maybe some discussion of your opinion of popular music?Is FAIL fail yet? Because it seems to be that there's no other way to so concisely note the current state of popular music. It's thoroughly exhausted. The guitar gods now face their Götterdämmerung. The many bastard children of that brief, inglorious musical twink, electroclash, have devolved even further into twee hipster nonsense, a lot of twenty-year-olds ironically feigning sentimental attachment to a Casio-keyboard aesthetic that predated their own unfortunate late-eighties birth dates. At its worst hip-hop is the absolute worst, an unending skein of embarrassing materialism, put-a-ring-on-it female misogyny, and hollow, video-game violence with none of the Balzacian realness that animated violent rap in its past glory days, while underground hip-hop remains lyrically vital but was never musically interesting to begin with. I admit a soft spot for Wayne Coyne, because he is a sci-fi weirdo, and Stephen Merrit, because he's a fag. Otherwise, is there anything more embarrassing than a pack of liberal blogger types sharing microbrews and enthusing over The Decembrists, the single worst musical group in all history, the nadir of human aesthetic achievement, the final proof that human cognition as we know it, which originated song before speech, will end thusly, whistling grisly half-melodies as the ants inherit the earth?
On the other hand, guys like Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer are doing really interesting work bringing the rhythmic and tonal innovation of Indian music to jazz. You could hardly call it popular, though. It's no Jai Ho, ya know?