Tuesday, October 02, 2007
i'm a classical music listener, though i've been many other things (indie, punk, alt-country) -- among them a radiohead junkie. for me, tunefulness matters -- but articulate soulfulness is was endures long enough to make music worth buying. it's an undefinable quality that elliott smith had in common with j.s. bach. and radiohead has it in spades, being easily the most insightful, intrepid and comprehensive articulator of the postmodern psychological experience.
i sincerely doubt this means an immediate revolution in music. chances are that the financial rewards will not be what establishment recording channels can deliver to major artists, and will present even less certainty to up-and-comers.
but it absolutely should be one in time -- the post-internet media age should in time disintermediate and disestablish businesses whose only true profit center is selling mechanical copies that are now essentially superfluous, and using their cut to make loans to artists in an effort to make them dependent on their continuing intermediation. and it should also withdraw from artists the privilege of taking a cut of those same mechanical copy sales, taking them back to a pre-recorded-media age when what artists had to sell was not dead copies but the experience of live music performance.
the true test will not be radiohead's stab at disintermediation after the fact of success -- but instead seeing bands arise from club circuits to become major acts with large followings using only their own performances, internet presence and the word of mouth that the hypercommunication age is removing most obstacles to.