You dose the music section’s Kool-Aid with brown sunshine, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two tickets to a Live Nation club show of your choosing. Here’s this week’s winning whine.
Dear Payback Time: You know the old saying “There’s no good new music anymore”? Simply not the case. It’s a way of antiprogressionist thinking that dogs not only the musicgoing public’s acknowledgment of popularity, but the entire modern world’s ideals.
Pop music is like a shark—it must constantly move forward or it dies. I’m afraid that if we keep shunning progress, pretty soon we’re gonna have a dead shark on our hands.
A recent Straight concert review of the Darkness stated that it might have been the best show the reviewer had seen since Tom Petty in the 1970s. This is not an attack on the reviewer (as I’m sure Petty was awesome at the time, though I don’t really care about Tom Petty), nor is it one on the Darkness (who trade on an unoriginal trope in music, but are unreservedly awesome). Quite simply, music—like all art—must be a product of its time to be eternally relevant. Tom Petty might have been cool in the ’70s, but to hold him to modern standards is folly.
The best artists in modern music are actively pushing things forward. Using Animal Collective as the go-to model, there is no shortage of progressive ideals in pop music today. The fact is, although the Internet has made an infinite library of music available, it has diluted the sources from which we draw our tastes. Music is better than it has ever been. You’ve just got to go out and find it.
> Jonty Davies
Mike Usinger replies: Dearest Jonty—did you do a lot of acid back in the hippie days?
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