popular tradition (rock, jazz, folk, etc.), and novelty—not true avant-garde novelty but pleasant listener surprise—is the lure of “pop.” Most popular ’90s rock bands were kinda weird (and unpopular ones were often extremely so), nerds hunted down every alien sound a computer can make (and some put them in dance/industrial music so normies could experience them), and players found the limits of physical technique (annoying noise). Since then, not much of that sort of thing. Every sound has direct precedents, usually single ones—what metal guys call “worship” music (sounding *just like* your favorite record). Paradoxically, ’90s musicians who had to go to the store and buy records to hear them knew more music than kids today who in theory could listen to almost everything right now. They don’t do it. The internet just didn’t work out.

    • Listen to some live Billy Strings. Best new music i’ve heard in decades. Their albums are good but live is where they really shine.

  17. “(They Long to Be) Close to You” sticks out in my mind as of a world totally lost. (I’m an old school “Simpsons” fan)

    Too white, too heartfelt and intelligent, too innocent. Of a world that is no more.

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    • similarly, think how good black music was back in the era of motown. J5, Supremes. . .black talent could really be great if kept “under control” in what was once a white nation.

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  18. Not much to add and plenty to reminisce but I’d blame the start of all this on Us Damned Gen-X’ers. Once music morphed from “Rock And Roll And Party All Night” to “Help Me Work Out My Issues Onstage” we were on the downslope. 😏

    Like some other folks on here I remember guys in my social circle forming bands. There were some junior high friends of mine (thanks to town boundaries we went to different high schools) forming a band in high school. In their senior year of high school / freshman year of college they were good enough to get booked into some decent clubs in Chicago. Not as nice as Schubas or FitzGerald’s, but better than some basement that reeked of cigarettes and stale beer. (They were onstage where it reeked of cigarettes and stale beer)

    My first college roommate was a bass player in a band that played gigs in the bars around Directional State U. Typical bar band rolling from gig to gig in a beat up van owned by the drummer. He left the band when he pledged his frat sophomore year.

    Now, do kids and young adults even go to dive bars with cheap beer around their college to hear live music? A few years back M’Lady and I went to her Big Ten Alma Mater, walked around downtown near campus, and all I heard was a chorus of “Where’s this bar? Where’s that bar? Where’s the bar where we got cheap pitchers of beer every Friday?”

    You could find sushi bars and bubble tea shops. 😏 Now I suppose there’s vape shops too.

    Apparently young guys don’t form bands for the Number 1 reason: Get Chicks, Broads, Gals, whatever. I suppose if you live life online you need never learn to torture three chords on a guitar or whomp the crap outta a drumset to get female attention. If you look good enough. Otherwise you play video games or something.

    Agree too on the “efficiency” of consolidation on the music industry and radio stations turning everything into a grey sludge. I suspect old acts hang on the same way Kraft Macaroni and Cheese hangs around: An aural “comfort food” that’s easy to find and comforting in it’s familiarity. Doesn’t help new acts coming up though.

    It’s a shame what we’ve lost.

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    • Recently I was reading something about Elvis, and how before he got big, he honed his craft playing the “honky tonk circuit” in Texas and Arkansas. Does such a circuit even exist anymore? I don’t think it really does. Nowadays you put your stuff on spotify and youtube and people either click or they don’t.

      • Honky tonks in general are practically extinct. Kind of like tiki bars and supper clubs.

        • Ah but up in Wisconsin, aka “God’s Country”, you can find a supper club or two Yah Hey Dere You Betcha!

          And I’m not being ironic. We have friends that moved to Da Nort Woods of ‘Sconny and they eat at Honest to Goodness Supper Clubs and do Fish 🐟 Fries with Old Fashioneds every Friday You Betcha!

          (Although we had to explain OUTSIDE of Wisconsin Old Fashioneds are made with bourbon 🥃 and vermouth, not brandy and ginger ale. 🤢. And don’t get me started on Grasshoppers or Pink Squirrels.)

          And I have eaten in a Supper Club outside of Lake Geneva, WI in the past few years. It was like going back to 1975.

      • Honky-tonks specifically, no. But bars with a decent stage and sound system that book live music? Heck, yes. If a band likes that kind of life, a half-ass manager can arrange it. He could book you pretty much non-stop June to August without leaving the Black Hills. It’s a little easier to do on the country circuit, which is why bands that prefer classic rock sound often add some modern country numbers, but they could tour without. Just probably not have a gig every day.

      • the Louisiana hayride – it was a competitor for the grand ole opry in the early to mid 50s. Eventually the opry won out.

    • > Now, do kids and young adults even go to dive bars with cheap beer around their college to hear live music?

      In my experience in an SEC college town, no. Gen Z barely goes out drinking to begin with, and the ones who aren’t involved with the Greek scene tend to want sours and what they think are fancy cocktails. Meanwhile, the towns themselves have gentrified and become so expensive that no-name musicians can’t afford to live there and play much and dive bars that don’t cater to old dudes can’t afford the rent.

      Most of the musicians I know are Xennials/elder Millenials who’ve aged out and the places they used to play in are no longer in business. Covid killed most of what was left and the live music these days is either clubs with rap DJs or cover bands at redneck bars. Even the hipster scene is aging, with most closer to being 40 than 20.

      12
    • I played a few of those clubs myself, when I was younger. Chicago used to have a thriving club scene in the 80’s, there were always places to work. Being in a band was my generation’s equivalent of running away to join the circus.

  19. Reading today’s post made me remember old Stephan Molyneux’s arguments for libertarianism. In their model of reality businesses could never EVER form a stable monopolistic cartel because supposedly the cost of hired goons to shut out the competition would make the business unprofitable as they would have to charge higher prices and thus make competition more lucrative.

    Of course in the empirical real world we see the literal fucking exact opposite. Every good or service that is profitable ends up being taken over by a cartel be it drugs, operating systems, music, phones, representative governments, streaming video service, everything. In reality if you have the seed capital to shoot everyone who is competing with you, that is in fact far more profitable than trying to compete fairly. The only businesses where small actors are allowed to function are in things that are highly niche or require so much work it isn’t worth the effort, much like how the scraps of hide and ribcage of the gazelle are left behind by the lions for the birds to pick at.

    The fatal fallacy of the libertardian is that they then say “Well TRUE capitalism has never been tried, these cartels are just bribing the state to enforce their monopolies”. Yes, that is the thing, the government are the hired goons, that is why libertarianism can’t work.

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    • To be fair, though, Molyneux frequently pointed out that if allowed to, government force could and would overwhelm the more subtle effects of competition.

      Napster didn’t go away because it was outcompeted. Massive wind turbines and solar arrays are not omnipresent because the free market “decided” they should. DMCA was called the Mickey Mouse law specifically because Disney wanted to extend the copyrights.

      And most obviously to the DR, immigration isn’t happening because the market says so…

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      • Which is true, but he’s focusing on government as the only source of coercion, coercion being the fundamental flaw to any sort of libertarian society. They have never come up with any better solution than simply having your own guns to defend against the thugs, and when someone says “what about two thugs” then it’s “well you sign a mutual defense contract with your neighbors”, and so on and so on and before long you’re right back to your criminal insurance co-op thingie being a government that engages in coercion.

        Its like saying “I have the secret to immortality, just stop aging.”

        • I agree it’s idealistic. But how is the DR business model any more realistic?

          1. Tribe Up.
          2. ???
          3. No more non-whites.

          BTW, you are mischaracterizing libertarians. They mostly want to work within the system, same as you. Even more than many here. They at least still believe if they elect the right person, government will start respecting rights. It’s not until anarcho-capitalism that you get rid of government as a force, for good or evil. Historically, mostly for evil.

          3
          1
          • It’s more like.

            1. ???
            2. Tribe up
            3. No more non-whites

            Since white people do all the useful work in society, if whites were to act as a cartel they would essentially hold a monopoly on competent workers. Everything in our current regime is fixated on preventing that from happening because the regime depends on taking a cut from the production of whites while redistributing that wealth to parasitic nonwhites.

            8
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          • OK, so fill in step 1. How specifically are you going to convince Democrats they should become “racists”? Heck, how are you going to convince more than a handful of Republicans?

            At least it’s plausible that some elected official would do what he promised. Short of total nuclear war that vaporized the Ds and the Rs and left the DRs alone, I don’t see how the other is remotely plausible.

          • Unfortuantely ??? is likely to be White people being subjected to conditions not unlike Palestinians in Gaza. Also the boomers need to die off so their civnat religion can go away.

  20. Just got on board here. Feeling courageous, I linked to that Sexyy Red video. I got past the two minute mark when I’d seen enough. It sure isn’t Gladys Knight and the Pips. is it?

    These blacks. My god they are truly hopeless. Our conquerors may hate white people, but they despise the blacks. Videos like this? Blacks owning their inferiority and pig ignorance? Sure, we whites are on the chopping block but no group among our new colonists are going to put up with this shit longer than expedient.

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    • As long as the juice supremacy remains, the worshiping of blackety black will not only continue, but it will intensify.

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    • Guys like BB King used to wear suits when they performed. They all had superb musical chops. Now not so much. Even early reggae with its laid-back stoner vibe is light years past the crap that blacks produce now.,

      17
      • Lou Rawls. Man, what a voice. Going back, Ella Fitzgerald. Far from me to say that blacks cannot entertain us or fail to gain our respect, by staying in their lane: Dancing, music, sports, comedy. That’s about it. Give me Flip Wilson, Marilyn McCoo, and Wilt Chamberlain. Great Americans.

        • Not long ago I remarked at a bar – loud enough that I could be heard by just ’bout everybody – “who remembers when africanamericans made a positive contribution to American Kultur?
          😉
          (Well, I’m in my mid-50’s…)

  21. Since this is a music thread I thought I would plug a song I like. Anyone heard the song “goodbye girl” by David Gates?

    I feel the song is great to listen to when things aren’t going your way. Music (among other things) these days may suck but it won’t forever.

    • In my ongoing perusal of older movies that were nominated for academy awards, I recently had the misfortune to watch The Goodbye Girl, for which that was the theme song.

      Plot: Bugman white knights for thirtysomething single mother with high body count. I hadn’t realized this particular kind of conditioning existed so far back (1977).

      As I am finding out about a lot of other award nominated movies, it appeared to have been nominated only for the social agenda it was pushing, not for the quality of the work. Which in this case seemed to me mostly nonexistent.

      • That was Dreyfuss, wasn’t it? Yeah, 90 minutes of my life wasted, too, and way too many neurons dedicated to it’s memory.

  22. At the risk of opening myself up to ridicule, I always thought all the Nickelback hate had the look of a coordinated hit job. Sure, they were derivative, but no more so than any other band since 1970. It was catchy white testosterone rock, and the executive small hats decided we can’t have that, so they turned them into a joke.

    13
    4
    • A popular (on the internet) comedian, Brian Posehn, did a bit about them, literally making them a punchline. America hadn’t settled on a band to hate for having white loser fans (with pregnant teen hispanic girlfriends). It looked like the battle for the belt was between Creed and Insane Clown Posse, but Nickelback came in off the top rope. It might have been the first “Reddit meme,” the annunciation of the soy.

  23. Music is like candy for your ears. At first it feels good. Then it gets old. Finally it is torture. Modern music to include rock is mostly gutter music. The lyrics drag the spirit down. Much of it should be burned in a bonfire.

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  24. There are some excellent young guitarists out there. The brilliant bluegrass phenomenon Billy Strings, Daniel Donato of his band Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country, the morbidly obese black blues-rock guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Also Rick Mitarotonda of the fast-rising Connecticut jamband Goose, although their trajectory is delayed somewhat as they need to find a new drummer.

    The death of rock music has been greatly exaggerated. Not so much at the arena level these days besides legacy acts but plenty happening in small clubs and theaters, which is a more enjoyable environment anyway for live music.

  25. Eh.

    There has always been “managerialism” on pop music. The pop, and especially the country stars of the Sixties were to a large extent creations of producers and marketers. They’d take some hillbilly and put him in a Nudie suit and have him lip-sync on television to a recording with string sections and horns and call it “country” and the sold records that way by the millions.

    Rock as we knew it was largely a Boomer phenomenon and it was mostly about young guys trying to get attention so they could get a piece of ass. 90% of the classic rock songs out there are about getting laid. The more attention you got, the more money and pussy you got. Talent was nice to have but not necessary. Gene Simmons was hardly the equal of Jaco Pastorius on the bass — he was Jewish pervert trying to bang shiksas. The outrageous costumes and loud shows with fireworks got attention and pussy where talent could not.

