Posted: Mar 24, 2011 9:53 am
I think there's good music in every genre that justifies the existence of the genre.
For example, AFI has some good stuff, but they're EMO as hell.
By the same token, all screamo sucks. AFI is a strong influence to the screamo concept, but most bands inspired by them are completely unlistenable.
By the same token, Motorhead were punk/thrash metal pioneers. There were no subgenres back then; they we taking punk to a whole new level, where it was starting to be more like what Black Sabbath was doing and less like "Henry the VIII" and "Looey-looey"; real classic early punk. However, if you listen to some rubber stamped "metal" band now-a-days, it's complete crap. I get it. You can tremelo pick and your drummer can play blast beats and quads. Great. Now do you think you can play a song through without taking a "Break"-down to rest, because your skinny child hands don't have the endurance to play real metal?
On this level, it becomes obvious that genre purism is a vile and evil musical aesthetic, because it enforces stagnation and goes against the scientistic principle of hybrid vigor and the universal appeal concept.
Any band, too heavily inspired by other artists, will be complete and absolute crap because the musical palette/genepool/substrate is too thin to turn out a worthwhile derivative. Experimentation and improvisation are the only way to do something new, and yet are dangerous because they can lead to making unmarketable and unpopular music. This gives the participating artist a lower feeling of self worth, and in times when positive feelings generated by performance comprise more of the pay than actual cash and bar tabs, this can be a crushing influence on young developing musicians.
What really sucks is the current developement of cover band culture, where the bar is more important than the band, and bands are so constricted that they are forced to play from the same setlist as one another. This is embodied by the Nashville sound, which must die.
Since most musicians are either ground up and spit out by the burn-out mill (ie; music not worth the time when competing with job/family) or are fame junkies, the formative first 7-10 of a musicians development (when they should be MOST experimental) is when they are encouraged to be the LEAST experimental.
I will always support any band's right to suck out loud, provided that the band is actually PASSIONATE about what they're doing. I really hate watching self-concious bands quietly performing their safety-net sets, anxiously anticipating the acceptance of the crowd. If you're not offending someone, then chances are you're not pleasing anyone, either. The art of brazen-ness in music is becoming lost, because people have forgotten how to play music that pleases their OWN artistic aesthetic, as opposed to merely pursuing a dream of social acceptance based on performance ability.
Which, of course, is what bands like Big Star and Motorhead have mastered; making music soley to please the band, and making it brazenly without compromise toward a closer alignment with material by similar artists.
Led Zepplin was a great band, but because they were too busy trying to appeal to a blues aesthetic, Motorhead has been much more culturally influential DESPITE having less commercial distribution by radio and visual media.
It's really easy to listen to a sloppy live recording of Big Star drunkenly belting out some punk rock and dismiss it as "crappy music." However, considering how much fun those guys were having, having nothing to prove to anyone, and existing entirely in the moment, it's easy to see why so many people blindly imitated their flaws instead of grasping what Big Star was doing so successfully in the first place.