The New Plastic Sound

(Guest Writer Leo Mendoza)
Recommended Download: “Dreaming of You” by The Coral

Old pop consciousness died slowly in the hands of our generation’s careless intent to accept less. The new musical standard laid it to rest and brought on a myriad of unoriginality and hip nothingness. The nihilistic beat of the Velvets has ceased. Dylan’s harmonica falls on silent ears and his words are nothing to a generation who clams to know everything.

60’s Brit Blues from the Stones, Cream, Animals, and Spencer Davis have all been replaced by the children of Detroit who deconstruct it and call it garage when it is in truth just laziness. Ghosts of the Beatles and Brian Wilson stay seven steps ahead no mater how hard music tries. Soul Brother #1, James Brown, no longer shakes his hips but he can still shake ours if we would only listen. Marvin Gaye would still like to know just what’s going on, and it’s sad to think that we have truly left Otis Redding sitting on the dock of the bay.

The new plastic sound is not an unholy and untalented stab at yesteryear though; it just lacks the spark that lit revolutions in years past. Complacency with bands that in decades prior would be sent to the cut out bins and regulated to cult status that now make best of the year lists. The White Stripes, for instance, have the talent but no soul, its just blues by the numbers. Late 70s N.Y. has been re-imagined as the Strokes minus the spirit and anger. Bright Eyes takes the old Dylan patented formulas of no voice and long rambling songs but they substitute depression for imagination.

Few bands are actually attempting to make a significant try at a new musical regime that means something. England has produced the Cosmic Scouse Scene, which includes the Coral, Zutons, Bandits, Stands, Hommos, and Basement. While America has once again fallen behind our Brit counterparts and have few bands that merit serious attention. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, the Walkmen, Fiery Furnaces, Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket and Drive by Truckers are all that remain from music’s once grand past.

As it looks now, the futures of music is shaky but as John Coltrane once said, “A bad idea is just a good idea waiting to happen.” So in that context the entire scheme of music today is just waiting to be turned into the next great cultural explosion instead of the ghoulish stealing of the past’s back catalogue.

2 thoughts on “The New Plastic Sound”

  1. Very, very nice article. I really like how you wrote it. It was also very to the point and there wasn’t alot of fluff. I particularly like the phrase “blues by the numbers”, that is quite nice.

    Very well written, and the point stands.

    Also; can you reccommend me some album(s) from ‘Kings Of Leon’?

  2. wow!! how come you arent on staff?!? i demand more!! that was a very eloquent and insightful article. short and to the point and very stylistically appealing. i agree with a lot of what you said, but unfottuantely i have a weakness for the white stripes and the strokes. although both are definately taking a cue from ‘vintage’ artists, they bring a new kind of style to the whole approach of thier music.

    even though i do listen to some of these “poppy” bands, I have an immense appreciation for bands like the beatles and led zepplin, among a thousand others. I think that the history of music is something that is lost of most of today’s listening society, not just people who listen to bands harkening back to that sound. Even the atrocious copy cat bands bring something good, perhaps by listening to them people will take the cue and discover the jems of ages past. i can only hope for as optomistic an ending as you and Coltrane suggest!

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