For the past couple years nothing has dominated pop culture quite like the mysterious world of vampires. A ghoulish fantasy perpetuated by overly muscled Hollywood dudes and overly skinny, horrid acting, lip-biting Hollywood starlets. There’s also the soap opera on vampiric steroids that invades the start of all my Curb Your Enthusiasm dvr recordings. For many years, we as music fans have been ahead of this vampire takeover and personified it in the way we consume music and pop culture. It’s the American way. We find something we like and obsessively digest it until we no longer have any use for it. Then a few years later we rediscover it in a kitcshy, nostalgic way and remember how great it was all over again.
It’s natural to get your hands on a new album or get a new favorite song and play it repeatedly until you get sick of hearing it. But, it seems this process is happening quicker and quicker. Is it the fault of MTV? iTunes? Shortened attention spans? Something else? Or all of these combined? I’m not smart enough to have the answer, but I do know that’s what I see.
Nothing happens slowly anymore…not even in Texas Music and that used to be where we were different. We used to make our own album cycles. Now it seems it falls in line with what the major labels are doing.
Somebody used to put out an album and be able to tour on it for around two years before releasing new material. People would spin the cd’s until they scratched…and then they’d buy another two copies. When they went to the shows they wanted to hear all the cuts from the album. Not just what they heard on the radio.
In this changing musical environment, it’s just not that way anymore. As recently as June, The Departed released their fantastic debut record to much buzz and fanfare. Yet, just two months later I hardly hear anyone talking about it anymore. At least not with the passion they were previously. Why is that? Is it because people have already bled it dry in their ears and are chasing their next musical dragon? That’s certainly how it appears to me.
There are certainly exceptions. For example, Stoney LaRue is releasing his first new music in six years this month and is still pulling in gate receipts that most people with several albums and **”hit songs” could only dream of. His earlier material and his live show have been engaging enough to keep people interested through the hills and valleys of the music business and life. Another example would be Turnpike Troubadours. I’ve heard a lot of great albums over the past couple years, but their Diamonds and Gasolineis the only one that has me continually pressing repeat. There are about 6 songs off that record that are in my most played on iTunes.
I’m not saying the speedier business model is good or bad…just that it’s noticeable. What do you see?
**What really constitutes a hit song in Texas anyway? As was recently pointed out on Rita Ballou, I’ve seen acts with several Texas Chart hits play to empty rooms and seen bands with no radio hits pack bars out. Chicken, egg? September Brad’s Corner?
-At the rate television programming is going, how long until we have MethBustersPeopleSwampSurvivorVention?
-Best Greenfest ever. Thanks to all who attended or made it possible. We’ll try to do it again next year!
-Football season is finally here. My ol’ Texas State Bobcats have Coach Fran and are getting ready to make the big step up to D1 soon by getting thrashed at Jones Stadium in Lubbock. Eat ‘Em Up Cats…gonna be a long season.
-The Rangers are still in first place…could we be headed back to the World Series?
-It’s been so hot that people finally stopped taking pics of their car thermometers!
-Had a most excellent summer in the water…lakes, pools, rivers and Schiltterbahn. Best pool in Texas is Playdium Pool in West, TX. That’s West comma Texas…home of the kolache and WestFest. Live music, beer, spring fed waters…Barton Springs gets the hype, but Playdium takes the cake, er kolache.
-I think if I had the chance to caddy on the Tour for 10% of the purse I’d keep my mouth shut and be happy.
-Who’s the most underrated artist in Texas? In music at large?
-Ready for fall and all that comes with it.
-At Greenfest, Brison Bursey played a killer cover of Gin Blossom’s “Hey Jealousy” and then told me after the gig that he feels like a 90′s rocker born a decade too late. Go see this dude’s live show. Unique.
-Stay tuned for some more cool giveaways coming soon including tickets to Pickin’ for Preemies!
–Recommended film: I finally saw “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, a mindscrew of a documentary about grafiti artists. It’ll leave you questioning what parts of what you just saw were real.
–Recommended album: Midnight River Choir-Welcome To Delirium. These guys have come such a long way since I first saw them. This record is an immense improvement over their debut. Eric Middleton is growing as a songwriter and the rest of the band has figured out how best to musically support his lyrics.
-”Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most”.-Mark Twain