Do The Black Keys and Vinyl Records Signal the Renaissance of the Golden Age of Rock and Roll Music?

The fact that the Black Keys won three Grammys makes me so happy, because I love them to death. I really love the fact that they aren’t really young, teenyboppers; they are true musicians complete with sexy beards and tired sunken eyes.

I listen to a lot of old classic rock and blues and when I listen to The Black Keys I get the distinct feeling that a renaissance has occurred while we weren’t looking. I have spent my whole life angry at the way music has been ruined, ‘rock and roll is dead man!’, but The Black Keys give me some sort of hope. A couple of days after they won those Grammy’s I was reading an article in the paper about young people starting to buy vinyl records again, and my first response was a sarcastic yeah that hasn’t been going on for like years now or anything, good job catching that bit of breaking news.

But then I started thinking about why it was happening, and then the popularity of The Black keys and bands like them, which use old style riffs and classic blues elements, came into my mind, and I thought that surely all this nostalgia tells us something about the age we are living in. This is a moment in history where some people have finally realized that most of the things being produced are purely moneymaking exercises developed with formulas that are known to result in mass popularity. I have thought this my entire life, I have always lived with a sense of nostalgic desire for the golden age of rock and roll and the times before mass production and excessive consuming. THEN in the past couple of years the whole ‘hipster/indie’ thing happened and those views (which used to just be me thinking whatever I wanted to think) suddenly didn’t sound so crazy. The point is that liking and thinking alternative things suddenly stopped being weird and started being cool.

I have always wanted to start a movement in the music industry, which brought back classic rock, the golden age, unfortunately due to my lack of musical ability this hasn’t happened. But just looking at these Black keys posters alone, I think they may have already started the renaissance without me.

I still feel that maybe we are heading to a new age when we stop buying from the corporate giants and we stop listening to mass marketed, super produced boy bands and start looking for artistry and integrity. And although I know that One Direction is still the most popular thing on the planet and not everyone will change, I still think at least a far greater majority of us will and maybe that can lead to amazing developments in the world away from the evil corporate giants that have been controlling us since the 1980’s.

Now the problem with this, many people say, is that it makes it harder for people to be individual when the people that follow trends start coming into the indie trend and that they are ruining it for the real people. I think this is such crap, just do what you want to do and be whoever, we have far to much of a preoccupation with be ‘individual’ in our society that it has become an actual TREND. The funny part of it is that the fact that even indies cant be individual should be telling us that WE AREN’T INDIVIDUALS we are part of a world, a universe and a global community and we need to stop being angry at others for stealing our ‘individualness’ (not a word but whatever) and just fucking be.

Top News of the Hour – Good News Prohibited

When ordinary people in our society perform good deeds or services that are commendable and extraordinary, the media seldom has the space to publish it or the time to broadcast it. However, to report about celebrities, the rich and famous, or corrupt politicians going about their usual scandalous lives, ding-ding-ding! The media considers them as the jackpot for top news of the hour.

Let’s face it. A vast number of magazines, TV shows, popular internet sites, and radio stations report routinely about criminals who commit dreadful and unacceptable offenses. Many of the reports actually equip would-be perpetrators with new ideas.

Yes, we need to be aware of the not so pleasant people and terrible things happening around us that may possibly affect us, but we should give more time and recognition to the average, everyday, hardworking people who are the backbones of our communities.

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

As a nation, we should make every effort to remove the spotlight from hopelessness and despair and redirect our attention to the muscle and pride of our communities. Let us report on upstanding citizens, their accomplishments, and achievements.

Here are just a few of the many people whom we should recognize on a regular basis and regard them as breaking news every hour.

  • Grandparents raising their grandchildren.
  • Custodians and waste management workers who work to keep our businesses and towns clean.
  • Military members who serve our country and risk their lives to keep it safe.
  • Teachers who make a positive difference in the lives of our children.
  • Daycare workers who handle our most valuable assets.
  • Youth who obey their parents and consistently do well in school.
  • Fathers who love their families in words, thoughts, and deeds.
  • Firefighters, law enforcement personnel, and city maintenance workers who serve the community 24 hours a day.
  • Secretaries, nurses, and farm workers giving more to their jobs than the compensation they receive and the list goes on.

I urge everyone to take a few minutes of your time today to recognize and praise at least one individual for his or her work in our community. Begin to acknowledge and appreciate the good of those around you. Share positive affirmations and dwell on them daily. Detest listening to music that exploits and demeans. Refrain from reading stories that stifle growth, invoke fear, and crush our hopes. Let’s make good news, praise, and recognition the top news of the hour today and everyday.

Indie Music Out Of The Closet

 

Indie music is well known for its low profile and refusal to conform to current trends. The artists take pride in their individuality and their ability to survive in a cutthroat industry without compromising on their beliefs. But even the most dogged and persistent artists need a bit of help and luck in breaking into the scene and establishing indie credibility.

Showcase events are an ideal way for artists to perform to a wide audience, gain experience, and start building reputations on the indie scene. The Independent Music World Series is one of the largest showcase events for indie music in the US. Tony van Veen, the vice president of sales and marketing for one of the major sponsors, says that indie artists play a vital role in keeping the music industry energised and thriving.

IMWS insists that the showcase isn’t a popularity contest, but a search to discover and reward genuine talent. Despite its reputation as an indie showcase, artists from all genres are welcome to enter. The panel of judges consist of 12 music industry professionals. Artists are judged on their song writing abilities, originality, musical performance, vocal and lead instrument performance, as well as their “overall vibe.”

Other showcase events include the Palais de Festivals held at Cannes, France. The event consists of talent showcases, a conference track and networking events. The showcases are meant to serve as a platform for emerging artists and to teach artists and their managers innovative promotion techniques. All those involved in bringing music to the public’s attention, such as media programmers and record company representatives, attend to find new trends and sounds.

The Mid-Atlantic Music Conference in Charlotte, NC is a music conference that has been growing in popularity and credibility since its inception. Artists from all genres have to qualify to win one of thirty coveted slots for the final performance, which takes place in the Halton Theatre. Talent scouts and music executives who attend the conference give it excellent reviews and use the opportunity to sign up and coming artists to their labels.

Music industry enthusiasts John Phillips and Bryan Banks launched the Steamtown Music Showcase in September 2006. Eastern Pennsylvanian bands use the showcase to demonstrate their original music and song writing capabilities. The event is held in a different town every year. This year that honour goes to downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania.