I’m in a Jam

When it comes to music, I guess I can be considered a little old school.  Not so much old school as in Big Daddy Kane (although you should hear me do a verse of Smooth Operator), but more in the sense that I tend to like a lot of older tracks, things from when I was younger, but other pieces that go back from before my time too.  That isn’t to say that I don’t like any new artists, because I think there is a ton of great music out there today, you just tend to have to dig a little more to find it.  For every Magic Numbers or Black Keys, there are a hundred Hedleys or Pitbulls (and just as a side note, if there was ever a misnomer for an artist, it has to be that one, because there is absolutely nothing threatening about that guy whatsoever).

One of the great things about the world today is the amount of technology we have and the access to a variety of music that it provides us.  We can listen to music pretty much whenever and wherever we want, we can share it (illegally or legally), we can find other things we might be into via great sites like TasteKid (seriously, one of my favourite sites…it’s simple, but just so useful), we can watch videos or even use our own addresses to create videos to go along with songs we like (thanks Arcade Fire…that was actually pretty cool).  If you’re a music fan and are even remotely technical, you’re living in a wonderland right now.

But as amazing as it is to be a music fan in today’s tech world, there are some things that just rub me the wrong way. Earlier today, I read that Lady Gaga is going to release a new track via Farmville, that incredibly annoying game that allows people to completely ruin your Facebook experience by providing you with updates on everything they are doing during the game.  I think that’s how they market the game, but I could be wrong.

I actually don’t mind artists finding new ways to bring their music to an audience, because this is really something artists have been doing forever.  You want to be able to get your music and your message (if you have one) to as many people as possible in as direct of a fashion as you can.  But there is just something about this that bothers me.  It’s not that Lady Gaga has her song incorporated into the game, it’s that she’s debuting the song within the game during a predetermined time.   It just seems so artificial…which kind of sums up her music, so maybe it is a fit.

But seriously, do you remember when an artist would put out a song, would bust their ass doing shows all over the place or killing themselves to get noticed and then when they finally did, would just keep going and keep producing good music so that word of mouth became their marketing machine?  Remember the last time you heard something so good that you just had to tell somebody about it?  You wanted them to feel like you did right in that moment?  There was a sense of urgency to that feeling, wasn’t there?  Not only did you want your friend to have that same feeling, you wanted to be there to share it with them.  That was a testament to the power of the music.  The quality of the music was turning you into its own marketing machine.

I’m sure this release will come and go and it won’t be  a big deal the way the song was released.  The stations will pick it up and the media will jump on it and then the young fan base will finally get around to word of mouth, but it just won’t have the same appeal to it.  I guess this is something I am going to have to deal with: where I love music and consider myself to be somewhat technical, but am in a jam between the two sides.   I think in the long run, I’ll be okay with that.

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