    Sure, there were chicks in rock and roll, but Joan Jett and Chrissy Hynde were hardly female Elvises. Overall it was mostly guys trying to be more outrageous than everyone else.

    Rock is dead today because of the feminization of society. Male aggression, musical or otherwise, is suppressed. And if you’re some high school kid today you’re not going to write songs about banging girls when all the ones you know are 300 pounds, have purple hair, show up to school in pajamas clutching cell phones, are being treated for clinical depression, and think they’re LGBTQIA++. The porn only a few clicks away on your cell phone is better.

    Part of the feminization of society, and the decline of rock and roll, is the suppression of drinking. I remember when kids would turn 18 and on their birthday get their sheriff’s ID in the morning and go drinking all night at clubs that had bands and wake up with some strange chick the next day. Sure, there were fights and drunken car wrecks but that just came with the territory.

    Beyond that, it’s all been done already — decades ago. Fee Waybill was dressing in drag and Iggy Pop was cutting himself in 1975. It’s hard to top anything that hadn’t already tried by 1978 or so…

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    • I might add that feminization of society doesn’t necessarily kill rock music but it creates a different kind. Like I can imagine that the fans of pink Floyd were not super masculine (or at least compared to foghat or thin Lizzy fans)

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        • I always hated them back in my rock and roll days, in no small part because their stuff was so overplayed on FM radio I just got sick of hearing it over and over and over. (Kinda like Led Zeppelin — I want to vomit every time I hear the opening chords to “Stairway.”) But PF is growing on me now that I’m old (not that I go out of my way to listen to it). Some of their stuff was pretty thoughtful.

          And Roger Waters appears to be redpilled on the JQ:

          https://www.newsweek.com/pink-floyds-roger-waters-says-israeli-lobby-trying-cancel-him-1805156

          • Well, good for Roger.

            I’ll never come around to Floyd, but as I’ve gotten older I have come around to the Beach Boys and the Bee Gees, believe it or not.

    • Imagine if the Powers that Be had attempted a “Lockdown” in the 1970s. Metal-heads, punks, and even R&B guys would have written defiant songs of protest. Nowadays, they’re all saying “take the jab.” Like those sickening phonies from Rage At the Machine. Even when those guys try to fight commercial exploitation, they cave very quickly.

      15
      • All those old rebels are now the establishment. And there are no new rebels except us. And I can’t play the guitar…

      • The Premiere of Queensland (Peterson, I believe?) tried to “lock it down” back in the 70’s – result?
        The Saints.
        And I daresay that nobody on this board has ever heard “I’m Stranded”
        Sigh…

      • Yeah. Ironically, the older I get the more I appreciate punk. I wasn’t into it at the time — I was a bit too young for the punk scene of the late 1970s, I think I was only 13 or so when Sid stabbed Nancy to death (my era was more 1980s hair metal).

        But now, looking back on it all, I appreciate what a giant “Fuck you” it all was to everything — the political establishment, the corporate music industry, the mainstream rock and roll industry. Sid wore a swastika armband on the streets of Paris only 30 years after the German occupation ended. Nothing says “Fuck you” quite like that.

        Never thought that I’d feel this way as I approach sixty… but I never, ever get sick of hearing “Anarchy in the U.K.” If only us dissidents had an anthem like that today…

        No way the Sex Pistols would have ever required a COVID jab to attend their gig… they were too busy attacking the fans.

        • Ian Stuart (Skrewdriver) did few unforgettable white identity anthems in the mid 80’s but (((media))) downplayed them.

    • Okay, I just listened to a few bars [or were they stanzas?] of “B!tch Better Have My Money”, and all I gotta say is…

      Where be Stevie Wonder?
      Where be Bill Withers?
      Where be Quincy Jones?
      Where be Berry Gordy & The Corporation?
      Where be Ray Charles?
      Where be Oscar Peterson?
      Where be Nat King Cole?
      Where be Thelonious Monk?
      Where be Art Tatum?
      Where be W. C. Handy?
      Where be Scott Joplin?

      • There’s a British singer named James Hunter who has a sound something like Sam Cooke (Hunter is white) and some excellent songs with thoughtful lyrics.

  26. There is a ton of great rock music being made of a wide variety of sub-genres, and it’s very active with all sorts of cross collaborations and experimentation. It’s just not coming out of the major record labels. It’s little indie groups and solo artists doing their own thing via YouTube.

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    • Online streaming stations have somewhat become what pirate radio was to the U.K. many years ago. You can hear things that won’t make it into the popular culture or be heard on the radio. Even fairly mainstream apps like TuneIn have stations well worth a listen.

      • I know I can’t post very many URLs without getting spammed. Here’s one from a German band called d’Artagnan.

        https://youtu.be/wW5prLBozTU?si=Xu2Gl2sD0Ms0HAaI

        Check out Storm Seeker, Scardust, Patty Gurdy.

        Also, mostly covers, but really good covers: Andrei Cerbu (mostly classic tunes), Leo Moracchioli (mostly metal, but metal covers of non-metal songs) — Frog Leg Studios.

        It’s not hard to find stuff that is in different genres if none of those are your cup of tea.

  27. “This was the number one hip-hop song last year”

    If you follow the link and look at the comments to the video, almost all of them are mocking the song and the “artist.” This indicates to me that the music business is entirely fake and gay and the designation of “#1” has no connection to what people actually like or listen to.

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    • I have a gigantic collection of classical music that I listen to daily. It is a civilization bath.

  28. Great take on this Z!
    As a guy who picked up the guitar in the heady hay day of rock / metal in the early 80’s, where guitar playing was taken to mind bending levels of virtuosity with the likes of Van Halen, Steve Vai, Yngie Malmsteem, George Lynch etc… The decline in musicianship in pop rock is mind boggling. With grunge and Indie rock hitting the scene in the 90’s, quality musicianship was a no no, and “uncool.” I think this also parallels the society wide decline in excellence in anything.
    Everything is boiled down to the lowest common denominator.
    As for the hip hop thing, I expected it would run its course like the singer songwriter / disco era of the 70’s, the metal decade of the 80’s, the grunge / Indie 90’s. Pop music trends seem to run a 5 – 10 year course, burn out, and something fresh replaces it. But hip hop has bucked that trend. The shit called hip hop won’t die, and has gotten progressively worse! Rap / hip hop has had a what, 30 plus year run? It just will not die. A sign of the cultural rot and decay that is present day America.
    There are still some great players in country, no doubt. But the lyrics suck, and it’s turned into a cluster F of rock / metal lead guitar, shitty pop diva auto tuned singing , rap / hip hop, with a few fiddles thrown on it so they can call it country.
    The male country artists aren’t much better. There isn’t a Walon Jennings, Chris Christofferson, Johnny Cash, or Willy Nelson to be found. Current metal, for those so inclined is a barrage of shitty, overly down tuned / bass heavy riffs, all diatonic, disonate interverls, zero melodisism,
    And indecipherable screamo lyrics.
    Although a lot of those guys can play their asses off.
    Lately I’ve been listening to 70’s pop as I was kid then and like like a lot of it, and blacks made some great freaking music, funk, R&B, pop, lyrics singing, and musicianship. Now all they can muster is obnoxious, anti music dreck!
    Musical tastes are in total alignment with all current societal tastes… There is none.

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    • I like being in HIIT classes with white women, and having the hip-hop track play with lyrics about keeping yo-bit ches in line, and far worse, and they just go right along with it without missing a beat. If it was a white male voice singing those exact lyrics they would pause and about 10 of them would have a “I would like to speak to the manager” Karen moment.

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    • There’s some chart evidence that rap has peaked and begun its decline, unfortunately not precipitously. My guess is it’s about where rock was in the mid 80s, just waiting to be overtaken. By what, I couldn’t say, but given the current “culture,” you’d think it would have to be something that negros were capable of producing.

      I remember watching Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, with Gil Gerard and Erin Gray, and the music that people enjoyed and danced to was all computer generated. How silly, I thought, that would never happen.

      • Maybe Latin music. A lot of the dance music at clubs now is salsa/bachata (I live in California and most young people are Hispanic).

    • Vinnyvette: “guitar playing was taken to mind bending levels of virtuosity with the likes of Van Halen”

      JANUARY 24, 2024

      (((David Lee Roth))) Fires Shots at Wolfgang Van Halen: ‘This F-ckin’ Kid’

      “…(((Roth))) repeatedly calls Wolfgang “this fuckin’ kid,” as well as a “schlemiel” [“fool” in Yiddish], mocks him for benefiting from nepotism, and gripes about Wolfgang allegedly ordering the removal of an accountant from a backstage area after supposedly mistaking her for (((Roth)))’s girlfriend…”

      https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/david-lee-roth-wolfgang-van-halen-youtube-attacks-1234953442/

      • I love DLR, but stuffing his foot in his mouth is just Dave being Dave.
        Wolfgang although not in Eddies league is a talent in his own right.
        That said caught DLR on Rogan a few times, and he’s a pretty informed guy, not as dumb as he comes off.

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      • Now that’s some serious Jew obsession. Not one, not two, but three triple parentheses, in case you didn’t get it the first or second time.

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    • For country try Tyler Childers. I think he’s up there with Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, etc. YMMV. Also Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

      • I’ll admit, I do kind of like Jamie Johnson. And there’s a guy named Joe Nichols who’s not bad.

    • I totally agree that nearly all pop music these days should go straight to the garbage disposal. But instead of (or besides) complaining, those who care for skilled musicianship would do themselves a favor by listening to jazz or classical. There has been no degradation of playing standards in those genres.

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      • Not yet, perhaps, but the DIE people are getting their meathooks into classical performance and programming. If they get their way, classical music will indeed DIE.

        • They have already seriously compromised WQXR, NYC: historically one of the premiere “entities” of classical music.
          I believe that Terrance McNight is live as I write this.)

  29. Out of morbid curiosity, I had to click your links and those are some of the worst ‘songs’ I’ve ever heard…but then again I’m a death metal fan.

  30. You can tell the state of the country when you have Dolly Parton singing in a Cowgirl’s uniform at the Thanksgiving NFL game, clutching onto a dividing wall for balance, and then a gushing of support afterwards “isn’t she sweet?….She’s still got it!…..Go granny go!…She looks terrific.” Just like with Biden, I could smell the nursing home urine through the screen. Not only is our culture a living wax museum. We have to lie to ourselves every day that “we’ve still got it.” It’s always 1983. Except it’s not. A pathetic monstrosity of a country creaking along on its own momentum. Only Putin can save is with the cleansing white flash….

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    • “Not only is our culture a living wax museum. We have to lie to ourselves every day that “we’ve still got it.” It’s always 1983.”

      Well said.

      And aren’t wax museums inherently creepy?

      How many horror movies have played on that?

  31. Forgive the longer post. I am younger end here (30s), and I am around youths all day. I know modern music and despise it. I am also a passionate musician (as a hobby). I have thought a great deal about this subject, and indulge my expansion of some of the blindspots in Z’s assessments.
    First, I agree with most of your points. There are modern guitar heroes, such as Tim Henson and Guthrie Govan, but they are so technical that the beauty, for me, is lost. They are incredible, but they do not resonate with the humanity of errors and grasping. They would also fall under the category of indie; thus, they are not mainstream.
    First, (white) kids do not learn instruments anymore because of videogames and cellphones. The idle time when you would take out your angst on an instrument has been replaced by taking out your *ahem* instrument and playing solo with pornography, if you follow.
    One further and related issue is the loss of parental connection. People do not appreciate older music, and thus the tradition is lost, because they are never exposed to it. Kids go home and get on their phones. Their parents do the same. One of the things that perked my ears up as a young man was listening to my old man play prog rock. I hated it. But I heard it. Or my mother playing piano concertos on CD or Carole King and James Taylor.
    Taste is the results of habit. The more I heard, the more my ear pricked up, even in passing, culminating in my love of The Beatles. I ask the youngins (mid to late teens) around me often about whether they know this or that musician. Most have heard Beatles, but do not know the members. None have heard of Joni Mitchell. Few of Dylan and Bowie. A few know Morrison. The few that do are typically the ones that are not cell phone zombies and are the most personable and intelligent.
    Now, there is no doubt that the buried lasciviousness of the 60s led to the hedonism of the 70s (I’m gonna give you every inch of my love, e.g.), which leads to the current debauchery. This is simply a sign of the times. I also recognize that people say groups such as The Beatles are responsible for this shift. Somewhat true. The difference is The Beatles were poor kids who did not have 1) The resources, or 2) The culture to learn more ‘advanced’ techniques (classical or jazz). But they aspired to. Even Blackbird was McCartney and Harrison’s attempt to play a piece by Bach. They aspired, even if they could not achieve. That is why if you ever listen to interviews about their musicality, all of them will speak deprecatingly of their own skills, for they knew what they lacked. Modern kids do not have this perspective. It is analogous to morality. Kids always caused trouble. But they recognized that what they were doing was wrong, even as they did it. Now, they do not recognize it. The behavior may be the same, but the potential for improvement is gone, for the fundamental morality of right and wrong is gone. Ditto music. You may play basic music, but you recognized it was basic, for you understand there is superior music.

