I've noticed something interesting recently about the music scene of late. Yes, this is another music rant. And yes, it will have much to do with the poor state of the music of our generation. Am I that predictable?
I've noticed that there no longer seem to be any one-hit-wonders in today's music. There are several varying definitions of one-hit-wonders out there, so to clarify my definition for will be an artist that is remembered for having one hit song, usually being a pretty huge one that many people have heard, and then disappearing. That is their legacy. Sure, they may have sold millions of records, and that stuff that the lead singer did on his own was nice, and the reunion tour was pretty awesome, but when people think of this musical act, their first, and often main, thought is of this one song that they've heard a million times.
But like I said, nowadays such a beast no longer exists. And it seems to me that it should be in existence. Quite heavily so, in fact. Par example: an artist like Ke$ha. She had that one single, "Tik Tok" come out a few months before she even had an album to her name. Before that, she was a feature artist on one of Flo Rida's songs (im puking a little just realizing that I know this stuff...). Tik Tok was huge. You couldn't go five minutes without hearing it blaring out of a car window as it passed by, preteen, teen, and post teen girls alike screaming along. And realistically, that's where it should have ended. She had one big song. She had no album, no previous hits, nothing but that one song. But now she has, what, three singles? All of which seem to be extremely popular with that sort of crowd?
Another example for those of you less interested in the antics of pop princesses? What about Cage the Elephant? They were a bunch of nobodies from Kentucky with only a low-selling self-titled album to their name until "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" got some serious radio air time last summer. After countless months of nothing but that song wouldn't be safe to assume that Cage the Elephant would return to obscurity? The name alone screams one-hit-wonder, not steady recording artist. Yet now they have another single, which is apparently just as popular if not more than their first one. Impossible!
Given, my discovery lends itself much more easily to the Virgin Radio/KISS 92.5 music scene than anything else. But that doesn't make my theory any less reasonable, does it? Whatever happened to the Blind Melons and the Chumbawambas of yesteryear? How is it that some twenty-year old guy who wrote songs for other artists can suddenly have TWO consecutive platinum hits? Or that someone can go from acting on a canadian teen drama television show to being one of the most sought after artists in the world with just a few songs ON A MIXTAPE and NO ALBUM TO HIS NAME?
In my mind, the music industry is a constant struggle. You can work your entire life to try and make it big, and never make it past playing in run down bars in your hometown on open mic nights. But, if you're lucky, the right person will be in the right place at the right time and hear one of your songs and think it just might have what it takes. And for a brief moment of gloriousness, a nobody can see what it feels like to be a sensation. One-hit-wonders are the true heroes of music, because they manage to get a small piece of the action that so many other people fail to touch. But now it's like somebody entered the God-Mode cheat in the music game, so now nobody ever has to stop winning. And the result is hundreds of look-alikes and clones clogging the air waves with the same synthetic, autotuned beats as everyone else, and still raking in the money for it.
1. I don't know what I'm going to do when I finally own a home and want to renovate it. Or even just fix something wrong that may occur with the plumbing. Really the only thing that I can do well that is house-related is paint walls. Damn am I good at painting walls...
2. The classics and hits of today are the songs that my dad grew up listening to. And for the most part they are amazing; they changed the very face of music in so many amazing way. These are the songs that brought music to where it is today, the songs that inspired the artists of today to do what they do, the songs that have stood the test of time in order to become both respected and popular with our generation. It's sad to me that when we're all finally middle aged adults/senior citizens, the songs of our childhood that will be played on classic hits radio stations will include Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas...
Where did this doppelganger week thing come from? I mean, I think it's awesome, I wish I had participated. But it just got me wondering. All of a sudden there are doppelganger weeks and moustache months and I have no idea who's making these events and how they're becoming universally known and accepted.
Where do I sign up to become a themed event administrator? I have ideas, I can make one too!
I've been feeling really isolated recently. Isolated, as in, completely cut off from my friends, family, anybody and everybody that I used to know in highschool or while at Guelph. Well, with one exceptional exception. And that's not Kris. His overall roommate fun rating: 9 on a good day, 2 on an almost every day...
It seems like Facebook and MSN have more or less lost their usefulness when it comes to staying connected. Sure, I could still see what everyone else is up to if I did a little digging on Facebook, but there's not really any interaction between me and them anymore. It's the same with MSN; given I don't really go on much anymore or instigate much of the conversations, but those things can be said for just about everybody else as well. Even this little blogging clique we sort of started seems to have waned in the past months...
**Sidenote: Skype seems to have filled the void that MSN left behind, although the void is a fair bit too large for Skype to be a snug fit. Still, some filled void is better than no filled void, so to all two/three of you guys who may:
a) come across this post and read it
b) not already have me on Skype
somehow give me your Skype info. I'm starved for human contact right now...
Instead of hanging out everyday at school or partying every weekend at somebody's residence, it seems like if you're not already in an area populated by people from your past you have to get up and go to them. Which is fine with me - actual face time is more or less better than talking through delayed emails any day. The only things getting in my way are pretty basic: my work/work ethic and my funds...
