December 14, 2007

"American Idol flunky Chris Daughtry has been named the bestselling artist of the year on The Billboard 200 chart..."

I was a big supporter of the guy when he was in on the trashy pop TV contest, but... what the hell? Is this actually what's happening in music today?


Anonymous said...

"Music" today is not about the music, it's about the video (and sex, of course). If you can whine through your nose with a "voice" spanning maybe half an octave, and look good on film, you can be a star for a day.

For this we have television to thank. Once upon a time successful musicians were such because they had talent. No more. Now they come in droves like flies (rap would be the blue-bottle species), with a similar degree of distinction; and they die out just as quickly. Visit a used CD store and be amazed at the dozens of published albums you never even heard of before they winked out of existence.

Overall it's a pathetic picture, supported by drones who mistake American Idol contestants and their ilk for performers and the lowing herd with more money than discernment.

Paddy O said...

I am going to avoid mentioning that the over-commercialization of music took off in the 1990s while Hillary Clinton was First Lady because it would be crass to suggest she helped facilitate the decline of popular music not only in the US but around the globe.

B.J. said...

You're absolutely right on all accounts. Over-commercialization has destroyed what we know of music and for that we can certainly thank Idol. There are some of us fighting back, however. I've started a new blog called American Idle at

Join the movement.

Anonymous said...

You've got to give him some credit though. Music, whether or not you want to admit it is still a business market and Chris has been able to put all the "drones" into rank and file to funnel that money into his hands. Not everyone can do that. Where he lacks in artisic talent atleast we can all agree he's got good business sense.

Not everything is so bad in American Idol world. Have you read any of the stories in the American Idol edition Chicken Soup for the Soul? These stories are uplifting and interesting. Worth a read.

Kev said...

Back from a long "vortex vacation" (a.k.a. things got crazy at school)...

I agree that so-called Big Music tends to churn out the crap on a regular basis (and have ranted about this since the earliest days of my blog), but there's still a lot of great music out there to be found if you simply do an end-around and avoid Big Music and BIg Radio altogether. With the growth of the Web and places like MySpace, it's possible to record, produce and distribute one's own music (and keep all the profit) without the (lack of) help of a major label. (In my own field of jazz, there are quite a few successful artist-run labels that sell almost completely off the Web.)

Sure, it would be prestigious for someone in my position to land on one of the legendary labels like Blue Note or Verve (and the jazz labels are, by and large, more artist-friendly than their pop brethren and sistren), but it's no longer a necessity. Putting more control of the music in the hands of its creators (rather than corporate suits) is almost never a bad thing.

So...did I miss anything these past few weeks? ;-)

Nels said...

It just means that albums are dead except to (probably older) folks who buy rock.

The year's #1 singles are almost all hip hop, pop, or R&B, with no Daughtry among them.

Unknown said...

Ann is trying to pretend she didn't totally obsess about the greatness of American Idol?


Memo to the regulars: Ann's musings on pop culture are every bit as shallow, trivial and uninformed as her musings on politics.

Jennifer said...

His stuff isn't all that bad.

But, I think its silly to lament the state of music these days. Sure, overcommercialized, overproduced, style over substance is what sells big. But, through the Internet, we all have access to a huge range of truly talented artists that would never have made it on the radio in any day and age. The vast majority of music I listen to is from artists I stumbled across on MySpace, YouTube or iTunes. Artists who will never be played on the radio, but who are making a great living touring and selling their music on the web. The state of music nowadays is better than ever!!

Jennifer said...

A tribute to music and the Internet...

Gregory Page (old school folksy jazzish something - a few months ago when I bought his latest CD he was still taking orders through email, mailing out your CD and asking you to send a check when you received it, though it looks like he's upgraded now)

Sonia Leigh (amazing bluesy folk/americana)

Bob Schneider (self described folk rock)

Iron and Wine (folksy alternative rock)

Meiko (poppy folk)

Marie' Digby (acoustic pop)

Eric Hutchinson (self-described acoustic/soul/pop)

Jesca Hoop (poppy folk rock)

Independent music is stronger than ever. So are singer/songwriter/musicians who aren't being fed music and produced to the hilt.