    What is unique today, then, is the complete severance from the past. The fact that youth do not like the music is one thing; their ignorance is unique. This points more broadly to the complete isolation that the youth live in and the resultant insanity. I hated prog rock as a kid (still kind of do), but I knew the names because I know my father. And the parents are too blame. They are just as addicted as their kids.
    From the youngest age, my kids have heard my geezer music, which was itself geezer music to me. They know these groups because I hang out with them and make it part of our lives, even begrudgingly. My youngest, still in primary school, is taking piano lessons for a couple years and is doing very well. I don’t play classical music nor do I read, but I learn the songs by ear and play with her, accompanying on guitar. Good practice for me! I don’t reach for classical music to listen for enjoyment, but when I learn some of these beautiful melodies and incredible progressions, I recognize that my plunking out some basic rock songs is that: basic. It doesn’t make me appreciate my beloved groups less, but it does help with perspective (revisiting that issue of morality). But then I will put on a song, say Fleetwood Mac “Gypsy”, with a clear melody, and I will show her the chords on piano, and I will play and she will play the melody (I play rudimentary piano). She is more technically talented on piano, but I have the ear and knowledge. We exchange. We have fun. She knows these groups. She regularly requests songs by The Beatles, Bowie, and Dylan (she is learning “No Reply” right now). My daughter, regardless of what she chooses to listen to when she gets older, will know Bach and Beatles, Tchaikovsky and The Velvet Underground. How parents can give that up for a cellphone is beyond me. Those times on the piano are beautiful.
    This leads to the culminating point. A couple days ago, a troll came on here and badgered us for not going and “taking care” of the flood from south of the border. Look at the epigraph today, regarding the guy locked up for stickers. I cannot change the system because so many people abdicate their responsibility to rear their children and trust the system (be it schools or social media). This is the true curse of modern consumer culture and the true legacy of the Boomers. I have sympathy for the guy, seriously. But how could I act illegally when I know the real issue is the culture, and that cannot be changed with stickers or singular acts of violence?
    There is no fix for the issue writ large. I can only cultivate my own garden. That is not abdicating my responsibility, as that troll suggested. Instead, I am doing the only act I can conceive of that may work.
    Until parents focus on their kids and instill value

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    • The thing about guys like Govan and Henson is the 80’s guitars gods were not all technical wizardry, there was a lot of feel and soul within “the shred.” EVH’s solo on Right Now, George Lynch’s solo on Allone again, Reb Beach on
      Headed for a heart break, Steve Vai’s For the Love of God, Anything Satriani… Just a few examples of great feel, vibrato, and emotion and expression within “the shred.”

    • I have three twenty something sons, one is a Berkeley Music grad who started playing the stuff I like that he wanted to learn, 80’s – 90’s metal and classic rock, and got heavy into jazz guitar in high school.
      All my kids are into pre 90’s music, because they think the new stuff sucks, like yourself.
      Yes some millennials have good taste in music. Good to see.

    • You raise some very good points especially how cell phones and computers have taken over the lives of young males. I know a teenager who is very talented musically and artistically. He can read a piece of classical music once and play it perfectly. He is also excellent at drawing but he doesn’t develop those talents because he gets such an emotional rush with his cell phone and computer. He is just one example.

      With my son and step son, I have spent considerable time introducing them to music from different eras (including classical), art, and movies. None of their friends had patients who did the same.

      I can’t control what they do listen to, read or view all their lives but I wanted them to have some type of foundation to compare things to.

    • “Taste is the results of habit.”
      …taste is alas, also, a manifestation of “Soul.”

      “Even Blackbird was McCartney and Harrison’s attempt to play a piece by Bach.”
      Harrison had nothing to do with it, and Bach had less – it was a “tone exercise” on guitar that Sir Macca welded to an absolutely extraordinary melody and universally adored poetic, but cryptic lyrics. The melody: maybe not Bach, but definitely Ellington!

      “What is unique today, then, is the complete severance from the past. The fact that youth do not like the music is one thing; their ignorance is unique.”
      The were told it is “always year zero,” and they believe it, because it’s an easy (and a Satanic…which comes first?) thing to believe.

      Lastly, why “Gypsy,” for heaven’s sake?
      Why not – since you INSIST on name dropping The Velvet Underground, spin “Sunday Morning,” or “Pale Blue Eyes?”

      (Do I smell a rodent…!)

      • We are creatures of habit. You grow soul. Blackbird in its early stage was a filler part for a Bach piece that both worked on at parties, etc. There was a section they could not figure out, and the filler they played was the genesis. Finishing was McCartney alone. Gypsy was what we played last night, as a fact, not an hypothetical. If I were to go Velvets, I would go plenty others. You smell yourself.

  32. This is why I no longer subscribe to Sirius and haven’t for a long time. Some of my rentals have had it. I’ll usually go to the Tom Petty station, but there’s something so weird having Tom Petty DJ between songs now that he’s dead. I’ll sit there at a signal light, listening to a dead man telling me about his songs. There’s nothing uncommon about having dead people promote things. Billy Mays was on TV for awhile before his stroke. But when it come to some intimate, radio DJ setting, it’s driven home. I say “thank you very much for that dead man.” We’re going to get a lot more of this soon as all the Mick Jaggers who hit quadruple platinum are now Octogenarians.

  33. Just yesterday, I was at the dentist’s office thinking about this very thing. Because in the waiting room, there was piped in music which was all “classic rock,” The Eagles, Elton John etc., none of it any newer than 1980. Half a century. And I was sitting there wondering if in another half a century they will still be playing the same music in the dentist office. And I was thinking probably so. The most likely alternative, that they will be playing “classic rap,” is too horrible to contemplate.

    Aside from the valid points about corporatism and cultural decline, about which I could make a book length post, especially on the latter phenomenon, there is an equally important aspect to this: “Rock” is a very limited art form, very restrictive rhythmic and melodic “rules,” from which if one wanders too far afield (which isn’t very far at all) then it isn’t rock anymore. It becomes something else. Usually “jazz,” which is a convenient catch all for defining music that can’t be defined any other way.

    Thanks to these limitations, everything that could be done in the rock genre had been done by about 30 years ago at the latest, and I would say more like 40 years ago. It is simply not possible to make anything new that can be called rock. It will invariably be a rehash of something done before.

    Even if the corporate side of the music business was determined to find and feature “new” rock acts, it would be impossible for the music itself to be original. Not if it was going to be “rock.” Perhaps the public would enjoy new titles with new lyrics slapped on old music, I couldn’t say, but that’s the best it could be.

    8
    5
    • That 40 year span for Rock is accurate. While not his greatest fan, I recall reading and agreeing with one Rock music critic who labeled Neil Young’s “Powderfinger,” as the dirge for the the end of the Rock Era. That was 1979, from Rust Never Sleeps. I’ve heard little to convince me otherwise.

      • It was truly wonderful while it lasted but nothing is forever. However, one could say that we wouldn’t have rap without rock coming first. Rock had to pave the way for it. As much as I have enjoyed a lot of rock music, it’s hard to make the case that it was really a cultural step forward.

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    • There is nothing limiting about rock as a platform. Rock went from rockabilly, in the 50’s, a mix of country, and blues, pier pop in the early 60’s, acid / psychedelic, bluesy rock in the late 60’s, proto metal in the early 70’s Sabbath, Zepplin, Deep Purple etc, country rock, skynard, Allman Brothers etc, soft rock mid late 70’s, Rock morphed into full blown metal / pop metal early 80’s, Grunge / Indie in the 90’s and so on.
      Not a damn thing limiting about it. It’s always evolving.

          • Well, there it is: evolving isn’t the same as improving. As a musical style ages, it often degrades: subject to more extreme expressionism by players desperate to stand out from the crowd and the large existing repertoire.

            Grunge and “alternative” could be described as rock, but had little connection with the spirit of rock’s early years.

            I don’t think many would describe rap and hip-hop as forms of rock music, even if the instrumentation is mostly the same.

            We’ll always have revivals of the popular music of earlier eras — and why not? — but we may as well admit rock and roll is over as a creative force. And ask talented musicians to invent something with a similar emotional appeal, but genuinely new.

    • “…in the waiting room, there was piped in music which was all “classic rock,” The Eagles, Elton John etc., none of it any newer than 1980. Half a century. And I was sitting there wondering if in another half a century they will still be playing the same music in the dentist office.”

      When I am at the dentist’s office these days I sit there wondering whether there will be dentist offices half a century from now.

      Seriously.

      But your point is spot on: pop culture is dead. Taken over by the corporations, it is and must remain anodyne and safe.

      Even the low-lifes in the hip hop links Zman posted are LARPing. Bad ass my ass. They know who signs their pay cheques.

      • Sometimes I wonder: is there in fact a grassroots music scene we are all missing?

        What happened to College Radio and all those quirky bands?

        Or is there something even deeper underground?

        It hardly seems likely. As Zman said, the garage bands are gone.

        Garage Band is now only an Apple app.

        I like how this essay ties this pop culture ossification into End of Empire.

        Wouldn’t it be funny if a new fresh kind of pop music suddenly pops up in … Russia. Or China? Or India or Brazil?

        Or has modernity rotted culture world-wide?

        • The video games are just too good now. I can understand how young folks go in there and don’t come back out.

          • Even back in the day it was problem . . . try to start up an indie station only to see the SGA and frat pukes take it over

        • Or has modernity rotted culture world-wide?
          Da…Humanity, alas, doesn’t digitize well, and that’s what we’re…

    • Hah. You think we’ll still have dentists offices in 50 years. Havent you seen the serious academic prediction model in film format, “Idiocracy?”

      • There will still be dentists in our future idiocracy. They’ll just have IQs of 85 and will recommend that you gargle twice daily with Brawndo, ‘cos it’s got what teeth crave, bro.

    • Have you any idea the number of musical permutations available merely in the pentatonic scale? When one considers chords, the length of given notes, and orchestration, they are almost inconceivably vast. Rock is not musically exhausted, not even close. Other factors are responsible for its death.

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      • As I was saying, if you wander too far off in those “permutations,” then pretty quickly it’s not “rock” anymore. It becomes something else. This is even more true rhythmically, which is the aspect in which the rock genre is most restrictive. So it becomes a question of what permutations will fit into the defined and restrictive rock rhythms. The limit of which was reached some decades ago.

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        • Even when we control for rhythmic restriction, and even the number of musicians and instruments, the melodic and harmonic possibilities are still mindboggling. If rock began to sound like much of a muchness–and I agree it did–we can chock that up to a failure of creativity (and corporate control) rather than to the exhaustion of the genre.

        • Another thing that plays a HUGE part in this is session musicians. I have kin who do session work in Nashville on the side. The producer will tell the session guitarist all he needs to know with just, “Basic fast country, 1-4-3-4.” Often they won’t even have to hear the track first. Just improvise along using the Nashville Numbers. Record a half dozen takes until and comp it at mixing.

          But this ease of production has the effect of turning all the music into more or less the same song. There are only so many ways to arrange chords in 4/4 time.

  34. In the years 1986 thru 1991, virtually every time I got paid, I went down to a place called the Sound Warehouse and purchased a pop music record or CD. Alas, along about 1992, the pop music scene had detriorated to such an extent that I found myself wandering through Sound Warehouse and seeing nothing I was even remotely interested in buying. In March of that year I switched to classical music–and to a lesser extent, jazz–and haven’t listened to any pop music since. From what I have haphazardly heard, however, I can see that pop “music” has only gotten far worse since I abandoned it.

    PS–I don’t believe young nuggras have any interest in soul and the blues for the simple reason that it’s old. Back in the 80s, when I was a whigger (horribile dictu!), the worst insult a negro could levy toward a song would be to say, “Aaaaaaw! Dat’s old!” For these people, newness IS merit and antiquity is the opposite.

