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July 30, 2013



This is cyclical - it happened in the 1930s as well. What did the 1930s add to jazz, other than the technology to record it properly? Some of the biggest hits from the decade were just polished productions of songs and sounds that were actually written in the 20s. In hindsight, the advances in technology were significant enough that it sounds like innovation. Acts and musicians who broke ground and established their sound in the 20s are often remembered as stars of the 30s, because the 30s had a higher level of technology and production value that lends well to posterity.

Similarly, the last decade has been all about finding a way to sell punk, rap, and metal to a generation that doesn't necessarily understand the anger and rage that gave those musical forms birth in the first place. There's plenty of relatively new sounds that can be "cleaned up" and brought to audiences that haven't been able to approach it yet.

20 years ago, the critics were complaining that music had become too aggressive in seeking innovation for innovation's sake. This is a counter-balance, a chance to sift through that explosion of novelty, clean up the rough edges, and see what will make it as part of the new "gold standard" in popular music.

Eventually, of course, some pop-style musicians will start taking chances and making enemies of the establishment. I'm looking forward to that, but I am not holding my breath either. (Think Johnny Cash or The Beatles. Early in their careers they were just generic pop acts and no one could have guessed how much influence they would have on music in the decades to follow)

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