A cry for help from a reformed music snob, part 2

[This was my weekly column for GlobalNews.ca. – AC]

Last week in this space, I spent about 1,100 words whingeing about how so much of today’s music isn’t very good. This concerns me because it shows that I’m backsliding into music snobbery, something that I’ve been trying to leave behind.

I realize kvetching about the state of popular music makes me sound like the old man yelling at pigeons in the park, but I thought I laid out my arguments rather well. In fact, a received a surprising amount of positive emails from people who agree with me. “I’m glad someone said something that I’d been feeling!” That kind of thing.

Here’s the bad news: We’re all going to have to deal with it.

And because obtaining music in this manner was expensive, you were very careful about what you purchased. You bought only what you could afford.

Then along came the internet, first with Napster and illegal file-sharing, then with 99-cent songs on iTunes, then all-you-can-eat streaming services. The price of accessing music dropped to zero while the number of instantly available songs increased to tens of millions. Music on plastic became quaint at best, and at worst, obsolete.

And that’s not all that’s changed. Every single aspect of music composition, performance, production, distribution, sale, and consumption is different. The old ways are dead, dead, dead, and today’s youth — and remember that music culture is always driven by young people — have their own way of doing things.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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