    PPS–Calling it “hip hop” confers a respect upon the genre it most assuredly does not deserve. Just call it rap. Nuggras can’t be bothered pronouncing Mozart correctly because doing so shows respect, so they pronounce it MOW-zart. How we name and even pronounce–or mispronounce–things, has a meaning in itself.

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    • I think everything with music went to hell after the jazz era, that really seemed to be the transition from complex music to simplistic pop music that more resembled the folk music of peasants. Big band, rock and roll, and hippie folk music can be enjoyable to listen to, but they all have very simple chord progression and melodies. Contemporary stuff is even more simplistic, I’m pretty sure there’s a current pop song (I think it’s that British girl that looks like she doesn’t bathe) where the melody doesn’t actually change pitch at any point.

  35. Luke Combs is covering Tracy Chapman. Doesn’t count.

    Until recently, “Lovin’ Feeling” was the most frequently played country song on A.M. radio. There’s a quaint term “A.M. radio.”

    If only the Superbowl were still a football game, it might be worth enduring the half time shows. The Superbowl ended when they launched Lady Gaga into space five years ago. Neither she nor the Superbowl have returned.

  36. I’ve got to disagree somewhat. The record labels have definitely stopped producing quality material, but they’re a dead market. Recording studios have been killing the golden goose since their inception and many artists have finally woken up to it. There is a thriving independent music scene, particularly on platforms like Youtube and Spotify. Thousands of independent artists and bands are creating exceptional new music every day. Bands like Lick Creek Country band, The Barlow, Turnpike Troubadours, and Mike and the Moonpies have built a country scene away from Nashville that is every bit as professional, but lacks the pandering. Whiskey Meyers and the Steel Woods are creating new Southern Rock. The Oreillys and the Paddyhats make excellent new Irish Punk. Shooter Jennings is all over the place, but makes excellent music. The point is that the traditional sources of music are dying the same death as the traditional mass media. No one under the age of 40 watches television news anymore. No one under 40 listens to the radio or follows the charts. It’s atomized. You find new good music by listening algorithm suggestions under your favorite artists, or from suggestions from friends.

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  37. “The main difference with the American empire and prior empires is speed due to the state of technology.”

    Is this really true? I think John Glubb pointed out empires tend to live for 250 years. If I recall correctly, he included the Roman Republic in his analysis (surviving for 250 years) and the Roman Empire (stretching it out for another 250 years).

    I could be wrong in remembering.

    Anyway, we’re almost at the 250 year mark starting from 1776. Only two more years left, let’s see if Glubb’s thesis holds true for the US as well.

    • The Western Roman Empire survived close to five centuries, and the Eastern Roman Empire close to a thousand years more. But, in general, it may well be the case that empires don’t last all that long. Of course, much depends upon how one defines empire, too.

    • Ah, but as Zman correctly noted, the republic died at Gettysburg, and the Empire was born.

      So there should be quite a ways to go to meet Glubb’s rule.

      But we all see that the GAE is swiftly coming to its end. So yes, the process in this age is accelerated.

  38. you know your society is fucked when it can’t even produce britney spears level pop stars.

    i’m firmly convinced that if a society reaches a certain point of moral corruption then all talent dissipates or gets turned on its head and produces abominations.

    but not all hope is lost, after weimer came national socialist party, after lenin came stalin, we should never forget that, the tribe sure hasn’t.

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  39. Classical also has withered. The last composer worth listening to, and still being played on the radio stations, was Shostakovich in 1975. And classical is global, including the Asians you mentioned. It’s still big in Europe and China and Japan and Korea. So there has to be something deeper to all this decline. The Catholic Church also used to incubate great music based on the Latin Mass, such as Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. But since the Novus Ordo vernacular was imposed in 1970, all we get is treacle hymns. Not just the GAE, but the whole global civilization is tired.

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    • Classical music composition requires much intellectual horsepower. Such powerful minds are becoming scarcer and scarcer. There are doubtless many other reasons classical composition has withered, but general cognitive decline is, I believe, one of them.

      21
    • Cripes I have gone to some masses the last few years, exploring a return to expressing faith in a more formal way. The hymns they sing in the NO just … disgust me. They are aesthetically offensive. “Treacle” is right.

      I was a kid when they brought in the NO and soon it was guitars and catchy tunes and those stupid folksy banners. Without knowing quite why, I hated it.

      Curious to hear what they do musically in a TLM.

      • The bad music people have taken over the Church.

        Marty Haugen and his ilk have much to answer for

    • You’ll probably hate me for saying this, but John Williams is going to be remembered as one of the great classical composers after his death. In fact, if he were Jewish, Black, female, queer, Hawaiian Islander, or any kind of minority he would have already been elevated above Beethoven and Mozart.
      He isn’t taken as seriously now because of his cinematic output/associatios, but to paraphrase Yoda:

      “He will be. HE WILL BE.”

  40. “ They allowed corporate players to monopolize radio stations, which coincided with the consolidation of the music business. ”

    That coupled with record companies monopolizing music distribution through onerous contracts with young performers.

    Perhaps a lesson to be taken from Asia. Years ago, when record companies started going down hard on protecting copyrighted material distribution, our university got many cease and desist complaints from such company’s henchmen. We of course were required by our attorneys to search for these culprits using our computer accounts and eliminate them.

    During one of these forays, I discovered an Asian student with a huge collection of Asian pop music. Of course, the music was not particularly to my taste, but it was apparent that these songs were from singers and bands quite popular over there. We called the culprit it for a dressing down.

    There was a bit of a language problem, he being Asian, but eventually he explained, then later proved, that all this music was *legally* obtained! Seems the music business over there works/worked differently from the West in that artists distribute their music for free to the public, thereby gaining audience. The artists make money through performances/shows and the record companies make money through simply compiling the songs and issuing hard copy collections for those too lazy to lift them off of the internet.

    This may have changed of late, I can’t say, but it was interesting to note how the middlemen record companies had been mostly neutered. Different mindset over there, albeit they still retain a capitalistic economy.

      • The Japanese aren’t a “new” culture – they’re a “refine” culture.
        Syncretism…maybe, but not…the other thing.

  41. The only 3 genres that are still producing new music for mass consumption. Top 40 (pop), Country, and Hip Hop. There are increasingly overlaps between all 3, and some rock influences are also in country.

    Nobody listens to Top 40 except dentist offices and grocery stores. Whites listen to country, pretend to enjoy Hip Hop, or listen to old rock music. Country music concerts bring out a huge number of young white people.

    Has anyone considered a demographic explanation for this? The typical rock music fans (atheist, liberal, urban, suburban, normal folk) just didn’t have that many kids, and kind of died out in the younger generations. I’ve met quite a few grey haired rock fans who had a blast in the 80s/90s music scene, and even up into the 2000s, but many don’t have kids.

    While the rural conservative whites who listen to country kept producing enough babies to support a popular mass media market for the next generation.

    I think the increasing “country” influence among our youth is about as good of an occurrence as we can hope for. Singing about girls, babies, dating, houses, trucks, drinking. Not exactly Bible morality but it’s allot better than pretty much every other cultural influence. Meeting the opposite sex, socializing, and procreating are pretty important.

    You also have to wonder if the country music power base being in Nashville instead of, say, LA or NYC has helped isolate it from infiltration. Again not that country music is *great* but it’s a step up from every other mass cultural movement in 2024.

    14
    • I have to disagree. I get exposed to modern country music at work and I would never say it’s a step up from the other genres. The hip-hop and classic rock influences are everywhere and the lyrical themes are almost as repetitive as hip-hop.

      To me, it’s a form of cultural gate-keeping that’s very deliberate. Keep the white guys proud of trivialities like driving a pickup, drinking beer, and checking out the blue jean draped ass of a chick and he’ll ignore his country being stolen from under him.

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      • You absolutely nailed it, KGB. Nashville is no less an enemy than DC, the NY Times, Hollywood, Harvard and Coca Cola.

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      • Country music is almost at the stage of full-on cultural programming now . . . lotsa silly chivalry and woman-worship, and lotsa treading over tired themes.

        An old military buddy is in NW Ark. The handful of times I visited him in the Seventies – Nineties, he gradually forsook the diverse music we enjoyed in the service, and regressed to hard-country only. It’s a belonging thang.

        The total dominance of (c)rap over the past decades (arranged by crypto-corporatism and consumed by young females) and the ‘dumbing-down’ of music, most certainly is gatekeeping. Carefully managed herding, at that.

    • California and the Rust Belt declined, and the South (especially Texas) rose. How it seemed to me, anyway. And now they’re mainstream, so pozzed. Locusts!

      • I guess Hollywood more than Cali proper. Even rap shifted from East Coast/West Coast to South around the turn of the century.

    • “That music”, say the summoned up shades of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, “is just awful!”

  42. One wonders if tomorrow’s post will be regarding the trap being set at the southern border. Apparently truckers, RVs and cars are going down there to peacefully protest.

    Dear lord, didn’t anyone pay attention to the events in Charlottesville?

    Lucy would be proud.

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    • Bartleby: I just read about that. God, people are just so stupid. For all that some claim to see signs that the cuckservatard is finally waking up to reality, I just don’t see it. I see a continued belief in ‘rule of law,’ although we haven’t had that for years. Same goes for ‘due process.’ Add ‘public protests.’

      Someone will instigate something, someone will claim a White harmed a brown, and the moneymen will insist on federal troops to ensure the safety of all those future Americans. It isn’t difficult to understand – Abbott is pretending to resist and the dem branch of the uniparty is calling for nationalizing command of the guard to stop Abbott’s posturing.

      As Clay Martin noted (at Western rifle shooters, “When I’m the voice of reason, things are not going well.” Fwiw, I highly recommend Martin’s books – wish he’d write more.

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      • This is actually good news. It shows some people are finally agitated enough to get out and do something, even if it proves counterproductive in the short run. At least they’re stirring the shit storm. For the last half century we’ve sat on our asses and tut-tutted whenever anybody to the right of Trotsky made motion to, you know, actually DO something. Well, we can see where that booing and jeering from balcony has got us.

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        • Ostei: I’d like to agree but I cannot. I just see this ending in the same way that Jan 6 did. These are innocents, thinking their peaceful protest and presenting grievances to the government will make a difference.

          The only way this is a ‘good thing’ is if it does descend to open violence, on both sides, and kicks of a genuine acceleration of the decline.

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          • But that’s just it. There’s no way to predict how events such as these will play out. There is always a possibility of confrontation, a Ft. Sumpter, or, dare I say it, Saint Floyd moment. As dreadful as it is to relate, a few martyrs, in living color, wouldn’t do our side any harm.

          • @Ostei

            I dunno, the regime has found a pretty good scheme for dealing with actual protests. They aren’t going to gun down everyone and give us a Ft. Sumter moment, they’ll shoot one or two people to intimidate the unruly cattle and have the media report to the compliant cattle for the next two years straight about the poor federal agent who stubbed his toe during the riot.

          • 3g- would say the same thing that Ostei is saying. In the short run, no it won’t accomplish much, but the more heritage folks who get thrown in the gulag, the more we inch toward a reckoning. “It’s not revenge he’s after. It’s the reckoning.” – Doc Holiday

  43. Here’s my grumpy old man take. So I was listening to the VJ Big 40 on Sirius XM this past weekend. This week’s show was a recap of the Billboard Top 40 from the third week of January in 1984. Here were songs 40 through 31:

    40 – Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
    39 – In The Mood – Robert Plant
    38 – Send Me An Angel – Real Life
    37 – Remember The Nights – The Motels
    36 – Nobody Told Me – John Lennon
    35 – Nightbird – Stevie Nicks
    34 – Jump – Van Halen
    33 – 99 Luftballons – Nena
    32 – The Sign Of Fire – The Fixx
    31 – Wrapped Around Your Finger – The Police

    Those 10 songs are catchier and more diverse than any top 10 songs of the last quarter century, and they were only batting cleanup that week! Also, the artists involved are whiter than a prep school hockey team.

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    • They must be, I can actually understand the lyrics. Not being an expert in Eubonics, I am currently left out of much modern “music”.

    • Reziac: I’ve always referred to it as “nuggra noise” – and that was long before I truly became a dissident, Loathed it from the get go, when I first heard it in the mid-’80s.

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      • Yeah, I hear that. Or rather, wish I never had. Made my ears bleed, and hasn’t improved.

