Tuesday, March 31, 2015

YouTube Comments About Music

I've been led to understand that America is a hip-hop nation, with the grinding beats and electronic noises of rap and modern pop forming the bedrock not just of American popular music but American popular culture in general.  Well, it seems that this idea isn't very popular with at least some of the folks who seek out music videos on YouTube.  I've been watching videos of classic-rock and classic-soul songs over the past few months, and I've collected some of the comments left by other viewers. Read for yourself:    
"Can anyone dare say that music in the past was NOT better and entertainers were truly gifted, God-like and utterly charismatic compared to the trash we call 'music' today?" - response to a clip of John Sebastian performing "Welcome Back"
"I was blessed to hear Jim Croce's music as a child. 'Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,' 'Operator,' and 'Time In a Bottle' are some of my favorites. Sometimes our greatest musicians are taken away from us much too soon . . .. Back then music used to mean something, now music is just mean . . .." - response to a clip of Jim Croce performing "I Got a Name"
"Ahhh, back when music had words and melodies instead of cussing and grunting." - response to a clip of Billy Squier performing "In the Dark" 
"How are these guys [the Marshall Tucker Band] not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? They have so many acts that suck in there, including rap, and the Marshall Tucker Band is overlooked every year. Toy Caldwell was a great guitarist and songwriter, and the Marshall Tucker Band was influential and inspiring." - response to a clip of the Marshall Tucker Band performing "Heard It In a Love Song"
"You must remember these times. We do not have truly great music, sadly. Many people are forced to listen to crap and do not realize that real music with talented performers did exist at one time. So they can't recognize the great stuff when they hear it. This is a great song for me." - response to a clip of Todd Rundgren singing "We Gotta Get You a Woman"
"When songs like this exist, and are mostly unknown, why is there so much crap on the radio?" - response to a clip of Family's "Some Poor Soul"
"Oh, where have all the talent gone!  Real musicians, awesome sound." - response to a clip of Rufus's "Tell Me Something Good"
"Damn, this is so much better than today's crap!" - response to a clip of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising"
Back when music was MUSIC." - response to a clip of Seals and Crofts' "Hummingbird" (not the Leon Russell tune, the song of the same name from Seals and Crofts.  Seals and Crofts!)
"I miss when music was made with talent, not computers and lyrics that make no sense. Sadly I bet most kids have never heard of this amazing song before. I wish good music would make a comeback, but unfortunately it probably won't, and in a few decades everyone will view the crap music (shouldn't even be labeled music) today as 'classic' and this music will be completely forgotten." - response to a clip of Don McLean's American Pie"
"This used to be the kind of music that was played on radios and got in the Hot Hundred. Now the only music I hear is terrible pop singers like One Direction, Nicki Minaj, Li'l Wayne, Taylor Swift and all those other horrible "artists" that kids my age somehow love." - response to a clip of the Beatles' "Hey Jude"
I could go on sharing comments like these.  But I won't.  It may be true that a video from one of today's big performers gets over eighty million hits on YouTube and most of the clips from classic-pop performers get only eighty thousand (actually, the Don McLean clip I referenced has gotten 33,302,475 views at least count and the Beatles clip I referenced has gotten 48,460,908 views so far, but let that pass!), but it's equally obvious that there's an audience out there for real music, music that doesn't involve computers and autotuners and isn't completely dependent on high-tech devices, music played on real instruments, with craft and care going into it.  As an amateur musician, Mike Huckabee should have seen that the most offensive thing about BeyoncĂ© is not her stage act, but the quality of her songs.  It took six writers and four producers to create her song "Run The World (Girls)," but it took one writer and one producer to create Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone!"    
People miss music the way it used to be.  There's clearly an audience for traditionalist pop.  But what passes for the music "industry" these days has decided that those of us in this audience don't matter, so while there are young and up-and-coming traditionalists out there, you won't be hearing them on mainstream radio any time soon.
Maybe you can find their videos on YouTube.
And by the way,  I reserve the right to share in the future more of the sort of comments from YouTube viewers that I've posted here.   

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