Honestly LWG people are kind of right, but they don't know why.
Popular music back in the 60's and 70's was actually in-tune with the art movements of the day. John Cale and Irmin Schmidt and Captain Beefheart were all aware of the high art (visual and music) of their time and so they produced masterworks that stand not just as great popular music albums, but standout masterpieces.
Since then popular music has been drudging around the same kind of influences and has never caught up to the art world. It's just sunk further into commercialism.
I love music from the last 20 years, but most of my favorite music comes from the 50's 60's and 70's. These decade's musical output will be remembered for their quality for a long time. The same way we listen to 17th century composers but don't give two shits about 13th century composers.
I don't think that's necessarily true. Captain Beefheart wasn't 'mainstream' in his time. LWG people basically make the assertion that all music today is bad while all music of the past is good.
There was shitty music on the radio then and there is shitty music on the radio now. The artists that are remembered from this time period won't be the ones played on the radio.
>The same way we listen to 17th century composers but don't give two shits about 13th century composers.
Maybe you don't, but people who listen to classical love 13th century composers.
>LWG people basically make the assertion that all music today is bad while all music of the past is good.
Right but I'm not saying they're actually correct. Just the general premise that the older era's music "is better" has some basis.
>I don't think that's necessarily true. Captain Beefheart wasn't 'mainstream' in his time.
But like I said, the "non-mainstream" stuff of today still doesn't feel very different from that time. I don't feel we've had much evolution.
What do you mean? Are you referring to music as an art form or popular music?
What are your parameters for 'better'?
Do you have any specific examples of acclaimed modern music that is explicitly commercial?
>Do you have any specific examples of acclaimed modern music that is explicitly commercial?
Also all Poptimism
>What is the high art, both visual and musical, of the 21st century?
The sad thing is that I can't definitively say. I can only say what the classical music of our time is.
The problem is that as I hear from Popular music, I really just hear the same styles, just with more sophisticated electronic effects. Maybe I'm bullshitting though. This is just one of those things that I think up on the spot.
>but is there an observable trend to it?
Poptimism? I mean, absolutely. Enough for the NYT and Washington Post to report on it.
Interesting you pointed it out! The general trend I've seen is just the melding of the acoustic and the digital together. You'll think "no duh" but let me share links:
Even so, I think this is somewhat stagnant. Maybe classical music has the problem too.
Actually, I think I know what it is really now:
Genrelines have pretty much met their breaking point, and so the latest innovations have been in the melding of genres. David Lang/Julia Wolfe's fusions of Rock and Classical. Sufjan's blend of Pop/Classical. Julia Holter's blend of Jazz/Pop. And so on.
Maybe it IS innovation, but just more subtle?
As bad as poptimism is, it just seems to be another trend of musically illiterate 20-somethings latching on to whatever is popular, and doesn't represent music as an artform.
Then again, people said the same thing about the rock n roll and jazz movements, so maybe some good will come out of it.
It could stand to reason that the blending of genres is partly because there isn't a clear, genuine movement in art to help get shit going forward.
there have been many innovations in music, but nearly all of them have been commercial.
I think I've heard somebody else speak about this sort of "coming together" of music, of the separation between the "serious" and the "communal" slowly breaking down and allowing for various different combinations to occur. I think it was John Luther Adams if I recall correctly.