        I do take it as a marker of a, uh, limited mind.

  44. Rick Beato did a video a couple of weeks ago about how some 90s law allowed the nation’s radio stations to be bought up by a couple of huge radio corporations. Combined with some other trends that were happening in the music industry at the time, it just utterly destroyed the music industry. He’s kind of a weird guy, but well worth a listen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reesdiAbvk4

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    • Great minds think alike. I was going to reference this too and here two people had already done it at exactly the same time.

    • Isn’t it pretty much iHeart Radio oqning pretty much everything now? Or maybe they’re gone too. Dunno.

        • I believe it’s cumulus. Where I grew up in the Peoples Republic of New York there were a number of radio stations that always offered something different.
          WPLJ: classic rock, progressive rock, some punk rock, profiles of a band every Sunday morning at 6am till 8am.
          WCBS: oldies and nothing oldies from the 50’s to the 60’s.
          WFAS: top hits from the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s.
          WHN: country and western, but real country, Merele Haggard, Johnny Cash, Emmy Lou Harris, people like that.
          Those stations were bought up by cumulus and now with a few exceptions they all play the same thing: whatever is currently popular and it’s all garbage.

          • I was musing on WHN just this morning – an honest-to-g*d Full-On country station…for the NY Metro market!
            Sic transit gloria.

        • Audacy I think is going through bankruptcy. Funny, they own KNX (LA) and KYW (Philly. I think it is the only radio station East of the Mississippi that starts with K, the rest are W) and many others. So one or a few program directors are deciding nationwide what will be played on the radio.

          Frankly, I think they should break these companies up and let it go back to hundreds of different radio stations with local tastes and talents.

  45. Rick Beato, who has a popular youtube channel with close to 4 million subscribers, talked about this a couple of weeks ago in a 25 minute video “How Corruption and Greed Led to the Downfall of Rock Music.”

    He spoke with Jim Barber, who’s worked in the music industry for a long time, and they agreed that the problem essentially started with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, signed into law by Bill Clinton. This resulted in consolidation of radio stations, leading to two companies, Clear Channel and Cumulus owning everything.

    There used to be many local independently-owned stations, supported by local advertisers, and the thought back then was that there should be as many voices as possible. Each station had their own program director. As stations were bought up, now one program director can decide what gets played on 100 or 150 stations.

    Virtually every band who made it big has a story how one station started playing their music, leading to their success. The band would have a hit record in one city, leading other cities to play their music and so on…There was competition to find the next big thing. With consolidation, and one person deciding what to play for 150 stations, new bands had nowhere to go to get their music played. Now they had to try to appeal to one person’s taste.

    Beato and Barber discuss other aspects of what is killing music and it’s worth a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reesdiAbvk4

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    • As I mention elsewhere on this page, the problem existed long before the 1996 Act; I saw corporate-gobbling of local stations happening in 1980 . Methinks the Act really just codified what the corporate stations were already doing anyway.

      Of course, “legalizing what we’re doing so no one can complain” is about half the point of lobbying Congress.

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      • 1980?? I was gonna chime in and say i was hearing cerfluffles about this sort of thing in ’84, but Damn, far earlier than I thought.

        • It might have even been before that… can’t recall if it was before I got the truck (1978) or after, when I was DJing for a while (1980) but definitely well under way by that point, because right in that timeframe was when my town in the Northern Wastes lost its signature station to corporate gobbling (and became a repeater-tape station) and we were also invaded by a shiny new corporate station run by the exact sort of hyperactive bean counters you might imagine.

    • This situation also laid off thousands of local DJs who often interrupted with local announcements, news, etc. Nothing but ads recorded by out-of-town owners who can’t pronounce anything, don’t even answer the phone, and are generally fuktards.

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    • Heck, back in the early days of radio–mid-70s and earlier–many individual DJs had complete control of programming when they were on the air. Consequently, many of those DJs became very influential taste-makers through the music they chose to play. And, given that every individual has different tastes, this led to incredible variety in music played over the radio. But, my oh my, 2024 is a much different and worse world than 1964.

  46. I’ve long suspected that rock was being strangled by the record companies. Country music seems to still be able to produce new music and young artists – so that’s where the smart talent goes.

    I’ve been to a few country concerts the past 2 years. Every time I walk out convinced that half the people on the stage would rather be in a rock (or at least a southern rock) act.

    Kenny Chesney’s band took the stage to AC/DC blaring. His band did a couple of his songs as if they were Lynyrd Skynyrd. Brad Paisley covered Van Halen, his openers covered Charlie Daniels and Tom Petty. The crowds all loved it.

    The bands and the fans seem to want it – so they only thing I can think of is the record companies refusal to go there.

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    • I noticed that too. They all do the rock covers.

      I don’t really understand why. Frankly they suck at rock and roll, you can’t cover AC/DC or the Rolling Stones.

      Could just be they think the rock music “hypes” up the crowd, it’s a cheap trick to get people cheering. It’s not like country music is known for it’s sophistication or intellectualism, lol. They might think it’s a good idea.

      I also don’t think most would prefer to be at a rock concert. A good 90% look like they belong, in my opinion. You get 10% or so coming up from the city just looking for a good time or looking to pull.

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    • Chris Stapleton’s cover of Phil Collin’s’ “In the Air Tonight” for MNF is amazingly good. I wish I could find a full length version, minus the obligatory Snoop Dogg shit, of course.

      “Outlaw State of Mind” from his Traveller album, is a great rock anthem. “Was it 26?” Is also a personal favorite.

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    • Jason Aldean clearly has a rock undercurrent to his sound. “She’s country” riff sounds slightly like back in black and “try that in a small town” has a riff similar to Eddie’s in beat it

  47. I’m in my early 30’s and my top preference has always been acoustic over electronic. However, I did love EDM 10ish years ago (mostly deep house, trance and whatever Deadmau5 was). Garage rock, alt-rock and indie peaked around the oughts. Some of my favorites like TV on the Radio and Black Keys still had some good albums after the o’s but I’ve never heard them play on any station after 2012. Of course, all the good oldies from Marty Robbins, CCR, Cash and AC-DC are on my top always. Anyway, I already have my playlist once the real cowboy shit starts. Here are a few I’ll be listening to in my getaway subbie holstering a five-seven.

    Them Shoes – Patrick Sweany (2007)
    Your Touch – The Black Keys (2006)
    Midnight Voyage – Ghostland Observatory (2006)
    Devil’s Right Hand – Cash ( Must have cover, released around 2003)
    Ain’t No Easy Way – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2005)
    Green River – CCR ( Their second-best one after Who’ll Stop The Rain, but that’s more of a post-shootout song)
    Show Me How To Live – Audioslave (2002)
    Lydia – Highly Suspect (2015 -outlier)
    10 A.M. Automatic – The Black Keys (2004)
    Can You Feel My Heart – Bring Me the Horizon (2013 – for the meme)
    Wait – Earshot (2004)
    Wolf Like Me – TV on the Radio (2006)
    Black Holes – The Blue Stones (2015 -another outlier)
    What Went Down – Foals (Also 2015, so there a few outliers 🙂
    Somebody Grab the Wheel – Whitey (2020, the true outlier)

    Hope some of you found smth new but old to jam to. Although I know the majority of this site demo won’t be too into this kind of music. Just gotta be in the right mood 4 it and go out with a bang!

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    • I still like EDM as just one guy in front of his computer can still push his catchy tune out to the world with no gate keepers, and that part of the industry is so hungry for new hooks that they’ll play anything by anybody if it’s made halfway well.

      Your list makes me think about my theoretical list which encounters the same issue: “check out these hot tracks that prove new music can still be good, but…please ignore the fact that some of it is more than twenty years old”. Heck, Tiësto’s excellent album Just Be turns twenty this year.

      • Yeaa.. I still listen to ATB , Dash Berlin, Armin van Buuren and Tiesto but now more as a nostalgic thing to reminisce before I go off to dreamland. I’m sure there are some new artists here and there with smth good but we have long passed the peak of great music genres in pop culture.

  48. I’d say that Kanami Tōno of Band-Maid is the best guitarist under 40 at the moment, definitely not a white male though…

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  49. A record producer’s take on the graft, from 20 years ago:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20040201222733/https://negativland.com/albini.html

    His conclusion, for the impatient:

    “The band is now 1/4 of the way through its contract, has made the music industry more than 3 million dollars richer, but is in the hole $14,000 on royalties. The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11, but they got to ride in a tour bus for a month. The next album will be about the same, except that the record company will insist they spend more time and money on it. Since the previous one never “recouped,” the band will have no leverage, and will oblige. The next tour will be about the same, except the merchandising advance will have already been paid, and the band, strangely enough, won’t have earned any royalties from their T-shirts yet. Maybe the T-shirt guys have figured out how to count money like record company guys. Some of your friends are probably already this fucked.”

    Also, record labels have historically had a practice of putting promising new bands under long-term contracts and then NEVER RELEASING ANYTHING, to make good and damn sure they’re locked up and cannot compete against the chosen few.

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      • Heh… methinks the system also explains why the drugs and booze were often supplied by the band’s manager, who was in fact beholden to the label. Keep ’em stoned and unable to consider the shittier aspects of the highway robbery they’ve signed up for.

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    • > The band members have each earned about 1/3 as much as they would working at a 7-11

      Even worse, with the modern day “720 deals” that artists are required to sign, the label probably would be owed a cut from their 7-11 income if they did have to take up side jobs.

    • I am astounded by the stories I read, how consistent they are, how little these bands end up getting paid, and also how somehow they always end up in the red no matter how much they sell and how much they tour. Just a couple days ago I read in Guitar World about a band of some moderate success that had to buy out their contract for hundreds of thousands of dollars. I also read that, for all but the top tier (like, Metallica/RHCP tier), they’re likely not crediting you correctly, and suspiciously always in one direction. The people who work for the record label correctly assume that you probably do not have the resources to hire a forensic accountant and crunch athrough all the numbers, although some do. There’s one word for these contracts and the record labels’ behavior, it is usury.

      It all starts to make sense when you look at who started and has run these record labels though. I suspect that most artists of any success secretly harbor Kanye-esque feelings, but they also know the score and know their place.

  50. I read a book review on Unz the other day. Iirc a French thinker doing an autopsy of the West. He gave weight to the collapse of Protestantism on the grounds of universal literacy and industry. Every man a pope, the prosperity of Abraham as a sign of election, etc. I like the ‘heresy’ of literacy, but I could do without the prosperity gospel.

    I was re-reading some Quigley last night. He says something similar re: the middle class as a Puritan phenomenon. Working and saving for the future rather than being self indulgent like peasants and aristocrats. He even predicts managerialism, calling it a kind of economic pluralism iirc.

    Re: the present topic, perhaps whites— and Protestants particularly— don’t like being managed. That’s the big, the people farm. Young people especially have moved to the internet because it’s still relatively unmanaged. There is still quality to be found, but it’s not hyped or pushed. All this talk of parallel economies might have an interesting root. The Amish have been doing it forever lol.

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    • I mean, it’s as if the people who embraced managerialism are instinctually rebelling against it. Like a bunch of spergy Vikings, walking contradictions.

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    • While some Amish are nominally self-sufficient, for cash income they depend almost entirely on selling products to the “English” (anyone who is not Amish).

      • The Amish are not in the least bit self-sufficient. They depend heavily on the surrounding economy for food, clothing, medicines, tools, etc. I routinely come across them in my local Walmart and Kroger. They do have good internal dynamics, like barn raising. Also, their farms are more profitable than conventional farms despite reduced yields because: no powered machinery, no fertilizer, no pesticide, no loans (cash only), no paid labor (true family farms).

        They are much like Orthodox Jews who depend on goyim for some services during the Sabbath.

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        • It Depends. Amish are not monolithic. There are several major divisions, from the very “plain” who live in 1840s-style shacks and won’t even use buttons, to the very modern whose only real difference from upperclass suburban life is that their nice modern houses are rural and off-grid, and who drive pickup trucks for work. (Interestingly, I’ve observed a directly-parallel IQ gradient. People make for themselves the best life they are able.)

          Self-sufficiency is likewise highly variable — from almost entirely to not at all. But the object is not to live primitively, it is to live “separated from the world”, to whatever degree the particular congregation deems fit. For some that means no games on the cell phone (allowed for work) and a pickup but not a car. For others it means no tech newer than ~1840, and when that tech fails modern life, a stark dependency on aid from the English.

