Music has become an industry, announcements, press releases, corporate espionage, journalism; an entire world revolving around music and what ever Pitchfork or Kingsmill decide we should like next. Take that, easy targets. More to the point, I was thinking about how I disagree with so many people about so many things, and music in particular. It may be self-evidential for some, but for me, it always takes time for me to come to terms with the fact that I might be wrong about something. In essence, music is subjective and opinion based, but conversely there has grown an industry obsessed with quantifying music, objectifying it. Journalism is based on the reporting of facts, and it is often difficult to state facts about songs, albums, concerts, performers or festivals. But we do it anyway, we try to write down and enumerate our feelings and reactions in a way that is understandable to someone else.
With every announcement of a new tour, a new festival, anew party, there is opinion. noisy, unadulterated, constant, boorish opinion. Criticism, complaints, condemnation and praise, but rarely concencus. While this is an inevitable by-product of a far reaching and large music scenein Australia, it is still simply opinion. The lack of concencus simply proves that further. If it weren’t so interpretative and subjective, surely everyone would agree.
An objective discussion is virtually impossible, leaving simply a screaming match between those who still believe their opinion to be more important. I began this piece when I was thinking about the urecently announced stereoscopic a lineup and its relatively uninspired and repeat core of international and local acts. I was ready to condemn and complain, citing not only lack of originality in the acts booked, but also the music they produce. The same critiscisms could be leveled at almost every festival, music journalist and even musician. However I remembered that at the end of the day, my opinion is just that. Opinion. The people who work in the music industry are simply trying to make a profit. It is a simple fact now that people must behappyenough with the same lineups, similar music and repetive beats, otherwise the industry wouldnt be constantly churning out such continued sameness. This is a basic reflection of the culture our society prudcues. Much of our mainstream culture in Australia has been whittled down and distiller into a fine science of making money, be in television, film, music or less popular literature and art. As always, the industry and market place respond to demand, and that demand is calling for more Tiesto, more MasterChef and another Shrek sequel. You know it’s coming. However, this is not a complaint nor a congratulation, it is simply is. Who am I to complain? This is culture, and while there will always be subtleties for those with more refined and subtle preferences, on the whole, culture, and the music industry will continue to be unremarkable. It will continue to be an amalgamation of all our opinions. Next time you go to complain about how dull the Summer festival lineups are looking, remember they are all beasts of our own making, and your opinion isn’t worth more than anyone else’s.