Steve Albini on music fads

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Over at the A.V.Club they have a newish music feature called Hatesong. In it, they invite famous musicians to pick a song they hate and dissect it.

DIY / independent provocateur-in-chief Steve Albini seems like the perfect choice for such a comlumn - and he is. As usual, he goes beyond gripe and makes solid far-reaching points about music and culture in general.

In this case he starts with the Cher song Believe, pinpointing it as the start of brazen auto-tune use as a sound in itself. He then goes on to use it to illustrate the nature of crazes and fads, and where they all ultimately lead.

There's the supernova moment where a cliché like that doesn't exist, and then suddenly it does, and you just know it's going to run like a rash through music and really bum you out. I don't listen to a lot of pop music, so I'm not that conscious of what's going on in the contemporary world. But once in a while, a song out there in the mainstream pop world develops some appeal within my peer group--which is the rock-band and abstract-music people--and for some reason, they latch on to some piece-of-shit pop song that they can listen to ironically, or listen to as a guilty pleasure, or sometimes just listen to outright.
The full interview is long and detailed. Check it out. Unless you are ironically into pop fads and/or corporate/sponsor ass kissing, in which case don't waste your time ... you could be at that hot product launch right now! 

Seriously though. Check out Albini's band Shellac. Great stuff.

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This page contains a single entry by Andy Best published on November 23, 2012 4:43 PM.

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