Why does modern music suck?

There, I said it. I can’t listen to the radio. One word, overproduced. I just finished watching a movie with lots of sixties music in it. What is it about that music that just makes it sound so interesting.
Don’t lecture me. There is some good 90’s and 00’s music out there but its few and far between. Why can’t anyone write songs like they did in the late sixties and early seventies?

Dang young hipsters. Get off my lawn and/or FM dial :mad:

Shouldn’t this be titled:

“Why does modern RADIO music suck?”

And the answer to that would be “targeted demographics,” or more to the point, Clear Channel Communications.

Music from the top down.

They made banal music back in the 60s and 70s. But it’s been forgotten. In thirty years, you’ll only be hearing the best of the music being made now and people will think 1996 to 2006 was a great decade for music.

There was a lot of really sucky music in the 50s, 60, and 70s. You just hear the stuff now that stood the test of time. But, even with that, popular music now doesn’t do much for me.

Damn hippies. Everyone knows all the good music ended in 1949.

Music between about 1955 and 1975 excelled because there were stupid rules begging to be broken. Big band jazz had dominated the popular music scene since the 20s.

The problem with music now is there is still the memory of those heady, rule-breaking days, but no actual rules needing to be broken. Anything goes so nothing is revolutionary and fresh.

We need a period of stifling senseless restrictions to generate another wave of innovation.

I don’t like much of what I hear on the radio, either.

I get some milage out of my local “indie” station (though “indie” is far from “indie” these days). I also hear a lot of really interesting new stuff on my college station.

I don’t know what your tastes are like, though.

Have you been to pandora.com? Maybe it can find some modern music you would actually like.


Last night I went to see Gotan Project, Zero 7 & Herbert. Afterwards, I was telling my mom that anyone who says that music sucks nowadays is just not looking very hard.

I don’t like any current music, either, and haven’t for a very long time. I have this theory, though, which I think makes a lot of sense. It isn’t that music sucks now. The various explanations above are all true. I think what has happened to you, and the rest of us fogies who can only listen to old music is, we’ve grown out of the demographic. We have passed over the invisible line where we can’t identify with what is hip now. Commerciality aside, I think the reason why what’s now popular sound so alien to us is that it doesn’t speak to our experience. We’re enough years out of it that we aren’t as angry as we used to be, nor about the same things, and we aren’t suffering a lot of angst anymore. What’s out there nowadays can be seen by older folks as trivial, because to us, it is. That doesn’t mean that millions of people don’t like it, nor that they shouldn’t. It happened to everybody, in every generation since parents could not understand what their kids liked about that awful music, whatever kind it was, from Mozart to Marillion to…I don’t know a current artist under M.

About music on the radio, just remember. The scum rises to the top.

Pat Boone.

There is Indie 103.5 in Los Angeles, for the past couple years. When they started, I didn’t know anything they were playing, and what made me mad was only the fact that they didn’t announce what it was.

Today I listened to them on iTunes, and they played U2’s “Bullet the Blue Sky”. Now, it’s arguable that anything U2 is “alternative”, but it’s not obscure, especially when it’s from a 12 mill+ selling album.

My point being that even with pointed help, it seems tough to get “out there” music on the radio. Although I will say that Indie is the first place I heard Kaiser Chiefs.

Big band jazz was almost dead by the time rock and roll came around. Popular music was dominated by tripe like Patt Page singing Doggie in the Window. One reason rock became popular so quickly is that music on the radio was so insipid.

There’s a lot of truth to that statement. People don’t realize, for instance, that Jimi Hendrix barely cracked the charts in the US. Ditto for The Ramones and The Clash and Elvis Costello a few years later.

All the indie, underground bands that are actually making good music are the ones that will be remembered two decades hence.

I think there’s an interesting observation here that I’d like to pick up on, which is that aside from the songwriting, song production plays a big part in what you ultimately hear, and there are definitely trends in production that I’d say are more important than the songs themselves in whether or not something is a “good” song.

I don’t really know enough about it to talk about it intelligently, but I can say that listening to different recordings with an ear for what about its production appeals to you might also help you find music you enjoy.

As a slight asside, lately I’ve been noticing that I really can’t listen to a lot of my older Genesis, ELP, Tull, etc etc albums in the car because their dynamic ranges are so large that the quiets can’t be heard over the noise of driving on the highway. I don’t ever have that problem with contemporary rock recordings.


Which brings me to one, ONE of the greatest travesties in Grammy history. when Elvis Costello lost in 1978 to A Taste of Honey. Only topped by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince beating Public Enemy for the rap Grammy in 92.

Lowest common denominator.

“What is the truth about rock music? Music is a powerful and perhaps the most powerful medium in the world. Music. Plato says when the music of a society changes, the whole society will change. Aristotle, a contemporary of Plato’s, says when music changes there should be laws to govern the nature and the character of that music. Lenin says that the best and the quickest way to undermine any society is through its music…”
-Good ol’ Jimmy Swaggart.
Music has always been subjective (mm, tasty cliche’). I’m thoroughly enjoy Bob Dylan’s “Modern Times” coming out of my iPod as I’m typing this. I can completely see how someone would find this album to be torturous however too. There’s such a glut of new music out there that’s good that I feel that I can never keep up. If it’s not one of my favorite artists releasing a new album, it’s a new artist that has made a blip on my radar, or an old singer that I never heard of before with a lengthy back catalog (Caetano Veloso, anyone?)

As for the radio bit, it’s very rare that I’ll listen to it on my accord. My boyfriend has XM in his car and after a perfunctory scan of the stations, I found that none really fit my tastes. There were some that played a song here and there, but I wasn’t able to whole-heartedly commit to any station as there was still a lot of mediocrity and/or just plain dreck that filled the spaces between the good stuff. I’ve got about 8500 CDs, so it’s not like I’m all that picky…then again, I might just be.

The reason it was, was that we’d had 20 years of great music produced by poverty, world war, and general misery, and we were ready for some nice bland junk.