Here I am, off topic again…and flogging a horse I thought was deceased. There’s still an occasional suggestion (one just yesterday) that I was unfair with my comments about Justin Beiber a couple of months ago. Apparently I should support him and be proud that the top act in the world right now is Canadian.
First…congratulations Justin and more power to ya kid. Live this for what it’s worth. Seize all the opportunities that this life has brought you and don’t let the naysayers grind you down. But I’m still not a fan.
But for me it isn’t all about Beiber…it’s the current state of the pop music industry.
We’re being served mush pie right now and it must be an acquired taste because I don’t get it. Yes I appreciate that it really isn’t about the music anymore. It’s the show, the image…it’s all about the glitz, the dessert without the dinner. Manufactured stars are a dime a dozen, throw them a synthesizer and a neat little app called autotune and voila! I’m not a Gaga fan either but I did watch a television show a year or so ago that made me realize that this woman does have a lot of talent. She sat at a piano and just sang. It was real and back to basics… no glitz, no glam, no fire-towers…and I enjoyed it. Can you see the Beibs doing the same thing? A ballad (no voice effects) backed by acoustic guitar, real drums, and a piano? Dare to dream! On the other hand maybe he could. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt…he’s earned that much.
There are some pretty great acts out there right now. My favorite is GPN (Grace Potter and the Nocturnals). A younger person asked me if Grace was like Katy Perry. That would be another “Yeah…no.” Grace Potter goes old time without augmentation and all the gimmicks. She’s pure in-your-face rock with one of the greatest true voices I’ve ever heard. She can sing anything from classic standards like “Fly Me to the Moon” to blues and country. I watched her on the CMAs in a duet with Kenny Chesney and…no lip sync! Of course country music thankfully hasn’t embraced supportive technology the way pop has.
I’ve also found myself listening to a lot of indie music lately, not necessarily for the rock but for the pure simplicity of it whether folk, rock, or country. Yes a few of these artists dive into the effect pool but many of them refreshingly offer up the real thing.
Then there was the “You dare compare Justin Beiber to the Beatles!!” response. No, I didn’t compare Beibs to the Beatles. What I said was that the Beatles attracted much the same audience when they burst on the scene but musically they quickly grew and took their audience with them. I would hope that Beiber will do the same thing. If he has the talent both he and his music should mature and evolve to gain a more sophisticated and wider audience base but that’s up to him or, dare I say, his handlers. Speaking of handlers…let’s give these new young male pop stars something to hold onto other than their crotch? Microphone in one hand and…I don’t know…cash in the other?
Simply, Justin Beiber was wrong for Grey Cup. I’d have preferred to see Lightfoot for the whole half-time show…maybe Neil Young, Tom Cochrane, Randy Bachman, Chilliwack, Shania…I don’t know…almost anyone else. It’s still no reason to boo the kid. He’s found his niche (perhaps temporarily) and he’s taking advantage of it. More importantly he handled the Grey Cup fiasco with a certain amount of class and maturity which is more than I can say for those low brows that voiced their opinion so enthusiastically.