The end of an ear...

In the words of Neil from The Young Ones "I don't wanna bring you down, guys, but..."

As pop music becomes more and more easily accessible and by extension worthless and disposable, not to mention ever more homogenised, truly challenging popular music, as epitomised by David Bowie will become increasingly marginal until, for all practical purposes, it disappears completely. Pop will indeed eat itself. Those of us born between the early 1940s and the early 1960s, or the Baby Boomer generation as it is known, have been lucky to have become teenagers at varying points between the mid 1950s and the 1970s when pop culture, its music and everything that went with it formed the most important part of our leisure time.

When our Baby Boomer generation that provided the bands and their audiences die off, as it will at an alarming rate over the coming couple of decades, the era of music as the main driver for popular culture, mainstream or otherwise will fade away with us, and the signs are already here. Whatever comes after us in popular music can never have the same impact and sense of wonder and exploration. There will never be another artist who can release something as out there and uncompromising as Bowie's Berlin trilogy, for example, yet still manage to shift hundreds of thousands of units of that same wonderful noise. 

Real progressive music will continue on the margins, but as a hobby for its participants, as no-one can now make a living from non-mainstream music. The current economic model of popular streaming sites will force out all but the already large-scale acts. Yes, pop will indeed eat itself...

Tied into this, the gig circuit over the last 10 years or so has shrunk dramatically, with only the larger urban centres able to sustain venues. If like me you are lucky enough to live within a reasonable distance of the capital, then there are still a fair few options gig-wise. However more recently the gentrification of London in particular, although I guess this no doubt applies to other UK cities as well, has seen the closure of small and mid-sized venues continue apace, driven by ludicrous property prices lighting up £ signs in venue owners' eyes as they envisage turning your local sound emporium into chicken coop apartments for the self-satisfied and smug who will then complain endlessly in their loud whiny voices at the very idea of hordes of plebs enjoying themselves in their vicinity, should there still remain a nearby fleapit or two.

Pop has now eaten itself and belched copiously, and by doing so has allowed bland corporatism to take over the means of production, distribution and consumption. I can only hope it gets severe indigestion. Perhaps we need a 21st century version of the punk rock revolution to tear it all down? The problem is the yoof of today are either too subsumed by enforced educational debt and worry, or are living a life on breadline wages in prospect-free employment to have the leisure time to care. As for the cowed general populace, addicted to their computer games and mind-numbing shite TV, their opinions moulded by a media with an increasingly right-wing agenda, they have been turned fat and lazy by convenience foods and couldn't give a shit...which they are incapable of anyway, as all that McD can only make you constipated.

Now, where's that bottle of JD, barman? Wotcha mean, I drank it already?...

This has been your Warr Correspondent Roger McNasty, 56 and counting...


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