        • Sure, they aren’t mining iron or growing cotton, but there’s definitely a Plain Dutch economy in my neck of the woods. Then again, as Reziac notes, I hear they tend to be more conservative here.

          • I do regard the various Plain People as a valuable repository of skills that might otherwise be lost.

    • How did Quigley “predict” managerialism? Tragedy and Hope was published in 1966, whereas James Burnham’s seminal work on managerialism, The Managerial Revolution, came out in 1941. What exactly were you reading, if you don’t mind my asking?

      In any case, the reality is in many ways the opposite of what Quigley is saying. If any class is self-indulgent, it is the middle class. The middle class existence is a consumer-driven phenomenon that is not possible without massive mounts of leverage: mortgage debt, auto debt, student debt, credit card debt, pensions, Social Security, real estate inflation, stock market multiple expansion—it’s all just another word for borrowing from the future.

      I find it strange that the middle class likes to see itself as the repository of all virtues when it is, in fact, the quintessentially nonproductive, parasitical class, i.,e. the class that borrows itself into existence and never quite pays its tab. We should start calling it the Middle Man Class, which bring the irony out to the fore.

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      • “… middle class likes to see itself as the repository of all virtues when it is, in fact, the quintessentially nonproductive, parasitical class, i.,e. the class that borrows itself into existence and never quite pays its tab….”

        Sigh. Where in any published description by economists is the “middle class” defined by “borrowing”? Come up with one example, please. Most typically, the middle class is defined by dividing up the populace into “quintiles” based upon wealth or income.

        Wealth is *always* defined as assets minus liabilities (debt). So that if you’ve owe $400k on a $500k home, you have $100 wealth—not $500k. Income of course is by definition not borrowing.

        Once the quintiles (rank ordering of the populace) is decided upon, then the subjective determination of “middle” is made. Pretty much the middle three quintiles, with the upper and lower quintiles deemed poor and rich. Again, arbitrary, but not based upon borrowing. Lifestyle may be based upon borrowed money and may be confused, as with your comment, with middle class.

        It is demeaning and insulting and just plain ignorant to accuse the “middle class” as you call them to be parasitical, as in non-productive. I have spent my whole life as (upper) middle class. Without a middle class, there would be no United States as you know it.

        The “tab” as you call it refers to government spending and borrowing, not really my spending nor borrowing. Government budget deficits are not just a function of middle class lifestyle desires, but an accumulation of abuses of a dysfunctional political system. The government is not and probably never really was under the control of the people.

        If you desire a demon to blame, point the finger at those in power (past and present) and not the people living paycheck to paycheck and working their asses off just to survive. Biting the hand that feeds you is not a good look.

      • Talking about the collapse of Protestantism/Puritanism. I’m not sure what to think, since I’ve been steeped in the critique for over a decade, but it’s interesting and seems salient.

        Maybe managerialism isn’t quite the right term. It goes beyond the idea of things getting big and bureaucratic, and it sounds very familiar. I can find and post the quotes when I get home from work.

        • Ok. Apologies for long quotes. My edition is GSG & Associates, third printing

          The economic disasters of two world wars, a world depression, and the post-war fluctuations showed clearly by 1960 that a new economic organization of society was both needed and available… This almost simultaneous failure of laissez faire, of economic Fascism, and of Communism to satisfy the growing popular demand for both rising standards of living and spiritual liberty has forced the mid-twentieth century to seek some new economic organization… The ultimate nature of that new system of economic and social life is not yet clear, but we might call it the “pluralist economy,” and characterize its social structure as one which provides prestige, rewards, and power to managerial groups of experts whose contributions to the system are derived from their expertise and “know-how.” (p. 550-551)

          I realize now Quigley is not easily quotable lol. The rest is dry, mechanical, and occupies several pages. Still, the application of management, not to effectively running organizations, but to fulfilling the public’s demands and desires, sticks out to me.

        • For thousands of years, some men had viewed themselves as creatures a little lower than the angles, or even God, and a little higher than the beasts. Now, in the twentieth century, man has acquired almost divine powers… The whole trend of the nineteenth century had been to emphasize man’s animal nature, and in doing so, to seek to increase his supple of material necessities, his indulgence in creature comforts, his experiences of food, movement, sex, and emotion… This newer ideology was found in the nineteenth century, and may be regarded as one which emphasized man’s freedom to indulge his more animal-like aspects… This movement eventually gave us modern surgery and medical science, modern technology, mass production of food and other consumer’s goods, central heating, indoor plumbing… The outlook behind these achievements may be symbolized by Charles Darwin, whose writings came to stand for proof of the animal nature of man, and of Sigmund Freud… We who enter the twentieth century must not assume… our immediate predecessors were wrong and that we should seek a point of view which appears true largely because it is opposed to them… Thus, the humanism of the sixteenth century had reacted against the scholasticism of the medieval period and was reacted against in turn by the Puritanism of the seventeenth century, the materialism of the nineteenth century, and the reaction against this latest outlook by the “flight from freedom” and mass blond discipline of reactionary totalitarianism in the Fascist and Nazi aberrations. (p.831-833)

        • This can be seen most essentially in the fact that the great achievements of the nineteenth century and the great crisis of the twentieth century are both related to the Puritan tradition of the seventeenth century… The Puritan point of view regarded the body and the material world as sinful and dangerous and, as such, something which must be sternly controlled by the individual’s will… the Puritan point of view contributed elements of self-discipline, self-denial, masochism, glorification of work, emphasis on the restrictions of enjoyment of consumption, and subordination both of the present to the future and of oneself to a larger whole… The middle classes were themselves largely products of the seventeenth century, and had adopted this point of view as one of the features which distinguished them from the more self-indulgent attitudes of the other two social classes— the peasants below them or the aristocracy and nobility above them… In the nineteenth century the elements from the Puritan point of view were quite detached from the other-worldly goals they had served in the seventeenth century (God and personal salvation) and were attached to individualistic and largely selfish, this-worldly, goals, but they carried over attitudes and patterns of behavior which remained largely detached from the nineteenth century’s stated goals, and these, by a combination of seventeenth-century methods with nineteenth-century goals, produced the immense physical achievements of the nineteenth century.

          • Thank you for the quotes, Paintersforms. I agree that the salient point here is the notion of a knowledge class deriving psychological self-satisfaction from its role as the soi-disant experts guiding society. That type is especially prevalent today, cf. the Branch Covidians.

      • ID, do you re-read your comments? You enjoy contradicting what many here regard as common sense, and your carefully-crafted, balanced and cadenced sentences are no doubt a point of pride for you. But sweet Jesus man, any dolt understands the triad: the elites, the middle class, and the hoi polloi. Yeah sure, there are penumbras there; we all remember Orwell describing his upbringing as “upper lower middle class”, in a country and a time when everyone knew what that meant.

        Point being: If the middle class is nonproductive, parasitical, and self-indulgent (all your words, not mine), could you please tell me which of the three classes are productive, non-parasitical, and not self-indulgent?

        *
        As for Quigley, as opposed to Burnham, writing in 1941, so what? Burnham wasn’t original either. Juilen Benda touched on some of these themes in 1927, with his ‘Trahison des Clercs’.
        Others saw and actually welcomed the rise of managerialism: Consult Walter Lippmann’s 1920 advocacy for a knowledge elite in the book ‘Public Opinion’.

        Sorry, I have had a few. I used to like your comments but I now regard them as tiresome “look at me!” word-concertos meant to please the ear but not pass muster as original or even coherent thought. Oh, and the spelling is “design” not “dasein”. What’s with that? I know a guy from college who went into construction: He named his company ‘D’Zyne Building Solutions’. Sexy and clever? Or is it fake and gay?

        • Hello Steve,

          To answer your questions, the only class that is truly productive in the brute, caloric sense of the word is the peasantry, the tillers and small artisans who produce everything of fundamental material worth. Above them, both the aristocracy and the clergy are not primary producers, but they are necessary in a different sense, because culture simply does not occur without them. At minimum, they are the high symbolic estates that provide meaning and direction to public life.

          The “middle class,” on the other hand, consists of the superfluous masses whose existence is predicated on machine industry and finance. They are essentially an urban mob of no symbolic value. They are just the gigantic “chorus” answering to the theatrical politics of late empires. Their father is Brutus, not Caesar.

          “Dasein” is the German word for “being.” It is a Heideggerian term. I am not a proponent of Intelligent Design as an explanation for the origin of life, for reasons I have explained elsewhere.

          • @ID, “To answer your questions, the only class that is truly productive in the brute, caloric sense of the word is the peasantry, the tillers and small artisans who produce everything of fundamental material worth.”

            Nope. Labor theory of value fell out of favor decades ago. A couple writers (Kevin Carson?) have tried to keep it afloat, but they can only do so through circular references.

            There is no such thing as an objective value. Value is, was, and ever shall be in the eye of the beholder. Crap, this very thread shows the different values people ascribe to types of music. How is this not self-evident?

    • I read some fascinating stuff about the depths of Laurel Canyon and how all those ‘great rockers’ of the day were all part of the sex-drug-etc plan to ruin the boomers. The connections were indeed very curious- people like Barry Seal, Manson, Stanley Kubrick, The Eagles, many others- some weird scenes with a gold mine at the end of the street…

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      • You’re all a bunch of fucking idiots. Let people tell you what to do; let people push you around. How long do you think it’s gonna last? How long are you gonna let it go on? How long are you gonna let them push you around? How long? Maybe you like it, maybe you like being pushed around. Maybe you love it, maybe you love getting your face stuck in the shit. C’mon. You love it, don’t you. You love it. You’re all a bunch of slaves, letting everybody push you around. What are you going to do about it? What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do?

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        • You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Well, who the hell else are you talkin’–you talkin’ to me? Well, I’m the only one here! Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?

      • I slogged through that same article but it really went nowhere and ultimately came to no conclusions about the whos and whys. 9/11 Troofers have a more coherent narrative.

      • Sharon Tate’s father…did what for a living?
        What went on in Richland, WA, during the ’50’s?

  51. “ Asian girls playing violin” The phenomenon of Asian string players belies the fact that if you want be a tippy top violinist you gotta be a Russian/Eastern European Jew. David Oistrakh, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Yehudi Menuhin, Nathan Milstein, Gidon Kremer, Joseph Szigeti, Isaac Stern etc.etc.etc.

  52. I subscribe to Guitar World and most of the covers are of old people and ancient bands. The February 2024 cover was of Eric Clapton. I love Eric Clapton but his career started sixty years ago. The March 2024 cover is Green Day. I like Green Day but their career is thirty years old at this point. Thirty years is a long time. The gap between Clapton and Al Jolson is 30-40 years, who in the 1960s was putting Al Jolson on the cover of magazines? At some point the people who grew up listening to Eric Clapton, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc. (I won’t say the word used for them) decided that their tastes were eternal and all rock music must point back to that. Well, it didn’t work and people moved on. It’s almost like young people ended up adopting rap because it was new, because it wasn’t the same stuff from the 60s their parents and grandparents were telling them was the only good stuff.

    Back to Guitar World, the interesting thing is that they might put these old people on the cover but I can usually find some really interesting new music in the pages, stuff I’ve never heard of before. There are people putting out new things, really good music, interesting music, it’s just rarely talked about and you have to go and look for it.

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    • Rap is total garbage any way you look at it. It has zero positive qualities. It’s alien and doesn’t belong in civilized society.
      Young people started adopting it because it has been blasting from all directions for the past 30+ years and because it had novelty value, just like any other garbage shock “art”.

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      • Don’t mistake my post for an endorsement of rap. Rap is an assault on western civilization. It is crude, it is disgusting, the lines (hesitate to call them lyrics) glorify all the worst aspects of humanity. I totally agree it has no business being in our society. It is garbage, but it is THEIR garbage. It’s like that old canard about how when your parent says not to do something, you want to do it. Your parents don’t want you listening to rap music.

        The fact that rap music was promoted by the usual suspects and advances their interests is just icing on the cake.

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        • Rap is barely comprehensible patois and profanities grunted by subhumans in time with a synthesized drum loop. It has no melody, no feel. It’s just trash. I forbade my children from listening to it.

          When I hear a ghetto hood rat hooptie blasting that trash on the street, I wish I had grenade to flip inside.

          But hey, if you are selling hearing aids to blacks, it’s got to be a booming business, pun intended.

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      • Rap is tough guy music or at least apes in that direction . . . whatever rock is today, and the same goes for today’s country, it is pretty wimpy.

    • There is good, new music out there. I just think it’s hard to find.

