(UPDATE 2) By Toronto music blogger/reviewer The Lonely Vagabond.
In the digital age, in the age of social media, in an age where the music business model has virtually disappeared, the silos between eras and genres no longer exist. Commercial and non-commercial is the new paradigm. In a brief moment of inspiration I coined a new term, No Pop.
“No Pop (noun) - short for Not Popular. Meaning anti-commercial, non-chart-friendly, also inferring there is no expiration date on music nor is it limited by geographic or regional boundaries”
Faust is No Pop as is The Association. Super Furry Animals is No Pop as is the Nuggets series. Triumph is No Pop as is a local band from Portland or New York. Basically it’s rooted in the attitude that people should search for the music that moves them, away from the corporate machine and towards artists who haven’t lost their capacity to be creative, experimental or boundary-pushing.
I’m betting there are many disenfranchised people willing to rally around a term that stands for “screw the music industry” right now. What makes this moment so exceptional? Music genre’s are no longer the dividing line…it’s now commercially-driven and non commercially-driven. But we must redefine what non-mainstream is as it relates to todays social media age. It’s not just regional scenes and independent artists, it’s also music from the past.
So as the new paradigm stands: it’s local and/or independent artists, classic rock, 80s and 90s music, etc…and Pitbull, One Direction and Katy Perry. Sad really.
Because we live in a media-fed culture where information is instantaneous and everyone wants instant gratification…music from the past has been forgotten. This is what No Pop is all about, the general aim is to focus on (a) regional artists and bands, and (b) artists who remain on the periphery of the mainstream, and (c) the archives of music that is readily available.
Historically music movements start from a regional market, formulaic over-produced schlock always precedes it, and there was always a label/term for the media to latch onto. Perhaps 2014 is our 80s hair metal, our 70s prog rock. Not only do I believe are we nearing the end of a cycle, I also believe the bubble is about to burst. It always has.
It’s time for a radical re-think. To win the war against bad music, you have to start one. Hopefully help is on the way.