I hate writing this because of a fear that someone might read it and think me conceited (which I'm not), but most people in my class would agree I am the hardest worker. I am the only one in my class to always finish every project on time, and more recently it seems like my quality of work has stayed about where it was all year, while everyone else's has dropped severely. Of course, in order to do these things, I'm usually swamped every weekend (three day weekends for me) in projects due the following week. So if I'm not doing work, I usually should be; getting projects done the night before only really works when there's just one project due the following morning. Nowadays, there's usually two or three...
If, by some strange happenstance, I have no work for the weekend, there's the simple issue of being unable to afford jet-setting all across the province to see people. Or at least that's an issue if I want to continue eating and taking the TTC everyday (both rather large priorities). It's one thing when going to see someone means just a bus ticket both ways, but that's rarely the case. Between food and drink for the weekend (usually unhealthy and expensive) and food and drink for whatever celebration that usually caused me to come up in the first place (also unhealthy and expensive) and a little casual good-times spending here and there, I can usually have paid a month's rent and possibly transportation after three or four visits... And with no current source of income and the addition of monthly bills for electricity, internet, and cable (damn cable, hate hate hate), groceries, and school supplies, my funds are stretched dangerously thin as it is...
I find myself checking my email four - five times a day (or whenever I happen to look at my computer), but there's never anything new. There's nothing quite as disheartening as an unbolded "inbox" when you're this starved for human contact. I'd say I have hope for the summer, but we all know how likely it is that I'll be able to reconnect with people any more than I already do...
My birthday is in one day less than a month, with my reading week falling just before it. It is within this that hope must now rest...
When we're kids, you've got Halloween. One day of the year when you get to dress up in an awesome costume and parade around town pretending to be someone or something that makes you cooler then you were before. Of course the first few years your costumes may or may not be determined by your parents; leading to far less awesome looks, but most kids have at least four/five years of wicked costumes before they're told they're too old for Halloween.
If you're lucky you'll end up going to a cool grade school that has various events for various reasons (book fairs, student council nominations, pre-holiday celebrations, etc) that also act as another excuse to dress up. Unfortunately, your cool grade school is also attended by the too-cool-for-school kids or the bullies who make you feel like a loser for dressing up like Merlin from The Sword in the Stone or or because you drew a fake moustache on your lips for your Robin Hood costume. So you quickly give up dressing up for school as well as Halloween.
A few years pass, and you end up in high school, where there are once again special school-wide events (albeit far fewer) that call for dressing up as your favourite fictional character. But, of course, the same kids who ruined costumes for you before have managed to pass grade school in order to come to high school with the promise of renewed torment if you even think about throwing on something that isn't clearly blue jeans and a quicksilver t-shirt. But eventually you reach grade 12: the oldest in the school, no one is going to ridicule you anymore. And so you enjoy one sweet year of costumes and nostalgia for the days of your childhood before you are forced to graduate and move on in your life.
However, when you get to university/college/the work force you find out that Halloween is a completely legitimate and widely popular holiday again: anybody who is anybody is trying to come up with the most elaborately designed or culturally referenced costume to dress up in. Finally, after all those years, you're able to release your inner child for one night every year and not fear any sort of bullying; finally, you've found your people. But now you're back to just one day of the year on which you can cut loose and enjoy dressing up in elaborate costumes...
I love Halloween. And for the very little effort there is to participate (make a simple costume, and if you don't want to do that buy some candy and stay up till around 10-11 giving it out) I don't see why we can't have a couple more costume-days in the year.
A new year in one hour; we're about to move from single digit 2000's to double digits. The twenty-teens are upon us. This is my second full decade of life, a pretty large span of time full of major events. And since reminiscing seems to be floating rather heavily through the air right now, I said to myself "Why not me too?". One last hurrah for the 2000's...
During the span of 2000 - 2009, I:
- finished all of grade school, high school, two years of university, and half year of college
- wanted to be a computer animator, then a writer/actor/film-maker, then just a writer, then anything that wasn't in English, then a graphic designer
- was quiet, shy, and introverted with a small circle of friends, then became more loud, outgoing, and confident with a much wider circle of friends
- found love, lost it, found it again (except better)
- tasted alcohol and fully experienced all of it's effects, both positive and negative
- stopped all yearly camping trips to pick up a whole set of new ones several years later
- went from listening to just boy band pop (Backstreet Boys) to listening to almost anything AND boy band pop (Backstreet Boys)
- had no videogame systems to having five
- have lived in three different houses with different sets of roommates asides from the house that my family lives in
- travelled to the other side of the world
- and so many other things
In this coming year I will be turning 21 - it's weird to think about just how many years have gone by. This past decade has been a ridiculous roller coaster ride of ups and downs; high points and lows. Sometimes I wonder if my 10 year-old self would recognize me now. If he did, I think 10 year-old Jonathan would be pretty impressed with the turn out.
Good on me, me.