      I’ve dropped out of FM radio because it’s 60% ads. Sirius/XM lost me because the cannot maintain a flat monthly rate (for a really good product). Now my music selections are provided by a hit or miss algorithm. You just have to remember to hit ‘like’ and maybe even remember who the heck you just heard.

      The consolidation makes it hard for sure.

      • 60% ad’s is the last stage in the death knell. The audience shrinks, so does the ability to charge high ad prices—but the broadcast costs remain. There is tremendous competition for audience and many sources to fill that need for audience.

        Once upon a time it was only AM and FM. Now with the internet and cell phones and app’s, you have a dozen choices at hand, which as a bonus are able to tailor your music to your personal tastes.

    • I’d add that if one is having troubles getting started, check out Rick Beato’s YouTube. Plenty of discussion of classic rock, but also a lot of commentary about modern music, the good and bad, from a small-time artist and producer. Mike over at coldfury.com also posts some great insight from time to time.

    • That’s true – the latest from Van Morrison (you remember him: the anti-lockdown, anti-vax septuagenarian (barely!) from Belfast?) is superb.

  53. Whites can’t compete with negroes in coarse crudity but Miley Cyrus comes close. She looks like a White version of Joy Reid.

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    • Yet another pop starlet that must be incredibly damaged on the inside. Our culture has produced way too many of these.

      Of course, it’s not really our culture is it? It’s an assault, nothing more.

  54. Is it possible that it’s just all been done before, and there is nothing new under the sun? How many “new” ways could there be to string together melodies, beats, riffs, fills and words in a way that is agreeable to the modern human ear? If a “new” song you’ve never heard before sounds suspiciously like an old one you are already familiar with, that is no coincidence. I suspect we’ve reached novelty saturation.

    Then again, the aural insult known as “rap” caught me completely by surprise. The biggest surprise being its popularity among pale males who could easily access more than half a century worth of raw, angry, energetic rock music if they choose to, some of it with genuine musical merit.

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    • I was over someone’s house yesterday, conservative novus ordo Catholics and their teenage daughter had a giant banner of some black person smoking a blunt on her wall. I’m assuming it was a rapper I have no idea. I felt visceral disgust when I saw it

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    • It’s a funny thing, but early rap–1980 thru 1986–was almost a gimmick, kind of like novelty songs (“Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”; “Junk Food Junkie,” etc.). It was basically fairly harmless, and the least bad of it was even somewhat amusing. But beginning in the late 80s it became “serious,” meaning that it espoused hatred of women and whites. This was the advent of gangsta rap. And as rap became “serious,” it lost whatever hint of musicality it once possessed and became nothing more than hellish racket.

      • I couldn’t agree more – there was fun, and self-effacing goofiness in it when it was fresh, and then it got hijacked by…?

  55. I had a little something to do with music in the Sixties and Seventies, particularly rock. Some of those people are old friends, but I doubt many are my friends these days. Seeings how I changed and they didn’t.

    Music in the Fifties through Seventies was nothing short of magnificent and unprecedented. We’d turn on our transistors in the Sixties and nearly every song was unique and, in its own way, powerful. Quite the outpouring of spiritus.

    It’s been corporate slop the past 35 years, heavy on the (c)rap music socio-ops agenda. Also heavy on the empowered female ‘artist’. None of these people could have even cracked the Top 100 back in the day.

    That was then, this ain’t, and not too far ahead awaits the day the music died. Then it’ll be kaput for good and available only via the Cloud, no that’s not a machine.

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  56. I think the creative edge (individuals doing their own creative thing with their own talent) has moved to Podcasts.

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  57. One has to look at how technology has created massive stratification of genres, where everyone can find a niche band and a dozen other bands like it. Want to find a German neo-folk band? You can find not only one, but dozens. Want to find modern power-metal bands? Gotcha covered.

    Would bet maybe a quarter of people in the United States have ever heard the Linkin Park song. And that seems to be a nostalgia bump more than anything. It’s sad we’ll never have a musical cultural event like the Creed Super Bowl Halftime Show again, but it’s nice a lot of incredible music is still out there for people who look.

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    • The Internet did help to hyper-fractionalize the music industry. People can check their local House of Blues and regularly see acts they’ve never heard of sell the place out.

    • But one has to look HARD.
      WFMU – JC NJ, for those of an “art-rock” bent. Inconsistent, but often enlightening.

  58. The same phenomenon has been occurring in most areas of culture. Something broke in the 1990s, and we haven’t moved forward.

    Look at the way people dress. It’s same as in the 1990s. A few bands who were probably teenagers in the 1990s emerged in the early 2000s, but since then, it pretty much dried up. Movies are remakes. TV shows – if anyone watches them – are the same stupid multi-culti script every time.

    I’d agree that a lot of this is corporatism. As the managers took over the cultural chokepoints, they imposed a stale, predictable path to success, same as in any large corporation.

    Obviously, another part of this is the internet and smart phones. They provide an easy escape. Back in the day, kids formed garage bands as something to do. Now, they play video games, which is much easier.

    However, I’d argue that some of this is related to end of white cultural rule and a lack of anything to replace it. Let’s face it. Innovation is kind of a white thing. Take young whites out and you’re not left with much.

    There’s also the fact that no one seems to be sure what comes next. Normally, an empire or a nation is defeated by another empire or nation, which imposes its culture on the defeated, i.e. there’s a path forward. Our empire is simply dying. If we’ve been defeated, it’s by a tribe that’s a middle-man people whose culture is mostly whining about being victims even as it rules. That’s not a culture; it’s a complaint.

    The multi-everything utopia will never emerge and thus neither will a new culture. The only authentic culture that would emerge would spring from whites who discard the empire’s faux culture and create their own music, fashion and literature. But our rulers won’t let that happen because it would expose the hollowness of life under the empire.

    The most dangerous threat to GAE is anything authentically white.

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    • This is going to be unpopular, but IMO, if we’re lucky, China takes over (the world leadership) and Whites use the time away from spotlight to regenerate. If not, then it’s just darkness ahead.

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      • I have no interest in ‘world leadership’. I’d rather have sovereignty in our homeland, made ‘our’ again with the pitiless deportation of all trash, especially the white post-workerist left (inclusive of Republican “leadership”). Let China take responsibility for keeping the sea lanes clear of pirates. Our responsibility is to cull the pirates within our borders.

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      • The Chinese don’t want world leadership. They just want dominance in their area – Asia. Even there, they don’t want to rule directly.

        But, yes, anything that help speed up the demise of the GAE would be good. Whites will never break free (mentally or physically) until the empire pulls back.

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        • Belt and Road Initiative spans all across Asia, large parts of Europe, parts of Oceania, most of Africa and a good chunk of Latin America. They may not want world leadership, but that is what they will get if current trends continue.
          The US will be unable to police even a smaller sphere of influence in the Americas. That’s a good thing given the demographic trends.

          • The BRI is more about creating a trade network that the US can’t stop.

            Right now, the US could blockade China easily. Look at a map of China. Its ports are literally surrounded by Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. China doesn’t have a deep blue navy.

            The BRI is similar to the BRICS trying to figure out an alternative currency system. Both are designed to get out of US control of the sea and financial trade lanes.

            If they succeed even partially, it’s the end of GAE. Ukraine, Gaza, they don’t really matter much. What matters is BRI and finding an alternative payment system.

      • If you want to live in a society with traditional family values and Christian values, and supports classic Western civilization, then you have to move to Russia. Like the Chinese, they have clean, safe cities, no homeless, no feces or needles in the streets, good schools, a large, modern industrial sector, and a Ruling Class that is patriotic and values the people they rule.

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        • Russia is a tough place to live. Tough conditions and tough people. Most westerners can’t handle a place like that.

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          • It’s essentially what the northern part of the USA was in the 18th & 19th centuries (and Canada for what little it matters) – hospitable summers but cold winters of death if you are unprepared. Such a climate weeds out the lazy and the stupid because they either don’t survive their first winter, or they return whence they came before they face a second.

            Northern climates in North America are so easily survivable now that the lazy and the stupid are no longer subject to that survival pressure.

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          • And I’m not sure the Rooskies would have us. Can’t say I’d blame ’em on that score…

      • I’m not trying to argue a point that anyone else has made, but Chinese popular culture is possibly even worse than ours. There’s absolutely no imagination, everything’s dumbed down and childish, and musically the same hollow African influences pollute everything.

    • > Look at the way people dress. It’s same as in the 1990s.

      Colleges are rife with people in sweatsuits. It’s the style now, or anti-style if you prefer. In the 1990’s it was be jeans and a t-shirt.

      > Obviously, another part of this is the internet and smart phones. They provide an easy escape. Back in the day, kids formed garage bands as something to do. Now, they play video games, which is much easier.

      And a lot of people have internalized there’s no point in playing an instrument, as a computer can play it just as well.

      > Our empire is simply dying. If we’ve been defeated, it’s by a tribe that’s a middle-man people whose culture is mostly whining about being victims even as it rules. That’s not a culture; it’s a complaint.

      Bingo, well put. None of this is a culture, but an anti-culture.

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      • Part of the issue for the US is that our economy and culture do, in fact, match the people who defeated us. Everything about the US has become a middle-man system.

        As Z has noted, corporate America feeds off the social capital produced in the past. Our economy has been financialized, which, of course, suits the tribe.

        We are a Jewish country now. No industry, huge debt, Wall Street rules, power concentrated, etc. But Jews were never meant to run things, just be a small parasite living off a much larger host.

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      • “And a lot of people have internalized there’s no point in playing an instrument, as a computer can play it just as well.”

        Better, actually. But the kicker is that no one has been able to come up with a plugin that will credibly add back in the flaws, imperfections, and artistic flourishes of a performer.

        The result has been overproduced, sterile, blah music with perfect pitch and tempo. But that perfection is missing the human element, and even non-audiophiles can hear the fakeness of, say, Britney.

        AI can’t do this, not yet anyway. The best it can do is imitate people who bend strings well, not come up with new sounds that work.

          • Yvette Young – no offence to Jeff Beck, and certainly not to Glen Campbell.
            And what do you know about Tal Wilkenfeld – who is to Jeff Beck what Steve Vai, et al., were to Frank Zappa?

    • Citizen: Spot on. And today what passes for music (aside from the ebonic grunting) entails pressing buttons on machines. As much as I hated music class back in elementary school, everyone had to learn what percussion instruments were, play with the autoharp, and at least learn the scale. Who will make the instruments of tomorrow? All those top Asian violinists are still playing German and Italian made instruments from hundreds of years ago. Who even sings old folk songs and nursery rhymes to their kids? (I did.)

      Music is the voice of a culture. It’s not just pop or rock that have disappeared. I’ve never enjoyed listening to the radio but whenever I’m exposed to music in public, if it’s not rap, it’s whiny females . . . whining. I mean seriously, it’s all female solipsism and using some pretend song to feature decidedly average voices and lyrics filled with teenage girl angst. To me it’s like the sister of modern praise and worship songs – no real tune, just female vocal theatrics and ‘lyrics’ written by AI.

      Kill off a people, destroy its monuments and arts, rewrite its past, and silence its voice. It’s all part of the same whole, and most are utterly oblivious to it.

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    • One of the best episodes of the alt-right serial “Murdock Murdock” involved the chinese taking over our country.

      Dr. Murdock and Murdock stayed in the Chinese-occupied cities and surprised to find that it was better than before because the Chinese wouldn’t tolerate monkeyshines from the blacks.

      The cute chick (what was her name?) went into the woods to fight with the resistance and found that the resistance was full of woke trannies who were paralyzed with mental illness.

  59. I am a 38 year old white man. Enlisted in the Army after high school. No way would I ever encourage anyone to enlist today. Now that white men get dumped on everyday, everywhere, good luck convincing them to invest in this society. So much has changed in the 20 years since I graduated high school. I know 2004 had plenty of problems, but it was heaven compared to the hellscape of today.

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  60. My brother busted out his old expensive Marantz system and got it recapped. Hopefully he enjoys that album collection of his again.

    Myself, youtube music, and watching the likes of Rick Beato and such. I do get a kick out of zoomers discovering and reacting to what they never had. The last few weeks I have deep diving into Dire Straits, Chicago and that era.

    • I copied all my ’60, ’70s music to a hard drive. Country, Christmas, Blues, Rock. Is all i play now and all free.

      Yea, Rick Beato!

