Friday, October 14, 2005

Obnoxious Post of the Day, Grumpy Friday Edition

You know I spend a lot of time hanging out with goth/metaller/counter-culture types and I've found that it can lull you into a false impression that most people in the world have reasonable taste in music, and the reason that dire shite like Coldplay, INXS and Nickelback are popular is just some arbitrary product of a big marketing machine combined with the collective ignorance of teenagers and the middle aged.

Then you read something like this, twitching all the way to the bottom of the post (where she suggests that The Datsuns are goth...), and you remember that most people genuinely do like popular music. They base their music tastes on the image and marketing of the performer, and worse than that they actually prefer music that's insipid and boring to music that's original, creative and inspired. (And if you have a delicate disposition like me, don't read the previous post in the series about classical music, it might make you swoon (or put your fist through the wall, depending on how much Soulfly you've been listening to.))

After a stiff drink I felt a little better and began to think about the actual point of the post - is it worth having Creative New Zealand handing out taxpayers money to local musicians. My gut reaction is to say no. If I woke up tomorrow to find that I would never again have to listen to Scribe, The Feelers, The Datsuns or fucking Opshop, I'd be elated. The only CNZ funded artist I can think of who I'd even miss would be Jordan Reyne (but I'd miss her a lot...). My response when hearing about any kind of government funding of art is usually along the lines of “Whatever happened to being a poor suffering artist?” If you really care about what you're doing, it shouldn't matter if you're making a living out of it. Sure it's good if you can but holding a day job isn't going to kill you.

On the other hand it's hard to argue with the success of the governments support of NZ music over the last few years. It's explosion in popularity is simply unbelievable to those of us who remember when admitting that you liked kiwi music at school would get you bogwashed. Sure you can attribute the initial push to the selling out hard work of bands like Shihad, but the public investment is the only thing that can be credited for the full change and the new industry will no doubt do good things for the economy in years to come. So in summary, I like foresighted government spending, I don't like crap pop music, or the people who buy it.

No comments: