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

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). …

Red, White and You: RCA cables for the DJ

People venture into the world of being a DJ and don't ask questions because somewhere along the way someone made them feel as though they asked a stupid question.  There are no stupid questions.  Either you know or you don't know.

Today, uncle Leon is going to write about the veins of the modern DJ system…the RCA cables.  What does "RCA" mean?  RCA is named after the company who invented them,The Radio Corporation of America.  RCA cables are the cables you would normally use to hook up turntables or CD players to a DJ mixer.  There are two lines: left and right.  Red equals "right" and white equals "left".  Red equals "positive"  and white equals "negative".  If you find yourself buying the orange and grey cables then it's orange equals "positive" and grey equals "negative".  An easy thing to remember is that red equals "right".  The hot color or bright color is always the right side or hot/po…