  61. Other reasons:

    – The target age group for military recruiters just doesn’t have as many Whites as it used to. What is the % of non-hispanic Whites under18 now? Maybe 50%?

    – It’s difficult to start a garage band when safety is the #1 concern and mommy just doesn’t let you go out into the big bad world.

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  62. Yes, lament is becoming habitual because the insanity is escalating and knows no bounds. And that makes it easy to get caught up in despair and defeatism as the only palliative response. But there are techniques that you can use to break this habit and restore some vitality to your mood. One of the best of these is to spend an afternoon at the shooting range; both pistol and rifle. It’s also cathartic to shoot skeet every once in a while and archery is a nice change of pace. Best of all, you can obtain great stress relief from using your imagination with respect to target conception. This mental trick has been shown to improve aim. And you will feel both empowered by success and feel enjoyment in the simulated accomplishment. We have to keep our spirits up and not allow the assholes to wear us down continually. Have at it and reminisce the Dirty Harry quote “Make my day.”

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    • Tribe really helps in that regard as well Brother…When you know you have even one solid guy at your side it helps keep the despair at bay…

    • I know this is heavily derided here, but I’d also suggest getting together with friends and family and do some, you, know, grilling. Kick back a few adult beverages if that’s your thing. These are the people that are going to make whatever you have to do worthwhile. Spend some time with them while you still can.

  63. In response to Zman question:
    Miley Cyrus will get lucky and make a good song for end-stage America. OR
    A cage full of monkeys with some instruments will be the new Oliver Anthony and create an authentic anthem for this age.
    If those are the least worst choices, and though I have admittedly very limited exposure to Ms. Cyrus…handiwork – my money is on the cage full monkeys.

  64. Pop music has always sucked. I personally can’t listen to any of the top-40s from any era. I’ve always liked to find the gold veins buried below the surface. Real musicians live down there.

    Yes, music is a degree more commercialized and more bland than the last creative era which was the 1990s. But that’s because nobody listens to Hits FM anymore, just like nobody watches TV. Mainstream anything is duller than ever. All the best stuff is on YouTube/Bandcamp/etc. You just have to find your people without it being served to you by Wolfman Jack.

    Music appreciation is highly subjective of course. But I’ve been partial to electronic music, and it’s as good as ever. The real creativity and energy lies there, IMO.

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    • For me it has been like Zman described with sports, once you stop listening to the garbage it is impossible to go back. Even the stations that play music that was popular in the 80s and 90s are grate on me. One of the bigger annoyances has been how this awful music has invaded every public space. Every retail business blasts it at you and it is often playing in open air spaces.

      • Yes, music music everywhere! There always needs to be aural stimulation! Silence is violence!

        I can always tell the race of the guy pulling up next to me in traffic, without looking. White guy = rock or country. Black guy = hip-hop. Hispanic guy = that Hispanic crap. Every single time.

        (But a white kid under 30 will listen to hip-hop like the black guy.)

    • Pop music has always sucked

      This. Think about the good music from an era/year and then go check the Billboard ranking for that time: the song you loved won’t be on there while some dreck from likes of Elton John will be towards the top. Pop music was always lowest-common-denominator fare, it’s just that the denominator has been getting a lot lower lately.

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      • Sure. But the local rock stations o listened to growing up had entire hours dedicated to new releases. Every week something new was dropped by Boston, Van Halen, Dire Straits, ELO, J. Geils, Black Sabbath / Dio… And alt / new wave stuff like Talking Heads, and The Cars. The stuff that’s classic now. We thought the goodness would never end, then it did.

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      • I’ve gone thru the top 100 for every year from 1960 on and generally only find a handful for each year that I have still have any interest in listening to,

    • this is one of those stories I like to tell. I was a huge beatles fan in eighth and ninth grade and I thought they were the end all and be all to rock music. This was the tail end of the CD era so I managed to collect all there albums.

      Eventually after having gone through it all and with youtube still a few years away, I decided to listen to the oldies stations, thinking I’d find more stuff like the beatles.

      The stuff they were playing was like
      “Young Girl” by the Union Gap (hilarious song though)
      “Lightning Strikes” by Lou Christie (also hilarious lyrics)
      “Tracy” by the Cuff Links
      “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe

      and many other songs. My thought was “what the f-ck is all this”? But those songs were actual hits in the mid to late 60s. So in a way, the beatles weren’t representative of the music on the radio then.

  65. The popular music that Americans truly loved and “identified with,” individually and in large demographic lumps, was slightly sophisticated. Explaining why is boring, but music has to be somewhat surprising-sounding, not only the first but every time it’s heard, for people to really care about it. Nothing in the popular music of the last couple decades has the compositional *adulthood* of boomer consoomer stuff like Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, or even Barry Gibb. The most recent hit that’s worthy of a music theory “explainer” video is “Black Hole Sun,” a thirty-year-old song. (The biggest change in popular music has been a timbral de-sophistication, not a compositional one per se, but again, too boring to explain. People who can hear it know what it is.) The business has turned wholly against high competence, and not for profit-seeking reasons. They’re broker than ever. They’d change back if they cared. Innovators still labor away, of interest only to each other, with never a glance from The Business. Like “Hollywood,” popular music has become too stupid for people to love it. But it’s not made for people. It’s a waste byproduct of corporate bureaucracy.

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  66. Pingback: DYSPEPSIA GENERATION » Blog Archive » The Death Of Pop

  67. Why would you buy a musical instrument and learn to play it, Z? All you need now is a computer, know how t read sheet music…and you can compose with any instrument(s) you desire…

  68. The top rated comment on the number one hip hop song from last year is hilarious: “They played this at my cousin’s funeral, and he got up out the casket and turned it off.”

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  69. Mike Sullivan of Russian Circles is the best under 40 guitarist. IMHO best instrumental metal band ever.

  70. “The federal government failed in its duty to maintain a marketplace for music.”

    Huh? I know you’re adverse to the Libertarians, Zman, but has it come to this?

    • That actually stuck out to me. The government allows streaming services owned by the tech overlords to dictate the market and they pay crap. Radio used to have a local flare but I know it’s possible to drive across my entire state and be able to switch stations to the same playlist as the one that’s fading out. And that’s probably not even repairable at this point as radio has largely been abandoned and there’s probably no getting that toothpaste back into the tube. (There’s that one good radio station in Colorado, that’s it, that’s the only one I know of).

      • That’s because most radio stations are just repeaters. It is literally the same taped content going out via every local station. That started happening in the 1980s, as local stations got gobbled up by corporate media. (Happened in my town in the Northern Wastes as early as 1980.)

        When I still had a working radio in my truck (this was 20 years ago) I could drive across SoCal at night and the ONLY not-same station I could get was a repeater for a Christian-rock station (it was also the least annoying, but it too was a canned repeater, just not the same ad-drenched pap as everyone else).

        Nowadays I carry an MP3 player and have no idea if radio stations even still exist. And stare blankly when someone makes a modern cultural reference.

  71. The end will be accompanied by the crackling of flames and the sobs of women, just like it always has.

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    • Amen on that Brother…I would just add if you have Tribe the transition will go a lot easier for you…It will still be hard starting over but at least you will have a chance to…

      • So far there have been 25 Republican Governors AND Nikki Haley AND Robert Kennedy Jr. officially supporting Abbott and Texas. In addition, various other states have sent elements of their National Guard to assist.

        There is a hard limit to Cloward-Piven. Denver’s medical system is basically broke, they are turning away citizens to tend to the vast amount of “immigrants” that have no money or medical insurance and need constant care. It is the sheer mass, hard to see but significantly impacting the bottom line for states and for important political donors.

        Raytheon and Lockheed know there will be no more military spending in a few years with all the “migrants” and family re-unification creating a massive social welfare spending demand. Big Hedge Funds and other bigshots understand the “Wealth Tax” proposals with half the Third World will pass and they will lose their stuff to AOC and the Squad.

        Import Venezuela, get a Venezuelan strong man taking the most stuff from the richest first, then the middle class.

        It is not just the politicians, its their donors who are scared and angry. So Biden has to either use force to open the border wide open, or back down. Either way he provokes a reaction negative to him and his regime that putting up “Big Mike” aka Michelle Obama as his replacement will not quell.

    • Statute and constitutional law are on Biden’s side. Soon he will federalize the Texas National Guard, and order it to remove the razor wire. If the officers refuse, they will be tried and convicted of mutiny and imprisoned in Leaven worth prison.

      Someone mentioned the Bundy ranch incident. There will be no popular resistance to the feds in Texas. Abbott’s gesture will just get him imprisoned, too.

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      • I don’t think any of that will come to pass as I think nothing will come of it. I half-believe the 2D Checkers plot that the imbroglio is a regime plot to distract from the fact that the empire has already moved in several states worth of invaders (“See that’s not happening, Patriots are back in control!”), maybe not by design, but they’re riding it like that now.

      • That’s a losing move for Biden in an election year. Unless he is just that confident in November’s fortification.

  72. On the one hand, it’s never been easier to record, produce, publish, and market your own music than it is today, so the efficient-market hypothesis would dictate that there are no great pop bands waiting to be discovered. There are literally millions of musicians on Youtube doing all kinds of crazy stuff, from meticulously recreating the video game music of their childhoods to reproducing rock songs with homemade canjos and washing machines, but they seem to do this mostly for their own amusement, not to get famous.

    When it comes to the lack of the next great pop star, maybe the real problem is on the demand side, not the supply side. People have always enjoyed listening to music and always will, but the fascination that the Boomers and the older Xers have with pop music, creating a whole cultural tableau around it and elevating their favorite bands to superstardom, seems to be an aberration not a norm.

    I just don’t think the younger generations care quite as much. I know that I myself have basically stopped listening to casual music for many, many years now. On my commute, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. There’s just too many things going on in the world, too many things to stay informed about and learn about, and rocking out to some tunes doesn’t do much for me.

    I think if the demand was there, there would be a supply. Most likely the era pop music importance has simply passed. The same thing is happening with cinema.

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    • There’s a lot of truth to that. Largely, music has been displaced as a youth culture nexus. In the 50’s – 90’s, music was our game console, social media and iPhone all wrapped into one. Young people still listen to music, but only incidentally. I don’t think there are many that make an avocation of following their favorite band from city to city anymore. They just aren’t that interested in music.

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      • But musicality is a component of human nature–one of the very few components. Every culture on the planet produces some form of music, extremely primitive though most of it may be. That being the case, appreciation of music is timeless, not generational.

    • Online streaming broke the music business model, which could only support the truly great, talented, and/or lucky.

      Now with online, “good enough” has replaced great.

      Massive overstimulation is a thing as well. If it’s not endless streaming music (literally a thing), it’s podcasts, or YouTube videos, or Twitter, etc.

      No one has the time to sort the truly excellent from the “meh”.

      Naval Ravant has a good line about how a superpower of the day is the ability to resist addiction and time sucks.

  73. Why would anyone bother to learn to play a musical instrument when they can sit on their fat asses staring at their phone all day? Our culture has been degrading for decades now, driven by blacks, Whites kowtowing to blacks and feminization – there is seemingly no inspiration out there anymore, particularly in the arts – and money has corrupted everything. A sad state of affairs and a sad ending to what once was a decent gig.

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    • I really can’t blame the young people for walking away. If you check out the club scene these days, it’s mostly a bunch of men over 50 playing 70’s covers at each other’s open mic nights. Zeppelin and Arrowsmith may have been great bands, but 50 years of anything is enough!

      I used to be a club musician back in the 80’s. I don’t really participate anymore. It alway reminds me of when I was a kid, and my grandparents would drag me out to some event where I’d have to listen to their Guy Lombardo music. “Let’s show those punks what good music really is!”.

      I have to believe young people feel the same way about my music. They sure aren’t showing up at the clubs anymore. Who could blame them?

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      • I wonder just how much of young people not going out has to do with demographics and then not feeling safe or comfortable enough to go out…

  74. It takes a lot to create something even slightly new, different, or worthwhile: basic competence, an attention span, boredom, a familiarity with what came before and yet and estrangement from it, and a willingness to fail repeatedly.  

    That said, with only a few changes in the wording, this post could also go for literature. The “high brow” stuff is boring, derivative, shallow and displays a minimal grasp of the basics of character, setting, plot. The typography of the popular stuff tells you all you need to know without reading a word: a lot of white space in chapters that are now about a third as long as they were thirty years ago.
     
    Grunge was a last, flailing attempt at… something. But the internal contradictions of stadium punk doomed it as sure as did the syringes and the shotguns.

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