Wednesday, 1 January 2014
20 Things We Want To Happen To Music And The Internet In 2014
Happy New Year. Here are 20 things we want to happen to music and the internet in 2014:
1. The diarrhoea of sh*t demos will lessen. New artists will stop uploading the first thing they’ve recorded to the internet without first exercising some degree of quality control. Bands / singers / musicians and wannabe rock / pop stars - remember that putting any old crap on line is the equivalent of shooting yourselves with your own gun. Your name will be forever associated with that first song and in this day and age of hyper fast turnover and smaller windows of opportunity, sadly people are less likely to give you a second chance.
2. The tired format of X-Factor will be scrapped.
3. More people will stop just sitting around listening to music on the internet and actually get out there and watch live bands (not just big arena shows but small club and pub shows) and (importantly) be prepared to pay for it.
4. Being ahead of the curve will become less important in the world of new music blogging, but it will still be a little bit important. We wrote more about 'firsties' here. Everything we wrote in that article we still believe in.
5. Channel 4 will start a new ‘edgy’ youth / after the pub Friday night TV show that will be ridiculously rubbish in places but will feature great live music performances (think The Tube meets The Word). We want to see things like this energy and this oddness (from 7 minutes onwards) on the TV. There needs to be more TV performances that don't play safe (but in doing so not playing safe doesn't mean just taking of your clothes, which is becoming increasingly boring).
6. Bands will stop thinking that getting Facebook likes and You Tube views is as important as writing great songs.
7. Jai Paul will actually release an album. It will at least include track 2 of the stolen demos Bandcamp thing from 2013 and it will actually be worth the wait.
8. Music journalists will spend less time looking backwards and more time looking forwards. It’s the 20th anniversary of two of Britpop’s most important albums (Parklife and Definitely Maybe) in 2014. We love both records, they're important parts of music history, if you haven't listened to them you should. However, we don't need a multitude of 20 page retrospectives on 'the music that defined a generation' or such like to help sell back catalogue. The music industry's love of constantly looking into the past will ultimately sell it short in the future.
9. There will be more pretentious and colourful pop music and less homogenised average pop music. We’d rather see artists gloriously fail at trying to be brilliant than having success by doing what their media trainers tell them to do.
10. People (particularly music writers and dated sounding bands) will stop using the term ‘real music’ when writing negative articles against studio produced / electronic and pop music. If you don’t like the music that’s fine, but this ‘real music’ stuff is balls. Likewise the term honest music and the theory that music has to be 'authentic' for it to be good will finally be kicked into touch.
11. Chloe Howl and Charli XCX will become proper pop stars in the charts rather than just credible blog-pop acts. They will refer to point 9 above at all times.
12. Music websites will stop posting “XXXX artist reveals album artwork,” as hit baiting ‘news’ stories and lists such as '20 greatest guitar riffs in rock'. Oh hold on.....
13. More bands that meet the taste of Breaking More Waves will play our home city of Portsmouth, rather than us having the weekly school-night slog over to Brighton / London and back to see the bands we love. In 2013 we spent more money and time travelling to gigs than we actually did on tickets for shows and watching the shows themselves. That seems wrong.
14. When a new artist is launched with a mystery identity or a change of name, record labels / management and the artists themselves will ensure that before the launch they do a proper job of erasing information that they do not want the public to know. Not all music bloggers rely just on the PR machine and press release and will often do their own research. Independent blogs (who are often run by fans rather than music industry people) are entitled to publish any information they find when they think its relevant and labels / artists cannot expect us to not publish information that they have failed to remove. Yes, we want to work with and support labels and musicians, but we also value our independence of thought. Independent blogs are not slaves to the music industry. Even better let's forget this 'mystery artist' idea - its only something that (mostly) the industry and media care about. All the public want are good songs and performances - they don't care about potential future pop stars past non-careers in shit (or good) indie bands that never did anything.
15. That our 24 hour blogathon at the end of this month raises some cash for Cancer Relief. (And that you donate by clicking here). If every person that subscribed to our RSS feed donated a £2 we'd easily over achieve on our target.
16. Soundcloud will start charging a nominal upload fee (say £1) for each song hosted on it rather than its current free service. This would help cure point number 1.
17. Musicians will become celebrities because of the great music they make rather than any other reason.
18. The Mercury Music prize will get back to including some surprise / dark horse records on its list. More token jazz and folk that we've never heard of please.
19. There will be a 2nd Nicola Roberts album.
20. There will be Nicola Roberts live gigs and they will be A.M.A.Z.I.N.G
But if we can't have all of those we'll settle for just 19 and 20. Nicola are you listening / reading? Thanks.