They said downloads would kill music. They were wrong on that front, but the Internet is doing substantial and unseen damage.
Recently, two worrying music posts have caught my eye:
That’s two posts, from completely different circles, posted at completely different times, but with a point in common – music is an art in decline.
I’ve previously written about how music is becoming unsociable – we’re scared to like anything outside the mainstream. But the problem runs deeper. So, ask yourself these questions:
- When was the last time you were approached about a gig on the street?
- When did you last go to a gig just to see what the band was like?
- When did you last read a band’s Tweet? Did you RT it?
- How many bands do you “like” on Facebook?
At a guess, the last questions will score better than the first two. That’s just wrong. Music shouldn’t be about some internet currency where likes and follows provide access to “the biz”. Whatever happened to marching up to any old sod, asking to play them a song, and busting your balls on stage to 10 people, but having the time of your life?
FAN ≠ FANATIC
The Internet might not have killed the way in which music is consumed, but it has caused a paradigm shift in terms of appreciation, resulting in a sharp decrease in music fanatics, as opposed to fans.
The difference? One can be overwhelmingly passive – it’s possible to be a casual fan of music insofar as you like songs when they come on, but don’t care enough to hold particularly strong opinions. Fanatics, on the other hand, live and breathe music. They’re the Stanikks and Gormans of the world, who care enough to criticise the state of the industry. If fanaticism is “giving a shit” on steroids, then not enough people are using.
Is this erosion of shit-giving the real damage done by the Internet? Has music been reduced to background noise, rather than an art to be adored and appreciated?
At face value, the internet isn’t killing music. But to a lot of die-hard fanatics, the very act of producing, promoting and simply loving music has fallen foul to an era of laziness and convenience. And this is something to worry about…