Seeing as I usually write a whole paper, including thesis and footnotes, whenever I make a comment on a heated debate on AP.net, I'll blog it this time.
This post is in response to anamericangod's "The Scene is Dead" first of all. If you haven't read it, go here first. Basically, if you're lazy, he just describes the decay that has occurred in music with bands playing without feeling, which, to some extent, is true. He also discusses the effects of MTV and MySpace promoting talentless acts, which again, is kind of true. But I think his last two statements are extremely incorrect:
"The scene is dead.
Long live the scene."
First of all, the term "scene" has been used so incorrectly, I almost don't know what it means anymore. The scene was killed by MTV, the scene is abused by 12 year old girls on hormone-highs, etc. From what I believe, a scene is a group of bands/musicians who play a certain, although not exact, style or genre of music to express how their feelings on love, the world, their jobs, and whatever has meaning to them. A scene is not wearing certain kinds of clothes, denouncing the credibility of any and all bands outside of the general scene of music you prefer, or following ever opinion and political belief the band throws at you. It's a band making noise about everything they believe in and stand for and for an audience to relate to the music in a deeply personal way. I think the problem today, which probably prompts post like what anamericangod made, is that scenes are becoming more like trends and are cast into two types of molds:
1. Bands that play mindless, scattered music (in my eyes, everything from Mindless Self Indulgence to Brokencyde) or bands that play mindless pop/rock (NeverShoutNever! and his five other bands) that get fans just because they're fun to mosh to or have good style, regardless of what the music sounds like.
2. Bands that are trying to revive this boxed-in scene of kids dressing and believing in the same things because it's what they grew up with, thus producing hatred for the 1st kind of scene that I mentioned and everyone that is not part of their scene.
The problem of these scenes are that they're controlled. They've become marketed, with stores like Hot Topic promoting these bands and their scenes. Even this website contains a lot of people who worship bands like Brand New and all simultaneously drool at new bands like Lydia and Bon Iver; meanwhile trashing some bands with humorous, yet vicious, jabs at them. Scenes aren't supposed to be like that. That's what cliques are. In my eyes, a scene should be you and a bunch of friends going to shows that you believe hold meaning to you. No trashing other bands or people because it isn't really worth it. It's about being in a room full of people feeling connected with the same band you are. I believe where anamericangod contradicts himself is when he denounces that, even though there's some good bands out there, there's not enough to revive this grandiose image of a scene. There are plenty of bands out there with talent, and enough to make your own niche/scene. You just have to go past all the MySpace-adored bands and actually LOOK for them. This site is all about promoting fresh music, and it's a fantastic site for that, but you have to honestly search for bands not by how they act/dress or what kind of people like them, but if you like them, their music and if you feel something deep when you listen. Sites like this hinder that slightly when they make a joke of other bands and make almost unacceptable to listen to those bands. That is what's partly killing the scene, a lack of individuality!! It makes no sense to make fun of bands without personality or individuality when we promote these same indie bands over and over on End of the Year Best Of lists and creating a mass group of people who, in turn, lose their opinion and just follow what any Jason Tate or Pitchfork Magazine says is a great band. Go ahead, like Metro Station for all I care; if it has meaning to you, then go for it.
Basically, no long live the scene. I personally hope the scene we've all come to know dies a horribly painful death. It promotes a lack of individuality, therefore breeding kids who make soundalike bands. Don't like a band for being Punk, Pop, Indie, Metal, Christian, or whatever, like them because you feel they're good and relate to you and your life's struggles. I think with the music industry drowning in itself, there isn't a better time to reinvent the scene. Go out, don't listen to whatever angry rant site or magazine tells you to listen to, form a scene of bands that, in your eyes, are great.