The Poor Poor Scene

I’m in Birmingham for the night, staying over for a conference tomorrow. For those who don’t know, I go to Birmingham every Monday for Seminary (all day long I might add). So instead of driving all the way back home and then all the way back to B-ham, I just booked a room at the Sheraton for the evening. So now I am blogging….however the only internet connection I could get without spending the entire evening in the lobby would cost me $12 (which, by-the-way it is to be noted that the Hampton Inn gives its patrons free wireless internet access in every room!). So this post, though I am writing it on Monday, will probably not be posted until Wednesday. That aside, I did want to share my experience from tonight.

I had some time after class to wander around Birmingham. So after a pointless twenty minute trip to the mall, I found my way to the nearest Best Buy. While there, I realized something that really bothered me. Allow myself to explain…..myself.

I was walking up and down the music isles at Best Buy as I have done countless times before. You have to understand the obvious fact that I really really enjoy all things music. My preference would be to make/play music, however I also take great pleasure in listening to music, especially something new. I am always trying to find new music with the sole stipulation that it be…well…… good. In the past, I have even gone to a music retailer with a list of 5 or 6 records that I have wanted to purchase. It was always a treat to be able to mark one by one each record off of my list. However, as I walked down the aisles tonight, I realized that I didn’t have a list. I’ll admit I was a bit unprepared, as I had not originally planned this trip to Best Buy, but again, my past experience has proven that even without my trusty music-to-buy list, I’ve been able to find at least one record on the shelves that would catch my attention. Not so tonight, and as that realization dawned, and even deeper and more troubling realization followed. Not only do I not have a list, and not only could I not find a record worth buying at Best Buy, I am not sure that at this very moment there is a single record that has proven to be worthy of my attention.

Well, ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch (and I might add that the previous statement read much more arrogant than I intended). There are good artists still around, and upon further examination, there are a few bands that are still putting out a good product. And I would further have to admit that a good bit of what I am basing this entire blog off of is totally subjective. However, the fact still remains that the current temperature of the music industry is tepid at best. In fact I would dare say that it is near hypothermic! Radio has become irrelevant and utterly annoying. Labels pour loads of money into only those acts that will return loads of money for them, completely disregarding the quality or integrity of the artistic product. And don’t get me started again on the fact that there is such a genre as “Christian” music.

But this blog isn’t just about the pitiful state of the music industry. It is much more about the fact of how deflated I was when I walked away from the music store empty handed yet again (though my wife and I will both be glad to leave that $9.99 plus tax in our bank account!). It is about the fact that not only was I empty handed, but the last few times I did actually by an album, I was disappointed. The last really great record I bought was at least a year ago (by a band called The Edison Glass…be sure to check them out, you’ll be glad you did). It’s about the fact that either the music industry is failing to put out music for a connoisseur like me, or maybe, just maybe, I’ve lost an edge on what is really good music. Maybe the problem lies more in my auditory taste than it does in artistic temperature. I’ll be honest, those bands that normally get rave reviews by critics usually are either to out-their-weird for me, or it is too Americana-boring, or it is Celtic (which isn’t necessarily a problem, I just have a hard time riding down the road with Celtic Women as my driving music). Perhaps as I get a little older my taste is supposed to change, but I still would just prefer good old fashioned catchy pop-rock and roll with artistic integrity and thought-provoking and even only somewhat original lyrics. Is that really too much to ask?

Maybe that is what my role will be one day. Maybe I’ll be the one to fill the void of the oh-so-needed rock-n-roll. Maybe I’ll be the heating pad that warms up ever-so-slightly the sub-zero radio waves. Or maybe you could just tell me a good band that is already doing that so I can get me some new music!


I know they've been around for a while but I love music on the Elms' new album. I only own a few tracks that I've bought from iTunes but the other stuff is great too (Check out the song "Towers and the Trains").

I also like Spoken alot. But they may not be your style (little bit hard rock, little bit screamo). Dead Poetic is another favorite. And one more: Have you heard Jonezetta?

And sorry for not getting the Nice CD to you yet. I'm working on it. Really.

November 20, 2007 at 3:56 PM  

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