Monday, 5 December 2011

Music Needs Weirdos

Kate bush became a pop star as a teenager, then turned into somewhat of a musical recluse. In this rare interview, she talks about "the death of the album," saying a worst case scenario would be when people cannot "afford to make what they want to make creatively." I think that her recent almost twenty-year hiatus has caused her to miss a few things.

Radios do not play albums anymore, Kate, as mainstream music is dominated by singles. Yes, quality albums get noticed and recognized, but on a much smaller scale than they used to. The singles from even the best all-around albums are what make the money, and in turn get the written, audio, and visual publicity. For example, upon the release of The Black Keys album entitled "Brothers" earlier this year, despite well deserved rave reviews of the album itself, the single "Tighten Up" overshadowed the album as it blew up on the internet, radio, and even as background music to the most branded commercials.

I also think Kate might be a bit out of the loop with relation to technology and its ability to eliminate financial barriers to music. She doesn't elaborate on this point much, making it hard to know what she means exactly, but with computer-generated instruments built into most new laptops (ex- Garage Band), I don't see how musical production is getting anything but cheaper for the little-guy.

Anyways, her new album is a "concept album" with each song themed around snow. I listened to it. It's weird. So why did I like it so much? Because the music industry needs reclusive weirdos like Kate Bush. Who else would challenge old topics like albums, reminding us of how the industry grew? I believe that the music industry holds arguably more niche markets than any other, and the best part is that the smallest niches are driven by musical passion and personal exploration, not financial gain. If people like Kate Bush stop appearing, we'll be left with top 40, and nobody wants that.

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