Who is paying this fucker to write about music?

19 November, 2008

Evidently Steven Wells is angry that certain elitist bloggers were mocking the death of Paula Abdul-lookalike Paula Godspeed, seen here in an appalling American Idol audition. No disagreement there. So he uses this incident to defend the program as an honest representation of what the pop music industry is really like. Why he considers it excusable entertainment is beyond me but fair enough. So how does he structure the rest of his article? By trashing so-called indie musicians for NOT being the perfect musical sculptures that mainstream labels are regularly churning out. For my money, it’s an argument that can only be made by somebody who hates music. Fuck honesty and artistry, what really matters is creating pop sensations who all sound exactly the same and don’t singe a single note about anything real. And if that wasn’t bad enough, check out the following paragraph:

Had they had to pass an Idol audition, neither Ian Brown nor Nick Cave (both of whom are as bad, if not worse, singers than Goodspeed) would ever have had a career in pop music. Cowell and co would have laughed their socks off before tossing the grunters on to the trash heap of pop history. Brown would have become a catalogue model and Cave a car park attendant. And we would all have been better off for it.

I confess I know little about Ian Brown. I looked up a couple songs on YouTube, and while by no means terrible, he did strike me as a bit of a Liam Gallagher copy. Still, at least the man is clearly singing from his heart about subjects that mean something to him. What really got under my skin was that he had the BALLS to suggest that not only is Nick Cave a worse singer than this woman — which he’s not — but that the music industry would be better off without him.

I can live with your defense of a corporate music industry motivated by greed and a willingness to enslave the general public with hours upon hours of manufactured drivel. I can accept your defense that American Idol is simply telling it like it is. But I refuse to accept the notion that an artist as personal and as passionate as Nick Cave is somehow detrimental to the art form. Art is about self-expression. It’s not always about looking or sounding pretty or pleasant. It’s also an attack on our senses. And we need musicians like Nick Cave, Ian Brown, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Trent Reznor, Björk, Thom Yorke, Damon Albarn, Amanda Palmer and the many other musicians devoted to expressing themselves fully without relying on corporate tools like Simon Cowell to sell their records.

If Mr. Wells doesn’t realize that then he shouldn’t be writing about music. He doesn’t appreciate it. You can read his festering pile of bullshit here, if you must.

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