Skip to main content

Does Today’s Pop Music Suck More Than Yesterday’s Pop Music?

Recently, a friend called to let me know that he was selling all of his DJ equipment.  I joked, “Let me guess, new girlfriend?”  My friend laughed, called me an asshole, and then confessed to having a new girlfriend but insisted that she had nothing to do with why he was selling his gear.  “I can’t do it anymore, Leon.  The music on the Pop charts now is terrible.  How do you stand it?”
I made it clear to him that I understood his feelings.  Then he asked, “Do you think that the music is really that bad or we’re just getting old.  I mean, our parents didn’t like our music and their parents didn’t like theirs.” 

The big myth is that musical tastes divide because of generation gaps.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  People that love music keep their ears open until the day they die.  Good music is good music.  Time is irrelevant.  A good Motown track moves a room full of people from ages 14 to 74.  Why? People of all ages dance to Motown because a good song is timeless.  To answer my friend’s question…no…it’s not because we are getting older.  Music in general isn’t getting worse it’s just that we have less good music to choose from.  The current generation doesn’t have a Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder or Burt Bacharach equivalent to churn out timeless tunes.

As far as the plight of the DJ that really loves music, finding a truly educated, music-loving audience is relative.  Where you are determines the sophistication of your audience.  With the exception of Chicago, finding an audience that doesn’t fall for the usual Pop chart refuse in the Midwest is nearly impossible.  The two operative words in the Midwest on all accounts are “fear” and “familiarity”.  I’ve literally had patrons in a screaming, fear-like panic because they didn’t recognize the song I was playing.  The general consensus is “We want to follow.  We want to hear what we have been force-fed.  How dare you try to educate us and steer us in another direction.”  On average, crowds in the Midwest don’t really listen to a song, but instead search for familiarity in a track.  If I play a little known intro to a Pop song, people will frown until they hear the part they recognize from the radio edit.   Am I over generalizing?  Absolutely.  There are many really cool, music-loving people in the Midwest.   Unfortunately, there aren’t that many.

Does pop music suck right now?  My opinion is…mostly it does.  At the end of the day, it’s a matter of opinion.  Does the music suck, the audience suck, or you suck?  Depends on whom you’re asking.  I’ll end this blog with the sympathetic immortal words of my friend, Scotty Hard, “You’re a commercial DJ?  I couldn’t do that gig.  That’s the kind of shit that makes you hate music.


Popular posts from this blog

Treacherous Human Underdogs LIVE @ Shlafly Tap Room

Beginner DJs and Buying Gear

A question I am asked often by beginner DJs is, “What gear should I start off with?”  This is a tough question because the answer depends on what type of DJ-ing you are doing and where you have visually projected yourself in the future.  The first question I have is, “Are you DJ-ing for fun or for money?”

If you are DJ-ing just for fun, then your choice of gear is irrelevant.If fun truly is the name of your game the options are many.There exists facial recognition software that enables you to use your face as a MIDI controller, there are ways to hack into your Xbox Kinect so that your whole body can be used as a MIDI controller, and there are countless new desktop controllers coming out everyday for computer DJ software.Then there are the practically outmoded CD players.Of course there is also the wagon wheel of DJ technology…the turntable.It’s really just a matter of preference and what level of frustration you want to experience while learning to DJ.The quick of it is: Software = fas…

DJ Leon Lamon't s Crate Confessions #6

Dear followers,
It’s literally been a month since my last Crate Confession.  I make no apologies because life happens and MFs get busy.  I’m not hating or being salty, I’m just saying.  Anyway, children, uncle Leo is going to take you way back and, since it’s been a minute, do more than one track for this confession session.
1. Reflections - Diana Ross & The Supremes

I grew up on Motown music because my parents are huge fans and my dad is straight up borderline fanatical when it comes to Motown music.  My dad has the popular Motown stuff and the obscure Motown stuff.  Example: If it weren’t for my dad, I wouldn’t have known that Tommy Chong of the famous Cheech & Chong was a musician that put out a record on Motown before becoming a famous comedian.  That being said, I’ve yet to hear a Motown track that I didn’t like.  Reflections, like so many other Motown songs, has amazing song structure and chord choices (things I knew nothing about when I first heard the song as a kid). …